Regarding Drums

Learning Guitar


Teaching Guitar


Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

I attended Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) back in the mid 80s for two non-credit courses; classic guitar and music theory.

My instructor was James Ferla who is an accomplished classical guitarist in the area.  He's on the music staff at both CMU and the University of Pittsburgh.  He showed me a lot about dynamics and a style of guitar that I really didn't know much about.  We used a book by Aaron Shearer called, 'Classic Guitar Technique - Volume 1'.  I appreciate the time that I had with him and admire him for the work that he has done.

I also had a music theory course that started to put the pieces together for me.  I was able to see and understand things that I had only 'felt' before. 

I enjoyed the CMU campus.  I can remember sitting in theory class listening to the football game just across campus.  That university is well known for the creative arts as well as engineering and architecture.  I feel a creative vibe everytime I'm there.

Fortunately the company that I work for in my 'day job' has a close affiliation with CMU and I get to visit the campus every once in awhile.

Those were good times.....

Musician's Institute / Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT)
April 1988

From April 1987 until March 1988 I attended the Guitarist Institute of Technology at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, California.

That was an intense 12 months, I moved from Pittsburgh PA to Hollywood living on my own for the first time!  During that period, LA was crawling with shredding, posers.  I mean the talent as amazing! 

The teachers that I had were amazing as well.  Let's see there was; Keith Wyatt, Paul Hansen, Tommy Tedesco, Paul Gilbert, Jennifer Batten, David Oakes, Steve Trovato, Frank Gimbale, Les Wise and Ross Bolton.  My one on one instructor was Nick Nolan who was a great player and I understand he's authored a few instructional books and videos.

Needless to say I really learned alot while I was there.  I was exposed to so many styles by so many great teachers.  I look back at that time as a life altering experience.

How about those glasses!

Now you see why you've didn't see my face on an album cover.  Back then Poison was big and Guns N Roses was coming up.  There's no make up on my face and my hair is pretty thin.

I was working on the talent but I didn't even think about the image.  That just wasn't me.  To be honest I left LA because I wanted to build a life with my then fiance Michelle.  We had a date to be married on August 12, 1989 and she had come out with me to help support me as I went to school.

I didn't want to mess up that relationship and I saw a lot of 30 somethings still trying to hit it big with no guarantees.  I just wasn't willing to take that big a gamble.

OH and plus on October 1, 1987 a 5 .7 earthquake hit in Whittier, a suburb of LA!  You can give me wind, rain, heck even fire but when you move the earth under my feet I loose it!

And in another part of this site I explain that I appeared on Ace Frehley's album, "Frehley's Comet" so when you couple that with the other items I outlined - that's why I came home from California and changed my dream a bit.