I started playing guitar at 9 years old with a cheap Kingston 6 string acoustic and Alfred’s Guitar Method.  I went through all 6 books without really learning anything and without understanding what I was doing.  I quit after a few years of lessons.  My teacher, Joe Brambilla, helped me see the beauty and task of chord melody playing but I couldn’t understand how to do it. 

               My first epiphany was on the couch in our basement I studied the back page of the Alfred’s Method book which arranged the chords according to key.  I noticed that the barre chords played the chords in a pattern that was easy to transpose from one key to another.  This pattern helped me predict the chords in a song because it narrowed the options.  

       My second epiphany was a short encounter with an excellent teacher, Scott Munsel, who showed me how to teach myself patterns and song building blocks.  The goal was clear, to play solo for hours, improvising freely and playing freely.

       Over the next few years I developed my own teaching method concentrating on teaching people how to see patterns in music that would make learning songs easier.  I jumped into jazz because I was looking for a way to understand the harmonic flow beneath the chord changes.  Again, the patterns were the key.

       Joe Pass, Virtuoso 3 was an important album for me, listening to the solo chord melody playing hooked me.  I also learned of George Van Eps method and playing which is very orchestral, sophisticated and difficult!

       The next big influence was Stanley Jordan.  I couldn’t believe that one person was playing the chord and melody independently, freely and beautifully.  I wanted to play like Stanley but couldn’t do it on my guitar no matter how hard I tried.

       The Chapman Stick - Katsu Stick showed me that you could play a two guitar tuning.   

       Jim Wright helped me develop the tuning, uncrossed playing and instrument that got me on my way.  Double Guitar uncrossed fourths tuning and a Guitar/Bass tuning using bass strings and octave on the rhythm side.

       The Starrlabs Ztar made sense to me once I had developed my tuning and playing technique by separating zones in rhythm and lead with different midi channels.  I was able to play bass, guitar and lead by assigning different instruments to the midi channels and zones.  

       The YRG worked immediately and I bought it sight unseen because it was so cheap it was a risk I could easily take.  If they develop a polyphonic multiple note per “string” capability the  YRG will be the most cost effective way to play the “Moen Music Method."

       I used the method to teach myself the Harmonic Table and my last instrument has been the LinnStrument.  I had to learn the chords playing in a piano position rather than holding the instrument like a guitar or touchguitar.  The chord forms, arrangements and scale fingerings transfer exactly.

       The LinnStrument has given me the possibility of really playing synths and plugins.  I've always wanted to play the piano and other instruments but the guitar synth options were/are so inadequate.  The control and expression that the LinnStrument allows is exactly what I've been looking for all these years.  I love the piano sound but not the difficulty of learning the variations from one key to another.  The LinnStrument with its 4th tuning avoids all of those issues.  The chord forms I know from the Stick transfer and the learning curve has been relatively easy.