Guitarist and composer. I'm always in a worship band somewhere. I've been in and out of cover bands, and am enjoying working on my solo project. I love playing instrumental rock with thick blues and light jazz influences.
I picked up my first guitar in high school. A teacher/worship leader at the church I was going to offered me 10 free lessons, as long as I promised to use my giftings for the Lord.
I spent the almost 30 years since then playing whenever I got the chance. Occasionally, I'd try my luck in a cover band, playing in bars, and even an obscure festival now and then. Throughout it all, I've always stayed playing at whatever church I was in.
I began recording a solo album in 2000, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I let that project lapse. Now with modern recording technology, it's possible to put together music right in the comfort of your own home, and I'm taking advantage of that tech now to start over with my recording project. This time I'm committed to taking it to a full album, and if things come together, getting a band to help me tour with it.
I currently play every Sunday at my church, usually as lead guitar, but I occasionally lead worship, or fill in on the Bass.
There are many special moments... I can't tell you how many times we've finished a song with a period of free worship, which for us musicians turns into inspired jam. Losing yourself in praise as your fingers fly over the strings, waking up 10 minutes later to realize you've been playing the guitar solo of your life.
It's hard to pin down one specific influence. On my albums, I play all the instruments, and I've always felt free to borrow techniques from a number of sources. Growing up, I idolized guitarists like Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Robert Fripp, Phil Keaggy, and David Gillmore. I also loved the bass work of folks like Geddy Lee, and Donald Dunn. I learned strumming and arpeggio patterns from all over the place. While I absolutely LOVE listening to some of the more out there stuff like Les Claypool's basslines or Eddie Van Halen's classical music based guitar solos, they've never really influenced my playing styles much. That being said, Eddie's rhythm styles have definitely found their way into my work.
Now that I've grown up and developed my own unique style, I still try to incorporate some of the newer sounds. I'm really in love right now with the styles of guitarists like Lincoln Brewster, and I love the almost simple guitar patterns you find from groups like Hillsong United and Jesus Culture. It's almost like they're going back in time and bringing folk back into music, and it definitely works.
Most of the top 40 stuff right now has virtually no influence on me whatsoever. Fun to listen to occassionally, but most of it is boring to play.
Currently my guitars are:
Fender Squire "Fat Strat". (Fat means there's a humbucker in the bridge position) Yes, it's made in China, but the sound is great, and it reminds me that I will always be a Fender man at heart.
a Dean electric guitar. It doesn't have a model name or number. Natural wood finish with two humbuckers for pickups. It's my "always have a guitar ready to play guitar" and it's actually quite good for crunchy rhythm or ear scortching leads.
A Rogue (Fender) accoustic guitar. Thinner than your average acoustic, and with a convenient cutout for when you still want to hit the leads on the acoustic. The sound is a bit thinner than a dreadnought, but it works great for live shows.
A Crescent 4 string Bass. All of my guitars are definitely the "budget" varieties, but the Bass is the ultimate budget guitar... $100 off the shelf for a Bass I'd never heard of. Took me a week to get the intonation set... when I bought it, 1st string 12th fret came out as a C and 2nd string 12th fret came out as the C above it... (standard tuning). That being said, once I got it dialed in, I think it's got a fairly decent tone, though it distorts a bit more than I want when you really start pounding on it.
An Ibanez 5 string Bass. I wish this was my guitar, it's the one at church. When I play bass there, it's always on the Ibanez. Best tone ever. I really need to save for one, though I've got my eye on a Cort 5 string for 1/2 the price that I may pick up instead.
A Yamaha DD-55 Drum workstation. It's a few years old, but new to me. Compact digital drum set you hit as hard as you need to with your sticks. Good workstation, but getting some new drum VSTs is very high on my priority list.
Line 6 Pod XT Live. I was lucky enough to get this baby the day it came out. Line 6 has made several floor models since, but I'm still in love with this one. For 99% of the things I do, this is all the amp and effects I need. It also includes a USB interface for recording direct to your computer.
Line 6 Toneworks DI/Silver. This is a glorified USB sound input/output box, and at $100.00, it almost sounds expensive, except that it comes with Gearbox and the Gearbox VST plugins, putting all the amps, cabinets, effects, etc of the XT and MORE right into the software. Processing is done in software as you play, though lately I tend to record dry tracks and use the VST to apply processing later. The DI is well balanced not only for recording guitars, but for recording drums and voice.
Cakewalk Sonar X1 Studio. I used to use Music Creator, but finally upgraded on one of the specials. Lots of great tools in there!
I use an old laptop I got in 2005 for the actual recording. That laptop doesn't go on the net, it doesn't play games, it doesn't surf, it does one thing, and one thing only... record. Virtually nothing running in the background that didn't ship with Windows XP. It outperforms attempts to record on my 2009 desktop with twice the memory and a processor that runs four times faster. The lesson here: Your recording workstation needs to be JUST THAT, a recording workstation. My next laptop (which I hope to get this summer) to replace the XP model will still be used only ONLY only for recording.
My Compac Presario desktop computer. All the mixing happens here, and the final mastering of the music. It doesn't handle recording well, but mixing is a different story, and it's a lot easier to start working sliders on a desktop.