- Lives: Philadelphia, PA
- Primary Instrument: Lefty
Guitar and Guitar Synthesizer
- Secondary Instruments:
Keyboards, Drums and Vibes
- Q: So where did you get
the idea for M.A.M.I. Music Scale Atlases?
- A: I am basically
self-taught on guitar, however when I was much younger
- I studied drums and
vibes formally in school.
the time I reached my late teens, I began to listen to a lot of great
creative music especially jazz and jazz-fusion.
improvisational nature of this music really peaked my interest and I began
to wonder where the original players of
the day found their ideas.
- Players like Hendrix, Monk,
Scofield, Holdsworth, Beck, Khan, Metheny...so many!
- Anyway, the question in my
mind became how do I find all of these hip ideas?
- How do I take one chord, or
melody, or arpeggio, or
scale and turn it into
- a number of interesting
musical ideas of my own?
- Since the common thread between
all of my influences was
- I started to think
more about theory and the nature of music itself.
- Studying engineering in
school helped me to analyze music "quantitatively".
- Being a lefty guitarist
always forced me to
chart or diagram my ideas on the fingerboard.
- One night I was thinking
about improvisation and the idea
of a "Matrix" popped into my head.
- By arranging notes into a 12
x 12 cube matrix, I would be able to analyze
- and quantify any scale for
its musical content. Thus the "Matrix Approach" was born.
- Q: Where are you
performing again these days?
- A: Unfortunately I'm
not performing publicly yet after my accident.
- It has been a long time, but
the nature of my injuries has
affected the nerves in my
- extremities and causes me to
lose sensation in my arms and fingers to varying degrees.
- This has been an extremely
frustrating ordeal, but Faith, Family and some great Friends
- have helped me to cope with
- Special thanks to Mom, my
sister Monica and brother Len, for believing in me.
- My old band mates (and
lifelong friends) guitarist Rick Harris, bassist Lee Patterson
- and also radio personality
J. Mike Harrison (of WRTI FM 90.1 in Phila.) for keeping me
- involved in music and from selling all
of my equipment out of
Also trombonist / keyboardist Mark Johnson and
keyboardist Glenn Bryan
for forgiving me for
some particularly bad moments... :-(
- Hopefully I will be able to
release some stuff and perform again
- at some point, I haven't quit!
- Q: Your book is huge, did
you do it by yourself?
- A: Yes, it took
years! I started charting lefty fingerboards and using the Matrix Approach
- One day a friend happened to
see my work in progress spread out on my dining room table
- and suggested
that I share the idea with other musicians.
- It took more years to do all
of the other versions, but the feedback has been well worth it.
- Although one of my very best
friends at first glance called my draft version "garbage"
- (he later recanted after
spending some time with it), so many players both known
- and unknown have both
favored and adopted M.A.M.I.
- This includes many players
that had helped to
inspire it in the first place!
- It is a nice feeling to have
players such as Pierre Bensusan, Allan Holdsworth, Joe Beck
- Pat Martino, Mark
Johnson, Steve Vattimo, Geno White, and countless others find
- benefit in my concept.
Hopefully it is inspiring some creativity and great music out there.
- Q: How did you get the
- A: Years ago some
friends...actually original band members awarded me this
- due to my logical and
methodical ways. It was
funny then, and I still it find it humorous since
- there are probably few more
accurate nicknames awarded throughout history!
- Q: What's next?
- A: Hopefully I'll continue to
develop versions of M.A.M.I. and eventually perform once again.
- It would be great to play again in a
group dedicated to creating original music!
- I definitely have some ideas,
and at some point this will be a goal.
- Q: What musician would you most
like to meet?
- A: I enjoy talking about music
with just about everyone, but forced to pick now it would
- probably be Pat Metheny. I
enjoy his ideas, playing and especially his approach to band leading.
- His group is awesome in that they
take very well composed, diverse, original musical
- ideas and perform them
intelligently...on such a high level.
- Sort of like the Duke Ellington Band
meets the 21st century!
- With his group, it is easy to tell
that the musical idea always comes first.
- Every single detail related to the
idea is performed thoughtfully.
- They have been my absolute favorites
and a great influence for years.
- Q: Dude, so what's up with your books?!
I was checking out MAMIMUSIC.com and your MAMI Scale Atlases look
way deep...can you fill me in?
- A: In short, yeah they look
"deep" and sort of are.
The 'MAMI Musical Scales Atlas Concept' is a completely unique, logical and
tremendously integrated way to learn and / or teach music chords and scales
on Piano, Bass and Guitar.
MAMI Books + Diagrams uniquely serve seemingly "deep"...but
actually simple, relevant, useful purposes: they're
designed to allow musicians to
easily understand the all of the music potential
inherent in a given chord or scale, plus show the location of everything...all
of these useful elements...directly on their
instrument...all in one glance!
My MAMI 'concept' and diagrams help
quickly reveal basic improvising as well as composing ideas and uses to
help musical learning, creative and even teaching processes. All specific
musical elements: such as substitutions, modes, harmonies, melodies and
inversions for over 540
chords and scales, plus guides to creatively applying to their
instrument are all included on each page. There really is nothing like it,
or any equal!
Despite it's power and depth, using the MAMI Concept / Diagrams / Books is both actually much simpler than it seems...yet is also incredibly flexible. When I developed MAMI I tried to make a reference that I would use for life. A guide that would be even more valuable as I learned, matured and improved.
Beginners can use my books, as can intermediate or master players in addition to teachers.
The only thing you really need is an open mind and the desire to use MAMI to learn or teach and apply chords plus scales visually...in the quickest, most efficient, logically integrated and least limited way.
The few minutes that so many have spent to understand why and how to use MAMI has rewarded them with knowledge as well as the resources for effective creative study and learning for life!
I've had so many people ask me "darn, where was this when I was first starting out!" I always laugh hard over that question because when I'd first envisioned the concept, that was my question to me...
All I can say is check out MAMIMUSIC.com and also my YouTube, Facebook and MySpace pages: I have demos, tutorials, videos, PDFs and MP3's and even a few MIDI files on the whole MAMI concept.