Discovering the Guitar

In high school I met a classmate named Stacey Gravat, he was one of those gifted youngsters who had been playing professionally since he was 16 (we were all of 17 at the time...), and he introduced me to the electric guitar. He opted to graduate early so he could devote more time to playing, but before he left he Shang-haied me into taking his place in the jazz bands. I didn't know crap about playing jazz, I had no idea what a blues progression was or anything, I knew G and D and A and C, good, simple folk chords.

Freddie Green

It didn't take me long to take to playing jazz. Dominic Spera taught me at a jazz clinic how to stop strumming like a folk player and start strumming like Freddie Green, and my brother Brian used part of his summer job earnings to buy me jazz guitar lessons with Reynold Philipsek. Sadly, Reynold had a bout with cancer that summer and was unable to continue our lessons (he has since made a full recovery and is one of the most prolific song writers and album producers I have ever come across), but he planted the seed in my head and gave me the knowledge to figure out chords I didn't already know.

More >>