VISTA – Garry Goodman's music is used in radio commercials, television
and films. But it is the way he plays his bass guitar that makes heads turn.
"People come up to me and say, 'What's that? You have more strings than I
do,'" Goodman said.
The veteran bass player has been adding strings to his instrument since
he started playing a seven-string bass guitar in the mid-1980s.
Now he is playing a one-of-a-kind, 11-string Adler bass guitar.
"I play it like a piano," Goodman said. "I can play Scott Joplin's
ragtime with a range like on a grand piano."
The instrument is unique. But so is the technique Goodman uses, one he
has been working on for more than 30 years. He calls it percussive
"I can play bass and a chord accompaniment with one hand and a melody
with the other," Goodman said.
"Garry has always been doing stuff others guys weren't doing," said local
bassist Joe McGowan, who took lessons from Goodman during the early 1980s in
Goodman has been composing music and experimenting with sounds since he
was a kid. He knew he wanted to go into music early on, and started a band
as a teenager.
He was barely 13 and was getting paid to play rock 'n' roll.
"I liked making music because I saw everyone having fun and dancing. I
realized it would mean a lot of training, but I enjoyed the hard work,"
In his teens, he played bass on television shows such as "McCloud" and
"Magnum, P.I." He also played the bagpipes in the movie "Day of the
When he was 16, Goodman joined the American Federation of Musicians.
He went on to play traditional bass and worked with The Fifth Dimension,
Jimmy Rogers, Danny Ganz and Thelma Houston.
He wrote, sang and recorded the song "Bad Trip" for the movie "Camp
Utopia." Currently, he is playing bass in "Angry Girl Gang" off Broadway in
He is working on the voice production for a CD to be released by local
musician Mikole Kaar and his wife, Carrie Landsgaard.
"He is a diamond in music production," Kaar said. "He has those kinds of
ears that guys develop in the music business in L.A."
For nine years, Goodman ran a production company in Beverly Hills, where
he composed and produced music for radio and television commercials. He
started his company, Split Second Music, in Hawaii about a decade before
that, and now works out of Vista.
Aside from performing, producing and composing, Goodman keeps
experimenting with the range on his guitar.
He is working on adding yet another string.
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