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FAQs & Tunings | Sheltered Turtle

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page! If you have a question, comment, or simply want to say, “Hi,” swing by my Facebook page and drop me a line! I make an effort to answer every post. Cheers!

Q. What’s your live rig?

A. I’m always tweaking, experimenting, and changing, but here’s my current rig:

— Custom Stonebridge SJ 22 C-GS-C

Strings: John Pearse 700M Medium Phosphor Bronze
Tuning mechanism: Grover 106 Locking Rotomatic tuners
Pickups: Miniflex 2Mic (Model 1) & JJB Prestige 330
Preamp: Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre (preamp)

— The Engle Guitar Hammer
— Gator guitar stand
— John Pearse armrest (rosewood)
— John Pearse brass bridge pin

— Korg SV1-88
— Yamaha Tyros (1st generation)
— Casio Privia PX-320

Q. Where the heck does the name “Sheltered Turtle” come from?

A. The short version: it was a MySpace (I know, I know, haha) name that wasn’t taken.

The full version is a bit of a long story. Turtles have always been a part of my life. My childhood after moving to the US for the first time was during the heyday of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (Leonardo was my favorite). The first movie I ever saw in theaters was turtle-powered! I’ve had baby turtles fall out of the sky into my life TWICE. Both were dropped by predatory birds. I found an adorable box turtle inside my garbage can and several more in my yard. I’ve saved turtles from being run over by cars several occassions. I rehabilitated a couple of turtles after someone anonymously dropped them off at my school. While traveling through Hawai’i, I’ve had families of green sea turtles appear on a handful of the beaches I went to. And so on, and so on. People who are into spirituality speculate that the turtle is my spirit animal and that it’s befitting of me as my totem. Of course, this has lead to no shortage of ridicule and an overwhelming outpouring of turtle-related gifts. So yeah. Turtle.

As for the sheltered part, it was a punny play-on-words that also relfected my frustration with how sheltered I was from the realities of the “real world,” teen angst and all. Since then, I’ve made it a point to try not to let ignorance shelter me from the very different lives people lead, both good and bad. I’ve been fortunate to have lived a relatively safe and privileged life around the world, so the name helps remind me to not take things for granted and to try and see issues from a position of compassion rather than quick, impulsive judgement.

Since then, the name’s just stuck.

A little more (some of it is repeat info):

While the origins of the name “Sheltered Turtle” is a lengthy tale, the spirit of its significance is simple. The turtle is an animal that often symbolizes wisdom, patience, and persistence. “Sheltered,” is both a play on words as well as a playful reminder that like a turtle, we always carry the means to adversely shelter ourselves both intellectually as well as emotionally. Often, the arts in its infinite variety is what challenges us to venture forth from comfortable ignorance and discover new and fulfilling ways of perceiving and living life! Sheltered Turtle seeks to collaborate with like-minded artists from all disciplines who strive to create art as a positive force.

Q. What tuning do you use in ___ song?

A. I’m in the process of tabbing out all of my compositions. It’s a long an arduous process, but join my mailing list if you’d like to know when they’re available! Alternatively, you can sign-up for Skype/Google Hangout lessons and have me just teach it to you.

Runaway Sketchbook (2013)

  1. Aimless (CGDFBbD)
  2. Autodidactic Pedagogy (CGDFBbD)
  3. Yearning (CGCGCE)
  4. April Sakura (DADGAD)
  5. Yin Elegy (DADFBD)
  6. Puppies (CGCGCE)
  7. Hayfever (CGCGCEb)
  8. Warm Returns (CGCGCE)
  9. To Be Again (DADGAD)
  10. Tadpoles & Ice Cream (DADGAD)

Meridian Eclipse (2014)

  1. Polisar Porch (CGCGCE)
  2. Ithaca … In America! (DADGCE)
  3. Lexington Park (CGCGCE)
  4. Merlynd (DADFBD)
  5. The Stalker (DADFCD)
  6. Swimming Upstream (DADFCD)
  7. Unsung Heroes (DADFCD)
  8. I Spilled Soup On My Shirt (CGCGBE)
  9. Overcoming Sickness (DADGCE)
  10. Chasing Muse (DADGAD)
  11. Cracked Mirrors (DADFCD)
  12. The Six Years (DADFBD)


Alexis is Better (DADGCE)
Broken Arms, Broken Neck, Mended Heart (CGDGAD)
Canadian Catapult (CGDFBbD)
Dark Synthesis (DADFCE)
Gnarly Grove (DACGCE)
Hara, Hal, Imo (DACGCE)
Monterey by the Bay (Standard)
Sketches (CGDFBD)
Soul Storm (DADFCE)
Steps (CGDFBD)
Storm’s Coming (DADGCE)
This One Time Mike Moss Slapped Me (DADGAD)
Trails (DADGAD)
Wet Paint (CGCGCE)
When Dedication Disappears (DADGAD)
Why We Love (CGDGAD)

Q. How many instruments do you play?

A. If we’re talking sheer quantity, I’m willing to play them all! Some people have sports, others have video games, cats, fashion, clubbing, partying, etc. My idea of fun is teaching myself a new instrument and being able to play it well enough to jam with others and teach it to any who are interested. Piano/keyboard is by far my best instrument followed by guitar and then percussion. I’ve taught myself to play an ever growing list of random instruments: accordion, drum kit, bass guitar, cajon, djembe, congas, bongos, doumbek, darbuka, tambourine, Native American flute, tin penny whistle, bamboo whistle, recorder, ocarina, baritone, trombone, violin, kalimba, oud, with hopefully many more to come. Vocally, I enjoy singing harmony more than lead and am familiar with screaming (yup, I’m a metal head), scat, and beatboxing. I’m terrible at rapping mostly because I don’t really practice it. I hope to one day be formally trained in air guitar.