I’ve been playing the guitar since 1963. I actually had to make a choice between being on the baseball team and taking guitar lessons. I made the right choice.


Most of my life has been spent practicing, teaching, writing music, recording, and performing. I’ve been lucky enough to have been head of guitar studies at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance for about 33 years. While there I continued to build another career as an author of guitar instruction books. Most of those books are still in print. 


In 1998 I decided to build a recording studio, this has now expanded to include video production and photography. All of these pursuits compliment each other. (Look what piano playing did for Ansel Adams.)


Freelance musicians take on a wide range of gigs and my experience is no different. I’ve played at all the usual places like bars, taverns, weddings, memorials, but also at some prisons and mental institutions. You never forget those gigs. I’ve also never forgotten the gigs where the people didn’t really appreciate what I was playing!


Along the way I’ve written a lot of music and recorded a good bit of it. At last count I see there are 17 CD’s. My publications seem to be hovering around 18. I’ve written more, but some just haven’t yet gotten enough traction to see the light of day, but through this that will soon change.


My lifelong obsession with guitar and teaching has given me a varied and deep appreciation for improvisation. I’m essentially self taught in that area and learned by studying all sorts of materials both written and aural. I do have a degree in music from the University of Oregon School of Music, which has helped tremendously. More importantly I’ve experimented a great deal and remain to this day very curious about music. It helps keep me moving forward.

Photo by Brian Lanker