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Sharing What We Know

sharing-knowledgeHabits - we all have them. Some are great: eating vegetables, exercising, and saving money while others are not so healthy. As the last year drew to a close, I contemplated the coming New Year, some things I would like to accomplish and habits.


Giving it away

One habit that I chose to develop is being more generous with knowledge. It's not that I'm hesitant to share information. It's just not something that I actively pursued.

Lesson: Uptown Funk on a 4 String

Uptown Funk




Producer Mark Ronson’s smash hit Uptown Funk, featuring pop sensation Bruno Mars, is dominating the airwaves and already destined to be one of the biggest songs of 2015. The song’s retro early 80’s funk throwback sound brings to mind bands of that era such as Cameo, The Time, Zapp and others.


Musician Hack: Use Spotify To Organize Repertoire

Spotity_LogoStreaming audio: for better or worse, it’s changed the way many of us listen to music and it’s here to stay. While there are plenty of forums debating the pros and cons of streaming services and their policies, I’d like to share how Spotify has become an invaluable tool for me as a freelance musician.

Lesson: 3 Finger Roll Arpeggio Patterns


In recent years, I’ve put a lot more thought into my right hand technique. One such technique is something I’ve borrowed from guitar players here in Nashville. I guess it’s my own simplified version of “chicken pickin”, a technique that country guitarists use to produce those lighting fast snappy, twangy licks.

Lesson: Spice Up Your Solos With This John Coltrane Inspired Approach











Spice Up Your Solos: An Approach used by John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, John Patitucci and other Jazz Masters

I recently watched a video on YouTube by bassist John Patitucci called “Playing in the Diminished”. In the video, Patitucci presents a great alternative to the clichéd licks and approaches we typically use when soloing over diminished chords.

Jaco Pastorius: An Introduction

Jaco PastoriusMy Influences
Jaco Pastorius: An Introduction

Bassist Jaco Pastorius was to the electric bass what Jimi Hendrix was to guitar and Charlie Parker was to saxophone: a musical genius who revolutionized the way his instrument was played. My opinion is that the history of the electric bass can be divided into two periods: pre-Jaco and post–Jaco!

Jaco gave us sounds that had never been heard before. He was a pioneer of the fretless bass and had a thorough command of harmonics and false harmonic techniques. He had a huge, beautiful, lyrical, expressive sound. A lot of this was due to the fact that Jaco played fretless but, mostly due to his touch and attack. He spent a ridiculous amount of time practicing his instrument and it really became an extension of his soul. Jaco could solo with the speed, melodic inventiveness, and dexterity of a horn player. As a bassist, Jaco’s feel and time were impeccable. His influences were Jazz bassists and the R&B players that Jaco heard on the radio growing up.

Second CD in Progress!





It’s now been two years since the release of my first solo CD, The Diary of…, and I’m excited to announce that I’m well into working on CD2!

CD2 has a concept and a title but I don’t want to give away too much yet. I will say that six tunes have been recorded. The tracking for five of them is complete and  I'm currently mixing the third song.


SidemanSideman: an instrumentalist supporting a soloist or a principal performer. This describes my career as a musician for the last thirty something years. In this age of political correctness, musicians who function in this role may prefer to be called “Freelance Instrumentalists” or “Supporting Musical Professionals” or some other flattering title. But, for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to use the term “Sideman”.

The following is a brief list of tips for the Sideman. These all come from lessons I’ve learned along the way, both as a Sideman and as a Bandleader. I hope they can help you or, at least, provide some entertainment. Remember, I’m talking to myself here as much as anyone else.  

So here goes, my Five Tips for the Working Musician (hey, that’s a pretty good title) or “Sideman”.


I recently had the pleasure of participating in a photo shoot at the studio of renowned photographer Jon Scarpati in Nashville.

Parlez-vous Francais?

Parlez-vous Francais?


 I just returned from my first trip to France in twenty years! Like the last time, I went for only one show – this time with country artist/Nashville Star winner Buddy Jewell.

Buddy and his band were great to work with. The concert was at the Country Line Dance 72 venue in Le Mans. The promoter and the folks at the venue were excellent hosts. They fed us like gluttons and took us on some great sight-seeing tours including an insider tour of the Le Mans Speedway.Le Mans Speedway

The audience was great – a room full of people wearing cowboy hats and speaking French! They came down to the stage and listened intently all night, something we’re not used to at home.

The icing on the cake was an afternoon and evening to spend in Paris before returning home early the next morning.

Eiffel Tower

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