Artist: Dave Reynolds

DRPFor guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Dave Reynolds, music has been and continues to be his passion and calling in life. From his extensive education to his remarkably diverse experiences as a performer, Dave is a consummate musician on a quest to use his considerable talents in service to others. In his own words: “I want my music to spread joy and peace, to give people a break from their human existence. To put them into a heavenly space even if just for an hour, a few minutes, or a few seconds is an incredible gift.”


Dave’s earliest musical inspirations came from his family. According to Dave: “My aunt also played the organ at church. I would have to say that going to church and hearing my mom, grandmother, and aunts play the piano sparked a strong interest for me in wanting to play music.” He goes on to say: “I was also strongly influenced by seeing and hearing guitars on television. The Rockford Files guitars were always one of my favorites. I watched Roy Clark on Hee Haw and the Partridge Family. One of my first private guitar instructors had attended Berklee College of Music. He got me interested in jazz from a very early age. I also enjoyed southern rock. I always played in my school jazz bands and small groups as well. I became interested in classical music though my formal university studies where I ended up becoming intimately familiar with music from the Renaissance to the modern day. I’ve thrown all of that knowledge into a big stew.”


Dave’s formal studies, as I mentioned earlier are extensive, to say the least. In addition to attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Dave earned a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from St. Mary’s College of MD. He continued on to get a Masters of Music in Jazz and Commercial Guitar from Towson University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in Classical Guitar from Shenandoah University. Dave’s Doctoral research paper is titled “The Role of The Guitar In The SocialDave Reynolds History of The Early United States (1800-1930) as Depicted In Literature From The Database Making of America 2006 – 2010.” The intent of that study was to locate previously unevaluated information about the social history of the guitar in the early United States.


But in addition to being a student, Dave has been a teacher and has taught applied guitar, guitar ensemble, guitar pedagogy, and class guitar and was in charge of the guitar department at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. from 2000-2005. He also conducted the instrumental ensemble at Prince George’s Community College in Largo MD. as well as wind ensembles, marching bands, jazz bands, and orchestras at the high school level. In addition, Dave writes a blog called “The Music Doctor.” One of his most successful blogs was a series of articles titled “A Guitar a Day for Seven Days” where he featured guitars from his own collection that span from the Renaissance period to the present day. As a performer, Dave has done just about every kind of gig imaginable, from solo guitar at churches, weddings and parties to big theatre productions and even performing a half dozen times as a solo guitarist at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC on the Millennium Stage.


Growing up and spending a good part of his life on the east coast in the Washington, DC area, Dave had long harbored a dream of living on the west coast and being part of the LA jazz guitar scene like many of the artists he admired such as Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Tommy Tedesco, Pat Metheny, and others. As Dave shares: “The west coast guitar sound and the vibe of being near the ocean and the warm weather sounded so awesome. But that’s not all! I was becoming more and more fascinated with skateboarding and my growing desire to learn how to surf. What better place to do all of that then Southern California. All of those elements combined created an immense pull to move west.”


That opportunity eventually came about when Dave’s wife Libby was offered a transfer within her company to Calabasas, CA. Dave didn’t have to think twice, and they sold their house and headed west. Libby ended up working for Line 6, a major manufacturer of guitar amps and equipment which provided an inroad for Dave to beta-test, and to be supported as an artist with gear for recording, teaching, and touring. And from 2011-2015 Dave taught employees there once a week during their lunch hours. Further immersion into the local music scene came when Dave had the golden opportunity to spend a lot of time at the North Hollywood studio of Peter Rafelson, whose credits include working with Elton John, Madona, Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and many more major artists. Dave ended up going there on a daily basis for a year and a half where he learned a lot about composing, audio engineering and the recording process.


Layout 1Dave’s lifelong goal of being a So Cal guitarist/composer finally came to fruition when he put his instrumental skills and new knowledge of recording into the creation of his first album, Waves of Soul. In his words: “They’re all original compositions. I composed 95% of the material and played most all of the instruments as well. This recording presents my having the opportunity to play and compose the way I had always dreamed of way back in high school when I was reading about Carlton, Tedesco and Ritenour in Guitar Player Magazine. I had arrived – it felt great!” Having heard the album, I can say that it truly does reflect those influences and that vibe he had been searching so long for. It’s an outstanding collection of smooth jazz and contemporary instrumental tunes that range from cool and laid back to toe tapping grooves, all based around Dave’s tasteful and compelling guitar work.


Layout 1Dave’s next recording went in a different direction and is more oriented towards the new age music market. Entitled Self Meditate, this was a project he created for his wife, Libby, who is a cancer survivor. According to Dave: “We have a friend Kim who works as a craniosacral therapist. She has worked on my wife Libby and myself. Kim asked if I would compose a meditation track for her. So at her request Dave set out to record music that was specifically gentle and soothing for healing purposes. In addition, he also has another album scheduled for release this year.


When I asked Dave if he had anything in particular that he wanted people to know about him or his music, he replied: “I want to use my God given gifts, my music and my strong family ties to help as many people as possible across the globe to achieve their goals, and to most importantly help them to help as many people as they can possibly help and to keep that going until the world as a whole is healed.” Dave Reynolds is a man on a mission and he certainly has the talents and the ambition to make a difference. I know that we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the days to come, and I’ll certainly be looking forward to that.



Music video from the Waves of Soul album: