Russ picked up his first guitar in a class at Mt. Diablo H.S. in Concord CA when he was 15 years old. He continued with that class for 3 years until he graduated. Guitar remained a fun hobby while he concentrated on playing semi-pro soccer. It all changed when Russ turned 20. He gave up soccer in lieu of a serious study of guitar. He took private lessons on and off for a few years with Joe Satriani and others. In 1988 Russ started taking performance music classes at Los Medanos College. The classes included Jazz Studio Band, Jazz Rock Improv, and The Funkaphonics performance band. Russ' first band was named RRAJ, pronounced rage. He was 22 when he and friends put together the progressive rock instrumental band. They played gigs around the Bay Area. Russ' next band was Navar, an 80's rock band. After that Russ made the move from original bands to cover bands. He played in various bands, including Uncle Melvin, until 1995, when he joined Face Plant, an original band. Face Plant released a 6 song E.P. and played many local venues. They were spotlighted in the "Local Scene" section of BAM Magazine as promising new talent. 1997 brought Russ' return to cover bands. In 2000, Russ and Uncle Melvin traveled to New York City to compete in VH1's Cover Wars. From August of 2004 to the present, Russ has been playing with the bands The Switch and The Pam Hawkins Group. I am currently organizing a band to support my up and coming CD "The Endless Journey" in 2007 and will also be hosting clinics for Hamer Guitars. Check out my website at russpettit.com for updates on my future plans.