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The Beautiful instrument


(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

Okay well I am referencing guitar in the title :P For me it is electric guitar in particular, I just want this topic to be about personal stories of how we came to want to play the guitar...... or if it's not your first instrument perhaps we talk about that first then how you came to guitar?

I first wanted to play music when I was in Junior school, I asked my parents if I could have drum lessons. Well..... the drum lesson consisted of reading rhythms from music and playing them on a snare (it is only recent that I have learnt to read music, just didn't sink in, the first time I could do it I was about 18 - so that's about 8 years ago lol, maybe not so recent now)
My practice "tool" at home was two sticks and a rubber pad, I quickly lost interest and when my parents said "would you like a drum kit now?" I was too honest and said I didn't want it, I feel now that if I had got it I may have actually learnt eventually - but who knows then, I might not be playing guitar? I might do both I guess but who knows.

Then in high school around 1997, I heard Metallica - Reload, that got me turned onto heavy rock. I then heard other bands such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and most importantly I was asked by a high school friend "have you ever heard Jimi Hendrix?" and I said "who?" well I remembered the name and asked my Dad if he knew who he was I think he was a bit like and he bought me "Experience Hendrix" a great compilation disc spanning his career. All these guitar bands blew my little mind and I REALLY wanted to play guitar. Someone wanted me to play in a band though and I offered to play bass, I convinced my parents that Bass was easier on my fingers (I have eczema) and they took the plunge and got me a bass. After about a year I started playing on a guitar that my sister had, I quickly decided I'd like to play electric and got a guitar from our local guitar shop for £60 (which I saw on sale recently in a cheapo store for £200!!! They overcharge for junk in that shop).

So those 90s guitar bands and Hendrix were the main reason I played, I joined a classic rock band with other people my age in 2000s and I learn't an awful lot from that too. I'm glad electric guitar is the instrument I chose, I love it and it gives me so much joy to play it, it is; "The Beautiful instrument" to me.

So whats your story?

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

Every couple of years this thread comes up...and it's an enjoyable one to read through.

I was born in metro NYC. Both my parents are from Southern Italy. My dad got a tailor & drycleaning shop happening (in New Rochelle) with a WW2 buddy...something they had decided to do if they survived all those HORRIBLE Pacific battles. The shop's clothes presser was a really nice black lady that "ruled the radio dial". She got the Wops in the shop well and truly hooked on Motown, Chicago and even rudimentary delta blues...such a contrast to what you'd THINK Calabrese tailors would ever like!

She talked my dad into buying me my first guitar...which I still have...a '61 Harmony bobkat.

All three of my sons learned their first E chord on it...and it's put away for a grandchild (I hope!!!)...

That little wop is sorely missed. But time doesn't stand still...I'm hitting 61 on Sunday. If he didn't get that Harmony for me I really cannot fathom what other sort of life I'd have. Miss ya Pop!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

I was a teenager in the 1970s, and that meant the radio was full of Slade, Marc Bolan, Sweet, early Queen and David Bowie. Later on we got The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Clash, TRB and others.

We all thought we could be pop stars. I went the next step and asked my parents for a guitar I'd seen in the shop near my School. Two years later my first electric turned up with a David Bowie songbook. The first song I played all the way through was probably Jean Genie.

Life got in the way, so I never actually turned fully pro until 2009. I remember splitting up from the first Mrs Green, and sitting in my apartment one night I started thinking how I'd like to get back into some serious guitar and that's when I went the classical route.

Man, what a ride. The Les Paul gets more gigs now than it ever did and my solo classical guitar show plays to small but enthusiastic audiences.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@johnw2738)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1
 

For sure it is a very beautiful instrument, who ever created it R.I.P, it helps me so much to cheer ma mood up..

Asim Jofa Lawn


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 Crow
(@crow)
Honorable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 554
 

Recently remembered my first encounter with the guitar. My nephew, three years younger than me, had two guitars -- a red Harmony semi-hollowbody and an acoustic flat-top -- and a Mel Bay book. When we visited my brother's house I would hole up with a guitar and the Mel Bay book, learning how to tune it, putting my fingers where the dots were.... Then one day a song was on the radio, and I recognized a chord that was shaped like a first-position D major... but when I duplicated it on the guitar, it wasn't right until I slid it up the neck a few frets. Hey, these chords can move around! Cool! By the last chorus I was "playing along" in a crude way -- not knowing what I was doing, but I was in the right key & finding the I-IV-V patterns, slowly but surely. The song was "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" by Bob Dylan. The song was released in 1963, and this was long before "classic rock" radio, so I must have been six years old.

When the Beatles hit the Sullivan show a few weeks later I got fixated on that strange four-stringed thing played by Paul McCartney (such a pretty man!). In third grade I discovered classical music in a big way & began piano lessons. But I also spent countless happy adolescent hours hunched over my little plywood acoustic guitar, purchased with Grey Stamps (cheaper than Green Stamps; we were that kind of family), trying to figure out George Harrison's solos, particularly that beautiful line in "Something." And when the First Wave of American Punk broke, while I was in conservatory majoring in theory and composition, my allegiance to classical practice was badly shaken, & I went back to the guitar, & I have never really abandoned it since. Bass is still my primary instrument, and my guitar chops are pretty poor -- but when I need to learn a song, I don't turn to the bass or to a keyboard. I pick up a guitar. And I always will.

"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


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I was a teenager in the 1970s, and that meant the radio was full of Slade, Marc Bolan, Sweet, early Queen and David Bowie. Later on we got The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Clash, TRB and others.

I'm roughly the same age as Alan, I bet there's not 12 months between us - feel free to correct me AG, i was born 12/6/57 - or if you're American, 6/12/57. My exposure to music came much earlier - I have very early memories of being sat on a rug under a giant chest of drawers , on which stood a radio which played songs like Apache, Michael Row The Boat Ashore, Stranger On The Shore and Running Bear - I must have been all of three years old at the time!

Bear in mind, back in those days, TV programmes only started about 2pm.....so it was the radio or nothing.

Then.....along came the Beatles. The Kinks. The Stones. The Hollies. Gerry & The Pacemakers. Manfred Mann. The Beach Boys. the Byrds.The Who....in roughly that order. Then Motown, Stax, Atlantic. The Small Faces, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch, The Troggs, Procol Harum, The Bee gees - all great pop groups, loads of great pop songs. Fun....joie de vivre... call it what you like, that was what made me feel good. When I heard a song I liked on the radio, I'd sing along at the top of my voice....and wish I could play music.

The song that wanted to make me pick up a guitar? I haven't a clue...but the stand out memory is from a football match. First time I ever went to watch a football match without my dad, first game of the 1971-72 season....the announcer had just played Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep (look it up if you like, I'm still trying to forget it....yech!)and said, "OK we've got time for one last song before "You'll Never Walk Alone" - this one's called "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who. I hadn't heard it before - but from that first chord, I was transfixed....it was a total revelation. And then Kevin Keegan scored on his debut and I forgot all about WGFA till monday....saved what was left of the pocket money, borrowed a few pence and bought it on the way home.

I wanted a guitar there and then....it'd take me another five years till I got one.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Well growing up in the 70 the youngest in the house,there was lots of music around from my older sisters. I grew up on Beatles,stones,and music of that time. Well I got pretty heavy into the prog world. Moody blues,king crisim, ELP, and later pink floid and Rush. Well I really wanted to learn and got my first guitar when I had my first car,and could drive to the store. Well trying to learn the songs I wanted to play,proved to hard. I really had no interest in playing the simple power chord rock. I wanted to play the more complex stuff.......but did not have the drive to stick with it. Well fastfoward to about 5 years ago,and now in my 40's it was time to start age an. I'm sure if I was into more simple rock I would have made it father back then.....but here we are

Paul B


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I enjoy these threads.
Cat we have a bit more in common. I too have Italian in my blood and am just a week older than you.

I was born when rock n roll appeared. I didn't know it until I could walk and then dance. by age 11 or 13 I was listening to my older brothers surf music and instrumental guitar records by the Ventures. I would spend hours holding a stick or broom and air guitaring to the records.
when I turned 14 in 1965 the British Invasion was underway. the Beatles, Who and Rolling Stones were huge. my friends and I would walk a few miles to the store and buy their singles. I would air guitar to them . I swear I knew every lick on my stick.
one day, my parents Asked me if I wanted to learn how to play a real guitar.
we went to the tiny local music shop. the walls had Fenders, Gibsons and Gretches hanging on them. all electrics and only a few acoustics. I wanted a 65 strat. that's the guitar I saw on the Ventures album. it was so expensive; nearly 250 dollars.
I settled for a Fender Mustang. it was powder blue, maple neck and the pickguard was white and pearl flecked.
my neighbor had an old Silvertone amp that he gave me. I was in 7th heaven.
my best friend was a drummer. he and I would figure out the songs on the records and jam together.
in 1966 we had our band. we played at our middle school dance. it was so cool seeing the girls dance right in front of us.
we played any Beatle and Stones song we could manage. then we played the America psychedelic stuff that was on the radio.
the Beatles turned me on to Ravi Shankar, the sitar player. I loved that stuff. I would wrap wax paper around the neck and under the strings so they would buzz. I would mimic the sitar thing. it worked on 'Paint it Black, by the Stones.
our band lasted a few more months. we had a total of four gigs. we had to repeat a few songs since we hardly knew many.
I remember Gloria was a crowd favorite.
in college when I was a bona fide hippie, I traded the Mustang for a twelve string acoustic.
in the 1990's I was all grown up. had a great job, was married and had some money. I was without an electric for many years. it was time to get one.
I went to Willie's American Guitars in St Paul Minnesota ( I lived next door in Minneapolis). I walked in and saw a beautiful three color sunburst strat hanging on the wall. it was a used strat plus. I plugged it in and it felt and sounded wonderful. I bought it up. the same day I bought an amp. it was on sale, a 1958 Gibsonette. awesome little amp.
I still have my strat. it is an excellent guitar. I have worn through the finish in a few places. most recently I wore a spot on the fretboard where I bend all the time. it's under the third string third fret.
over the last twenty years I amassed a collection of string instruments. mostly guitars. the count got up to 19. I bought and played ukes, acoustics, slide guitars...such as lap steels. I even had a pedal steel for a while. I parred down to a dozen guitars now. and I have a band again.
making music has been a huge part of my life. I am a visual artist, but playing guitar has been right up there for me as a creative outlet. I am constantly in a state of learning when I play guitar. I am so amazed at how much I have to learn and very often surprise myself playing things out of the blue I never thought I could.
I have always been fortunate to have been able to play with others nearly all the time.
beautiful instrument indeed.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Wow what is this the Italian Guitarnoise...Ha. I'm half Italian myself my mother was 100% Italian her family was from southern Italy a small town called Turi Bari.

Anyway, don't have any really great stories about guitar yet...Ha

I played trupmet in grade school and was pretty good at it but once I got to Jr high I didn't think it was cool so I quit. Took guitar lessons for about a year but I had a crappyacoustic, hated the book and music I was learning and never liked to practice while my friends were out playing baseball or football so I dropped that too. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time.

Fast forward about 35 years and I decided to try it again. I think mainly because I had just broken up with a girl that was in a band and played guitar and wanted to impress her or something. Anyway I had a guitar when I joined this site but really wasn't doing much with it until I moved back to CT in 2006. Started taking lessons with aguy in 2007 (had to wait a long time til he had an opening) and I'm still with him.

At my age 50+ I don't have any aspiriations other than being able to play with other people which I have been lucky enough to be able to do. Have been trying to get a band together and get out there but anyone that checks the News section can read the trouble that has been. We are scheduled tp play or first semi-real show later this month. it's only a 1 hour slot but better than nothing if the band can stay together that long.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

I've read all the posts so far, its great to hear the stories and I think guitar and music has brought so much joy into all of our lives (along with a share of frustration at times).

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
 

It is a good question, and I have enjoyed reading all the replies.

Myself, well I grew up in a house with a piano, guitar, double bass, clarinet, and an organ (my mother played a lot)

However, I had no interest in any of it, and my parents never pushed it onto me, for which I'm grateful.

Fast forward until I'm 26, I still have no interest in music but I am at a gig at the millennium stadium in Cardiff. Half way through I thought, for no real reason "I want to play the guitar". I came home, borrowed my mums acoustic and that was it, I am now 32, and still practice at least a solid hour a day, and gig at least once a week in a locally successful band.

I'm still not sure why I decided to learn, but from the minute I started, I was hooked.

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

DOGBITE:

You got me laughing, let me tell you. Yep "Gloria"...geez...the VENTURES!!! Ha! Walk Don't Run, Tequila, Raunchy...I think they had a learner LP if I remember right. Yep, older brother's Four Seasons, too.

Amazing...we're 61...

Happy B day, Randy...

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

I was a teenager in the 1970s, and that meant the radio was full of Slade, Marc Bolan, Sweet, early Queen and David Bowie. Later on we got The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Clash, TRB and others.

I'm roughly the same age as Alan, I bet there's not 12 months between us - feel free to correct me AG, i was born 12/6/57 - or if you're American, 6/12/57. My exposure to music came much earlier - I have very early memories of being sat on a rug under a giant chest of drawers , on which stood a radio which played songs like Apache, Michael Row The Boat Ashore, Stranger On The Shore and Running Bear - I must have been all of three years old at the time!

1st May 1960 me. You're just a few weeks older than Kathy.

Some glorious early musical memories - my dad yelling up the stairs "Alan, the Beatles are on telly" and me rushing down to see that grainy black & white film they still show on VH1 of "She Loves You;" Petula Clark's "Downtown" is still a favourite. Beautiful songs like "Michelle," "Let It Be," "Mrs Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" made a monster impact on me when they first came out and were getting radio play, but they all paled into insignificance compared to

"Stoooooooooooooned lu-huv"

....and I can still remember the first time I heard that opening line. If you know the song, that line is all I need to say. If you don't, your education has been severely lacking - go here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDhooSRdhoI

And I think that has to be the moment I started taking music seriously seriously. Wanting to be a musician still had to wait a couple of years.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

My first instrument was drums. In the school I went to, there was a shortage of rental instruments so all the new guys got a pair of drum sticks and a practice pad. Some months later the tenor sax player's family moved and the band director asked, "Who wants to play the saxophone?" I guess I waved my hand more enthusiastically than the others. It was the best thing I've ever done in my life. I ended up being first sax in the all state band every year I was eligible.

A year or two after I started playing sax, I was in a rock and roll band. We were terrible, but everybody was back then. So we played a junior high school dance. There I was on stage with my buddies, playing the music we loved, and the girl who didn't know I existed in English class was suddenly 'making eyes' at me. And at the end of the night they actually paid me money!!! (I would have paid them for that experience). I knew this was going to be my profession.

After school, I went on the road with a rock band. Not every songwriter has the wisdom to write a part for saxophone so I learned to double, learning simple parts on bass, keys, and guitar (Barre chord rhythm). We almost 'made it' and until negotiations broke down with Motown, we were the opening concert act for numerous stars of the day. Then the band broke up and I went on to other bands.

It went on for years like this, sax being my primary instrument and along the way I picked up wind synth, flute, and increased my keyboard synth chops. I even played bass for a while when the psychedelic era put saxes out of work.

A few years ago, I decided to get serious on the guitar. I had an old Gibson ES-330 that I bought for $300 in the 1970s and never got past those few barre chords. I'd pick it up once or twice per year but it just hung there most of the time while I put my time in learning wind synth, writing styles for Band-in-a-Box and learning how to create and run a business. So I bought a couple of guitar books, took the music theory I learned from other instruments, and started playing lead.

It came remarkably easy to me. The biggest hurdle was coordinating the left and right hands to play at the same time once the speed got past allegro. I guess the fact that it is my seventh instrument and that I had played bass for a while and doubled on those barre chords for years gave me a big head start.

Now I'm really enjoying it. I wish I had gotten serious about the guitar back in the 70s when I bought the 330. I'd like to think I'd be a monster by now. But every week I get better and better. In self-evaluation for progress, I feel I'm better than some of the working guitarists around here, but still an infant when compared to the better guitarists around here. That's good because it gives me a long road of improvement ahead. Much to learn. The main problem is that I have to share my time with saxophone, flute, wind synth, keyboard synth, Band-in-a-Box style disks/fake disks, running the Norton Music business, keeping the web pages up to date, and being the band salesman. There definitely isn't time to be bored.

The guitar is a great instrument, and I'm having a great time traveling down the road of learning.

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

I was a kid in the 60's. My brothers and sisters were much older than me (8 - 10 years) so they were in their teens. I was exposed to all the great 60's music. My brother had an electric guitar and I thought it was the coolest. "It's too hard to play, you can't learn" I was told repeatedly. Now it's the 70's and I'm a teen and the cool kids at school play electric guitar. I decided I would get one and teach myself to play. Been playing ever since. Steadily getting better and enjoying it more and more every day that passes.

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


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