Bio

Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, Bill started playing guitar as a teenager.  He quickly became obsessed with the instrument, spending ridiculous amounts of hours daily teaching himself how to play.  His first big influence was the great Randy Rhoads as well as George Lynch and Jake E. Lee.  Soon after, Bill became interested in "shred" players such as Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker and Yngwie Malmsteen.  Bill credits Paul Gilbert's "Intense Rock" video lesson as the biggest influence on improving his technical ability.  His competitive nature compelled him to enter guitar competitions, though he was still considered a "beginner" by most standards.

Having technical ability was nice, but Bill soon realized he needed to understand the theory behind it in order for his playing to advance to the next level.  Local instructors Chuck Johnston and Bill Duff aided in the understanding of theory, scales, modes and chord composition.  A desire to learn more ultimately pushed Bill to move to Hollywood, CA to attend the Musician's Institute.

Due to a tragedy in the family, Bill had to leave California and move to Houston, Texas for a few years, which led to being discovered at an open mic night, and becoming a "hired gun" by oldies band The Drifters for a three month tour of Japan and Okinawa.  In addition, Bill played in several Rock and Metal bands while in Houston.

After relocating back to Pittsburgh, Bill was in many bands, ranging from Rock and Metal, to more diverse styles such as country, pop and funk.  He also learned valuable sound engineering skills both live and in the studio.  In 1996 the student was asked to become the teacher, and Bill began giving lessons for a six year period at a local music store.  In 2013 Bill moved to Florida and currently resides there with his family.

Bill is still very active musically and plays in multiple bands, performing both original and cover material.  He also enjoys collaborating in writing and recording with other artists, as well as touring as a hired gun.

Personal Accomplishments

1990:  5th place Pittsburgh Guitar Wars

1992: Attended Musician's Institute (Hollywood, CA)

1992-1993: Toured Japan and Okinawa as guitarist for world famous oldies band, The Drifters

1993: 2nd Place, Houston Guitar Master Series

1995: 1st Place. Pittsburgh Guitar Wars

1995: Attended Duquesne University, Summer Music Workshop

1998: Guitar Player Magazine, 30th Anniversary Competition Winner (Best Metal Guitarist)

2003: 1st Place, Pittsburgh Guitarmageddon.  Sponsored by Guitar Center

Other Stuff

  • DOB:  January 25

  • Favorite Band:  Led Zeppelin

  • Other Favorite Bands:  The Beatles, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Queensryche, Racer X, Megadeth, Nevermore, Sanctuary, Badlands, Alice In Chains, Big Wreck

  • What music do you listen to that would surprise people?  Frank Sinatra, The Bee Gees, Chicago, Hall & Oates

  • Favorite Guitarists:  Randy Rhoads, Paul Gilbert, George Lynch, Jake E Lee, Jason Becker, Jeff Loomis, Nuno Bettencourt, John Petrucci, Ian Thornley

  • Favorite Movies:  The Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas

  • "Desert Island" Album:  Toss-up between Houses of the Holy or Physical Graffiti

  • Other interests:  Computer Programming, Drag Racing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Photography


Bill proudly uses and endorses SIT Strings.  www.SITStrings.com

 

©2021 by Bill Staley - Guitarist.