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The Beginning...

I first started learning guitar from my suitemates my freshman year at UC Berkely, which was fall '97. Over Christmas break, a former classmate at a get-together of high school friends heard me say I was looking to buy a guitar and offered to sell me his. A few days later I bought it. A Squier II with a Boss practice amp and a goofy hair metal strap.

And then...

I'm mostly self-taught. I tried lessons once, but even though the teacher was great, I felt I didn't have the time to put enough into it, so I stopped. I enjoy learning at my own (very slow) pace.

My musical tastes are pretty broad. Started with oldies when I was around twelve. I listened to that incessently. I can still recognize a lot of sixties top 40 songs by the first few notes. Halfway through high school I started listening to classic, and then modern rock, then some softer alternative stuff. Before I got to college I picked up blues. Then I got into bluegrass and a little bit of country. Recently, a little bit of pop, some (usually fringe) jazz, and various electronic things the kids are doing. That's something of a broad survey of my musical tastes.

Right now, I've put the guitar aside and have taken up the mandolin, complete with regular lessons. I really enjoy approaching music in a more serious light. I hope to stop sucking sometime soon.

Musical Influences

  • Dan, the guy who inspired me to learn to play.
  • Tin Hat Trio, David Grisman, Chris Thile, Mark Knopfler
  • Yo La Tengo & Ira Kaplan, Django Reinhardt, Junior Brown, Willie Nelson

Favorite Recordings

  • pretty much any Yo La Tengo or Tin Hat Trio
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse's "Weld", Willie Nelson's "Teatro", Johnny Cash's "At Folsom Prison"
  • Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks", any Me First & the Gimme Gimmes