Guitarist, bassist, composer, author of Sheets of Sound for Guitar Vol I & II and Slapping and Popping for Guitar. So – Where have I been?!? The last 8 months I’ve really been trying to re-invent myself as a player….Getting away from the whole archtop-thing and trying to become one with the instrument. I haven’t used a pick for 8 months and am playing with bare fingers. I’m almost ready to print / publish 2 new instructional books! Sheets of Sound Vol II is a continuation of my original book Sheets of Sound for Guitar. It’s got a lot of new and exciting lines with odd meter superimpositions ala Coltrane, Holdsworth, McLaughlin, etc. Ed DeGenaro has recorded the examples for this book. Slapping and Popping for Guitar is a brand new series presenting for the first time a concrete tutorial on the art of slapping and popping for guitarists including a complete breakdown of the major techniques involved.
In May 2003, shortly after my son started playing the guitar, I suffered a spinal injury while exercising. This injury left my right arm extremely weak and I was in excruciating pain 24 hours a day. I couldn’t sleep and I could barely function. The right arm eventually weakened to the point where I could not lift more than 5 or 10 lbs. It was literally 1/5th the strength of the left arm. I could no longer play the guitar for hours a day. Playing for even a 1/2 hour was more painful than I could bare.
At the same time, I needed to teach my son how to play and was very dissatisfied with the state of guitar education and the current crop of guitar books. Though it was too painful to practice, I could type on the computer and I began writing out exercises for my son. After I had 25-30 exercises written out, I realized I had the basis for a guitar book – Something I had wanted to do for years but was unable to previously motivate myself to do. No matter what happened to me, this would be the legacy to leave behind for my sons, Andrew and Jeremy. Since it was too painful to play and perform, I decided to focus my energies on writing the ultimate guitar book. Something that a beginner such as my son could use and yet something that would stimulate even the most advanced guitarist.
Thus, Sheets of Sound for Guitar was born.
As a footnote, I underwent spinal surgery in October 2003 and though I’m still in some pain, I have regained some strength in my right arm and can now play relatively pain-free.