Dave Limina is a contemporary pianist, Hammond organist, keyboardist, composer, producer, educator, and chair of the Piano Department at Berklee College of Music. He has performed or recorded with such notable artists as the award-winning Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Bernard Purdie, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Gloria Estefan, Pee Wee Ellis, Martha Reeves, Brooke Benton, Scott Hamilton, Ernie Watts, Lori McKenna, Fred Wesley, Joey DeFrancesco, Mighty Sam McClain, Lenny Pickett, Hamish Stuart, Steve Forbert, Courage Brothers, and many more.
A faculty member at Berklee for over 30 years, teaching private piano, Hammond organ lessons and labs, and arranging classes, he has parlayed his 30-plus years of performing and touring into a valuable curriculum for the college. He has been involved in the Berklee City Music, Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive, audition and interview (A&I), and study abroad programs; and he directs/designed the Piano Department’s summer program.
Limina authored/teaches the Berklee Online courses Blues/Rock Piano and Pop/Rock Piano, and has been teaching Berklee Online courses for over 15 years. He is the author of the Berklee Press publication Hammond Organ Complete, the foremost instructional publication on Hammond organ techniques.
As a Berklee faculty member, he created the college's Hammond organ lab program and introduced the Hammond organ as a principal instrument.
"The Piano Department at Berklee utilizes the foremost modern jazz faculty in the world. Our professors are all world-class active performers as well as world-class educators. We strive to meet the specific career goals of our students in a positive and uplifting way. We also offer instruction in many diverse styles, such as classical, gospel, pop/rock, blues, R&B, funk, fusion, singer-songwriter, vocal accompaniment, flamenco, Afro-Cuban, and many Latin styles. Our diversity, both culturally and stylistically, is our greatest strength. Students in the Piano Department will experience a wide range of musical and cultural influences by our faculty from around the globe."
"Berklee is the ultimate place to study contemporary music. The range of styles and networking opportunities are unparalleled. Berklee alumni are leaders in all areas of the music world, and the peers you meet here will become a large part of your creative professional [network] as you move into your career."
"I do pretty much the Hammond organ classes. Piano players have to get used to some things when they try the organ: playing left-hand bass, playing foot-pedal bass, dealing with the organ as a non-touch-sensitive instrument. They also have to deal with the fact that they have to play a lot of finger legato because there's no damper pedal; there's no sustain. The only means of controlling the dynamics is with an expression pedal. Those are some of the biggest adjustments you have to make."
"I like to stress practical skills like playing the right thing for the right situation, and I also teach different styles because being able to cover a wide range of styles will make you marketable as a player. I stress playing with good time, good phrasing, and not overplaying. One of the biggest lessons I give [students] from my own real-life experience is that a gig usually isn't about highlighting yourself; it's more about functioning in an ensemble and playing your part—they have to learn how to play in a band, and Berklee's a great place to do that."
"Some students think that if they just go to all their classes and do what they're supposed to do, that's going to get them to the next level. And I try to tell them that it takes way, way more than that. Some of them think that if they put in their two or three hours a week, then they should be improving, but they don't know that that's not going to get them there. Sometimes they wonder why they're not getting to the next level, and I ask them what their practicing situation is like, and that's usually where the problem is. I try to tell them that you have live and breathe this stuff."