Formative Years


Among my varied childhood loves, listening to music was near the top of the list.

I became obsessed with listening searchingly to each song I loved. I would lay down on the musty floor with my record player’s speakers situated on either side of my head. In that position, I could listen intently for hours, playing a record over and over again, straining to hear and understand each part of the band, what it was playing, and why I loved it so much.  

“Wow, so that’s how the bassline works with the drums, giving the song its groove. Listen to how the lead guitar soars over the chorus in the fading vamp, it plays with the vocals then plays against them! Wait, is that a keyboard or another rhythm guitar part driving the harmony?"

As I studied these arrangements from Kansas, Boston, Foreigner, Steely Dan, Journey, and others, it was like taking an endless parade of Master classes from the top composing and arranging minds in rock music. 

Such focused listening brought insights and instinctual-level understandings about melody, harmony, rhythm, color, ear candy, and dramatic arc. Such a valuable foundation! And earned at such a young age. My songwriting and arranging skills were just starting to emerge, but would grow exponentially as a result of these 10,000 hours (maybe more) spent in instructive listening…

- - - - -


Also Available:   

"An empowering career guidebook wrapped around a personal retrospective. A professional how-to manual woven into a memoir."