When I was a kid, I always wanted to learn an instrument. Never got around to it. After I got married in 79, my bride got me a Gibson L6S electric for a wedding gift. Played for a couple years trying to teach myself (before internet), and when the kids came along I just kind of put it aside. I also got a nice Washburn acoustic along the way. Now I’m retired, and last year I decided to take it up again with Justin’s help this time. I bought an Epiphone modern and a new amp. It’s so much better this time with the internet and all the knowledge available. I love doings Justin’s courses as I think he’s an amazing teacher. Enjoying my journey so much more this time around !
I have enjoyed to a wide variety of music since I was a boy. Parents and grandparents all listening to different styles. I started to develop my own tastes around maybe 11 or 12 years old. I remember buying my preferred recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons around age 13 or 14, Carmina Burana, and a lot of what we know now as classic rock, hard rock, and folk styles from bands like CW McCall and Johnny Horton. I was also listening to Spanish Classical guitar as well as renaissance and earlier orchestral stuff. I was noticing that simpler compositions were more to my liking.
About 30 years ago, I started to listen to a lot of what we call ‘ancient’ music, which is pre-renaissance an earlier. I enjoy the simplicity of just a recorder and drum. I enjoy ‘bawdy pub songs’ from that time period as well as country dance. This included instruments I had never heard of as well as things we know well today like lute.
I always have enjoyed blues. It wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I started to pay attention to WHAT blues I was preferring. The various sub-genres were a surprise and I now have words to describe what I like best. Playing these styles like Delta, Country, and Texas will be one of the primary goals of my guitar journey.
I was given a couple guitar lessons at about age 12, but the teacher didn’t introduce learning in a way that made me feel like there was anything fun until you got REALLY good, and I knew that was a long time coming, so I quit after a couple weeks.
I entertained learning the hurdy-gurdy a few times. I like the sound of a drone with melody in foreground. I like the haunting music it can make as well as the joyful dance.
I was given several instruments over the years, penny-whistle, recorder, harmonica, dumbek, even a didgeridoo. I am the keeper of a very old pump organ that is a family heirloom until i see one of the kids today shows an interest in loving it. None of these really sparked an interest in learning to play, although the pump organ was close.
So with such a varied range of music, how did the guitar become the one I wanted to learn and why now? I think the catalyst was covid, but of course the urge had been building for a while. Guitar and lute are fairly common to the things I like to hear, from heavy distortion metal to light, clean ayre. I enjoy music from picked and strummed instruments like koto, dulcimer, and kantele that can often be something converted to guitar. A simple recorder or flute tune can sound good on guitar. It just made sense for me to pick that instrument. Covid restrictions meant that I had more home time than before and I was watching youtube videos of people playing. That just made the urge to learn strong enough to get started.
I’ve always had a strong emotional response to well-done music. Just listening wasn’t enough. I still have a long way to go before what I feel can be produced in the instrument, but I’ll get there eventually!
I started into music in infants school. When I was 14 I joined a band and sang my first song to a live audience, with my knees knocking, at a local pub. I didn’t play guitar then and always felt really envious when the lads were jamming and I couldn’t join in. I finished in the band when I was 30. The first time I picked up guitar was with my son when he was about 10. We learned a few songs with a teacher but it didn’t last very long. My beautiful Yamaha guitar went back in its case and into the attic where it stayed for the next 20ish years. Started again in January and am loving every minute using Justin guitar.
I spent over £300 in crochet wool last year!!! My first guitar cost a lot less than that!