My Unauthorized Autobiography....
First of all I want to make clear that the URL for this site, MasterGuitarists.com, is about Guitarists (plural) i.e. YOU, and not about ME. A "master guitarist" is someone who can play the sounds they hear inside them. Whether those sounds are complex jazz or a simple 3 chord song really makes no difference. If you can play what you are hearing, then it's mission accomplished.
I recieved a $5 guitar from the Army PX in Ft. Rucker, Alabama for Christmas in 1969. I was hooked from that moment on. I mowed lawns that summer to acquire the funds to buy a $20 Hi-Lo electric guitar and a $25 Hi-Lo amp. I rode my bike - with my guitar slung across my shoulder - to an old Army barracks in which an old chain smoking white haired lady taught about 8 of kids how to play some chords. BTW, if anyone happens to know the name of that chain smoking old woman, I sure would like to know.
I spent a few years learning the songs of Simon & Garfunkel, Jim Croce, John Denver, Neil Young, CSN&Y, and a few pop tunes before venturing into the world of Blues, Texas Swing, Bluegrass, and Celtic music. I picked up mandolin, then fiddle, then Dobro, then banjo, and finally piano.
After a stint with an aerospace gig, I jumped into music full time playing first in a rock band up in Lake Tahoe, then in a country band in Texas (the movie Urban Cowboy had just been released and dance halls were springing up all over Texas). During this time I was able to get a fair amount of study in at North Texas State University where I studied Jazz Guitar under Jack Petersen and Classical Guitar under Mike Harris. I also learned a vast amount of jazz theory from Dan Haerle and Rich Matteson. During these years if I was awake I was either practicing, gigging, or studying music.
I eventually found myself in Nashville - married with 4 kids and realizing a day job would come in handy to be actually able to spend time with my family and put some food on the table for us all. While I moved out of full time musician work, the full time musician did not move out of me and I've been forutunate to play some great gigs (e.g. on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry, with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn, The Wild Horse Saloon, etc.), and some great recording sessions with several Grammy winning producers. I've played with folks you've heard of and folks you've never heard of - doesn't really matter in my book. Great music is great music.
I've created this web site to share what I have learned with my tribe - the musicians of the world. I hope to continue to add content to this site, so please check back often.
I've found a musician draws from four sources when playing - Analytical, Mechanical, Emotional, and Spiritual. When all four of these sources are utilized, you will find yourself riding a wave that will take you places you could never swim on your own strength.