ROOTS welcomes its newest guitar and bass mentor, Dave Mohr.
Dave Mohr (guitar • bass) is a recording artist and guitarist with the group The Era, with his wife Nicole and her sister. Previously he played for Remedy Drive, which was nominated for “Best Rock Song of the Year.” These days he’s focusing on teaching and learning. He has a bachelor’s in music from Olivet Nazarene University, just south of Chicago where he’s from, and finds the students he works best with are ones who work hard. “As a teacher my goal is obviously to teach the technical aspects of music and how to play guitar, but that does no good if the student isn’t inspired towards music and the instrument,” he says. “I try to teach that inspiration (for every age in very different ways) by showing them why music, and the guitar is great, fun, emotional. But when a student comes in the door hungry for it, ready to learn, ready to work, we can share that inspiration, and they can really improve… and so can I.”
Here’s a little more about Dave:
What are you teaching at ROOTS?
Guitar and bass.
Who are some notable names you’ve worked with?
Remedy Drive, The Era, Jonathan Thulin, Press Play
When did you begin playing? Teaching?
I had a guitar when I was very young, but started to become serious about it when I was 13, I’m 27 now. I started teaching in college when I was around 20.
What’s your specialty or what are you known for?
With Remedy Drive I found myself to be a pretty serious effects player. However, I’m not a fan of the modern wishy washy “might as well be playing a keyboard pad” guitar, so my goal was to add atmosphere when appropriate, but when it would have the most impact come out of that with really cutting guitar lines.
Outside of Remedy Drive, I’ve always loved getting creative with tonality. Don’t get me wrong, I play by the rules and don’t force it, but if there is a chance to tastefully add something to a song with a flat9 or an augmented chord, you can bet I’ll do it!
Where were you born, and how did you end up in Nashville?
Born just south of Chicago in Peotone, Ilinois. I moved to Nashville after graduation college. I had very little previous connections, but did my best to meet people and get them to let me play with them.
What role does worship play in music to you?
I love God, and I love music. I was lucky to have an amazing teacher while I was in college, absolutely a mentor, that described this in a way that has really stuck with me. He said, “Imagine yourself, and your whole world surrounded by a sphere made of dark construction paper, God’s glory would be symbolized by light all around the outside of this sphere. He’s all around you, holding your sphere up, guiding your life but you just can’t see him because of your perspective. Music is like a pin prick in the construction paper. It lets in a tiny stream of light, and gives us a glimpse of God’s glory.” I believe music is an extremely powerful tool, that extends beyond the understanding of this world. Just like any tool, it can be used for good or for evil. I have always strived to, with the full range of emotion we were created with, use it to bring myself, and others closer to our creator.
What issues/causes are you passionate about?
I am passionate about the identity of my generation and a generation younger than mine. I am passionate about inspiring these generations to take action, in whatever it is that they’re passionate about. To work for whatever it is they feel called to accomplish. Whether that is feeding the hungry, ending slavery or making faster cars with less emissions. I’m passionate about these generations identifying with tangible action, rather than intangible reaction.