Harry Pickens at the piano. Yes, he’s very tall. No, he doesn’t play basketball. But if you’ve ever heard him play, you’ve heard somebody having pure, uninhibited fun playing music, which is a life lesson in itself.

HARRY PICKENS AND MUSICAL JOY

  My relationship with Harry is an interesting one, as he started out as a musical idol and guru, morphed into a musical confidant and part-time spiritual advisor, and in later years has ended up as peer and friend (although I use the term “peer” generously for my part in this instance). Regardless of which “stage” is under discussion, Harry… Read more →

Say what? If I don’t understand it, it must be deep?

IS MUSIC THEORY ESSENTIAL IF YOU WANT TO BE A GOOD PLAYER?

  This is a question I’ve been pondering my entire life. I even went to the trouble to get two degrees in the subject in an effort to answer this question, and I still go back and forth on the answer. There are times when it seems that I just couldn’t get along without theory, and times in which it… Read more →

Great musicians, a nice mic, a well equipped studio, and a cup of coffee. Who needs shoes?

INFORMAL BIO FROM CRADLE TO BASS, OR “INSTRUMENTAL ROULETTE”

What’s this? An informal bio in the first person? Isn’t that sacrilege? I hope not. There’s nothing really wrong with formal third person bios in principle, but in practice they reduce a person’s professional life to a self-serving blurb for the purpose of establishing professional credibility in a paragraph or less. Again, that’s fine, and useful in its own way,… Read more →

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WHY I PLAY MUSIC

Why do I play music? The simple answer is that for me, the act of playing music provides me with an environment in which I no longer have to wonder “why am I here?” , or “what is the meaning of life on this planet?”. When I’m playing (or perhaps this should be amended to say, when I’m playing in… Read more →