The Leatherbacks, Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

The Leatherbacks were formed in 1997 by American guitarist – vocalist Nick D’Amico in the Costa Rican beach town of Tamarindo.
Since their inception they have steadily gained a reputation as one of the best rock n’ roll bands in the country.

Fueled by their intense passion for playing (and maybe a couple shots of tequila), they’ve
become well known for their exciting improvisational skills, seamlessly pulling off crowd pleasing spontaneous jams within the framework of their classic rock, funk, blues and reggae set list.

“We’ve had some great lineups in the past” says Nick, “but this one’s the best”.
Nick is joined by Canadian guitarist-vocalist Brian Burback, who brought his amazing chops to the Leatherbacks in 2005.The bands rhythm section consists of Venezuelan percussionist Roy Fonseca , Costa Ricans Pedro Golobios on bass and Jose Canales on drums, each capable of smoking solos, as well as butt-shakin’ grooves.

Whether covering the classics or performing original material from their latest CD, playing some of the largest venues in the country, private events or rocking the beach towns up and down the coast, The Leatherbacks will pack the house….. then blow the roof off.the-leatherbacks

La banda The Leatherbacks (las Baulas) fue formada in 1997 por el guitarrista-vocalista principal Norteamericano Nick D’Amico en el pueblo costarricense de Playa Tamarindo.
Desde su inicio ellos han consolidado la reputación de ser una de las mejores bandas de Rock and Roll en el país.Inyectados por su intensa pasión por tocar música “(y talvez por un par de tequilas)” se dieron a conocer bien por sus emotivas destrezas al improvisar, sin dejar rastro cautivando el interés de los oyentes y deleitándolos con sus toques espontáneos dentro del marco de los géneros musicales de su lista de canciones de Rock Clásico, Funk, Blues, y Reggae.“Hemos tenido algunas buenas alineaciones en el pasado” dice Nick, “pero esta es la mejor”.
Nick es acompañado por el guitarrista-vocalista Canadiense Brian Burback, quien trajo con el sus interesantes tonos a los Leatherbacks en el 2005.
La Sección Rítmica de la banda la forma el percusionista Venezolano Roy Fonseca.
El bajista Pedro Golobios y Jose (pitilo) Canales en la batería, ambos Costarricenses.
Cada uno de estos complementa la banda con -muy buenos-solos, así como ritmos movidos y contagiosos.

Ya sea tocando los clásicos o su material original, tocando en algunos de los mas grandes escenarios del país, eventos privados o “rockiando los pueblos costeros de arriba a abajo, Los Leatherbacks llenaran el lugar….y después tiraran el techo abajo.


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Guitar Shredding & Speed: Tips & Tricks with Chris Zoupa

In this lesson I cover a few key points to answer the FAQ “How do I get faster?”

1. Picking radius
2. Chromatics and Pentatonic exercises
3. Avoid economy picking in early stages!
4. Metronome and pulse especially for triplets
5. Pick choice/choosing the pick for you
BONUS TIP: Tone clean or distorted?

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7 Mistakes Guitar Players Make – Online Guitar Lessons

FREE Series: How To Change Chords Smoothly »
This online guitar lesson covers seven mistakes guitar players make and how to correct them. These tips apply to guitarists of all skill levels from complete beginners to experienced professionals.

If you are just getting started on the guitar, these tips are going to help you avoid bad practice habits so you can make progress faster. If you’ve been playing for a while, these tips are going to help you get some bad habits out of your practice routine, so you can make faster progress too.

The Leatherback Turtles of Trinidad

Is there another animal that appears more often in human mythology, folklore, and literature than the turtle and its land dwelling cousin, the tortoise? They have variously stood for wisdom, tenacity, longevity, fertility, or stability in cultures around the world. The leatherback is the largest of all living turtles, the male up to 900 kgs and 3 m. It feeds mostly on jellyfish and lives up to 45 years (a disputed number). Unlike other turtles, it lacks a bony shell but has a hard leathery skin. That plus its powerful flippers and hydrodynamic body allow it to dive down to 1400 m and swim as fast as 35 kmph. Given its large size, its natural predators include only sharks, killer whales, and now humans.

Surviving as a species for an astounding 150 million years (modern humans arrived 0.2 million years ago), through big extinction events like the one that killed the dinosaurs, it is now endangered by human activity: entrapment in commercial fishing gear; poaching for meat on nesting beaches; consumption of turtle eggs as a delicacy or for their (non-existent) aphrodisiacal properties; coastal development near nesting sites (lights, noise, and worse); and the turtles mistaking marine plastic waste for jellyfish.

The leatherbacks often travel thousands of miles each year to feeding sites. They mate at sea and while the male never returns to land, the female, quite amazingly, returns to spawn on the very beach where she was born. Most scientific studies are therefore based on the female. How she returns to her birthplace without a GPS device is not conclusive, though the best theories posit at least a sensory apparatus for the earth’s magnetic field, not unlike many migratory birds. Quite possibly, the geomagnetic coordinates of their natal beach are encoded into the hatchlings long before they reach the sea, and the adult female navigates to it the rest of her life. Indeed, the leatherbacks we saw were all returning to their ancestral home. So the loss of turtle nesting habitat has led directly to a decline in their numbers. This has led to more jellyfish, which eat large quantities of fish larvae, contributing to a drop in fish populations.

Removing a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nostril – Short Version

While on a research project in Costa Rica, Nathan J. Robinson removed a 10 cm (4 in) plastic straw that was entirely embedded into the nostril of an olive ridley sea turtle. Lamentably, this is a consequence of the world of single-use, non-biodegradable plastic that we currently live in.

There is a solution and it lies in our own decisions. Please say no to all single-use plastic. Every plastic straw, plastic bag, or plastic bottle that ends up in the oceans could mean the difference between life or death for any number of marine animals.

Video taken by: Christine Figgener.

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth, growing up to seven feet (two meters) long and exceeding 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). These reptilian relics are the only remaining representatives of a family of turtles that traces its evolutionary roots back more than 100 million years. Once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, the leatherback population is rapidly declining in many parts of the world.

While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the inky-blue carapace of the leatherback is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. Ridges along the carapace help give it a more hydrodynamic structure. Leatherbacks can dive to depths of 4,200 feet (1,280 meters)—deeper than any other turtle—and can stay down for up to 85 minutes.

Leatherbacks have the widest global distribution of all reptile species, and possibly of any vertebrate. They can be found in the tropic and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Adult leatherbacks also traverse as far north as Canada and Norway and as far south as New Zealand and South America. Unlike their reptilian relatives, leatherbacks are able to maintain warm body temperatures in cold water by using a unique set of adaptations that allows them to both generate and retain body heat. These adaptations include large body size, changes in swimming activity and blood flow, and a thick layer of fat.

Leatherbacks undertake the longest migrations between breeding and feeding areas of any sea turtle, averaging 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) each way. After mating at sea, females come ashore during the breeding season to nest. The nighttime ritual involves excavating a hole in the sand, depositing around 80 eggs, filling the nest, leaving a large, disturbed area of sand that makes detection by predators difficult, and finally returning to the sea.

The temperature inside the nest determines the sex of the hatchlings. A mix of male and female hatchlings occurs when the nest temperature is approximately 85.1 degrees Fahrenheit (29.5 degrees Celsius), while higher temperatures produce females and cooler temperatures produce males. Female hatchlings that make it to sea will roam the oceans until they reach sexual maturity, when they return to the same nesting areas to produce their own offspring. Males spend the rest of their lives at sea.

Their lifespan is unknown but many leatherbacks meet an early end due to human activity. It is estimated that only about one in a thousand leatherback hatchlings survive to adulthood. Eggs are often taken by humans from nests to be consumed for subsistence or as aphrodisiacs. Many leatherbacks fall victim to fishing lines and nets, or are struck by boats. Leatherbacks also can die if they ingest floating plastic debris mistaken for their favorite food: jellyfish. Some individuals have been found to have almost 11 pounds (5 kilograms) of plastic in their stomachs.

Leatherbacks are currently designated as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The number of leatherbacks in the Atlantic appears to be stable or increasing, but the Pacific population is declining at an alarming rate due to egg harvest, fishery bycatch, coastal development, and highly variable food availability. Some Pacific populations have disappeared entirely from certain areas, such as Malaysia.

Scientists around the world are tracking and studying leatherbacks to learn more about these reptilian giants and how they can be saved.


Life Cycle of Leatherbacks

The leatherback life cycle begins with a female turtle laying eggs on a nesting beach. Females stay close to shore in “internesting habitats” for 3-4 months and make repeated visits at 10-day intervals to lay eggs. Adult females depart for pelagic habitats to forage and remain there for an average “remigration interval” of 2-5 years until they return to nest once again.

About 55-60 days after the female lays eggs, hatchling turtles emerge from their nests, head to the sea and follow ocean currents to pelagic nursery habitats, where they search for food and seek refuge from predators. Scientists refer to this time period as “the lost years”, since finding hatchlings and juveniles to study in the open ocean is difficult.

After 15-25 years leatherbacks reach maturity. Mature female turtles return to their natal beaches for nesting, but adult male turtles live entirely at sea.


Female leatherbacks usually lay their eggs at night. Nesting turtles may decide not to nest if there are too many lights onshore. Those that come ashore seek nesting sites free of debris (tree limbs). If the turtle does not find a suitable site for her nest, she may return to the ocean without laying.

Leatherbacks carve out an egg chamber about 75 centimeters (inches) deep in the sand, where they deposit 65-115 eggs. (East Pacific leatherbacks are known to lay fewer eggs than their counterparts in the Atlantic.) Only 85 percent of these eggs are viable, as some have no yolk to develop into an embryo.

A leatherback can lay 7 to 11 individual nests per season, laying a new nest every 10 days. Between nesting seasons, females will spend 3-4 years feeding to build up enough energy to nest again. Older females typically lay more nests with more eggs than turtles that have recently reached maturity.

The sex of turtle eggs is determined by the temperature of the nest. During the middle third of incubation (days 20-40) the temperature within the nest determines the ratio of males to females; warmer temperatures mean more females while cooler temperatures yield more males.

After an incubation period of 60 days the eggs will begin to hatch. The hatchling turtles must emerge from the nest and make their way to the ocean. Ten percent of hatchlings will be eaten by seabirds, crabs, reptiles and mammals on the beach. Only 25 percent of hatchlings will make it through their first few days in the ocean. Just 6 percent of hatchlings will survive their first year.


Although leatherback turtles nest in the tropics, they principally feed (also called foraging) in cold waters far from the equator, such as those of Chile, California, Canada, northern Europe, southern Africa and New Zealand. These areas are most abundant in jellyfish, which are a primary food source for leatherback turtles.

Scientists divide leatherbacks into seven subpopulations: East Pacific Ocean, West Pacific Ocean, Northwest Atlantic Ocean, Southeast Atlantic Ocean, Southwest Atlantic Ocean, Northeast Indian Ocean, and Southwest Indian Ocean.

We do not know how leatherback turtles navigate the great distances between their feeding grounds and their nesting beaches. However, we do know that turtles follow common paths between nesting and feeding habitats. Scientists refer to these paths as migration corridors.


The Videos

The Leatherbacks at Coconutz

The Leatherbacks of Tamarindo jamming on our Tequila Stage at Coconutz Sports Bar & Eatery. leatherbacks, live music, coconutx, playas del coco, sports bar, guanacaste

Donnie Walsh “Downchild Blues Band” & the Leatherbacks

Another Saturday night with great live music at the Bar La Vida Loca in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica.

The Leatherbacks 2016 LA Vida Loca

The Leatherbacks at LaVida Loca….Feb 13 2016

Jose Canales, The Leatherbacks’ Drummer

joseJose Canales, better known as “Pitilo”, was born and raised in Filadelfia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica and started playing drums at 7 years old.

At age 20 he moved to San Jose, where he studied music and began performing with the most well known bands in the country including Kike de Heredia, Taboga Band, La Mafia, Pimienta Negra and la Pandilla.

He’s shared the stage with many notable internationally known musicians and has been involved in different Latin music projects in the United States.

After returning to Costa Rica Jose continued playing and joined ‘The Leatherbacks’ in 2007.

José Canales conocido en el ambiente musical como “Pitilo”, nace en Filadelfia, Guanacaste.

Tiene su primer contacto con la batería a los 7 anos, a los 10 integra grupo musical infantil y ya a los 13 integra una banda con músicos adultos.

En sus 20 emigra a estudiar música a San José y empieza a tocar con los mejores grupos musicales entre ellos Kike de Heredia, Taboga Band, La Mafia, Pimienta Negra y la Pandilla.

Se va a Estados Unidos por alrededor del 2005 y participa en proyectos musicales latinos, en escenarios en New York. El Desfile De La Hispanidad, el Festival de Salsa en Washington DC……..

Ya de regreso a Costa Rica es parte de diferentes festivales de Jazz, y sigue con la música hasta que se encuentra con otro proyecto, esta vez de rock, con la banda ‘The Leatherbacks’.