As a New Orleans musician and educator, I have worked very hard to build my lessons business which started out as guitar lessons with and has expanded into banjo and ukulele lessons, as well. It has not only changed my life and career for the better, but it has also improved the lives of my community and many worldwide (due to webcam lessons).

My students have found me through word of mouth and the internet. They’ve recommended their friends to me by pointing them to my website business, written testimonials, and it's even been a great way to sell my recommended books and gear online. I now give lessons to a variety of students.
I also teach overseas via WebCam lessons. That wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have my website.

Students have been filling up. I had to hire on more teachers to take students I couldn’t. I’ve started NEWORLEANSDRUMLESSONS.COM and NEWORLEANSACTINGLESSONS.COM to diversify. But, I always do the best I can to fit students in.

I want to say thank you to my students for growing as musicians, and for persevering to become advancing musicians. I've received many tips over the years for teaching my lessons and I am so thankful. I know that I am making a difference in my students' lives for the better and receiving gifts and or tips has just been icing on the cake. Recently, I've received a great gift as a thank you for teaching guitar from one of my students that I've been meeting with twice a week for lessons, and it humbled me while at the same time made me very proud to do what I do - teach music lessons. He gave me a guitar like the pic below. I am very grateful for every single one of my students and am very proud of them.

I am living my dream of teaching and enriching my students' lives through music. Now it's time to expand the business and build a place where lessons can be taught and concerts performed. Come take a lesson with me!



David Putnam, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA has been teaching music for more than 10 years. He founded New Orleans Music Lessons more than 2 years ago and has seen and heard many of his committed students grow as musicians from all levels and musical backgrounds.

David has studied guitar under the tutelage of Hank Mackie, Brian Seeger, and Steve Masakowski. David has received his B.F.A. in Jazz Studies (with an emphasis in guitar) from the University of New Orleans. More information regarding UNO's world-renown faculty can be seen at UNO's site .

David is currently playing guitar professionally in New Orleans and as a soloist ranging in the variety of styles of jazz, bluegrass, rock, blues, and classical. He has led worship groups in churches and ministries. He has also played in rock, Latino, blues, jazz, and big bands including to name a few. Visit the Performances page if you are interested in having David and/or his band perform at your venue.

But, his love for playing music has grown to an even greater love to teach others how to play. He has taught a range of students from the ages of 7 to 70 in six and seven-string guitars, banjo, ukulele, bass, beginner piano, and mandolin. He teaches in the many styles that has also influenced his playing including rock, blues, Latino, big band, bluegrass, jazz, and chord-melody giving his students a wide range of musical styles to learn. New Orleans Music Lessons has been so successful and so much fun that he did, indeed, "quit his day job" as a High School Math teacher and full-time teacher for students with learning disabilities and Autism. Teaching music is his passion and joy.

David currently teaches privately in the New Orleans area as well as through , , or via webcam. Sign up for banjo, guitar, beginner piano, bass or ukulele lessons today!

Contact David for lessons at

Watch a sample video with tips on guitar and drumming over a jazz blues here.


Rebecca Black and Mainstream Pop: What's Your Opinion?

Rebecca Black has caused quite the stir with her new days of the week song, "Friday".  She has had her life threatened, been "cyber bullied", and made fun of for her song that has come across, unintentionally, as a parody to pop music.  Yet, she has already sold over millions of her song via itunes and Amazon making it the must-have-song pop song for everyone's playlist in America.

Why are so many people buying this after publicly proclaiming they hate this song?  Is it cyber-bullying or not?  What are your general thoughts about the song and it's effect on the mainstream pop culture?
Please share your thoughts.


Are supporting your local musicians and educators important to you?

...Or does it matter if your lessons are contracted out from Texas, California, or some other internet site that never makes personal contact or meets the teacher in person that they have contracted out to you?  There have been many websites that offer "How to be a Rock Star" lessons or claim to offer the best lessons for the best prices,  but is this really  best for your community and your child?  Music Lesson companies from out of state hire teachers for cheaper rates to get more clients to only pay the teachers the minimum they can get away with.  It's true you might save more money, but how good is this for the local instructor who is taking the uncomfortable pay cut just to make ends meet, how good is this for you or your child as a student?  What about our local community and it's hard working musicians and teachers?  I challenge you to do your research when finding the right teacher...Are they local?  What do you know about them?  Can you talk in person with the teacher or music lesson company's owner about service, rates, and their policies? Or, are you left to talk to someone out of state over the phone that you'll never see face to face.

If you are looking for some honest, friendly, patient and LOCAL music instructors, I highly recommend New Orleans Music Lessons, but you be the judge.  Here are some links to local musicians/educators that are passionate about teaching.

Recommended:  Guitar Lessons  Banjo Lessons  Drum Lessons  Ukulele Lessons  Piano Lessons  Bass Lessons


What books are best when learning a new instrument?

Christmas is right around the corner and a lot of children and adults alike can't wait to get that new guitar to learn how to play like their favorite artist.  But, what about the books and learning material?  Which guitar teacher?  It's been proven that students learn much quicker from a guitar teacher than on their own.  I know I started out a self-taught player, but learned 5 years worth (approximately) of valuable musical information by signing up with a guitar educator and by going to school.  I've gone through hundreds of books in all my years of playing, learning, and teaching, but have only found a handful that I keep going back to.  I highly recommend anything from Berklee Press.  They have many great books.  Here is a list of books that I've made that are really great to learn from rudiments to tunes to all in between.

For more info about books or lessons contact me at or


The Major Scale: A nice sounding exercise

Tonight I was talking with one of my good friends who happens to be a jazz sax player and we got to talking about our music lessons from a teacher's and student's perspective.  We discussed the tune, "All the Things You Are," by Jerome Kern and how it changes keys in thirds and discussed the R.N.A. (Roman Numeral Analysis) of the tune.

This led to discussing the scales that can be played over the tune, and how important the major scale is.  My friend shared a scale exercise with me that I could apply to my guitar which seems so simple, but sounds more musical than technical (as guitar finger exercises often do).  It's a nice exercise and let's the player really hear each arpeggio of the scale as well as the sound of the major scale while learning the notes of each scale and arpeggio.  So here it is:

Be sure to play in all keys (going up a fourth, half-step, whole-step, etc.)

The Exercise:  Take the C Major Scale (C D E F G A B) and starting from C, play the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th note of the scale or C major 7 chord (C, E, G, B) then walk back down the scale (A, G, F, E, D) to the next note, D, then play the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th of the D minor 7 chord then walk down the scale (C, B, A, G, F, E) to E and continue on this pattern for the remainder of the scale.


What are you listening to?

I'm listening to the great Irma Thomas right now.  Be sure to listen to her sweet, soulful sounds!