This is about my hobby: GOOD VIBES
I like tinkering with upgrades and creating new inventions for improving vibraphone frames for myself and other artists. On my days off from writing, recording, playing music, working my day gig in the E.R. or teaching EMT and Paramedics at a local college, I design, build and upgrade new parts and old vibraphones to become what I believe are the best playing and sounding vibraphone frames in the world.
When I returned from Antarctica in October 2020, I officially launched GOOD VIBES at www.PIPERvibe.com. Good Vibes at PIPERvibe.com originate with an idea and accomplished in part by your donations. I love the good vibes feeling I get when I do something nice for someone else. I love working on vibraphones and helping others who need it so I combine it into what I now consider my hobby - spreading "Good Vibes".... literally and metaphorically.
GOOD VIBES PROJECT I (completed 1/25/2022)
My first project was to help vibraphonist Jen Martinez-Bre. Jen was born with a spinal condition called Klippel-Feil Syndrome. This disorder makes playing music for her very difficult but she found that the vibraphone was something she loves. Unfortunately one of the issues with Klippel-Feil Syndrome is that it causes her to be short stature. Jen had to play standing on reams of paper to raised her height so she could play the vibraphone. Standing on reams of paper made her also have to tape smaller boxes or pegs to the of the pedal to raise reach her foot while standing on the paper reams. Not only is this uncomfortable for Jen, it’s dangerous.
Jen contacted the major vibraphone manufacturing companies about her challenge and they could not help her. When she heard about my Good Vibes program she contacted me and I immediately went to work on her project (see photo). We found a very nice used Musser M55 for sale in Northern Illinois that would be perfect to transform to what Jen now calls, ‘Tiny Vibe’.
I drove to Northern Illinois, and transported the vibraphone back to my shop in Denton Texas where I could work on it. “Tiny Vibe” was completed 01/25/2022. The final cost was over 7,000 dollars including transporting, purchasing, and upgrading/repairing it. GOOD VIBES DONATIONS from people who also like to spread Good Vibes, paid for $5147.00 of that cost. (thank you to donors). In addition, I don't charge for my time designing, repairing or driving to transporting.
I transported the instrument from Denton, Tx to Miami Florida and dropped it off to Jen personally. Jen agreed to sell her Yamaha vibe to help offset the remaining costs not raised by GOOD VIBES but when I met Jen, I gave her an additional gift and told her I was covering the remaining balance. It provided me with additional“Good Vibes” to see her face and meet her in person.
The completed Tiny Vibe Operating Instructions can be seen here:
GOOD VIBES PROJECT II: (Completed 7/29/2022)
The second project was for Destin Ramos who has the opposite problem playing the vibraphone. He is tall at 6’4” and had a atrocious, very abused Musser M55 Marching vibraphone that he was able to purchase very cheap from a high school. The bars and resonators were fine but the harp had cracked rail or two and the bar posts were bent or missing and the pedal was in also very bad. Also the damper hinges were held together by wire and the holes were worn out that caused a tapping sound when applying the pedal. All these things were improved, the frame was raised the Destin’s exact specifications.
Good Vibes raised $800.00 to help pay for the upgrades for Destin. Destin donated the leg frame from the marching version of his instrument and it makes a GREAT saw table!
Here’s a very nice video of Destin playing his “Tall, Customized, Good Vibes Funded “Tall Vibe”.
GOOD VIBES PROJECT III: UNLV student Ryan Bond will receive the instrument when work is complete December 2022.
Good vibes project III is in progress and coming to a close December 1 2022. A very nice Musser M55 Pro Vibe vintage 1976 vibraphone was donated to me by Ken Hall. Ken is a man with a very kind heart and believes in the Good Vibes Concept and helping others. He contacted me with his intention to donate his vibe to me to choose a dedicated student of the vibraphone who could use a helping hand and give it to that person FREE. The instrument’s bars are pristine, A440 and I’d love to keep them for myself (as would any good pro player would) but these beautiful bars will be placed on an upgraded M55 frame for a student.
I decided (with Ken’s Blessing) that rather than me choosing a student to receive the instrument, I’d allow vibraphone instructors from around the USA to nominate a student who deserves the helping hand. We have 15 students nominated. I use the current donations from “GOOD VIBES” to help pay for the repairs and upgrades for the frame and resonators. Each person who donates by purchasing “GOOD VIBES” from my website receives an email from me with the instructor recommendations to vote for the one they would like the instrument to go to. I won’t place a vote unless there’s a tie at the end.
This campaign ends December 1 when I’ll announce the winning student selected by donor’s votes.
Here’s where you can learn more about GOOD VIBES PROJECT III - The M55 student give away.
After I get caught up financially from this one, I’ll be looking for my next
GOOD VIBES PROJECT IV and I’m open to your suggestions.
Thank you for your support financially, spiritually and just sharing kind words to spread good vibes.
Good Vibes make you feel real good. It's not a pill or a drink or anything you can put in your pocket or bank account. It's a feeling you get when you do good things.