What are you working on at the moment?
When I am not busy with clients I work on my original project. Writing, booking shows, promoting, playing with different musicians, etc.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Tomas Becu! He brought me in and is a fantastic guitarist who's also a music producer working for a film company. Thank you Tommy!
Analog or digital and why?
Either. They're two different resources that offer different outcomes. It just depends on your desire.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
What do you like most about your job?
Making a living from playing music! Who could ask for anything more?
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Could you please bring both the guitar and violin? Yes.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What type of event or music project do you have? What kind of music would you like to hear or like me to perform? If the client needs me for session work, I want to listen to the tracks and become familiar with the music until it's a real musical experience for me, so I make sure I'm not there to play notes mechanically but rather involve myself. When the client is open to this type of participation I can give my perspective to the project and usually there is a dialogue going on as we work together. On the other hand, of course, sometimes the client has very clear expectations from me and just wants an accurate performance.
If the music is for a private event, then I want to give the clients what they expect, play their favorite songs, make their special requests, etc. And of course, deliver visually as much as musically. So I make sure I ask enough questions to know what they want.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Listen to their music, make sure they perform from their heart.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
My electric guitar, the Fishman amplifier, my violin, and the acoustic guitar. I'll bring the accessories in the instrument bags so I don't have to count them as separate, and I hope there's an electric outlet somewhere...
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I begun at 14 years of age in Argentina, so I've been doing this for 20 years. I loved Rock N' Roll from the beginning but started studying jazz with private teachers, got into it, and stayed there for years. In the middle of it I explored voice and picked up the violin, beginning to play in classical orchestras. Then I got a full-time cruise ship gig for three years where I had to play lots of American popular styles I didn't know, like motown and rock/pop from the 70's and 80's that was not so internationally known, so I reconnected to rock, and later on I would take on vocal studies more seriously. Once I moved to New York City I started the project I'm doing now, "THIS" which began as a contemporary jazz band and now is essentially rock but with all the influences I met in the past.
How would you describe your style?
I am a RockN'Roller. I love guitar solos and I love to sing high. But my music was greatly shaped by jazz and classical, and a lot of the chords I use can't really be considered rock chords. I keep myself open so the intuitive mind is free to do its work, and some of my favorite songs I've written are not rock songs but funk songs or ballads.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I am always surprised by how much talent there is in New York City. I keep finding people I'd love to work with. In general I look for people who have similar abilities and tastes so that the collaboration is balanced and focused.
Can you share one music production tip?
If you're the writer, listen to your heart. If you are called to perform somebody else's song, find the way connect to the song, find it's beauty.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rock and roll and pop, originals or covers. But I like being open to all styles of music, which helps to become versatile in performance technique, as every style has a new perspective to offer.
What's your strongest skill?
Performing on electric guitar, both leading and accompanying. In fact, when doing solo work I lead and accompany myself doing three part improvisation (bass, chord, and melody) all at once.
What do you bring to a song?
Life and positive energy. I usually write inspired by real living experiences and create a strong groove with a powerful message.
What's your typical work process?
I have a set list in place that includes a great variety of music: rock, pop, reggae, jazz, bossa nova, Latin rock, bachata, reggaeton, boleros, Cuban son, salsa, and I know most of the material from memory. When a client requests a song I've never played I first listen to it repeatedly to become familiar with it and try to memorize it as a listener, usually being able to figure out the chords in this way. I can also do this with several songs at a time, which allows me to learn and memorize songs fast, resulting in a more musical performance and better stage presence.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a hand-made "Starr" hybrid electric guitar, with Telecaster-type maple neck and Stratocaster-type mahagony chambered solid body, which allows for a warm sound if desired, giving the instrument the versatility to play many different styles, from jazz to heavy rock. I also have a Mitchell electro-acoustic guitar and a violin, and I have several different pedal effects, such as the Ibanez 1960's reissue overdrive and the Crybaby wha (Jimi Hendrix combination), and I use a Digitech multieffect board that includes delay, chorus, flanger, and other sound effects.
I have a very potent Fender Deluxe amplifier but I more often use my 60-Watt Fishman loudbox mini, which is more portable, still has a very clear sound and offers a vocal mic input and channel separate from the instrument. I also have a very good quality Yamaha battery-powered amp with a very clear and warm sound for outdoors use.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Ted Greene, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Bach, Coltrane, Miles Davis, and many others.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most commonly I play music for weddings, birthdays, corporate receptions, and other private events, or provide music for restaurants and bars, while also working on my original music project.