Influential and innovative guitar and bass players

Anyone wanting to learn to play guitar surely has a long list of guitar players that they like and would like to learn. A while back I put together a list of suggested listening for my students at AAW. The list is mostly made of of my favorites but most would agree that these guitar and bass players are some of the most influential and innovative players to date. If you have not already done so I definitely suggest checking out their music. This list is in no particular order and I know there are many missing so please feel free to add more in the comments!







and this is just the short list…..

Out with the old and broken

Taylor guitar
Taylor Guitar beaten and broken

This instrument was definitely one of my favorites. Definitely the one I had the most fun playing. So much so that it has been to see the repair doctor 3 time for major cracks. Seems I like to play my instruments a little hard. However, it was not my playing that put it past repair. No, it was the price of convenience. At the time of its death I was using a gator soft gig bag to tote the instrument around it. While in transit an amp and some other equipment shifted in the car and fell on it. I didn’t even realized it happened till I opened it up a couple days later (and a couple days before the next gig I need it for). To say I was heart broken was an understatement. I was also very frustrated because it was the only instrument that I had customized for the percussive acoustic style of guitar that I love to play. With just a few days before the next gig and such extensive damage it was time to say good bye. Of course I didn’t have the funds to go out and replace it so I bought an inexpensive used acoustic which I moved the additional pic ups into and have been playing that for almost a year now I think. Of course this was always a temporary thing since it never sounded very good and played even worse.

In with the New, shiny and all-graphite acoustic guitar.

My new Rainsong Guitar
My new Rainsong Guitar in its hard shell case.

I have been considering RainSong Guitars for a long time, since the first time I pulled out the Taylor and found a big crack in the body and realized that either I need to play nicer or get a tougher guitar. I tried playing softer… But now it is time for something tougher. So yesterday I took a ride over to Huber and Breese Music Store, the only place in the metro Detroit area that carries them, and bought my first RainSong, the h-ws1000n2 (came with a custom hard shell case which I like even if it is as tough as they say it is). Today I have taken in to Mark Weninger Guitar Works to have some work done on it. I am having a hole drilled into the body so that I can install the 2 extra pickups that I use to get that big boomy percusive sound. Mark has been working on my guitars for years and always does a stellar job. I can’t wait to get it back! I will be writing more about the RainSong as I use it but so far it is great. Has a truly unique carbon sound and a loud bass sound.

So lesson learned? All convenience comes at a price. The gator soft gig bags are great but my Taylor was worth more than the convenience of the light easy to carry case with back straps.

Acoustic Show and Holiday Concert

Acoustic show tonight! I am really excited! I have not done an acoustic show in quite a while other than a song or two here and there. Not only am I playing an acoustic show, I am playing it at Bakers Keyboard Lounge, one of the most respected stages in the world of Jazz music. It is always such an honor to play there, but tonight is especially exciting because I will be playing my original music. I can’t wait!

Also, need to mention that this Thursday, December 18th is also a very big deal for me. The AAW Guitar Ensemble Holiday Concert will be a 7pm on The Woods stage inside Arts Academy in the Woods. While teaching was never my goal in life, it has proved to be one the most satisfying experiences in my life, especially at AAW. I am so proud of the progress of my students. Many other them have gone well beyond learning to play a few tunes or cords but have let music take over their souls. This concert will include all 5 classes playing together both holiday favorites as well as some of the other classic songs we have been working on throughout the year. This is a free concert that is open to the public. Even if you are not involved with this school or its students come check out the amazing things that are going on here! I promise you will be inspired!

Happy Holiday!