Rick Shaw is the bassist for Johnny Mathis, Gordon Goodwin’s Phat Band and lot’s of others.

Music is food for the soul and therapy for whatever ails you, and breathing problems are no exception. Playing an instrument has been a sanity-saving hobby for me. No matter how bad my breathing is, when I sit down to play or learn a new song, I get lost in the moment and always feel better.

Playing an instrument like the bass can be quite challenging at times, because the medication I take causes painful muscle cramps in my hands, making it hard for me to bend my fingers, especially my pinky fingers. But just like everything else in my life, I find ways to adapt.

I love all kinds of music styles, but being bass oriented I tend to lean more towards jazz, swing and pop, or anything with a good beat to it. Below are a few videos of me playing along to various big band backing tracks. Most of them were recorded originally on upright acoustic bass, I do my best to emulate that sound with my electric guitar.

A special thank you to Rick Shaw, Gordon Goodwin, Kris Berg Jeff Jarvis, Sammy Nestico, Victor Lopez, Paul Clark, Alan Baylock, Doug Beach, Alfred, Kendor, Barnhouse publishing, and many many others for their musical talent and educational contributions.

If you suffer from a chronic illness, or even if you don’t, I encourage you to seek out a hobby. One that lifts your spirits and helps free you from your health struggles….at least temporarily. There are times when Ill start playing a song feeling like pure crap, only to get lost in the music and feel pretty good again. It’s amazing how that happens.

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