David First
David First

David First

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Offers remote services
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Introduction: Among the many grants and awards I've received for my composing, I was named The Number One Guitar/Theory Lessons Teacher in Thumbtack's Best of 2015, as well as a "Top Pro" in 2016-18. Below are some reviews about my playing/composing/songwriting/teaching: 1. Thurston Moore in Mojo Magazine "Mind blowing." 2. NYTimes "Astonishing." 3. Time Out NY "The next big thing in guitar gods." 4. The Big Takeover "Powerhouse guitarist." -------------------------------------------------------------- I'm a composer, performer and teacher, written up in Pitchfork, The Village Voice, Guitar Player, and NYTimes, who makes it fun for beginners and fully develops the advanced. I teach all styles and desires, from songwriters who are interested in developing their creativity/improv skills, to those who'd love to play their favorite songs. I teach electric and bass guitar, midi and computer recording, fingerpicking, songwriting, noise, improvisation, rocking out, psychedelic sonic landscapes, blues, funky stuff, alternative tuning, various jazz-avant theories, guilty pop pleasures and ??? -------------------------------------------------------------- The following are a few reviews I received from my clients as a teacher prior to Thumbtack: 1. Bernard Gann/Liturgy (Thrill Jockey) "David's teachings expand across every spectrum of the instrument and encourage much thought beyond as well. The sound itself becomes the focal point, and the guitar is a vastly differentiated palette with which to achieve any end that you can imagine. Guitar technique is only a part of a larger whole, a brilliantly open-world philosophy where sound is king." 2. Theresa Smith/Home Blitz (Mexican Summer) "I've been playing basic rock 'n' roll guitar for 15 years and never taken guitar lessons before. David has really helped me begin to grasp the underlying structure of the instrument in a way that makes sense to me and that I can use to build on basic song structures in an improvisational setting. Plus, he's a great guy and killer guitar player. I can't recommend him highly enough!" 3. Eric R. "David has the depth and understanding to convey music with both soul and science. A lesson with him is like having your own personal composer, lyricist and guitar wizard. I can't believe my luck of finding him." 4. Michael W. "David's ability to psychically figure out exactly what I need and how to get it to me is the primary reason why I am able to continue on this difficult and important mission of finding myself, the musician. If I hadn't found him, I definitely would have quit by now. Equal parts guitar teacher, mentor, therapist, comedian and role model, David packs quite the bang for the buck. I didn't think creativity could be taught, but no! David has proved me wrong." 5. David G. "David's a versatile teacher. I am learning everything, from basic guitar to post rock, computer music and harmonics. He is patient but also challenging. I feel incredibly lucky to be studying under his tutelage." -------------------------------------------------------------- Below are some of the reviews I received as a songwriter/composer: 1. Paris Transatlantic "Simply a master chef when it comes to cooking up harmonics." 2. Splendid E-zine "It's enough to give you goosebumps." 3. NY Times "Kinetic dance rhythms with thoughtful lyrics." 4. All Music Guide "As a singer, he underplays in the manner of Andy Partridge, with a similar jazzy bounce, and his lyrics are comparable as well in their intelligence and elusive imagery." 5. Time Out New York "He is a guitarist with a flair for melody and a neat way of intertwining themes and stories as proved by his new CD."

Hired 77 times

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35 years in business

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Top pro status

Top Pros are among the highest-rated, most popular professionals on Thumbtack.

Jul - Dec

Jul - Dec

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Customers rated this pro highly for work quality, professionalism, and value.

Exceptional 5.0

50 reviews


Read reviews that mention:

Danielle H.

Guitar Lessons

Learning guitar with David has been a pleasure. He caters the lessons to your exact experience level and has a very vast knowledge of guitar and music as a whole. Looking forward to continuing our lessons!
Nov 7, 2017
Liz n.

Guitar Lessons (for adults)

David is a fantastic teacher. I came to him with a difficult task. I had to learn how to play guitar well for a performance, with 2 weeks to prepare. I had no previous guitar experience. He not only taught me patiently, he also helped me put together compositions for the show. He truly went above and beyond as a teacher. He is extremely attentive and very adaptable to what you want as a student. I liked him so much I continued with lessons after the show!
Apr 12, 2016
Sarah S.

Guitar Lessons

David is a fantastic guitar teacher! I'm a bit of a guitar newbie but David does a really great job at giving me challenging lessons, but not too challenging in that I feel overwhelmed. At the first lesson, I told him some things that I wanted to work on and so far, he has really kept to that. David is fantastic guitar player and has an incredible ear for music. He listens to any song and can write it out for you within minutes! I'm looking forward to continuing to take lessons with David!
Jan 15, 2015
Bilal K.

Guitar Lessons

I've been working with David as a "beginner" bass player for only a few weeks at this point, but I am already seeing really remarkable results, even in such a short time. He is very clear in his explanations, methodical, patient and knowledgeable. My lessons are a good mix of theory and practice (which is in response to my expressed interest in knowing more compositional theory). I feel much more confident about my bass playing, and am able to communicate better with band members. Most importantly, I have confident that with his continued guidance, I will be able to reach a level of competency and creativity. Based on my experience, I recommend him to anyone who want to learn the bass guitar, without any reservations.
Jul 24, 2014
Amber S.

Guitar Lessons

I began taking lessons from David three weeks ago without any prior experience. I got the guitar as a gift years ago and hadn't really touched it since. He has been a great teacher so far. He started by changing some of the older strings for me. Then, the "real work" started. He has been very patient and thorough, and he breaks it down where I can grasp. I also have a very hectic schedule, and he is really accommodating. I look forward to learning more.
Dec 12, 2013
Background Check

David Hirsch


  • What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?

    When I was a struggling, younger musician, my teacher, Dennis Sandole, who was a legend in the creative music community (Google him and see), was extremely understanding and fair about his rates. I try to continue this in my pricing. If you are in school, or working a low-paying job, I don't want to discourage you from learning. Thus, I keep my base price a low $40/hr. If you are a professional with a good job, OTOH, I do ask you to pay a little more...up to $50 (which is still very reasonable).

  • What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

    We set up a first lesson and if they aren't beginners, I ask the student to play one or two things that they are comfortable with that demonstrate their abilities. I may ask them to go through a basic set of chords and scales as well to make sure that they don't have any "holes" in their knowledge before we move forward with new material. If the student is a beginner I ask them questions about their background—whether they ever played another instrument, sang in a choir, danced, etc. Anything that might actually feed into their musicality. Then we start from the very beginning. In either case, I also ask the student to bring a playlist of songs they would like to learn/understand that gives me even more of a picture of the direction to take them. I CUSTOMIZE EVERY STUDENT'S LESSONS TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTION THEY WANT TO GO BASED ON THEIR MUSICAL INTERESTS AND WHERE THEY ARE CURRENTLY AT LEVEL-WISE.

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