I am a musician and have been in one way or another, since I started learning how to play guitar way back in 1971, as a hyperactive 9 year old. I started off with Mel Bay’s Guitar Method and went through the first four books in my first year of lessons. After that I started classical guitar studies and was playing some of the war horses of the repertoire by the start of fifth grade whereupon my classical guitar teacher took me to play for his teacher; they pronounced me a child prodigy and sentenced me to practicing five to six hours a day. I was 11 years old and more interested in playing outside with my friends than spending more than 45 minutes a day with my guitar so my parents consulted with one of my father’s colleagues from the music department at the college where he taught and determined that it would be best to run with my own decisions relating to the instrument. I started taking rock lessons briefly after that, and just as briefly later my rock teacher announced that I was beyond his skill level. I struck out on my own, later taking some rudimentary jazz and theory lessons from another local guitarist.
When it came time to look at colleges I decided that I wanted to go into music, so I quit my high school swim team, picked up my $60 Yamaha classical guitar and started spending three to four hours a day practicing classical guitar. About eight months later I auditioned and was accepted to a conservatory and spent my college years studying classical guitar performance and music composition, culminating in a BM with a double major. My senior year was rough, due to a major bout with depression; the end result of which was not going on to graduate school, like I was lined up to, but instead joining the army and heading off to basic training and officer candidate school, followed by three years of being an infantry officer.
After getting out of the army in 1989 I went back to undergraduate school, picked up the requirements for an English major and then applied and entered graduate school to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing, focusing on poetry. After graduation, my wife and I moved to the desert southwest for further schooling on her part, and I started practicing classical guitar again on my loyal Khono 30. Shortly thereafter I switched directions and started playing pop, folk and rock/blues, and picked up a bass.
We moved again in 1997, this time to Delaware where I dedicated myself to playing in bands and pursuing a career as a working musician. This continued and has ever since. In fact I’m still performing to date and pursuing that dream, but I want more and have for some time. For several years I’ve been yearning to return to the classical guitar and have had some flutter starts, before detouring off into one project or another with the end result always boiling down to the same thing, a feeling of disappointment and some disillusionment with the state of my playing.
We currently live in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, and last spring I took a leap I’d been contemplating for a few years, joining the Chicago Community Classical Guitar Ensemble, which is led by Julie Goldberg. I’m still working as a bass player, currently with The Blues Mavericks, and as a guitar player as the opportunities arise, but am refocusing my personal performance work to creating and performing on the classical or nylon string guitar. I will be posting to this blog site on a semi-weekly basis, keeping track of my progress and issues that crop up along my journey, which will, hopefully, help me to keep on keeping on, and possibly help others in their own musical journey along the way.