Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nam @ Winter NAMM 2013, Day 1

The day before departing for the 2013 Winter NAMM show was a part of a bitter string of cold days. The wind was blowing so hard that tears streamed down my eyes during my morning run. The air was so cold that the tears froze. Within two minutes, I turned around to get more weather-appropriate running gear, particularly, something that would cover my entire face and shield it from the elements. 

I bring this up to provide contrast to the "chilly" 71 degree weather that greeted us in Arizona and the shivering 74 degree weather in Los Angeles. Yes, in this part of the country, cold is such a foreign notion that there are snow-themed restaurants right across other fantasies to live such as Medieval Times.

Top Left: Philadelphia International Airport
Top Right: Arizona
Bottom Left: Los Angeles
Bottom Right: Nelson smiling at the sight of palm trees.

The show hasn't even officially kicked-off, but things are lively in Anaheim. I'm pooped from traveling. Actually, I'm pooped from traveling after staying up too late packing because of a late work night and procrastination. We'll see what adventures await tomorrow!

Top Left: Packing the poor car.
Top Right: Eating (AKA orgasmic devouring) at Tito's Tacos, a NAMM tradition.
Left Center: The kitchen in our suite.
Left Bottom: Performing musicians surrounded by drunk musicians.
Bottom Right: The Anaheim Convention Center in its full NAMM glory.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

TUTORIAL: Flamenco-style drumming (part 1)

Long before the likes of Michael Hedges, Preston Reed, and other guitar greats, flamenco guitarists were using the body of the guitar as a drum. When I started getting into acoustic-percussive guitar, Edina's videos helped me make the transition, so here I am sharing them with you! I teach these techniques during my percussive guitar workshops because it's relatively simple, doesn't require any new gear, and can easily be integrated to songs you already play.

These are the chords she's using:

| Am /// | E /// | F /// | G / F / | Am /// |

And the tabs in the order of appearance:

o -- 0 -- 0 -- 1 -- 3 -- 
o -- 1 -- 0 -- 1 -- 3 -- 
o -- 2 -- 1 -- 2 -- 4 -- 
o -- 2 -- 2 -- 3 -- 5 -- 
o -- 0 -- 2 -- 3 -- 5 -- 
o -- x -- 0 -- 1 -- 3 --

Feeling inspired? Want to share the fruits of your hard labor? Drop me a line on Facebook and share a video, SoundCloud, etc. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

My sketches lead to a commission!

After posting the previous sketch on Facebook, a friend and choreographer contacted me about getting a doodle done of him. I chose to use a looser, wavier, line art style to give the image some more motion.

Original Image:

Digging back into digital doodles

I enjoy physical media far over digital, but there's no denying that digital is far more forgiving and easy on the clean up than watercolor and ink (my preferred medium). I thought I'd take a bit of time to learn Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro a bit. This first effort took me between 3-4 hours to do because I had to learn the interface, get used to drawing on a tablet, and watch tutorials on how to draft, ink, and color.

Original Image:



Full color

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NEW VIDEO: "Hayfever"

"Hayfever" was written in the Spring of 2012 in the middle of, well, hayfever season. The percussive groove and techniques were inspired by my being able to meet one of my heroes, Thomas Leeb, and watching him perform. I also had the honor of being the first opening act in the history of the SMCM Big Band and Jazz Combo. This is the composition I performed.

Picture of me with Thomas Leeb -
Thomas Leeb's website -

Gear List:
Guitar: Martin GPCPA4 (John Pearse armrest & Grover 106GC tuners)
Strings: D'Addario EJ-17
Pickup: K&K Pure Mini
Preamp: Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre

Camera: Panasonic DMC-ZS3
DAW: Garageband '09/'11
Mic: M-Audio Nova
Interface: M-Audio Mobile Pre USB

Sunday, January 6, 2013

NEWS: I am now sponsored by Voyage-Air Guitar!

I'm pleased and excited to announce that Voyage-Air Guitar has endorsed me as an artist! My VAOM-06 was the second steel string I bought (and the first with a 1-3/4" neck which I've come to prefer) and comes with me to just about every performance I do. In my opinion, these are the ultimate travel guitars: they are full-sized acoustic guitars that fold in half. Don't let the gimmick fool you: they sound great, and don't go out-of-tune as much as you'd think!

To inaugurate this new partnership, I will be performing my music at the Voyage-Air Guitar booth at the 2013 Winter NAMM show! I can't wait! Below is a video of me performing live in Fall 2012.

A very Happy New Year indeed!

My Voyage-Air Guitar VOAM-06 is customized with:
Grover 406C mini locking rotomatic tuners
K&K MiniPure pickup system
D'Addario EJ-17 medium-gauged strings

I also plan on adding a John Pearse armrest.

Hike through Hibernia County Park, Coatesville, PA

Here are a few photos I snapped with my dad's DSLR while on a little hike near my house. I made a point to only shoot in manual since my camera's a point-and-shoot. Photography's not something I  know much at all about nor is Photoshop, but the only way to get better is to practice, no?

You can see all the dust in the lens. Looks like someone needs to clean the camera, haha! I used a lomo effect and color-corrected the sky to be a bit more vivid.

I really like the way this came out. 

The "lake" (it's more like a pond) looks a lot more vast than in reality. I guess I was in a shoot-into-the-sun mood this afternoon.

So close to being a decent picture. The sun's over-exposed, but you can see the patches where there's still ice.