About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Airport Mode

Last night, I played a pleasant gig. It was a two-hour solo job at a birthday party for a friend from church. I enjoy playing with my bands, Tea for Two and InTown Band, but sometimes it's pleasant to play a simple solo job. Set-up is a breeze, and I can meander through my song list as I please. There were plenty of church friends at the party, so even though it was your standard background gig, more people were paying attention to the music than usual. There was plenty of good food, and there were two friendly cats, which is always a bonus.

The one strange moment came when I discovered a surprise "feature" on my iPhone.

Although I mainly played guitar arrangements and attempted to channel Frank Sinatra, I used backing tracks on a handful of instrumentals to rest my hand. I record all my backing tracks myself. It's an investment of time and effort, but it's fun, and the finished product is a backing track specifically tailored for my needs. And because I have all the files, I have complete freedom to tweak these tracks in the future.

Once I'm finished creating a backing track, I load it on my iPhone, which becomes my "band in a pocket." I just hook the iPhone up to my amp, and I'm ready to go.

When I play a gig, I always make sure to set my iPhone to vibrate only. It's annoying to have someone else's phone start ringing when you're performing. It's REALLY annoying when it's your own phone, and I have a particularly obnoxious ringtone. I've included a short YouTube clip for your enjoyment.

Little did I know that if you hook your iPhone up to an amp, the ringtone will broadcast through the amp, even if you have it set on vibrate. Just before my break, my phone started ringing. My first reaction was surprise that someone else used the same annoying ringtone. My second reaction was to glance down at my phone and realize it was my phone, blasting through my amp. When there are distractions, you usually want to keep playing, but not this time! I quickly pawed at my phone to turn it off, only to accidentally swipe the front and answer the call. Through my amp, I could hear someone saying "Hello? Hello?"

Fortunately, this teachable moment occurred in a roomful of friends. Lesson learned. If the iPhone is plugged into the amp, it's airport mode from now on.

1 comment:

  1. Or invest in an ipod to use just for that purpose.