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 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.
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.
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.
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.