I picked up the guitar in the summer of 6th grade and noodled around on it for a year with no training and not knowing anyone who played an instrument until a friend showed me the come as you are riff.
The summer before 8th grade my Mom was able to afford paying for a few months of lessons. There I learned open chords, song form, power chords, some riffs, rhythms, and some single note riffs, melodies and parts.
In 8th grade I made some friends who played. I learned a lot from playing with them. Learning their music and making my own with them. I started reading guitar magazines. Looking up tabs online. This was in the AOL days and I had to go to the library for that. I also picked up music books at the library.
In High School things really opened up further. I connected with an old friend and joined his band. We gigged at local venues. Played lunch time shows at different high schools and middle schools. Put on our own events with multiple bands. Recorded three albums. In addition to local gigs we did some regional gigging.
On my own I took guitar at my high school for three years where I learned to read treble clef and studied classical guitar. I also joined jazz band playing bass. There I learned bass clef and about jazz music. I wanted to graduate high school early so I took junior college classes. I took more music classes. Among them were recording, music theory, contemporary music ensemble, contemporary music styles for guitar, and music appreciation. I also started to dabble in production and home recording. Starting with Cool Edit Pro. Later I would learn Pro Tools, and then Logic Pro further down the line.
After graduating High School I kept my focus on the band and picked up a 6 hour a day practice routine that I did for about 9 months. When the band broke up I decided to move to LA to go to Musicians Institute. I was turned onto the school by the local city college professor who I took classes from in High School.
At MI I focused on broadening my horizons and skills. The school was a great place to explore many styles of music and perform daily with many other students and professionals.
After graduating I had a 6 month lull before finding some teaching work and a cover band that played 5 days a week. After a few years of this I decided to go into teaching full time and focus on my own music again where I developed my production and mixing skills. Although, I also continued to pick up gigs as a solo guitarist, as a side man and working with artists through the years as well.
When the economy crashed in 2008/2009 I started looking for other ways to bring in income and landed a transcribing gig with a tech startup. This led to producing backing tracks, doing voice overs. Co-authoring a guitar course that was packaged with Fender products and sold in Guitar Center stores. I meet with artists such as Keith Urban, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth, Metallica), Tom Dumont (No Doubt), Noodles, Dexter (The Offspring) and talked to them about their styles, songs, and writing process.
To this day I continue to write and produce my own music where I play all of the parts, production, mix and master. I also produce tracks for artists and collaborate on songs. I am actively involved with submitting songs for sync opportunities for film, tv and ads. I continue to pick up gigs as a solo guitarist, hired gun and am continuing to pursue my own art as well.