Hi. I’m Alex. I spend a lot of time thinking about music. I teach guitar (and lap steel, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and pretty much anything else with strings) for a living. I also perform regularly in a number of bands. A long time ago I got a degree in Jazz Studies from Bowling Green State University. More recently I received my Master’s Degree in improvisation from The University of Michigan. I consider myself an American musician. That doesn’t mean I don’t like British Invasion bands. It means that I know a thing or two about how music that developed in the U.S. works. Jazz, country, rock, folk, punk, pop, and other American musical forms and genres have a lot in common and I’m comfortable discussing, teaching, and playing them (with varying degrees of expertise, of course). I particularly love music that involves improvisation and intergroup dialog (we all play together, interacting with each other to create some really amazing music).
Besides playing and teaching music I also (very occasionally) build effect pedals for guitar based on vintage stomp boxes. I do that under the name Phoenix Custom Electronics, and I make fuzzes, boosts, compressors, and sometimes I do custom work. My “Lady Stardust” fuzz pedal, based on the Vox Tonebender, is among the best sounding germanium fuzzes being made today.
This website is here to promote what I do, and also hopefully as a resource for other musicians. I plan to write on the topics that interest me as often as possible.
You should contact me if you are interested in lessons, booking one of my bands, or ordering some pedals.