Piano & Guitars Sax & Drums

I sing and play multiple instruments - Saxophones, Flute, Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Piano.
I have 3 decades experience as a bandleader, freelancer,songwriter,
educator, engineer and producer.

And for 12 years I led one of the hardest-working bands in the Southeast:

Musicians reside on both sides of my family, but my father was my primary musical influence;
a jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter in New York City during the Golden Age of Jazz.
At 3, he taught me drumming, followed by music theory, piano, guitar and more.
Between my mother and he, I grew up immersed in tons of music -
Jazz, Broadway, Soul, Funk, Gospel, Blues, Latin Styles and more.

With voice and instruments, I teach proper fundamental techniques first:
Proper breathing, posture, embouchure, finger positioning and more.
There is no such thing as "classical technique" - we all have to work with our bodies and gravity properly;
once we learn proper technique we can do with it what we need musically.

I also love to teach the conceptual and theoretical side of music
ear training, sightreading, sightsinging, rhythmic studies, music theory and songwriting.
My goal is to not only make a well-rounded musician but a well-rounded person.

To top it off, I teach from my Professional Recording Room, which includes:
Piano, drums, bass, guitars, saxes, flute, clarinet, percussion and more.
This not only gives me the opportunity to use other instruments to teach concepts (when needed),
but also allows me to record my students at various stages of their progress (which they love)!

Contact me for more information:

Dave Bass


Saxophone - Soprano, alto, tenor, bari
Jazz Improvisation - from Armstrong to Brecker
Music Theory - from Bach to Paul Simon to Stevie Wonder
Songwriting and Lyric writing - from Cole Porter to Joni Mitchell

RATE: $50/hr. Sliding scale available for financially challenged students.
LENGTH: I typically teach 1 hr. classes. 30 minutes is too short to learn anything well.
Most students usually take 4 lessons per month.
PAYMENT: All lessons are prepaid at the beginning of the month, which offers makeup days.
WAITING AREA: I have a small room where parents and siblings can hang out (and hear the lessons),
and there are numerous coffee shops and boutiques within walking distance as well.


I also teach group lessons, but generally like to keep my class size small for two reasons:
1 - Students can be at all levels of learning and understanding and
2 - I encourage lots of participation.

My favorite subjects to teach in group settings are:

Music Theory
Conservatory graduates have said no one teaching theory as well as I do!
LENGTH: Typically 5-6 (1) hour lessons gives a thorough, useable understanding of music theory -
plus, I make students use what they learn in writing, performance and improvisation.
CLASS SIZE: I typically confine these classes to no more than 5 or 6, max 10, for proper individual attention.

The History of Jazz
I cover ALL the major styles and players by not only listening to classic recordings from 1928 to the present,
but demonstrating on my own horn and relaying funny historical anecdotes too!
LENGTH: 2-4 hours, depending upon the amount of 'hands-on' I give students.
CLASS SIZE: I have taught classes of 12, although larger classes are possible.

The Art of Song and Lyric Writing
Study of the primary elements of music (harmony, melody, rhythm and lyrics) through the work of
Bach, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Ellington, Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell & more!
This is a deep look at the music of the masters, understanding and studying various 'types' of songs,
and then having students WRITE in these 'templates' - from Tin Pan Alley to blues to sophisticated rock!
LENGTH: This is the most in-depth and time-consuming course I teach.
Songwriting is an 8 week course, (2) hrs per lesson, with writing assignments in it.
Lyric Writing is a 6 week course, (2) hrs per lesson and also has writing assignments.
CLASS SIZE: I generally confine my class to no more than 4 or 5, for proper individual attention.


"We love your energy and inspiration you give to our students!"
Cornerstone Music Conservatory, Santa Monica, 1/27/09

"After trying out several saxophone instructors for my daughter over a period of months, I finally found one I am thrilled about in Dave Bass. What struck me first is his intimate knowledge of the instrument itself. He examined my daughter’s instrument carefully and pointed out areas in need repair or adjustment (and referred me to an excellent repair shop, with which I am very pleased). He observed how my daughter held the instrument and offered suggestions for improvement, such as adjusting the length of the neck strap and proper posture. He also suggested replacing the mouthpiece with one with characteristics more suited to her present size and ability. My daughter was delighted with the improvement in tone resulting from these various “tweaks” and the new ease with which the instrument now played.
When instructing my daughter, Dave communicates effectively, and is very tuned in to her level of comprehension. He has a warm and caring attitude that makes the lessons comfortable and enjoyable for her. He takes the time to search out musical pieces that help her advance and yet are fun. He has even recorded pieces that we can play back at home when she practices, to really hone her sound. His instrumental knowledge, superb musicianship, and pedagogical abilities make him a one-of-a-kind music instructor, whom I highly recommend."
Fred F., 6/10/09

"I have known Dave for nearly a year as a friend, student and musical admirer. As a teacher he takes time prior to lessons to think through the points he wants to make and comes up with original ways to get those points across, often through the use of unique metaphors or exercises that convey an idea clearly, making it easier for someone to comprehend and learn.
As a musical artist Dave is masterful at conveying ideas and feelings through his performance, and I have been in audiences where he has stunned the crowd with a brilliant performance on one instrument, only to pick up a second and then a third and stun the audience with his brilliance on each. Dave would be an asset to any group lucky enough to call him a colleague!"
Elliot Zwiebach, 2/9/10

"My son and I have been taking Saxophone lessons with Dave Bass for the past 3 months. My son just turned 9 and we committed to a 6 months of lessons to learn our favorite instrument - the Saxophone! Dave has been fantastic. He not only helped us purchase two saxophones, he got the saxes repaired for us and purchased all of the accessories
(mouthpieces, reeds, neck straps, music books, etc).
Most importantly, he is a great teacher. He loves to play and he loves to teach. As you can imagine, teaching a 9 year old to play an instrument takes patience and understanding. Dave has both of these qualities."
Dan Y., 6/10/09

"As actors we believe that we can honestly portray any character. And we can…but sometimes we need a little bit of help in getting to that point. I was cast in a feature film that required me to know how to play the bass guitar. I had touched a bass guitar twice in my life before being cast. I somehow fooled casting into believing I was capable.
Once I got the part I went straight to Dave. He showed me quickly and efficiently how to hold the instrument and how to make it look honest and real. Through his own research of the era along with his vast knowledge of music, he helped shape my character and made me look like a Rock star when it came time to shoot."
Robert Hardin, 3/20/10


Created 3/16/10, rev. 8/11/10, 7/15/16