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  • Check out Treble Clef!

    My friend and drumbox buddy Garry Myers and I have launched a new combo endeavor called: Treble Clef. We will be playing 'Outside the Box' of Church when we get the chance and will be posting our gigs and setlists online. Check it out here:

  • Gigging Tips for the Beginner Musician

    Are you a budding musician ready to take the stage by storm? The world of live music performances, or gigs , can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking for beginners. But fear not! This comprehensive guide is here to equip you with the essential tips and tricks to ace your performances and make a lasting impression while gigging. Preparation is Key Before stepping onto the stage, ensure you are well-acquainted with your setlist. Practice your songs until they are second nature to you. Familiarity with your setlist will boost your confidence and help you deliver a memorable performance. From your instruments to spare cables, make a checklist of all the equipment you need for the gig. Being prepared with backups and essentials will save you from any last-minute technical hiccups. On Stage Techniques Connect with your audience by making eye contact, smiling, and even interacting with them between songs. Engaging with the crowd can create a vibrant atmosphere and leave a lasting impression. Feeling nervous before a gig is natural. Instead of trying to eliminate nerves completely, channel that energy into your performance. Turn that adrenaline rush into a captivating stage presence. Post-Gig Reflection After your gig, don't be afraid to ask for feedback from peers or even the audience. Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement and grow as a musician. Take time to reflect on your performance. What worked well? What could have been better? Learning from each gig experience will contribute to your growth as a performer. Performance Etiquette Treat the venue, staff, and fellow performers with respect. A positive attitude backstage and onstage will not only reflect well on you but also open up opportunities for future gigs. Arrive on time for soundchecks and performances. Punctuality shows professionalism and ensures a smooth running of the event. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your journey through the world of gigs and live performances. Remember, every gig is a learning opportunity, and with each performance, you'll continue to evolve and refine your craft. Embrace the stage with confidence and passion, and let your music speak volumes to your audience!

  • New Music - How Great Thou Art!

    There's a new song I just finished recording and put onto the music page on this site. This recording was with Presonus' Studio One recording product and the Audiobox USB device provided with it. There are five different tracks combined into the recording which made it challenging to do. My prayer is that you enjoy it and think of Jesus while listening to it!

  • Merry Christmas to all!

    This is such a wonderful time of the year for everyone both young and old to experience the joy of Christmas! If you'd like to have real and lasting peace besides this once a year celebration, you need to know and have a relationship with the One who is the source of life and the reason we celebrate this season: Jesus Christ! Amidst all of the misinformation and confusion that our world throws at us, the one source of absolute truth is the Bible. The second book of the New Testament was written by the first century Doctor Luke. He tells the wonderful story of Jesus' birth: ”At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,“ ‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬-‭18‬ ‭NLT‬‬ Have a Merry Christmas and God Bless you and your family from mine and Gentle Haven Music Web Design! And, if you'd like to hear Linus explain to Charlie Brown in Peanuts what Christmas is all about, I've added it here.

  • CMS and the Worship Leader!

    Paul Baloche leads worship with Michelle Shepherd on backup vocals Yesterday, my wife and I returned from Tacoma, Washington where I attended the 20th Christian Musicians Summit. If you are a Worship Leader and have never attended one of these, you need to! I had the pleasure of attending with the bassist from our Worship Team as well as the Audio-Visual Technician from another church in town. We had a blast! My wife asked me what my favorite part of the summit was. I said: the WORSHIP! How often can you worship with fellow musicians? It was like being in the throne room of God Himself! Please understand though that I love to worship with everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. This was just a very special time ordained by God Himself to call similar talented people to join together in worship, learning, and expanding the kingdom of God through music. What a pleasure it was! Norm Stockton playing Christian Jazz Fusion After the morning sessions were done on the first day, Norm Stockton formerly of Lincoln Brewster's band, gave an artist showcase. His five-string bass was lit up by tracks he's recently recorded called: Grooves and Sushi It just goes to show that worship music isn't limited to straight 4/4 three chord songs. Worship Team Discussion with from left to right - Bobby Hartry, Norm Stockton, Brenton Brown, Aaron Blanton, and Ed Kerr One of the most enjoyable highlights of the summit was the Working as a Band discussion. This was led by Brenton Brown who wrote the song: Everlasting God. It stressed how important it is to first, listen to God. Second, listen to each other, and third, play as a unit without stepping on each other. Very cool! Another session that was mostly for electric guitar players was hosted by Bobby Hartry. His discussion was generally about the setup he uses when touring as can be seen below. Bobby Hartry with one of his touring pedal setups Something that Bobby said that I found interesting was that he uses three different overdrive pedals to get different sound out of his performance playing. He also bemoaned the travails of flying to different gigs as he used to play a Gibson SG for many years. After one flight on an airline, the headstock on his SG was broken off. He now uses a steel attached neck with an older Stratocaster body. Such are the challenges for traveling musicians... Sigh There you have it! That's my summary of the summit which really only covers a small amount of what we all experienced. There were also vocal workshops, leadership lectures, AV technical discussions and vendors willing to share their products and experiences. I encourage you to check out the Christian Musicians Summit when you can. It's definitely worth attending and there will be another in 2023! God bless, Matt

  • CMS News!

    This week I will be attending the Christian Musicians Summit! I'm looking forward to it and will be publishing an update on this blog about how it went, what I learned and any inspirational messages I can pass along. Stay tuned...

  • New Year Blog Feedback -

    Since it's the beginning of 2018, I thought I would begin publishing a blog on musician tips every week. I need some help though as to subjects you, the reader, would like to hear about. You can contact me on Facebook at the Gentle Haven Music Page: or email at: There are so many topics we could discuss here, but I would like to know what you think and are wanting to learn about. My only ask from you is: Be nice! Let me give you an example of something I encountered when I was teaching guitar. A student said to me: "Dude, I want to learn how to play like Eddie Van Halen in six weeks." Okay, so first of all, don't call me 'Dude'. Second of all, only Eddie can play like Eddie. Everyone needs to develop their own style. So, let's have some discussions about musical style, musicianship, vocals, harmony, performance, and things like that. Let me know what you think and let's start 2018 with some musical sparkle! #Musicians #Musicartistry #performance #guitar

  • 1st Musician Tip of 2018!

    It's 2018 and you're wondering, 'I have a musical talent but I'm nervous about sharing it or performing in front of others'. Every, and I mean EVERY performer gets nervous. I've never meant one who doesn't. That little or maybe a lot of adrenaline is what gives one the 'edge' they need to stay focused and concentrate on what they're doing. Now there can be a problem when one has too much fear and can't actually do what they'd like to. How do you overcome that? One of the long held secrets is that you learn not to focus on the crowd, but on what you're doing as well as who you're doing it for. For me, I love to lead worship because I'm rejoicing in my Creator, Jesus Christ. When I focus on Him, my worries slip away. When I start thinking about the people in front of me, then I start having problems. Maybe you don't have a relationship with Jesus like I do. Then it's imperative that you find a purpose in what you're doing and share that. The other good news-bad news factor is that no musician can play well unless they've practiced. Because your fingers, voice, breath or whatever means you're using to express yourself have what we call 'muscle memory', practice is the key! Again I hope these short tips are useful to you. Please contact me ( with subjects you'd like to see in future blogs and get out there and make some music! #Musicians #Musicartistry #performance #worship

  • Music and math, what a match! – Part II

    This week’s blog installment, (Number 4 for 2018), is the follow-up to last week: Music and Math. We left off with the question: How do you, the musician, use analytical processes to get the most out of your music? To answer that, let’s use an illustration. When you’d like to buy something and don’t have the money, you typically save up enough until you do. You may keep track of the difference between what you need, call it ‘x’, versus what you have and the sum total of what you want. Music is no different. If you want to be able to play something that you’re not currently able to, then you have to invest time to be able to perform it as you’d like to. It could also be called ‘x’. I hear someone commenting as they read this: ‘I don’t want to spend all that time practicing!’ Okay, I get it. But, what values do you invest in your musicianship? Do you want a half-hearted musical performance or one that moves and inspires? Do you think that someone will really like your music if you haven’t worked on it? As has been said: “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” You may also say: ‘Some people just have natural talent and it comes easy for them.’ While the first part of that statement is true, the second part is not. No one can get around the requirement to work on their craft! It’s as natural as the day is long. Tip: Find what interests you in your musical endeavors and pursue it relentlessly. For me, learning music theory and how it correlated with my guitar playing helped me understand what I was striving to achieve so much better. The mathematical enumerations of scales and composition just fascinate me to this day! Another important aspect of working on your music is that it becomes ever more 'natural' to you. Just as walking is a learned response as a child, music is a learned art that must be repeated over and over. Eventually it will be become second-nature. So you don't want to miss that opportunity by giving up, do you? That’s all for this installment. There is a lot more that could be discussed and written on this subject, but the point of this blog is to stimulate YOUR thinking and YOUR creativity. If there's another aspect about the relationship of music and math you'd like to hear more about, drop me a line at: and I’ll address it in another blog. #Musicartistry #Mathematics #musicians

  • Music Theory 101 - Part II

    Hello again to all of you music aficionados. This is installment #10 for the year of this blog. I'm continuing again the discussion about music theory. Last time I left off discussing scale structures and formats. This week I would like to discuss and describe the use of intervals. Before doing that, I would love to hear some feedback from you if there is a question on something discussed here. Please let me know via email at: I can answer a question via email or discuss it further on this blog. Let's move to intervals. Intervals are the joining of two different tones to makeup a harmonic tone. Most people would recognize a harmony interval when they listen to singers in a song or piece of music. The most common interval to the ear is a major third. This would be the joining of a tonic and mediant tones. For example: C to E. There are two whole steps between the two tones which classify it as a third or what we call a major third. If the E was lowered one-half step to Eb or the C was raised one-half step to C#, then it would be called a minor third. The difference being there is a half and whole or whole and half step combination. Before going any farther, it would help the reader to take their instrument and try this out. If you’re on a keyboard, find middle C, then E two whole steps above it. Play the two notes together. That is a major third. Next, lower the E one-half step to Eb or raise the C to C#, each being black keys. This is a minor third. If on a guitar, go to the second string, find the note C and play it along with the open first string. This makes a major third interval. To make a minor third, raise the C one-half step to C# and play the first string open. You've now learned something about intervals. I'm going to stop there this week because I would rather not overload anyone who's just learning on this concept. It can seem confusing at first. But I would like you to pat yourself on the back and say: Well done! Intervals art an essential part of harmony that, when used well, will enhance the musical atmosphere tremendously. Like any tool they must be used judiciously so that the audience isn't stunned or overwhelmed. I'm going to end today's blog with a humorous story. In Austria about 100 years ago, two men are trying to find Ludwig Van Beethoven's tomb. They finally locate it and open the crypt door only to find the composer frantically erasing on manuscript. "What are you doing Beethoven?", they ask. Beethoven replies: "Isn't it obvious? I'm decomposing!" #Musicians #Theory #Music

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