By Katelyn Hibbard
September 27, 2012
Think of today‘s stereotypical musician. You know the kind – anything to make a buck, right? Not for Dan Ford. In his mind, profit is not important.
“I don’t necessarily want to make a profit, just make the money to put back into [my musicianship],” Ford said. “I don’t want to make a business out of it, I just want more people to listen.”
Ford, a sophomore computer science major, picked up his first guitar when he was a high school sophomore. He taught himself how to play via YouTube tutorials and online guitar tabs. He started by covering some of his favorite songs and eventually trained himself to sing along. He wrote his first original just a year later, as a junior.
“It’s very hard to sing while concentrating on playing the right chords,” Ford said. “Especially when you’re a lefty playing a right-handed guitar.”
Ford received his first guitar as a gift from his uncle – who did not know at the time that Ford is left handed. Being a lefty with a right-handed guitar means that strumming is harder to control. When he first started playing and singing simultaneously, Ford said his strumming was often broken up and was sometimes too hard or soft. But he stuck with it.
“I had friends who played a lot, and I wanted to play with them,” he said.
While Ford has played in a couple of bands over the last few years, he is now focusing on his acoustic project, “Daaronin.” He recorded his first self-titled EP and completed it in June of this year. There are 14 tracks – 11 original songs along with three covers. Since this semester began, Ford has sold over 20 albums and is now in the process of designing and ordering tee-shirts.
Ford’s fan base not only includes his hometown heroes – mom and dad – but also many LHU students and community members thanks to Avenue 209’s open-mic nights. Open mic nights occur every Wednesday, and Ford performs as often as possible.
Thanks to YouTube and its yearly VidCon, Ford also has friends across the US and in Canada. In fact, Ford played his first show at VidCon in Los Angeles. For someone who used to be quite shy, he said, this was a difficult experience.
“I played for a couple groups of about 50 people,” Ford explained. “It was a big jump – going from not playing in front of people to playing in front of so many.”
Ford said he’s come a long way since then, thanks to making YouTube videos.
“It might not be helpful for everyone, but knowing that people were watching me and really listening helped me gain confidence and better people skills,” he said. “It feels good to be able to express myself in front of people,” he added.
“Daaronin”’s latest project is a remake of the famous ‘90s grunge rock band Marcy Playground’s debut self-titled album, in light of their recent break up. His recordings can be found on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Daaronin.
“[Marcy Playground’s self-titled] has been my favorite album for most of my life, and I’d like to think I can do it justice,” Ford said.