10 Questions with...David Reetz

Dave Faries

“I love what I do,” said David Reetz. What does he do? Well, for the past 28 years he has owned a music store – Mexico Music – on the downtown square, where he also offers music lessons. He has played in an award-winning family gospel band.

He earned a degree in music education from Central Methodist University. Oh, and he has been a high school teacher at Madison, North Callaway and part time for Community R-6. His subject? Yes, music.

Reetz plays guitar, bass, ukulele and other instruments. But his first love was jazz trombone.

1. Jazz trombone?

That’s what drew me to music. But it’s hard to keep working as a jazz trombone player.

2. How do you stay interested in music?

That’s a great question. I did carpentry for awhile, but the music got me back. Sailor’s hear the call of the sea. A lot of musicians burn out. If you’re not plugged in somehow you can lose interest. I’m learning to enjoy teaching kids. I wanted to perform, now that’s performance to me. God has kept me in music and it’s a rewarding thing.

3. But you’re also a small business owner.

That’s a challenge. There’s a lot I see now that I didn’t then.

4. Do you have a favorite musician?

I like them all. But the one who influenced me was Ron Anson. He led the CMU jazz band. When I was in high school, the CMU jazz band came to play at our school. He played in a style that was hip, yet connected to traditional jazz. I was blown away. How do you make those sounds?

5. So is jazz your favorite style of music?

The subject matter is important to me. I like country Christian and gospel. I write a lot of songs and most of them are Christian.

6. When you write, which comes first – lyrics or music?

It varies. Sometimes I hear a sound and I like it. Sometimes I have something to say and I have to find a sound to go with it.

7. How do your first lessons with students go?

I’ve taught guitar for 35 years. But until about five years ago, I had kids and adults say guitar is too hard and they’d quit. But then I discovered this [reaches for a ukulele]. This is a little guitar [plays a riff]. Beginning kids can do this [plays another]. You have to get them having fun. Nobody quits ukulele. They like it and they are making progress. Then they can go to six strings if they want.

8. Is there a point to a 12-string guitar?

Oh, yeah. That’s the beauty of art – there’s a purpose for everything. I’m fascinated now with the pedal steel guitar.

9. Is there an instrument you’re not interested in?

Not really. I do slide guitar, but I don’t practice it enough. I used to play mandolin and I know enough to get by, but a real mandolin player would know I’m not one.

10. What would you do if you weren’t in music?

Ministry, counseling – I want to help people. But I’d rather do that through music.



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