Hi, I'm Jake — A musician and software engineer in Lincoln, Nebraska.

I started playing guitar at age 9 after I realized the athletic world wasn't a good fit for me (I suck at sports). For my entire life up until that point, I had not found my calling, and was very lost. Something immediately clicked for me with music. I started playing/learning on a right-handed electric guitar even though I was left-handed (musically). For me it was also easier to play by sitting the instrument in my lap.

By the time I sought instruction and realized I was playing the instrument incorrectly, I had already developed a technique for forming chords, tapping, playing solos, etc. It became an obsession throughout middle school to learn as much as I could about music and playing. I relied heavily on learning songs by ear. In high school I joined the marching band. Having no prior experience playing a wind instrument, I was added to the pit percussion section. Thankfully, the music that year was from Wizard of Oz, which I was familiar with from watching the movie. Having no formal music training up until this point, I relied on my ears to guide learning the music, which worked well.

Eventually this caught up to me when I was assigned a snare drum piece. I knew for sure that I could play it, but reading music at that time was a foreign concept to me. I was called out in front of the band by the band director for not playing the part correctly. He walked over to the drum and played the part, no problem. It lit a fire under me! I went home and learned rhythmic reading on sites like VicFirth.com which have rhythmic lessions and sight reading exercises. I came back to band the next day and played the part.

Having an experience like this was life-changing and led me to eventually audition for and become a member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Drumline while studying Computer Engineering in college.

I have always wanted to focus on independent, self-funded music that essentially did not have to garner acceptance from the academic world. From a young age, I have felt an unshakeable confidence that is hard to describe, but it has kept me focusing on working on a variety of independently minded music projects. My goal is to create listenable music that stands the test of time.

Some interesting tidbits along the way:

  • I started learning guitar by tuning the instrument to EAEEAE (the two middle notes were the same). From what I remember, it was great for soloing. By the time I got to high school, I realized I couldn't play standard chords with this alternate tuning, so had to relearn how to play in standard tuning. This set me back a few years.

  • When in high school, I wanted to learn drum set playing, but did not have a proper kit. To remedy this, I used two screwdrivers as sticks, and set up a makeshift kit in my parent's kitchen. I learned to play drums by playing along to a 23 minute Dream Theater song called 'A Change of Seasons'. This particular piece has lots of odd meters, and the result of learning the tune in it's entirety made playing in odd meters much easier for me.