Nurturing and Challenging Musical Minds on Acoustic Instruments Since 1986


Hi, I'm Dave Yates, music instructor and owner of Appalachian Music Lessons of Johnson City, Tennessee. Born and raised in Johnson City, I've spent the majority of my life submerged in music on every level. I learned to play guitar at the age of 7 and have over 35 years of teaching and playing experience with multiple instruments. I've played with the likes of Merle Haggard, Grammy Award Winner Tim Stafford, Rhonda Vincent, Adam Steffey, Barry Bales, John Gardner, Rob Ickes, Charlie Daniels, Trey Hensley, and Doc Watson, just to name a few. In 2004, I released my own CD, The Working Man. 


I've been an Adjunct Professor in the Appalachian Studies Department at East Tennessee State University since 2000, the only university in the world that offers a major in bluegrass music, and I've taught private lessons since 1986. If you are interested in taking private lessions to reach your musical level of comfort, from the novice to the professional, I'm your guy. I specialize in teaching young kids and young musicians to help nuture their creative style, but I'm also qualified to teach professional and accomplished musicians alike. I am also available for studio session work. 


You can learn to play:



I teach students locally, but if you are not in the area, I also teach via Skype and Facetime. Contact me if you are interested in taking private lessons, no matter where you may be in the world from what the Johnson City Press calls a "legendary local teacher and musician." 


Dave Yates is one of the finest teachers of stringed instruments that you will ever be able to find. He has great knowledge on a variety of instruments and has decades of experience in live performing, the recording studio, and teaching others how to play. I highly recommend him as a teacher and a person. He has the know how, but most importantly, he has the love of music and helping others learn.
Adam Steffey - 2013


It's No Exaggeration to say David Yates is a legend in country and acoustic music circles in these parts. He's been playing guitar for 50 years and is equally adept at electric and acoustic styles, as well as fiddle and mandolin. 

-Tim Stafford

Appalachian Music Lessons
525 Lee Circle
Johnson City, TN 37604
423 929-2504


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Providing Music Lessons to Students in Johnson City, Kingsport, Jonesborough, Bristol, and the surrounding regions of Tennessee and North Carolina. © Appalachian Music Lessons