Author Archives: fretmentor


About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced eight instructional books on CD as well as numerous instrumental arrangements. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and has published an article in Issue #37 of the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)

Heading to the Delta .. With the Blues in Mind

  I recently attended a guitar and bass workshop at the Crossroads, the cradle of the Delta Blues in Clarksdale Mississippi. I have never been a big blues guy, not that I disliked it, just never overly exposed to the … Continue reading

Posted in Classes & Workshops, Guest Columns, Guitar, History, Musical Places of Interest | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ukulele – The New Hip Instrument?

Is the Ukulele gaining popularity? I have taught many individual lessons and classes throughout my life.  As I have posted in previous Blog articles here at Fretmentor’s Blog, the community education classes offer a great deal for someone wanting to … Continue reading

Posted in Ukulele | Leave a comment

“Glamping” At Riverhawk

What is “glamping” you might ask?  Well, “glamping” is a term used for glamorous camping and what better way to do that than at a music festival.  Those glamorous festival goers love to camp in style in an Airstream or … Continue reading

Posted in Concerts & Festivals, Guest Columns, Other | Tagged | Leave a comment

Enjoy A Musical Holiday Season

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Each and every year, I hold a holiday party where students learn to play Christmas tunes.  They are assigned a song and together, work for weeks on playing the tunes.  We held our party last week … Continue reading

Posted in Other, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Night To Remember

August 18, 1965 at 8:15 I was sitting in the Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta Georgia waiting to see The Beatles. That’s right, The Beatles. The story I recount below is pulled from the dusty memories of an impressionable 11 … Continue reading

Posted in Concerts & Festivals, Guest Columns, History, News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

SIRSY – One of a Kind Duo

The other night I met some friends at a local gathering spot in Jupiter, Florida, known for its music.  Every so often, should the urge hit me, I will head out to listen to new bands.  My friend invited me … Continue reading

Posted in Other, Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Memphis Blues

Memphis is the home of the delta blues sound and here I was, walking with my ten feet off of Beale. Walking in Memphis, but do I really feel the way I feel? While on a recent business trip to … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Columns, History, Musical Places of Interest | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Minstrel Show & the Banjo

This morning, I watched a segment called “Blackface” on the Sunday CBS Morning Show.  The show accurately portrayed this time in history as “Unmasking the racist history of blackface”.  It reveals the sad and disturbing portrayal of racist stereotype in … Continue reading

Posted in Banjo, History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Approximately one year ago, we had a hurricane named Irma but there was no thunder in that storm, Kentucky Thunder that is.  On September 7, 2017, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder had been scheduled to perform at the intimate setting … Continue reading

Posted in Concerts & Festivals, Guest Columns | Tagged | Leave a comment

Es Mi Suerte – Alan Munde & Billy Bright

Since I started playing the banjo, I followed the career of Alan Munde.  I fist purchased his tabs and learned his arrangements some 45 years ago.  I also had the honor of hosting Alan at one of my fretmentor workshops … Continue reading

Posted in Banjo, Mandolin, Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

David Benedict’s “The Golden Angle”

Throughout my many years of studying, playing and listening to music, I always searched out new artists to add to my album or CD collection.  After listening to some of the original compositions by mandolin player, David Benedict, I was … Continue reading

Posted in Mandolin, Reviews | Leave a comment

A Musical Journey In Phoenix

A trip to Arizona for spring training baseball offered my buddy Jim and I the opportunity to visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix last week. It was our first visit there, but certainly not our last. Located just north … Continue reading

Posted in Banjo, Guest Columns, Guitar, History, Mandolin, Musical Places of Interest | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Pedal or Not to Pedal – Part II

To Pedal of Not To Pedal – Part II This is part 2 of our article on purchasing and setting up a pedal board (See Fretmentor’s Blog entitled “To Pedal or Not To Pedal Part 1”, where we talked about … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Columns, Recording & Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are Community School Music Classes For Me?

Fretmentor Group Classes Its that time of year again.  A new year, new year resolutions, and proud new owners of musical instruments acquired from the holiday.  Now the hard part.  How do you learn to play guitar, banjo or mandolin … Continue reading

Posted in Fretmentor News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Avett Brothers at the Paramount Theatre

  Best time of my life!  The Avett Brothers show at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Cedar Rapids was like a dream come true.  With seats in the middle orchestra section Row C – yes, Row C! – it was … Continue reading

Posted in Concerts & Festivals, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment