I have also recently
acquired a 1973 Jose Ramirez III 10 string classical guitar.
For electric work, I have a white Fender Strat with Hot Noiseless
What string/pick gauge do you use?
I'm a Sponsored Artist of
Curt Mangan strings. I use
.010-.046 Nickel Fusion Wound set for electric.
10 strings, I like the Hannabach 815 10 string set. I also like Luthier
Concert 30 strings for flamenco.
For picks, I use Jim Dunlop Gator Grip picks, 2.0mm
thick. Anything lighter, I break or grind them within the first few
songs, being the heavy-handed player that I am.
What effects do you use?
My single indispensable effect box is my BOSS Dual
Overdrive. I've used several multi-effects processors over the years and
they have come and gone but this pedal, for me, is a keeper.
I also have a DOD Digital Delay/Sampler, Crybaby
Classic 95F and a Jim Dunlop Uni-Vibe. Other than
these, my tones are the products of my picking technique and my guitar's
pickup selector and volume pot.
What amps do you use?
I usually use whatever is available at the gig. But if
I had a choice, it would be a tweed Fender, Blues Deluxe or Blues
How often and how long do you practice?
I used to practice between 4-8 hours everyday when I
was starting out. Nowadays, I should practice more often than I do, but
with all my responsibilities, it's hard to find that much time to
dedicate to practice.
Who are your influences?
I listen to everybody but if I were to narrow it down
to 10, the list is:
Teddy Diaz, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Richie
Kotzen, Paco de Lucia, Pepe Romero, Maestro Jose Valdez, Andres Segovia,
In no particular order, of course.
Why did you leave Rivermaya and do you regret leaving?
I guess youthful pride was to blame, on both our parts.
What started out as a difference in musical direction became ugly and
personal quickly, which is the usual route when kids (or child-like
adults) disagree on something.
Do I regret leaving? HELL NO!!! :-)
Why did you study Classical again?
I met my maestro, Jose Valdez, and he made me fall in
love with the sound of classical guitar again, and more importantly, he
made me realize that I could play it. I loved listening to classical
guitar during my electric-playing days but I never thought I could ever play
those pieces. Maestro Valdez changed my perception of classical guitar
and I'm glad I met him.
What are you doing nowadays?
I'm currently in Duarte, CA, USA. Finally reunited with
my wife and kid. And hoping to make a loud enough noise to be heard all
the way in Pinas!
I concertize across the US and
internationally to perform the 10 string and Filipino music I have in my
Email me to request a press kit with audio/video samples or to book
2006 will be a recording year for me;
planning the Kasilag
Guitar Quartet's 2nd CD, participating in Ten Sting Guitar Record's
first CD compilation release, and my own solo 10 string CD of new and
unearthed 10 string works.
I continue to look for
obscure and underplayed music to include in my repertoire, as well as
try to encourage composers to write for the guitar.
I research and dabble in guitar-building and
I play the occasional gigs with my friends to make
things spicy once in a while. I
welcome any sideman gigs within the area. My first ever US gig is with
Elson Trinidad and
the Soul Barkada, a cool old skool R&B/Funk group.
I also look forward to playing with Mike Hanopol for his US engagements
ATTENTION Producers with Pinoy Artists touring
the US! Save on airline ticket and visa processing costs! Hire me
instead for your US shows :-)
- I take in students for private one-on-one instruction. Details are
in the Lessons
When I'm not doing anything concerning my career, I
spend time with my wife and 2 boys.