Testimonials - About Fretmentor's Teaching Methods.
Dave is unique among all the teachers that I have had. Most teachers give you songs to learn and some technique. Dave only starts there. His objective is not just to learn songs (although we learn songs also) but to reallly understand the instrument and how to make music. For the first time I can understand the process that professional musicians use to improvise and play without tabs. He interjects theory in a very informative and easy to understand manner. His lessons are based on the students needs and not just going through a book. My highest recommendation if you live in South Florida within driving range of Jupiter.
Dave is an excellent instructor in many ways. He's helping me break bad habits that I've developed by teaching myself on banjo (and guitar) such as issues with timing, technique and dynamics. Dave is great with telling what your weaknesses are so you know what to practice for the rest of the week. I have found that many instructors cannot, or will not, be critical in that way towards their students, and it does not help you to not have that criticism. He has written instructional cd-roms but is also open to teaching songs you would like to learn. We're working on some JD Crowe right now.
Dave has real life experience as a banjo player as well, so he can help with the skills you need to play with other musicians. I am also taking another group lesson that he gives to do just that, as well as continuing with private instruction. Again, I have found that many other teachers are bedroom players and cannot help you with this. Dave is highly recommended by me for all. He's a bluegrass/acoustic music enthusiast in an area of the country where those values are in short supply.
Lots of good players offer lessons, but not all can teach. Dave has the rare gift of being able to both teach and play, and he does both well. I had some musical education as a kid, and tried to teach myself guitar. Since starting with Dave, I have learned more about music theory and its practical application than I could have stumbled across in years of aimless self study. He is helping me learn both the music and the instrument, and I know I will be a better player for it. I've got a long way to go before anyone will mistake me for a banjo picker, but I'm on the right road, with a plan.
I know what I'm supposed to be doing, and why, and that's what a good instructor does for you. With practice on my part, I will have the skills to get there. I believe that whatever your skill level, Dave can help you be a better musician. He has the patience and teaching ability to get the beginner started with confidence, and the knowledge and skill to help the experienced player better understand both music and technique.
Excellent instructor that works hard to make sure every lesson counts. Has a good feel for when to push and demand more from the student and when to encourage and keep it fun. Well versed in music theory and will not settle for teaching one to play a repertoire of songs from wrote memory. His instructional C/D’s, which are based on actual recorded material, are an excellent learning tool. The material is presented as both a single instrument; banjo, mandolin or guitar, as well as duet combinations, up to tempo and half speed. This makes the material suitable for beginning through intermediate students.
Dave has an incredible knowledge of music theory, which has led me to pursue other musical genres instead of just bluegrass. Although one could learn music theory from a book, or on-line sites, Dave has taught me numerous ways to remember different theory based on the layout of the banjo. Playing major, minor, pentatonic (etc etc) scales out of the three chord "shapes" and recognizing patterns from playing out of these chord shapes has helped me immensely. To keep it all interesting, Dave throws in songs to learn based on the theory I am learning. He also stresses backup playing since that is what you will be playing primarily in a group setting.
Dave is an excellent and versatile instructor. I have studied Mandolin and Banjo from him and have taken group classes on Guitar and also Bluegrass Performance. In all sessions, he goes beyond the usual and works on and teaches instrument skills and music/chord theory that will ultimately make the student a better player. He does not concentrate on just teaching songs, but provides tools (rhythm, backup and improvisation) to develop the student.
I recommend Dave Jakubiak’s for all levels of instruction for guitar, banjo and mandolin players including beginners. His group classes are also excellent and he periodically offers 2-hour workshops on a specific instruments. Although proficient in most music genre, Dave excels in Blues and Bluegrass.
Dave is an excellent music instructor. I have been studying guitar with Dave for the past two years. I started as a total beginner in his Beginning Guitar Class. I have also been taking his Bluegrass Class for each semester for the past year. I am still a beginner but Dave has brought me to a level of playing I couldn't imagine being able to do two years ago.
Where Dave's specialty is bluegrass, his repertoire is all inclusive. He can and will teach and play in any genre. He will always honor my request to work on something I want as well as what we need to be working on in class. Dave is inspiring, patient, but also demanding in his expectations of me as a student and what he thinks I am capable of. Overall, Dave has brought me further musically that I could have hoped.
After taking lessons as a kid and putting my guitar down for the better part of twenty years, I knew exactly what I was looking for in an instructor to resume my play. I was interested in a sound mix of theory, rhythm, and lead. I was fortunate enough to find Dave when I was a resident of Florida and took private lessons from him weekly for the better part of two years. His instruction was exactly what I was looking for.
When I moved to Chicago, it presented a significant challenge to my continuing guitar education with Dave. We decided to attempt continuing our lessons online via webcams. After working out a few bugs, I must admit that I am extremely pleased with the result. We have picked up where we left off in our face-to-face instruction and I am making pretty significant progress with the online lessons. Frankly, I thought that the lessons would have to involve more theory and less play, but this has not turned out to be the case. I am playing just as much as when I was in person, and I am able to see Dave play examples easily, as well. To be honest, there are a few minor challenges: It is more difficult to play a flat-picking song together, and I sometimes have to ask him to show a finger position in greater detail with the webcam, but I consider these to be inconsequential. I find the value of continuing my lessons from a very, very capable instructor with whom I have a history to be far greater. Regardless of our location, I know he’ll push me to be a better musician, and is very talented at passing along his vast knowledge of the guitar (in person and over the cyberwaves).
"I have been taking guitar lessons from Dave for almost a year now. After 8 months of lessons in his studio, I moved a few towns away making it difficult to take face-to-face lessons. I continue my lessons with Dave over the internet using a webcam. It's great because I didn't have to start new with another teacher. We are able to send music sheets and files over the web. I haven't had a problem using the webcam for lessons. There is next to no delay in video streaming. I definitely recommend lessons from Dave who is an excellent teacher. Thanks alot Dave."
Leslie Kay Drury
"I have just completed my first "remote" lesson via I-Chat, and am pleased to say that the experience was rewarding, and pleasantly surprising. I am traveling for an extended period of time. When home I look forward to the time I devote to my music and lessons with Fretmentor. While on the road my desire has been to continue to devote that same time, and energy to my studies. Through the use of technologymy lessons have and will continue. My business takes me on the roadfrom time to time and some trips are extended. Thanks to the wayFretmentor embraces technology, and utilizes the tools available on the internet I will continue to enjoy my lessons. The lesson was "realtime", and Fretmentor was able to view each exercise as I completed it and to correct and teach as necessary.