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About Me: My music and guitar journey

My early years

I got my first guitar in the late ’70’s or early ’80’s. It was either my last year in grade school or freshman year in high school. The first songs I learned were pretty simple:

  • The 2-string riff for Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
  • Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • House of the Risin’ Sun, the Animals version
I’m sure there were a few more classics but that should give you an idea.

I went to Drexel University and graduated with a technical business degree, but also a Music minor. That’s where I first learned a lot of music theory.

One of my music classes finished with a classical guitar ensemble performing in the main auditorium for our final. A “jerk” in my ensemble switched the second page of my sheet music with my last page. Luckily, I knew my part by heart and I was able to play on cue.

Post college to the present

I was asked to play bass in a band with a few guys I knew. Our band name was Wiley Peyote and we played mostly rock covers. Before our first gig we spent a lot of time in a practice studio. 

Wiley peyote played a total of 4 shows and our first one was fantastic. We went downhill from there. I won’t bother you with the details but we imploded.

A few years later I bought a Tascam multi-track recorder, a Shure mic, and a drum machine. That was a lot of hardware and software to figure out and I didn’t figure it out. Then work got in the way.

The corporate world sux! But on one of my jobs, I started building all the chords from 6 or so common scales. And that is why you are here today reading my about page. Over the course of a number of years, I worked out every guitar chord in every key all the way to the 15th fret.

I found chord voicings from really awesome “nasty” chords to highly melodic & sweet sounding chords. And I’m talking chord shapes that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Let me explain.

The guitar in standard tuning is tuned to an Em11 chord (or a G6 add9 with E in the bass). That tuning is great for the keys of C, G, & D major. But the notes E, A, D, G & B are great for the flat and sharp keys as chords with altered tones (b9, #9, #5, etc.) or even some of the triad chord tones.

I found them all: every possible guitar chord. I even created a unique chord (I’ll share it went I get to it). Check out my articles and my files to get an idea of the juicy chords that you can use to write originals or play some unique covers.

Questions

Black body Gibson Epiphone with a pickup

Larrivee acoustic – it’s friggin’ awesome!

Grateful Dead follwed by Dada and the Beatles

This is a tough one. I can’t pick just one. In my younger days I would have said Rock & Blues. Then when I found the Dead, Jam bands became my favorite. Recently, I’ve been playing Country and Bluegrass and love them as well. So the answer is: all of the above.

Rhythm guitarist. I’m still struggling to play decent lead guitar. It’s all about the chords for me.

My Chops

I’m just a regular guy who can play guitar: not like a world class player, but better than a hack. I played bass in a band for a short time, and taught myself to play simple blues on a piano.  And I’m rather good at figuring stuff out and getting insights that other people don’t.

Guitar Player 68%
Bass Player (with pick) 54%
Music Theory (Drexel U.) 84%
Piano Chops
Ticket stub from one of the many shows I've seen