When did you begin playing music? October of 1993.
What instrument(s) do you play? Electric and acoustic guitar, ukulele, bass & piano (last three on a very limited level)
Do you come from a family of musicians? Yes, my Mom plays piano and handbells, and my aunt played the flute. My Mom, uncle, 2 aunts and my grandmother used to travel locally in IN singing at churches. I am the only guitarist/professional/career musician in my entire family to my knowledge.
Are you self taught or do you have training or a mixture of the two? I took lessons for 10 years before attending Musicians Institute's Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in Hollywood, CA in 2009. I haven't taken a lesson in over 6 years but have been thinking about it lately. I primarily just learn things now that interest me as a musician that push my playing in different directions from articles and friends who are better than me.
How often do you practice? I don't have a set practicing schedule, since I teach every day. I do really drill something if I'm determined to learn it, or I discover I am not happy with a particular part of my playing or need to get something down for a gig/etc. I tend to practice on things that are out of my comfort zone, as I don't know any other way to continue to get better.
What was the first album you purchased? Does it still influence you? How? The first guitar related album I can remember buying was Twisted Sister's "Big Hits & Nasty Cuts". It most certainly still influences me, as Twisted Sister was the band that made me want to play guitar. I have many fond memories of thinking how hard the songs on it sounded (when I could barely play anything) and driving around blasting it in my car. It arrived in the mail the day I got my driver's license. \m/ \m/
What was the last album you purchased? Gary Moore - Run For Cover
What is the most bizarre thing that has been shared with you at a gig? A very puke inducing redneck girl's breasts when she flashed me, fortunately from a distance...I don't play live with my glasses on and as I told my drummer on set break, "thank God for blindness." The same girl asked me if I wanted to get married when I went to the bar to get a drink. Good times...
Do you have a favorite instrument? Does it go on tour? I do - my Ibanez JPM P1-P100. It's a 1995 John Petrucci signature guitar (he plays for Dream Theater). A good friend sold it to me and it has more mojo than any other I've ever had. It is a very rare and difficult instrument to find, so it doesn't get gigged or toured. I use it for teaching, recording, playing at home and rehearsals.