October 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm #22954
Growing up, I played classical music for a while and took my knowledge of music theory for granted (which I now regret.) Later on, I learned to play guitar.
What’s your story of how you started playing music? Was there a particular song/band/guitar player, etc. that inspired you to start playing in the first place?
Let’s discuss!October 8, 2015 at 1:37 pm #22955
Being a huge Dylan fan, I learned myself to play guitar and harmonica – working diligently to the point that on my very best day I could sound almost as good as Bob on his very worst day. I must say it’s an accomplishment of which I’m quite proud. oh, and I can play chopsticks on the piano with the best of them…I forget who inspired that.October 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm #22956bluzdudeParticipant
I was 10 or 11 when I got my first guitar.
But it was Clapton/Cream/Wheels of Fire (at age 13) that made me get my first electric guitar-a 3 pick-up Gagliano.
I can't tell you the way I feel because the way I feel is oh so new to me.......or whateverOctober 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm #22959EblingParticipant
Kind of embarrassing, but what the hell. Ace Frehley of Kiss was the guy that sparked me to pick up a guitar. And I lusted after a Les Paul sunburst for many years.October 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm #22960
The usual stuff, chick dig musicians, guitar players were easy to idolize, lifestyles of musicians seemed a lot more fun than that of accountants. It’s hard to quantify just how influential a beautiful girl, a joint and a good album were to a young 14 year old kid. Add the excitement of a few killer rock concerts to the mix and it’s easy to see why millions of kids were drawn to the guitar and other instruments which created the music we were all drawn to.
For me, at about 14 years old there were just a large group of my friends who were so into music and guitars that it was our main focus for recreation for years. We constantly played music, talked about music and dreamed about music. The musicians were the cool crowd, taking drugs, having sex, discussing philosophy and art. There was also a sense of brotherhood among musicians and long haired men in general at one time. You could just look at someone and know you shared love of rock music, alternative lifestyle and anti-establishment values.
Those of us with older siblings who paved the way with extensive record collections and guitars hanging around the house probably helped too. As far as specific artists which grabbed me and made me study my instrument more thoroughly, I would credit Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Mick Taylor and Keith Richards as early idols and the song Sweet Home Alabama as one that grabbed me by the balls on first listen and never let go. That intro was powerful stuff …Turn it Up indeed!October 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm #22961DandelionPowdermanParticipant
Growing up, I played classical music for a while and took my knowledge of music theory for granted (which I now regret.) Later on, I learned to play guitar. What’s your story of how you started playing music? Was there a particular song/band/guitar player, etc. that inspired you to start playing in the first place? Let’s discuss!
We share the same story! I played classical piano till I was 15, then picked up the guitar. BB King, Segovia, Django and Keith were my first inspirations 🙂
BBB - Bring Blondie BackOctober 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm #22962
I failed to mention that Benny Goodman inspired me to play the clarinet from 8 years old through high school. Or maybe it was my parents who threatened me if I didn’t play in the school band…October 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm #22975StoneburstParticipant
I started playing guitar just after I went to university at the end of 2007 for all the usual reasons: chicks, teenage narcissism, and I had a bunch of friends who were in bands. My first guitar was a Mexican made Telecaster, which I still have. Initially I was mostly into indie bands like Arcade Fire, but got into Cream, Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers around the end of the year. From a guitar playing perspective Page, Clapton, Duane, Dickey Betts, Leslie West and John Squire from the Stone Roses were my biggest early influences. Albert, BB and Mick Taylor were all later discoveries, but (in the long run) much more important for how I play these days. Eventually I got wise enough to realise that the world of aspiring guitarists could do without another Jimmy Page clone, and that it paid to slow down a bit and focus on the space between the notes.October 8, 2015 at 6:02 pm #22976
what’s with all this inspiration coming from “chicks.” I didn’t play to get chicks. in fact, chicks have never heard me play. it cheapens the whole enterprise. what about art for art’s sake???October 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm #22978DandelionPowdermanParticipant
That’s just short for Arthur…
BBB - Bring Blondie BackOctober 8, 2015 at 6:42 pm #22980Anonymous
Does playing air guitar count.
If so Nugent, Stranglehold.
Don’t tell anybody. It would ruin my reputation.
TimOctober 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm #22981stoneheartedParticipant
Unfortunately for me, I only started learning to play guitar in my forties, an age when real musicians have already done their thing, and so it was quite impossible to find anyone to jam with, which left me going nowhere fast on the local open mic scene. There’s this song by one of my favorite seventies UK bands, Wire, that they had out in 2007 called 23 Years Too Late. Yeah, that was me alright in 2007, a 41-year-old novice guitarist, full of spirited big dreams nonetheless but feeling all the while like it was 23 years too late more or less.
There was a lot of Keith in my approach, which was all the more easy to cultivate since when I “sing” I sound almost exactly like him. But as a “player” I was patterning myself more after seventies punk rhythm guitarists like Johnny Ramone and Joe Strummer, since I liked to just hit all six strings at once and play loud.
Yet even when I was trying to be a musician I was never actually referring to myself as a musician. I was always a writer first, which is what I started out as. I’d been publishing poetry here and there since my twenties, so song lyrics came easily and naturally to me. I wrote over a hundred songs at the age of 43, and I look back on those years as something essential—I was just getting a long-standing rock and roll fantasy out of my system. Some people might refer to this as a mid-life crisis. Well, if that was my mid-life crisis, then I gotta say I had the best time!
Now, at 49, as you can see from my new avatar photo taken less than 24 hours ago, I still have rock and roll hair, the same look I’ve had since 25—but I no longer have rock and roll dreams, which to me is a relief. At least I won’t have to die wondering. Now I’m back with the creative inspirations I started out with as a teenager—H.P. Lovecraft, Rod Serling, Hammer Films, Dark Shadows (the original 1966-1971 TV series), and whatever else stirs my fancy to write dark supernatural literature.
And oh yes, my favorite music is still with me on a daily basis, the stuff that brings me to a forum like this. Fortunately, as a freelance editorial person, I can just sit at home all day at the computer listening to the music that inspires me through yet another working day. I’ve got 12X5 on right now, and next it’ll be Rolling Stones Now! You get the idea. I don’t have to play music to be inspired by it, but it was fun for a while to have a go at it. Music that inspires you to pick up an instrument, learn to play, and perhaps even follow in the footsteps of greatness, well, that’s music that will stay with you for a lifetime. We are indeed truly blessed, are we not?October 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm #22986Cocaine EyesParticipant
I’m no “musician” by any stretch of the imagination but my parents had me playing piano. But now I’m a fairly good blues harp player thanks to my grandfather who bought me my first harp when I was very young. Still play to this day. Blues harp!
~CEOctober 8, 2015 at 8:18 pm #22987
what’s with all this inspiration coming from “chicks.” I didn’t play to get chicks. in fact, chicks have never heard me play. it cheapens the whole enterprise. what about art for art’s sake???
LOL! You might possibly be a freak of nature, my friend. The chicks are ultra important as they are in every other aspect of life for many years, music is just a shortcut to the emotional level required for love connections. I distinctly remember hitting a period where I would look at the chicks throwing themselves at us just because we were playing a show somewhere and realizing that this was possibly not the type of chicks I actually wanted to spent time with and the art of disengaging became more attractive than the art of engaging.
As I got into live music production and studio work later in life I realized there is a whole level of “tech groupie” out there who are attracted to the guys running the boards and gear. “Nice Gamble console man, smooth faders, great EQ, want my number? ” Ha! That was a bit of a shocker.October 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm #22988October 8, 2015 at 8:50 pm #22990
Alright. Here’s my story: I started playing guitar for the chicks (hah, kidding.)
Hated playing classical although I wish I would have stuck with it and at least continued music theory so that learning guitar would have been easier.
Though you don’t necessarily need a totally solid knowledge of that to learn, it helps.
When I was 14 I started listening to Zeppelin and Jimmy Page was definitely my inspiration to learn guitar. Actually, Stairway to Heaven was one of the first songs I learned. Part of the reason learning an instrument is so great is that if you really love playing you always want to play, and you always want to learn more. I would come home for hours and play the songs I had learned (and try to teach myself more) while avoiding my homework.
Most of my guy friends from high school played in jazz band but they also played outside of that and we had similar music tastes. So we would usually get together and play music (to the dismay of our parents) with our amps turned all the way up for hours upon hours.
Good times 🙂
Loved reading all of these!October 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm #22992
In high school we actually had guitars you could check out from the library. There were three of us who had completed all the music classes our school offered so our senior year they made a special music studies class for us. The assignment was to write a single original song and notate it. We would check out guitars after smoking our lunch make round of the figure 8 hallways while rocking out on them and retire to the music annex for an hour of jamming. About a week before graduation we all got serious and wrote our songs to complete the assignment. Best class I ever had. We had the three guitar attack down by the end of the year.October 8, 2015 at 9:42 pm #22993munichhiltonParticipant
Glenn Frey got me to ask my dad if I could use his closeted guitar. The guitar had belonged to his brother who had died so I knew he might like to keep it away…but he said sure and I started playing it. Alex Lifeson encouraged me to get better and better…then Keith Richards was on Night Flight playing She’s So Cold and oozed cool. I in turn was not cool and aspired to become cool…that never happened but the guitar is still here.
I’m a Frey/Lifeson/Richards prodigy and I hear them all in my originals…October 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm #22995
Glenn Frey got me to ask my dad if I could use his closeted guitar. The guitar had belonged to his brother who had died so I knew he might like to keep it away…but he said sure and I started playing it. Alex Lifeson encouraged me to get better and better…then Keith Richards was on Night Flight playing She’s So Cold and oozed cool. I in turn was not cool and aspired to become cool…that never happened but the guitar is still here. I’m a Frey/Lifeson/Richards prodigy and I hear them all in my originals…
if you could never become as cool as them you could drink whiskey and try to look cool like them.October 9, 2015 at 3:27 am #23003ZParticipant
To me rock n’ roll came earlier than sex & drugs. I was 9 years old in 1977 when my brother brought home Love You Live. I already knew the Beatles and Dylan but I remember saying to myself after a few seconds of Honky Tonk Women – this is it! It’s just what I was looking for! And from that point it was mostly the Stones. In that sense I’m still stuck at age 9. My next album was Exile and by the time Some Girls came out we already had most of the Stones records, and I got my first (classical) guitar.
I went to a music school but hated it. The teacher kept giving me Bach and I wanted Richards. And I never attended theory classes. After a year and a half I quit and stuck to Keith alone. By the age of 13 I got my first electric guitar – an Italian Les Paul clone named Gherson, and a small Yamaha amp. It took another couple of years before I figured out the open-G thing.
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