First things first, if you're reading this, let me humbly say 'THANK YOU!' I appreciate you taking the time to stop by! Let me also start out by saying this 'about' page has been my biggest challenge yet. I don't believe there's a lot the world needs to know about me, but I figure if I'm going to create a resourceful site and provide a venue for guitar sessions, then perhaps I should explain a little bit about myself and my musical background. 

I've been learning musical instruments for the last 25 years - keys, drums, vocals and guitar. Although I'm still a drummer at heart, and still occasionally play drums in a full band setting, I've forgotten more about the first two instruments than I remember. Sad, I know, but my passion really shifted to the guitar in high school, when some friends and I decided to form a band, and my best friend was a better drummer than I was, so I picked up the guitar by default. Since then I've been fortunate enough throughout my musical 'career' to play guitar in several bands as well as pursue some of my own singer/songwriter aspirations. I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of musicians I've looked up to and bands that have inspired me. To me, this is one of the coolest things about music, it brings people together! 

Today I have the privilege of playing guitar with Third City Worship at Third City Christian Church in Grand Island NE. I’ve been with Third City Worship for almost two years now. Prior to that I was with Lifegate Worship at Lifegate Church in Omaha NE for almost 10 years. I'll be the first to tell you that it's been a journey for me. When I first made the transition from the secular music scene to the worship platform it was like starting all over again. It's difficult to explain, but if you've made this transition you know exactly what I'm talking about. Fortunately, over the years I've had the benefit of gleaning from other, more qualified and experienced musicians such as Jeffrey Kunde from Jesus Culture and Bethel Music, Lance Gatch, Kevin Neil Smith and James Duke from Elevation Worship (and other recording artists), and last but certainly not least, two of my good friends, Jake Adams and BJ (Kobe) Bryant from Lifegate Church. If you're not familiar with these guys, you need to check them out! This is a solid group of guys that I greatly appreciate and have an endless amount of respect for. They are all incredibly talented and just as open-handed with what they have been gifted with, sharing it so freely with the rest of us. - Much love fellas!

Although I've been playing guitar for over 15 years now, I feel like I've really only just begun. The guitar did not come as naturally to me as the drums. It's taken time, and to be honest, I'm still learning, as I believe any good musician is on a relentless pursuit to improve their playing abilities and further discover the possibilities of their instrument. Today YouTube and Instagram are chalked full of virtuosos tearing up the guitar, which can be inspiring, but just as discouraging if you're not on the same level, which let's be honest, most of us aren't. Why am I telling you this? Because the guitar is an incredibly humbling instrument, yet extremely rewarding if you're willing to put in the time! My musical experiences and struggles are not only what have inspired me to start this project, but are also the very things that I believe have enabled me to connect and relate with a large group of musicians that are going through the very same things I have. So, if you're just starting out, or not as skilled as you'd like to be yet, hang in there! More people than you realize, are in, or have been in, the same boat as you - myself included.

My vision for this site and musical endeavor, is to help you in your playing, tone, gear, or whatever area you're looking to improve upon. My hope is to provide useful resources and information, a safe environment where you can openly ask questions, talk things out, and learn practical applications to expedite your musical learning curve. If you want to learn more, have questions, or just want to say "hey", please message me on the 'contact' page. And if you're interested in spending some one-on-one time together, I'd love the opportunity to work with you either in person at the Create 308 Academy or through Guitar Sessions via Skype, which you can learn more about, as well as book a session on the 'Sessions' page.

Thanks again for stopping by, and God Bless!

- joal