David Shankle

David Shankle

5.0 (8)
7 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee

About this pro

We are taking special precautions & actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and one of these is our offering of lessons online for local customers who would normally attend lessons in person. We have a number of students who have chosen this option, and they have been very happy with the online experience taking lessons at the Milwaukee Music Academy. When you send a request for info, we can begin our conversation about how to explore the possibilities of studying here, and you can share with us if you prefer the online lessons option as a temporary situation for your lessons until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.  

I've been teaching for over 30 years; students of all levels & styles (including rock, pop, alternative, jazz, blues, classical, hot country licks, new metal, progressive metal, as well as songwriting and theory).  I am successful teaching both adults and children.  I have toured the world with an international metal band (Manowar).  I'm a super-shred guitar virtuoso so I can help you if you want to learn how to SHRED, which a small percentage of teachers are able to teach.  I am also very good with beginners!  Through my extensive teaching experience, I have developed a teaching style which caters to each student and helps them reach their musical goals!  Also, I have an actual bachelor's degree in music with a special emphasis on guitar and music theory.  Many teachers do not have a degree in music.

The joy of helping others play well and see them play things on the guitar that they were unable to play before working with me.  This is the most rewarding experience you can have as a teacher... knowing that what you are teaching is helping the student become a better guitarist and visibly seeing them happy with their results.  I focus on the student's strong points as well as their weak points.  The goal is to build up their strong points to make these points something that allows them to stand out.  I focus on the weak points to try to turn these points around so the student is no longer weak in these areas.  I know how to make sure I am not giving my student too much for them to digest.  I don't want them to bite off more than they can chew, because this can lead to serious frustration for the student.  On the same token, if I know a student can excel with extra "homework", I provide this for these students so they can continue with their learning that week, after our lesson.

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Milwaukee, WI 53227
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8 Reviews


  • Chris Volk

    I'm about a month in and David's done a great job. I feel like I'm making real progress.

  • Ken brother of demonic guitar

    His patience

  • Bill Sims

    David is an excellent teacher. He prepared my son to perform in front of a large audience on short notice. He did a great job bringing my son to the next level and preparing him to continue and grow.

  • Barbie Gale

    Patience and knowledge! He understands theory and technique. David is an amazing teacher!

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

See what it is he or she needs to learn and where to start.  I asses what their goals are, and make sure that while we are working on their concrete goals, we are also learning the basics, which may seem like it doesn't have anything to do with their goals, but ultimately, it does.  You need to lay down a solid foundation with those beginner students.  Some students come to me with a lot of skills already.  I am happy to say that I am able to pinpoint where they are with their learning, and provide lessons so they can continue learning at a higher level.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Graduate from Roosevelt University in Jazz and Classical Guitar, Music Theory, and real-world experience playing shred-metal guitar.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My pricing is very reasonable!  The student will get four 60-minute lessons for $178 (paid upfront) for once-a-week lessons, which comes out to $46.75 per lesson.  This is cheaper than much of my competition!  If the student chooses to take more than 1 lesson per week, my rate per lesson goes down substantially!  I have found that 60-minute lessons are exponentially more beneficial to students, because that time allows for many crucial steps that need to be taken during any guitar lesson, including application of concepts learned during the lesson to various songs/licks, more hands-on training and demonstration, re-assuring that the student's technique is proper and correct... often times, a student can leave a lesson and "practice" what they learned, but they are not practicing what they learned correctly, which defeats the purpose of the lesson!  It also allows for an overview of what they learned so they know why the concept they learned is important, and how it fits in with their goals, etc. Having a complete understanding of how the particular lesson fits in to the big picture can motivate students to want to practice more, which will make them a BETTER PLAYER IN LESS TIME!

How did you get started teaching?

My father also played guitar and he got me started with my teaching.  He was a performer (with Roy Clark!) and a teacher, and I used to sit in for him sometimes when he needed someone to fill in as a teacher.  That lead me to start my own teaching business in many different styles.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages at all levels, in many different styles!  My extensive teaching experience has brought thousands of students to me over the years, in a wide variety of ages, levels, and styles.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Seeing a student reach his goals and move on to bands and have fun playing the music he loves.  One of my students that I taught how to shred is now in a well-known band, and he is doing very well with his musical career.  I have kept in touch with him, and his band is now working on their "eagerly awaited second album"!  I am very proud of this student!

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

When seeking a guitar teacher, there are MANY of them to choose from, so it can be a real headache sifting through the list of teachers.  My advice to you is to spend the time reviewing the candidates you are interested in, by asking them questions that are important to YOU.  Decide what is important for YOU as a student.  Do you want a teacher with a lot of teaching experience, or is that not important to you?  Do you want a teacher who has a degree in music, or do you feel that doesn't really matter?  Do you want a teacher who specializes in a certain genre?  Do you want a teacher who can teach you a lot about music theory?  Believe it or not, not every teacher out there has a high level of music theory knowledge. Think about what is important to YOU, and KEEP LOOKING until you find the teacher that has what you're looking for in a teacher!

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Please see my answer above.  MORE questions that you might want to ask would be:

1. What level of guitar player are you?  Intermediate?  Advanced?  Master?  Virtuoso?  (Some guitar teachers have more advanced skills than others.)

2. What are your policies regarding payment, cancelling a lesson, etc.?  Some teachers are more flexible than others in these areas, and you have to decide what kind of flexibility you require as a student, or how much flexibility you seek in a teacher.

3.  If you are looking for a teacher for your child, ask the candidate: What kind of experience do you have teaching children?  Some guitar teachers have more experience teaching children than others, so this may be important to you.

Every student is at a different level, and has different goals and needs.  Think about what YOU WANT in a teacher, write it down, and get the answers to all YOUR UNIQUE questions from every teacher you are considering!