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 24, 2013

Bit by Bit

As a jazz guitarist, I've made a lot of progress in a short time, but sometimes I receive a clear reminder that I have a long way to go. This is not a bad thing. It's simply part of the process.

I've been working on some new licks. At last night's gig, I planned to use as many of them as I could, but once the gig got underway, I had so many new licks to think about that I hardly used them at all. I found myself noodling a lot, looking for places to play the new material. My solos weren't horrid, but they weren't very inspired, either.

I approached this morning's gig differently. Instead of trying to use all my new licks, I decided to just focus on two of them – one for a major key, and one for a minor key. I didn't put pressure on myself to use them all the time. Instead, I played them whenever it seemed right. It worked like a charm. Overall, I was satisfied with my solos.

So, lesson learned. I'll continue to learn new licks in my private practice sessions, but when it's time for a gig, I'll plan on incorporating just one or two of them into my solos. Quality over quantity. Eventually, the new material will become a natural part of my playing, and then I'll add some more, bit by bit.

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