To continue my story, in the 6th grade I "graduated" to the school band and picked up the trumpet. I played the trumpet and French Horn throughout Junior High where I held the position of 2nd chair in the brass section. When I reached High School I was ready for a change and joined the school choir as a Bass vocalist. I stayed with the choir throughout High School.
I had always been impressed with versatility of the guitar and the variety of musical styles that could be played with it. At the age of 12 I picked up an off-brand acoustic(I don't remember what it was) and began teaching myself to play it. My musical training served me well in one way but was a bit detrimental in others. All the classical style training in the choir and the band had taught me to think in terms of playing one note at a time rather than doing any kind of chording which, of course, is one of the major strengths of the guitar. To begin with I was basically a "lead" player because that's really all I was familiar with. I usually played the vocal lines of songs because I didn't yet really understand music theory as it applied to the guitar.
In High School we were all listening to bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, etc.(yeah, I know - I just dated myself. LOL) Naturally, we all wanted to be Rock and Roll stars. Around the age of 15 or 16 I aquired my first electric guitar(which I still have, by the way). It was Gibson SG model that I'm still not eactly certain which model it is. I was told by the owner of a local music store that it was a 1961 SG-1 but recent research has led me to think that it's a 1971 or 1972 SG-100. Anyway, it didn't matter to me. I grabbed myself a cheap little amp, a Big Muff fuzzbox and I WAS READY TO BECOME A ROCK STAR! Didn't happen but we had a blast forming garage bands and banging away.
My playing dropped off after I hit college because I really didn't have the time to put into it. I wanted to minor in music but I was majoring in Physics and my advisor convinced me to minor in subjects that complemented the Physics so I ended up minoring in Computer Science and Math. To this day I wish I had followed my heart instead of my head. Anyway, all's well that ends well. I hold a B.S. in Physics, a M.S. in Math and M.S. level training in Physics and Computer Science. I've spent a decade as an Assistant Professor of Math and Physics(that's where the nickname Professor came from) and about a decade as a Software Engineer so I've got skills that can pay the bills(and I'm a poet and don't know it? **grin**). Anyway, back to the music.
I had always loved Classical guitar and was absolutely amazed at how a good classical guitarist can make one guitar sound like five. During my teaching days(in the early to mid-'90s I decided that I wanted to get back into playing seriously but by branching out into classical as my main style. So I picked up a Takamine EP-50 Concert Classical, found myself a great teacher - a fellow by the name of Stevan Jackson - and set about learning. To make a long story short, within a year Stevan had me playing at a semi-professional level. I did that for a period of about three years and had a blast.
Toward the end of my teaching career, I made the mistake of marrying the wrong woman(I've got a great one now). Without going into the sordid details the experience brought about the end of both my teaching career as well as my playing. I got to the point for awhile that I really just didn't care about it enough to exert the discipline necessary to play the classical. It's a very exacting musical style and your head and heart have to be in it in order to play it properly.
Once my head cleared a bit I moved from my hometown to Knoxville, Tn. and took a position as a Software Engineer. I met the wonderful woman who is now my wife and lo! and behold! she is a musician as well. As a matter of fact she plays classical violin for the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. Her example inspired me to get back into playing but I decided that I wanted to go back to my musical roots and play Hard Rock, Blues and Metal. I bought myself a Mexican Strat, a Vox practice amp, found myself a great intructor(I wanted to be serious about it and do it right this time and learn theory as I should have done to begin with) and the rest is history. By the way, if you live in the Knoxville area, and want a great guitar instructor go to Rik's Music and ask for Barry Hannah(my teacher) or Randy Gouge. Actually, all the teachers at Rik's are top notch.
By now I'm sure you're saying, "Okay, ProfessorM, tell me what kind of setup you have." Okay, here goes. Currently I have six guitars(I told you I wanted to be serious about it. :-) ): the SG-100, the Mexican Strat, the Takamine, a Jackson Rhoads RR5 half V, a USA Select Jackson Kelly KE2 and a BC Rich WMD Warbeast(one of the first ones made). As far as amps go I have three: a Roland MicroCube practice amp, a Crate XT120R combo amp and a halfstack that I put together by combining a Peavey ValveKing VK100 100W head with a Marshall AVT412XA Slant cab. Those last two are serious noisemakers. You can shatter windows a mile away with them. As for effects, I use a Line6 PodXTLive floor model. That thing has everything you could possibly want in a very compact box. So there you have it.
Why did I create this site? I love the electric guitar and have learned a lot over the years about what makes a great sounding and playing guitar as well as a lot of cool playing techniques and I can definitely give beginners some good advice as well as making good equipment suggestions for any level of player. It's true that there are some things on here that could make me a little cash but my main reason for creating Electric Guitar Wizard is simply that I love the electric guitar and am happy to share anything that I have learned over the years.
How did I create this site? I created the site using SiteBuildIt! SBI is a fantastic program that can teach you how to build a successful online business that can bring you in some extra money month after month. I've seen many things over the years that claim to teach you how to make money online but nothing that I've seen comes close to SBI! One of the coolest things about it for most people is that you don't have to know anything about coding a website. SBI! has a module they call the SiteBuilder that will build the site for you. All you have to do is provide the information. Being a professional developer I don't use it but's wonderful for someone who doesn't know anything at all about programming.
I want to thank you again for being here and I really hope you enjoy the site. If you have any questions about anything
related to the electric guitar or if there is something you would like to see that I don't have on here just hit the Contact Me button and fire away. I'll be happy
to give you any advice that I can and track down and include information on anything you'd like to see. Anyway, thanks again for being
here and check back often. Electric Guitar Wizard is a work in progress and I definitely plan to continually add information.
-Jeff AKA "ProfessorMetal" AKA "Prof"