Anyone browsing the internet looking for anything to do with guitars would have come across this name - David Wallimann. His distinctive sense of humour immediately captures the audience promising an entertaining session. But make no mistake; this guy is as serious as they get. His accomplishments when it comes to guitar skill, composing music or teaching guitar speak for themselves. He is a recognised recording artist, guitar instructor with over 200 guitar lessons under his belt, 4000 subscribers on YouTube and he runs a successful website offering backing tracks to public. So why is this man so much in your face? Let’s find out...
David, when you picked up a guitar for the first time, is this where you imagined you will be today?
Now that’s a tough one... I always felt called to be a musician. The moment I picked up the instrument, I knew that it would become a big part of my life. I didn’t really know how or when it would happen though. There were a lot of nice surprises and challenges in the journey. But I feel that the journey has just begun. It’s an ongoing thing really, which is what is so appealing to me! There is always more to learn and enjoy. Music is such a wonderful gift from God!
You are proficient in all styles of music, but what is your favourite and why?
I really love melodic fusion at the moment. I love to feel challenged and some of the fusion jazz-rock material can be quite demanding when it comes to improvising. I love that.
You come across as a solo act, but there was a band, Glass Hammer, you were involved with. Tell us how that came about; were you enjoying it, why did it end?
Ah yeah, Glass Hammer was quite an important period of my life. I joined the band shortly after moving to the United States. They’ve been around for a long time and were looking for a new guitar player. I originally got hired to play lead for the Belmont show they did in Nashville. It was such a great experience that they hired me as a full time band member. I absolutely loved the three years I spent with them. During that time, we recorded their 11th studio album “Culture of Ascent” with Jon Anderson (lead singer for Yes) and filmed a couple live DVDs. I will always cherish those moments. Even though I left the band to focus on my solo career, we are in very good terms and still collaborate occasionally on new material.
You are endorsed by several companies (DiMarzio, V-Picks, Addictive Drums, Guitar Pro, etc). Was that hard to come by?
Yes and no. The truth about endorsements is that most of the companies look at what you can bring them. Companies want to sell their products. They want exposure. If you have a following that they feel can benefit from what hey have to offer, they will endorse you. It rarely has to do with talent. The hard part was just to build a following. It’s not difficult, but it takes time.
Is it fair to say that these days you put most of your efforts into producing videos for YouTube? What do you get out of that?
You’re right. Youtube has been a big part of my life since I started doing it seriously in January 2010. It’s addictive really. I get a lot out of it. Not only is it a great way to build a following and get more credibility, it’s also a wonderful way to meet interesting people and make new friends. It’s also a great way to check where you’re at musically. I got so many ideas off of the comments I’ve got on my videos. It has also helped me realise some of the flaws I needed to work on.
You also run guitarplayback.com. That site is an excellent idea. What made you do it? How successful is it?
Thank you! The idea really came after realising that I had a hard time finding good backing tracks online. When you want to practice seriously, the last thing you want to do is to spend your whole day looking for quality jam tracks. I’ve been writing my own jam tracks for years just for my personal practice sessions. So I thought it would be a good idea to share these educational tools with the world. I’m very excited about the response I’ve had since we launched. Hundreds of customers have enjoyed the backing tracks since we launched the site last November. I am also very excited at the response I’ve gotten after introducing my Maptracks which are visual backing tracks guiding players as they improvise in real time.
Many guitar players are wondering what it takes to make a living with the guitar. I believe you can give some credible advice.
I think the most important piece of advice I can give is not to get discouraged. Making a living with the thing you do best is a blessing and is possible. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t think that way. I’ve been told too many times that I should give up the dream and think of a serious career. We’ve all heard it. Many aspiring musicians give up before even trying. But if you love music, and are willing to put the work, my experience tells me that you can make a living doing what you love. Keeping an open mind and thinking outside of the box really helps too. If you have a vision, opportunities can be created, You just need to keep an open mind. Also, humility is key. There always will be something new to discover on the instrument. Stay out of the competition and do everything with a serving heart. Those things should remain a priority and help you succeed.
You are obviously passionate about teaching, as you have produced a staggering number of guitar lessons for GMC and Jamplay. You recently registered as an instructor at Live4guitar marketplace. What do you think about this particular concept of offering tuition and when are the followers going to see your first lesson?
Yes, I really love teaching! I learn so much in the process. When I saw Live4guitar’s marketplace I was thrilled. The concept is genius! Affordable quality lessons for the masses, that’s brilliant! I have a few ideas I’m working on and hope to contribute soon!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m hoping to finish my second solo album. It’s been in the works for way too long and I should release it sometime this year. I’m also planning a few shows this year. There are talks about playing in Europe next summer, but we’ll see!
And of course teaching. I really love doing it!
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