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Why are you a guitarist

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Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

I lost my Mom last week at the age of 61. I played trumpet in school for awhile but my Mom tried to learn the guitar for years. She had two major issue though. Easily frustrated and little patients. She had a total of 9 guitars. 8 of them were destroyed due to smashing because she would litterally pull a Garth Brooks and smash them when she lost her temper. First two were very nice expensive guitars and as the guitars were being "Accidently" Smashed my father would by a new one although the price point was coming further and further down. Last November I told my wife that I wanted to take up an instrument again and was tossing and turning between a Guitar or the Piano. Once my mothers health took a turn for the worst I told myself that I was going to learn how to play the Guitar in honor or memory of my Mom, sounds lame I know but god honest truth. I have found an online resourse that has helped me alot. A Guitarist friend of mine loaned me a guitar until I could purchase my own. I have my Moms 9th Guitar which he went thru Last Night when I returned from the Seattle area, cleaned it up, restrung it and tuned it and all of this he did for free, then showed me I have a long way to go as he had asked how fast can you go from E to D in a minute. I did 19, he did like 70. Once I get feeling in my finger tips again I will be practicing. I have the A, D and E Chords and I have been practicing the transition between the three and I just realized that this is a long post for which I apologize for. So there is my story.

So why did you start playing?

Not real bright but, I can lift heavy things

Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 15

That's quite a story. I think it's cool that you are honoring your mom's memory by doing something she enjoyed; just make sure you enjoy it, too. There's a ton of great resources on this site, and it sounds like you've got a good resource in your friend. Just take your time and enjoy the journey, and I'm sure you'll be rewarded with what you're looking for.

As for why I play, I love rock music. I love a squealin' guitar, a singin' guitar, or a crunchin' guitar, and a good beat. I wanted something I could use as an artistic outlet for when life gets me stressed out that I could use to the benefit of friends and family. The guitar seems to be a pretty good answer so far for me.

"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right..." - Stewie Griffin

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 174

That's as good a reason as any to start.

But, really, I don't think a person has to have a reason to start playing guitar.

I continue to play guitar because unlike the alternative (heavy drinking) with time and practice on the guitar I get better.

(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1497

Why am I a guitarist? Same reason why I'm a saxophonist, flutist, wind synthesist, bassist, percussionist, and vocalist.

I love to play music and can't think of a better way to make a living.

It's the most fun I can have with my clothes on ;-)

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats >^. .^< >^. .^<

Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 9

I'll bet that there are a lot of people like you who began playing guitar as the result of a life-changing event.

As for me - It's always been something I thought would be fun to do, and I do have a serious affinity to guitar-based songs, both electric and acoustic. Less than a week ago, I had a bit of an epiphany (the event, not the guitar). I desperately needed a new hobby, and I then realized that now was my time to learn. So, at 31 years of age, I bought a basic 6-string acoustic and just started going through the motions.

And now, it feels like I should have been doing this years ago. I do believe I've found my 'thing', as it were. :)

And I think I like how the day sounds, through this new song. - Greg Laswell

Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1630

Welcome 2 you in sunny Fresno though I hope we don't have to start calling you Mud Slide Slim if it's gonna rain again. :shock:

Please excuse by unusual sense of humor, it's all a cover-up or a means to cope for going through a period of withdrawal, moving and depression, which is another topic here.

But I support you and am very happy that you are taking up the guitar, with so many ups and downs, and the loss in your family. Carry on and embrace it.

Since you asked, I took up guitar because I was sort of a singer - I was forced to do it by my mother. I hung around with musicians, tried guitars out, and played a few notes, since I had 2 ukeleles from a young age, also the vibraphone w/lessons, which was pretty far out. When I attended a concert, or a bar, extremely underaged, and many times around the age of 15, the boys in the band would force me up on stage to "play" with them. 'Scuse me, I never said I played or demonstrated that I could last for a whole song?

This happened much too frequently, and it was getting harder and harder to fake it, not to mention embarassing. So, I bought a book of chords, and a guitar BTW, and I guess between 2 days or 2 weeks (can't remember) was just keeping up to par, and playing where I should not have been, at the bar. :roll:

That became a solo gig and identity, and was all done in two weeks I CAN remember, playing Coffee Houses, Church Basements, in School before 1400 and bars by myself, for free, or pass-the hat-for a charity.

Other singers, especially girls with voices and without guitars requested my accompaniment, and a whole new world of venues and places and people opened up, for a kid, when I could make the time, because I worked too.

I hope that didn't put you to sleep. :lol: And Lord, I hope the creeks don't rise! All the best in your guitar quest. 8)

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3995

Sorry to hear that. And it's nice you have selected the guitar as instrument, your mum will like it.

I started many years ago, at school. I played some years and I changed to other instruments and other non-musical activities.

Some years ago, I was in Lisbon, Portugal. We were watching fado live in a restaurant. Usually fado is singed by a man or a woman with one or more guitars (classical/Spanish and Portuguese). While I was watching them, I remember what fun is playing guitar. Thus, when I got back at home, I picked my old guitar and started to play again.

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089

1. I love music. I always have. I want to be part of it.

2. I have a personal need to do something 90% of other people don't or wouldn't do; something they'd look up to me for. Someday I want to be good enough to play in front of people and "wow" them.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 10

I'm 35, and I was flipping channels and came across Iron Maiden Flight 666 on MTV HD. I decided to watch it because I had listened to them quite a bit when I was in middle school back when I was 12 or somewhere around then. It was cool to see they were still around, and somehow they sounded even better now than they did back then. The next two weeks were spent on ebay buying original pressings of every CD they released. I was a big fan again. Not only of just them, but all sorts of metal.

It was the guitars. I had never really played an instrument before, and I kept noticing any metal I was listening to, it was the aggressive guitars drawing my attention to the music. I find myself listening to genres with some indistinguishable lyrics but hot damn are the guitars sounding incredible.

Girlfriend asks what I want for Christmas. A bubble pops into my head of me jumping off a stage with a guitar in my hand.

Here I am.

What i'm really appreciating is that i'm totally digging blues guitar, and all the styles available to me. While my goal is to eventually just shred the crap out of this guitar, I am absolutely happy to be learning an instrument and having a whole world of different genres to explore and learn. Everything I've been learning has been FUN. What a great hobby.

Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 75

I wouldn't consider myself a "guitarist". I don't know much at all as of yet, though I can play a few songs now.

When I was 15 years old, my friend (who happens to be Brett Michael's cousin...) said to me, "Sit down right there, you have to hear this," as he plunked me down between the speakers of his new stereo system. He was showing off his new system, but for me it was the beginning of a life long love of a certain guitarist. He played Comfortably Numb and it was my first time hearing Pink Floyd and Gilmour's guitar. I have ever since wanted to learn to play the guitar and would have been perfectly happy to only be able to play Comfortably Numb.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later, after having every single Floyd and Gilmour CD I could get my hands on (multiple copies of The Wall and DSOTM on regular CD, gold CD, from box sets, The Wall on worn out VHS, a new VHS, on DVD, and currently also recorded on my satellite DVR along with my multiple copies of Pulse on CD, also on VHS, DVD, and on the DVR from VH1's broadcast of the 2nd half of the concert,) my wife bought me a guitar for Christmas (2005.) Unfortunately it was a cheapie acoustic of which I wasn't interested in at all.

I found this site and many others such as and learned to play the open chords and switch between them (not well). I started messing with barre chords and a string broke. Strings might be cheap, but to a single income family of 4 these past few years, there are more important things to spend money on when you are using credit just to pay for gas to get to work and such. Thus, the guitar was put in the case and left alone.

Now to the beginning of 2009, I watched a video, came back and read some of this forum which I had abandoned and got the itch to dust off the acoustic. The next day after work, I stopped and picked up a set of strings. I walked into the house and Wifey handed me a bag and said, "I heard you messing around downstairs last night with your guitar, I bought you some new strings." So now I had some new strings on the old girl as well as an extra set for when these ones broke without running 40 miles into town to buy them.

On Youtube, I found Gilmour's acoustic performance of Shine on You Crazy Diamond with a stunning intro. I found tab for the intro and between the tab and watching the video, I played around with it through the summer on the acoustic while the kids played in the pool. This was so exciting! I was playing David Gilmour music as well as figuring out the trick to barre chords with the chorus of that song. Now all I need to do is figure out how to sing without my fingers becoming all stupid, LOL.

Now we come into Christmas time of 2009. My wife says she wants to show me my Christmas present because they told her it was non-returnable and she was worried about it. I had the feeling that she bought me a guitar, but figured it was a cheapie (she had been looking at that Starcaster at Target.) She drug me to the bedroom and pulled out a wrapped box from under the bed and opened it up. There she was, a strat copy with a beautiful sunburst coloring. She had ran to town to a local shop and this is what they sold her. I pulled it out of the box and immediately started flying around with the barre chords, the same ones I had so much trouble holding down on the acoustic. It was so easy to play compared to what I was currently using with the acoustic. Just to let you know, the guitar is a Cort G200, for $200 it is a really nice guitar and I am loving it.

My wife got home and wrapped it immediately and finished wrapping it half an hour before I got home. She waited a whole 2 hours before she "had" to show it to me, LOL. That was 3 weeks before Christmas and a week to go I had to ask her to please wrap it back up. She works evenings and I was afraid the kids were going to catch me sending them downstairs to play on the computer while I snuck in and got it back out of the box, LOL. The kids didn't know she showed it too me and I had been teasing them for weeks asking if I got a guitar for Christmas. My 9 year old would say with clamped teeth, "You're NOT GETTING A GUITAR!!!!!" as she would sock me in the stomach.

So now we come to the current week where I am watching a video lesson on Comfortably Numb. Learning the chords were easy as moving from the acoustic to the electric is such a drastic change in my ability to hold a barre chord (Bm) and the 1st solo is short and I learned it pretty quick. I'm now about a quarter of the way into the 2nd and main solo as I'm finding the memorization to be a bit tougher with the length of the solo.

All in all, I am doing something that I vowed to do 23 years ago at the age of 15 and that is to play Comfortably Numb on the electric guitar.

Unfortunately, my next "Someday I am going to do that" from when I was young isn't going to be nearly as easy. Flying lessons are significantly more expensive than a fantastic quality inexpensive $200 guitar and $100 amp. I think I will just settle and stick with touring the world on the flight simulator on the computer in my Baron 58TC rather than take to the real skies.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348

I have to blame the Russians. they put up the first satellite into space. soon after that a new form of music was on the radio. I had a tiny transitor radio and one night I heard an electric guitar playing the instrumental 'Telstar'. I liked that sound. soon after that I saw Link Wray on the tiny black and white TV . he played another instrumental that went right inside me and thrilled me...I think the name was 'Rumble' or something like that.
I bought the 45 records and played them a lot. I pretend I had a guitar and danced around playing along. I didn't know that was to become 'air guitar'. my parents caught me many times doing that. they asked one day did I want to learn how to play guitar.
and yes. I did. forty plus years later I dance around in my room playing along with CDs. and I have a real guitar. in fact many guitars.
thanks Sputnik. thanks.

Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 549

Mezagog, that is a wonderful story, and I hope you and Mom's "Number Nine" find many years of happiness.

The Beatles on the Sullivan show was all it took for me. I was six years old, but I knew all those girls were screaming for some very interesting reason.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3709

I consider myself more of a guitar player that a guitarist .... but to make another very long story short ........

Just listen to Foriegner's "Juke Box Hero" and that sums it up.

P.S. Sorry to hear about your mom Mezagog ......... welcome to the board and good luck with the guitar. Give us a shout if you need help.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2736

It's the most fun I can have with my clothes on

And otherwise there is the awesome water park.

Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

Thanks for the responses guy and gals, seriously. Yeah my mom's last one is a Dixon DG18-N. My neighbor said that he like the sound and the action and stated that it would be a good one, which since I run a website for Mountain Biking I am guessing that the guitar world is like the Mountain Bike world as you have the Name Brands that everyone drools over and I am no exception, but there are "No Name" Brands that play just as good, so just as in Mountain Biking get what you can afford Master it to the best of your ability and safe your money for the Name Brand. I am starting at age 39 which just means I will be able to play a mean guitar just I have to leave the leather vest in the closet as by the time I have become extremely proficient I will be to old to wear just the leather vest out in public, but I will still buy one :lol: please keep the responses coming, I am finding that my fingers are recoving from the "pain" in the tips faster and faster so I think that is a good thing. Hoping to be able to hold out for a 45 minute practice session today, as I will be attempting to learn Three Little Birds after I do my finger dexterity excersizes with the guitar and then 5 minutes of Chord changes, I figure that should leave me 30 minutes to work on that song. Thanks for the words of encouragement it has meant more than you nice folks will ever know.



Not real bright but, I can lift heavy things

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