Shahnazi started learning tar from his father at the age of seven. After five years he reached the level that he was able to teach some of his father's students. At the age of 14 he recorded two gramophone disks playing noted Persian melodies, with Avaz-e-Afshari and Avaz-e-Bayat-e-Tork accompanying the vocalist Jenab Damavandi. At the age of 18, after his father died, he became responsible for teaching his father's students. He established the Shahnazi Music School in 1929.