Other, Piano, Keyboard, Trumpet, Violin, Other Percussion, Drums, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocalist.


First, thanks for checking out my ad. This may very well be the longest musician's classified ad you'll read.

I'm a fifty-nine-year-old guitarist and pianist, who lives in the Huntington Beach area, and I'm looking to start a band. I took ten years of piano lessons, starting at eight years old, and switched over to the guitar at eighteen, much to my parents' chagrin. Unfortunately, most of the theory I learned on the piano kind of went out the window. I do most everything by ear. I am very interested in putting together and performing original music.

Just to be clear:

1) I'm no master of music theory, or music notation - far from it (I do have a great ear, though, and I am highly adaptable to different musical styles. If you're gifted with a good ear and can do without sheet music, wonderful. If you require it, I'm afraid, because of my limited theory/music notation skills, I'd have a really tough time accommodating you, and you would probably get very frustrated with me in this situation. However, if you really need this, I will hobble along and come up with some sort of lead sheet/song structure that you could probably live with.

2) I am not a plug and play guitarist. I use effects (a lot). If you're looking for a purely "organic" guitarist (One who uses few to no effects - someone who literally plugs a guitar straight into an amp and starts playing), then you're not looking for me. It's a more involved set-up, but but it gives me a lot of options, tonally, since I'm big on creating textures and "soundscapes", for lack of a better word.

It also takes up space, and some venues don't have that much space to set up like this. This is something you will want to carefully consider, when you're looking for a guitarist, or any other musician with a fair amount of equipment.

Some people have commented and partaken in this classic debate, which you have probably heard countless times before:

"What? You don't read sheet music?? How can you do that? What kind of musician are you?"

My response:

"What? You can't just play it, or pick it up by ear? Isn't it supposed to come from your heart, and not a piece of paper?"

Of course, both of these arguments have their own validity and purpose. I'm not, nor was I ever looking to be a session player, so sheet music didn't really have a high priority for me.

I'm primarily looking for another guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, some keys, and a vocalist or two. A violin would be amazing.

Hopefully, you have some ideas about music you've wanted to write, or have been wanting to play with other musicians, but maybe you thought the right people weren't out there in your immediate area; or you were in a band break-up situation, or...it doesn't really matter what the reason. For whatever reason, you're not playing with other musicians, and you feel a calling to do that - even if not full-time. You're itching to play out again. It's a part of you you've put on the shelf for way too long, and you can no longer leave it on the shelf. If this describes you, in some close approximation - welcome. I would love to hear from you. If you happen to play other instruments as well, even better!

People always ask me two classic questions; 1) Are you in a band?, and 2) What style of music do you play? Now, I can finally say - the answer to the first question was yes, I was, several years ago (and have been in many) and we were working on original material.

It was a keyboardist/singer/songwriter, a drummer, and me, on guitars; and I'm now just beginning to get back into keyboards.

I just picked up the MX-88, so I'll be seriously delving into that in the coming weeks, to record some more samples to post here, etc.

I haven't played with other musicians in a few years, and I am greatly missing it.

As for question 2, for whatever reason, I have a really tough time categorizing my playing style. I've always loved folk and acoustic finger style guitar. I've been told I have a kind of jazzy style, and I guess I have some jazz influences in my playing, but I wouldn't consider myself to be a hardcore jazz player. I also enjoy a rougher edge, and love tinkering, in many areas - but I wouldn't necessarily call myself a rocker, either. It's kind of a mesh of different styles. I love playing both acoustically and electrically. Can enjoy listening to something as laid back and simplistic (But equally beautiful) as Simon and Garfunkel, or, if in the mood, something more driving, like Dream Theater. I'm not a big fan of rap or hip-hop though (Well, I do like some hip-hop). I don't really listen to the radio at all, any more, but am constantly discovering new music through Apple Music and many other sources. Top 40 just isn't my thing, any more. Maybe I'm just too old for that lol.

I'm of the firm belief that music does NOT necessarily have to have a fixed beat, or be "dance-able" to be good - just the same as a superb movie doesn't have to be filled with special effects to be moving and powerful (fine movies such as On Golden Pond, The Shawshank Redemption, and Ordinary People come to mind, to name just a few).

Just because it made a Top 40 chart doesn't mean it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Some really fine art (Music, movies, etc.) has gone greatly unnoticed because of what supposedly appeals to the ignorant masses. That doesn't mean, in any way, that it's not just as good, or possibly even better then much of the so-called "mainstream" stuff.

My musical tastes are extremely eclectic. My guitar heroes have definitely shaped the way I play, but I can't claim that I've reached anywhere close to the level of musicianship that they have. I'm trying, though :-). Still, it';s good to know what musicians aspire to, in terms of sound and style, even as they're looking for and trying to develop their own unique sound. Everyone's got at least an influence or two, right? I'd be interested in hearing who your musician heroes are, as well.

Some of my guitar influences are: Paul Simon, Michael Hedges, Pat Metheny, David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, Alex Lifeson - way too many to fully list here.

These artists I've listed below are (once again) only a few, but here they are, just as a sampling of my musical tastes:

Simon and Garfunkel: In my mind, the epitome of brilliant, timeless folk music. I couldn't wait to start learning how to play finger style guitar, back in '81, when I had just graduated from high school, and took a folk guitar class in college. I owe that to Mr. Simon. I was saddened when they broke up, but pleased that Simon went on to continue a very lengthy and successful career as a solo artist - not surprised at all. There were many others as welll; Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary; but it was Paul Simon's (and later, Michael Hedges, William Ackerman and others) acoustic work that prompted me to continue learning finger style guitar.

Shawn Colvin. A truly gifted songwriter with a sweet, but powerful singing voice. Very tasteful work done by the backing musicians as well. I would love to see her play, one day. Favorite song of hers: "Don't Kill The Messenger".

Iona (A progressive band that masterfully combines traditional Celtic instruments with a rich, full, synthesized palette. They're all world-class musicians, as far as I'm concerned. I never tire of listening to them. They are most definitely not your typical Top 40 mindless crap kind of band; but, serious musicians with a gift to share with those who will listen.

Rush. These guys are masters at playing in odd time signatures (Something I really love hearing and trying), and they do it very successfully. Other bands like YES, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, also come to mind.

Dream Theater. Here is a band who is constantly reinventing itself; each album sounding different than the last in a refreshing but not alienating way; but they always sound like themselves. John Myung is a guitarist in bassist's clothing. Portnoy is (was...he's no longer with the band) one of my favorite rock and roll drummers - more so than Neil Pert. Of course, they (The band members) are the first to admit who their influences are, and that those influences can be readily heard in many of their songs. I was going to lunch with a friend, several years ago, and he popped the "Change of Seasons" CD in, playing the title track - a twenty-three minute epic. The first thing I thought was, "Wow. Rush meets Yes, meets Kansas, meets - who knows? I've been a steady fan since then. Thanks Jay, for introducing me to them.

Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. Who'd have thought the banjo could be such an amazing, jamming instrument, in a fusion setting? The guy's a monster player, no matter what style he's playing - just phenomenal. I had the unplanned (But welcome) pleasure of hearing them open for Strunz and Farah, some years ago, at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center (If I recall correctly). I was so floored by their music, I had to hear more. I've been listening to them since.

Pat Metheny. I heard a song of his on the radio (Back when I was actually listening to the radio lol), back in the late 70ïs - early 80's - a tune entitled "Eighteen", from the Offramp album (Remember vinyl albums?). I was just beginning to discover the wonders of progressive jazz and fusion. I absolutely had to have the album, and have been collecting their albums ever since. I can't say enough about him, or his amazing work with Lyle Mays (Pianist and keyboard extraordinaire) - a writing force to be reckoned with.

Scott Huckabay. I was with a friend, back in April of 2005, and happened upon this guitarist, who was doing a solo performance at Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade. I was mesmerized by a particular song he played, which I later found out, was entitled "Neptune's Forest". It nearly brought tears to my eyes. Some people have likened him to the next Michael Hedges - a visionary. I just love his stuff - great vibe and groove; a treat to see and hear, live, performing solo. Since hearing him perform there, and again at the City of Hope, not long after, I have found a new zest for the acoustic guitar - for playing music, period. People (Other musicians) have said there are musicians out there, who cause you to either pick up your instrument and really get into it again, or cause you to have an equally strong desire to just pick it up and throw it in the trash. Thankfully, Scott Huckabay did the former for me. Thanks, Scott.

There are so many of these bands/artists, and I've just barely touched on a few, and in only in few genre (There is rock, ska, reggae, blues, etc.), that came to me off the top of my head. I guess the bottom line is, I grew tired of having this equipment sitting in my room and no one with whom to enjoy my craft on a regular, or semi-regular basis. Once I wrote this ad that changed pretty radically.

In my heart and mind, the performance of music was meant to be a shared experience - just like a walk on the beach, a nice meal, or a fine movie. Playing alone is okay, but I need to be around other musicians who are excited about the possibility of composing, recording, and publicly performing original music with other musicians. I'm looking for people who understand that need, and have a true desire to share their craft with other musicians; people who understand and crave the magic that music has to offer, when shared with other musicians, when the musical match is right. Playing with other musicians tends to bring out the best in me. I need that - I can't stress that enough. If you know what I'm talking about and want to be a part of making it happen again, I need to hear from you.

I'm not looking to be in a Top 40 performing situation (I've been in way too many cover bands, and I have no interest, whatsoever, in doing that again); but I would be happy to entertain the idea of doing some covers, just for the fun of it, especially while we're in the composing process. It might be a nice icebreaker for us, to start out. Even throwing in a cover or two, during a set might be fine, but I really want to perform original music, and I'd rather invest my time working on that, than learning (or relearning) someone else's Top 40 pieces. That's the main goal.

If what you've just read resonates with you even a little, please contact me. I'd love to hear from you.

A little while back, I added some mp3 files to my profile; but please bear in mind - these are really rough (Definitely NOT a final product lol - with the exception of "Daniel Said", a studio recording I did with the band back in 1998. I only did the electric guitar parts on that song. Full credit has to go to the other band members:

Sam Ettaro - vocals and acoustic guitar
Kim Ettaro - backing vocals and percussion
Taka Hirobayashi - Bass
Tim Thayer - Drums

Some of the other recordings were transferred from cassette tape, and my equipment wasn't all that great at the time, but I wanted to capture the idea/mood. I've been sitting on these songs for years, and I'd really like to develop some of them a lot further - make them much richer..fuller. Maybe you can help?

Update - 06-24-19 - I finally have a way to record in a DAW. If you'd like to hear some of my work, please feel free to visit my page on Soundclowd (under my same username). You can also link directly to that site, from here - or at least you used to be able to. Not sure why that doesn't work any longer.

The songs from there are posted here, as well, for your convenience.

Again - rough work,, but they can be a lot better recorded and developed, now that I have decent recording capabilities :-). I'll be updating my song samples, in the coming months. We could even shoot files to each other, if you feel so-inclined.

If you haven't posted any samples of your music here, please message or email me and send me some links, so I can hear what you've done. I think that's a reasonable request. I've posted a lot of samples of my music here, even though it's raw and unpolished, so you can get an idea of what you can expect from me, stylistically and experience-wise
Assuming we've heard each other's music samples and feel like our styles would blend well together, we can always meet for coffee or something, and if that feels right, we can later connect at a place suitable for playing, set up our stuff and just jam together for a while, and see where that goes.

I would gladly welcome any/all of these situations, and am wide open to any suggestions you may have as well.

I have good equipment, reliable transportation, and a hard-working and sincere attitude about making this happen. I just need to connect with the right people.

Please let me hear from you; and please - no drugs, no attitudes. Life's complicated enough. I could care less what you look like; whether you're a man or a woman. Good music is good music. It should not be stifled by unreasonable expectations of gender, age, or even political or religious beliefs. When the magic is there, that's when you need to roll with it, to see where it takes you.

To recap: if you are you an experienced musician (Not necessarily by trade, but as a passion - just something you've GOT to do, to broaden your artistic horizons; maybe even to keep your sanity), and you've been looking for a guitarist and possibly other musicians to jam with, in a band setting (With the goal of playing out/performing in public, and/or partaking in a recording collaboration (even remotely, sharing digital files), etc., I may very well be your guy. Let's talk and see what happens from there.

Last, but not least, sometimes we want to do things, but all sorts of reasons come up that stop us from just doing them. Once in a while, we need someone to cheer us on, and encourage us to do the things that are important to us. That friend, in this instance, is Kim. She has always been the unconditional friend, and was always the willing and ever-persevering catalyst in the writing of this ad. Had it not been for her, this ad never would have been placed, and I would not ever have met many of the fine musicians I've had the opportunity to meet. Thank you, Kimmy. Love you bunches!

Please feel free to message me here, or e-mail me, at david57strathot maildotcom Thank you for reading my ad. I await your reply.


Screen name:
Member since:
Jul 06 2007
Active within 1 week
Level of commitment:
Very Committed
Years playing music:
Gigs played:
Over 100
Tend to practice:
2-3 times per week


Paul Simon, Michael Hedges, Antoine Dufour, Don Ross, Pat Metheny, David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, The Edge, Dave Bainbridge, Alex Lifeson, John Petrucci, Chick Corea, Lyle Mays, Bill Evans - way too many to fully list here.

Instrument experience:

Rhythm Guitar:
Lead Guitar:


'96 Standard Strat with EMG DG-20 Pickups, Alvarez ADCK60 Acoustic/Electric with Baggs iBeam Active pickup, Fender P-Bass, Fender Ultimate Chorus, Yamaha MX-88, Roland AC-60, BOSS RC-1, DigiTech Polara, EHX Grand Canyon and Pitch Fork, EQD Avalanche Run v2, Afterneath v2 and v3, and Palisades v2, Meris Mercury 7 and Polymoon, GFI Specular Tempus and Skylar, Keeley Eccos, Line 6 HX Stomp, MXR M300, Seymour Duncan Andromeda, Source Audio Lunar, Mercury, Nemesis, and Ventris, Strymon Timeline and DIG, TC Electronic Corona, Dreamscape, Flashback 2, and polytune 2 Noir, Walrus Audio D1, Deep Six v3, Fathom, and R1, Wampler Ego Mini, EQuator, Latitude Deluxe Tremolo Plexi Drive Mini and Ratsbane Mini, Focusrite 18i8, BOSS GX-700 and GT-10, GT-1000 Core, dbx 166a, dbx 215, dbx AFS224, Aphex 104 and 204, Presonus Studio Channels (2), RANE MQ302, Digital Music Corp. Ground Control Ernie Ball 6166 and Volume Pedal Jr, Livewire, Monster, Spectraflex, Canare, Mogami, EBS and Rockboard Cables.