Instruments

Guitar

Guitar is my primary instrument.  I have played guitar for over 35 years and began learning to play at age 14.  I studied guitar in a traditional way, with the Mel Bay method books, learning to read music, and classical guitar studies.  I also have fond memories of playing rock 'n roll with my neighborhood friends in a "garage band" while in high school.

I enjoy listening to a wide variety of musical styles and guitar players (Jimi Page, Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Brian May, Danny Gatton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ed Gerhardt; to name just a few).  My two most favorite styles of music to listen to and play are classical / instrumental guitar and blues music.

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Bass

I have always liked the sound of the bass in jazz, blues and rock 'n roll.  Although I love the sound of stand-up bass (bass violin), I play mainly the bass guitar.  This is a natural extension from the guitar, since they share the strings E, A, D and G.

I began playing bass after playing in jam sessions with "too many guitar players".  After a few years of playing bass, I occasionally back up other guitar players with bass accompaniment.

Bass is both a rhythmic and harmonic instrument.  It is part of the bass section, but you can also create some nice melodic and meandering bass lines.  What I enjoy about the bass is the challenge to improvise and create bass lines and arpeggios on the fly.

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Harmonica

Although I am primarily a guitarist, I also got hooked on harmonica in the late 1980s.  I first tried to learn harmonica in the summer of 1981, and was able to play a few melodies (straight harp style).  But I got frustrated because I couldn't seem to "bend" any notes.  So I put the harmonica down for a few years.

My interest in harmonica was renewed when I began listening to the "Capitol City Blues Cruise" with Scott Allman on Sunday nights on the radio in Lansing, Michigan in the late 1980s. It was then that I began listening to some really great harmonica players, Sonny Terry, Rod Piazza, Peter "Madcat" Ruth (who played live on the Blues Cruise show), and many other blues harp players.

The harmonica started out as a fun "diversion" from playing guitar, but my interest has continually grown over the years.  I have realized how the seemingly "simple" ten-hole diatonic harmonica, with its inherent limitations (compared to a piano or guitar), can be played in quite a variety of ways and styles.  Since I work in the "high-tech" computer field, one thing that appeals to me about the harmonica is that this relatively "low-tech" instrument can do so much.

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