We asked year 3 guitarist, Donnie Clark, to answer a few questions for us as we gear up for DON’T TURN DOWN: Guitar & Bass Show this Wednesday, February 27th at 7pm!
What is your background in music and education? When did you start studying at DIME Detroit?
My father influenced me to start playing guitar when I was 7 years old. From there, I was mostly self taught and practiced every day. My brother, RJ, is a lead singer and the two of us formed our first band when I was 11. We had many original songs and played many gigs until we disbanded a few years later. After playing in different groups and writing my own music for the next 4 years, my brother and I formed our most recent band Cicrus in 2015. I enrolled at DIME in 2016 because I knew it was time to gain some professional guidance to further my knowledge of music, performance, and business.
What are some of your musical influences?
My main musical influences are Marillion, King Crimson, Yes, Judas Priest, and Genesis. However, my biggest influence for guitar is Scott Henderson.
You are scheduled to perform at DIME DETROIT’s DON’T TURN DOWN: Guitar & Bass Show on Wednesday February 27th. What can we expect to see?
This Wednesday, you can expect to see a wide variety of amazing improvisational music ranging from jazz, blues, to heavy metal. There will be a perfect mixture of technicality and pure beauty.
Are you working on releasing any upcoming projects?
My band, Cicrus, is working on releasing our first, 6 song EP. Our music is a mixture of rock n’ roll and jazz fusion.
How has DIME DETROIT shaped you as a guitarist?
Dime has turned me into a very fluent guitarist. I have learned how to understand deep harmony and and how to approach music as an improviser. Dime has also taught me how to compliment lead singers and other musicians in a tasteful manner. The most important lesson I have learned from Dime is that context is everything. There are no specific rules that apply to all genres and all musical situations. You must have the ability to adapt to your current environment and serve the music’s interests before your own.
What advice would you give to someone that’s considering studying at DIME Detroit?
The advice I would give to someone who’s planning on attending DIME is to always deeply study the music that you are going to perform. Also, treat your rehearsals like you are showing up to a gig. Always show up knowing the music as well as you know your favorite songs and you will be successful!