David Shankle


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.


Hired 7 times
1 employee
Serves Milwaukee , WI

Social media



Students who have an instrument, Students who are planning to purchase an instrument

Able to read music

Student can read music staff, Student can read guitar tabs, Student cannot read music

Musical styles

I can make recommendations, Classical, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Folk, Country

Lesson length

30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes

Students age

14 - 17 years old, 18 - 25 years old, 26 - 44 years old, 45 - 64 years old, 65 or older

Years experience

No formal training, No formal training; some self-taught experience, 0 - 2 years of formal training, 2 - 4 years of formal training, 4+ years of formal training

Photos and videos

  • Reviews

    0 reviews


    Chris V.

    Im about a month in and Davids done a great job. I feel like Im making real progress.
    ... Show more
    September 13, 2019
    Hired on Lessons


    Ken g.

    His patience
    ... Show more
    May 10, 2018


    Bill S.

    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.
    ... Show more
    May 09, 2018


    Barbie G.

    Patience and knowledge! He understands theory and technique. David is an amazing teacher!
    ... Show more
    May 09, 2018


    Graham G.

    Took lessons with Mr. Shankle for a few months and learned more with him than any other lesson instructors. He has a good knowledge of theory as well as technique. Not to mention hes just a great guy to be around and might occasionally give you an icebreaker duo mint (shred pills)
    Would highly recommend
    ... Show more
    May 09, 2018


    Vincent S.

    Ive been taking lessons from David for over a year. He is very patient, and focuses on on what you need. I already knew how to play rythem, but lacked in lead skills. He has helped me play far beyond what I expected. I see his other students before and after my lesson, and they range from small kids to adults. He is GREAT with kids, very friendly, and his is an all-around likeable guy. He knows his theory, is well educated in music, and has real life experience in the music world from teaching students, to playing on stage in front of thousands of people. Although he has never said it, tone is in your fingers, and I learned that just from watching him play. Hes taught me a lot of techniques, and developed a lot of feel in my playing. Music has been his life since he was a little kid... He doesnt do anything else.
    ... Show more
    May 09, 2018

    Frequently asked questions

    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.

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

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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!

    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!

    Services offered

    Bass Guitar