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Old 03-23-2023, 05:07 PM
caperrob caperrob is offline
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Location: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
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I noodled on an unplugged strat copy that an older brother left when he moved about 40 years ago, in my teens. I always had a guitar around and just messed with it. Then about 8 or so years ago, I joined a weekly acoustic jam with a totally relaxed, perfectly supportive, fun bunch of guys.

So, I thought I should upgrade from my Yamaha F310. Went in a music store and strummed one chord on a Martin HD-28V. Uh oh....

I think strumming the HD-28V totally opened up a different view of music and hey, maybe life. Who knows? I am still addicted.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:20 PM
luecack luecack is offline
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Default Share Your Acoustic Guitar Journey: How and Why Did You Start Playing?

It began with a cheap J-45 knockoff that I found at my grandmothers house, that was partially split at the dovetail joint. I used to strum it while watching VH-1 when Clapton released "Change the world", shortly after the Unplugged album.

Mom bought me an Esteban when I showed interest, but I was in my early teens at that point, moved onto electric pretty quick. Dived into the Nirvana Unplugged album

After graduating, I bought a black Fender (CD-60 is the modern equivalent) that I used for years. I played ALL the emo songs (think Thrice acoustic and Dashboard confessional)

Bought a Taylor 214Ce as my fist "good acoustic", but was still primarily an electric player. But started to learn how to adjust the arrangements from electric to acoustic. I thought it was a "lifer"

Bought a Taylor AD17e in 2020, because I was getting into some Americana, Outlaw country, and wanted a Mahogany and solid wood dread. I loved the story of the whole American Dream line, combined with a life altering event like Covid, and I could not find a D-15m to save my life.

Finally bought a Martin D-28, as I have been lusting after if for almost 20 years. It meant I had to part ways with my beloved 214Ce after 9 years to make it happen, and I did not favor the 1-11/16's nut anymore after the AD27's 1-3/4" nut. I have not looked back, and am glad that it is getting a second life. Now I'm into bluegrass.

When did you first start playing the acoustic guitar? - 12 or 13

What inspired or motivated you to learn the instrument? - I was a tinkerer, and loved music for as long as I can remember

Did you have any musical background or experience before playing the guitar? - No

What was the first song or piece you learned to play on the guitar? - Smells Like Teen Spirit

What challenges did you face while learning, and how did you overcome them? - General Dexterity, I spent years avoiding the use of my pinky, but eventually figured it out. I am still working out my poor alternate picking technique, bluegrass will sort that out quick

Do you have any memorable experiences or milestones in your guitar journey that you'd like to share? - Being broke in my early 20's, working 16 hr's over two jobs on Friday evenings, coming home to jam with friends and drinking beers until the sun came up.

How has playing the acoustic guitar impacted your life? - I was into cars for a period, but Guitar was the only Hobby that has been a constant since I was a kid. I still like cars, but have a small garage, a family that I need to provide for, so they take up much less space, and are way more affordable than the car hobby (as hard as that is to believe). I find solace in it.
2020 Taylor AD27e ("Whisky")
2022 Martin D-28
2007 Fender AVHR '62 (Sherwood Green!)
HWY 1 based / '52 spec Parts-Tele (Pandemic Boredom)

Last edited by luecack; 03-24-2023 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:34 PM
gfspencer gfspencer is offline
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Inspired by the Kingston Trio I started playing in 1962. I went to my local music store and bought a used Martin D-21. I formed a quartet with three of my friends. I've been playing ever since.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:18 PM
Arapaho G Arapaho G is offline
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Started playing electric at 15. Listened to nothing but Hard rock and Hendrix until about 35. Then I heard John Hammond and it all changed. I already loved the slide thanks to Lowell George but I heard Hammond do it on an acoustic I started looking for more and got deep into the blues. Then I wanted to play that slide. Started to learn it and then got into fingerstyle. Just love those country blues. Alvin Youngblood Hart back in the late 90's is the ****.
Martin HD-28ER
Taylor 322E 12 Fret
Iris DF
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:38 PM
learningalways learningalways is offline
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I started playing over 50 years ago, around 12 years old. I am self taught, and still learning. Today, there is so much online that it is a lot easier to learn. I grew up heavily influenced by the singer song writers of the 70's, Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon. I have always been an artist and always played the guitar, perhaps the only two constants in my life. I am thankful for both in my life.
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."Thomas Merton
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:43 PM
Bridgepin Bridgepin is online now
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There was only one reason that I started playing guitar as a teenager (GIRLS) if you could play and sing life was good
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Old 03-24-2023, 11:17 AM
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Deft Tungsman Deft Tungsman is offline
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I have enjoyed this thread immensely. We're all on our own journey, each with its own twists and turns. I identify with so many of the musings shared here, and there are many more that offer a fresh perspective on things I’ve never encountered or considered.

I was eleven or twelve when my older brother got a cheapo Spanish guitar and took some lessons. Lousy instrument, horrible action, out of tune above the fifth fret, the usual. He taught me a couple of songs, the basic cowboy and, even cooler, barre chords! One day I even figured out how to play The Who's "I'm Free!" by myself, just by ear. What exhilaration I felt, what power! I guess I was still too young for that excitement to keep me playing and learning, however, because apart from doing prop guitar while jumping on the bed with a backwards tennis racket, I ignored the real instrument altogether for the next four years.

Some friends in high school started a band during the summer before our junior year. I cannot remember how or why, but one Saturday I found myself hanging out at their band rehearsal. The guitarist was fingering chords patterns that I recognized immediately and could play myself, but on a real amplified electric guitar, IT SOUNDED LIKE ROCK AND ROLL!!

The following weekend I returned with a borrowed Ibanez Les Paul and plugged into an amp for the first time. It was glorious! That afternoon I learned how to play Cat Scratch Fever and Train Kept A-Rollin’, and I was in the band. I saved up money washing dishes after school and bought the best guitar I could possibly afford, a Gibson The Paul. I knew that this was not a passing fancy and wanted something that I'd play for a long time to come. (The Paul and its Chainsaw case are still going strong after all these years, by the way.)

My first acoustic was a mid-sixties Gibson B-15 I bought at a pawnshop in Sacramento when I was about to move to Santa Cruz to go to college. Up to that point, my playing had evolved from basic rock to the progressive masterpieces of Rush. I was having a good time, for sure. But I didn’t have room for guitar + amp + pedals in my Beetle, nor was I certain they’d all fit in my dorm room when I got there.

As one might expect, that humble little Gibson opened up my playing to other styles: folk, country, latin, etc. I began to learn from my favorite songwriters, with Jim Croce at the very top of that list. I would take that guitar with me when I lived in Spain, and after that to France, where I moved a couple of years later. I even wrote a few songs on it over the years, but my main focus remained the electric guitar, rock music and writing songs for a full band. Eventually, I traded the Gibson B-15 and some cash for a custom Strat and lived without an acoustic for several years.

In an interview of Keith Richards I read in the late nineties, the old dawg mentioned the role of acoustic guitar as a textural element in the recording studio. The Stones didn’t use acoustic guitar only on the ballads. They used it on many, many “electric rock” tracks as well. Keef said that it was like sonic glue that tied the rest of the instruments together. I’ve never been a huge Stones fan, but I do believe Mr Richards to be one righteous mensch.

Not long after reading that article, I decided to put Keef’s ideas to the test in my own home studio. I bought a secondhand Taylor 810 with an LR Baggs Dual Source pickup/preamp. It was a joy to record with that setup, talk about plug in and go! The addition of the acoustic guitar greatly expanded and improved my recordings and arrangements. Most importantly, the Taylor would take my songwriting in fresh directions. At the dawn of the new century, and after 20 years’ playing, I was finally becoming both an electric and an acoustic guitarist.

For the next fifteen years, I was in and out of bands and continued to play a lot of electric guitar in that context and on home recordings. It was only after the demise of my last band in late 2017 that I've found myself playing acoustic guitar almost exclusively. The time I have invested in learning more complicated solo fingerstyle pieces has opened my ears and fingers up to things that seemed unimaginable just three or four years ago.

Much as I do love the electric in a band context, for solo playing I find the acoustic guitar much more rewarding.

Either way, for me like for all of us here, playing guitar has always brought great joy and solace, gifts that grow more abundant with each step forward on my musical journey.
1922 Martin 0-28
1933 Martin 0-17
1974 Alvarez/Yairi CY120
2010 Baranik Parlor
2013 Circa OM-18
2014 Claxton OM Traditional
2014 Blackbird Rider
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Old 03-25-2023, 07:32 AM
fantex fantex is offline
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I started playing in college, around 1995. I wanted to play Pearl Jam and Live songs and then write my own songs and sing. I tinkered around learning a few chords and some riffs. My ears and rhythm were't developed enough to play very well. I had some friends who had some experience in bands and around 1996 we started an outlaw country band. I still wasn't that good so the guys recommended I switch to bass. I started learning country and walking bass lines and teaching myself some theory. Playing bass helped my rhythm guitar playing, so I started writing some songs. This band recorded one album and ended after about 3 years. I then moved to Alaska and only tinkered around on a cheap classical guitar I bought in Mexico for $30.

In late 2007 I started playing bass again with a couple of songwriters and we played around Alaska for 2 years and recorded one album in Portland, OR in Oct 2009 and the band promptly broke up. I moved back to Texas.

I played bass for another friend around Austin in 2011 for about 9 months. I had gotten married so I ended up quitting again and selling off everything.

Sometime around 2013-2015 a friend had gave me his old Seagull and I tinkered around writing some songs and recording some demos in GarageBand. In January 2021 I decided to write as many songs as I could and record an album with all my pro musician friends. I bought a Taylor 214ce plus and an Eastman MD315 mandolin and worked on songwriting. I read a few songwriting books and did some writing exercises. Recorded demos, wrote music hooks, revised and let friends hear the songs.

Two friends and I (acoustic guitar, electric guitar/pedal steel, drums) started rehearsing the songs at a friends house about March/April 2022. A fourth (bass player) joined a few months later.

I went to watch a gig of the drummer/bassist and ended up meeting the pedal steel player from that gig who had a studio. The studio happened to be close to me and the price was right. I booked time and finally got a keyboard player onboard who finally had time home from touring.

Recorded my first album just before my 49th birthday in Oct 2022. Had it mastered in Austin and put in out in January 2023. So far I've played one acoustic gig at a Songwriter Showcase in January. Hope to get some gigs booked in the near future.

Currently working on flatpicking guitar, mandolin and writing more songs.

Never give up!

Last edited by fantex; 03-25-2023 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 04-11-2023, 02:50 AM
Daggad Daggad is offline
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I borrowed a classical guitar at 13-14 for a while and picked on it a little. Played the melody lines of Beatles Yesterday and all my loving.
Then when I was 22-23 I had a lot of spare time and bought an Ibanez dread and a guitar book from an Norwegian singer songwriter (and personal favourite) Lillebjorn Nilsen. THE book for learning guitar here.
Decided that I would not jump in it, start on page 1 and learn that before going to the next. Best decision ever.
Maybe a year later I had it in my fingers and was able to play other songs by tab or chords, or even find out on my own. Played in parties with my friends. Good times.
Bought a Takamine 316 to replace the Ibanez. Great guitar.
I then just stayed on this level, learned some new stuff forgot some older.
I have been mostly fingerpicking, strumming with my fingers. But 2 years ago at (I am 55 now) I saw the youtube video of Billy Strings playing "Dust in a baggie" on the sofa and I was instantly curious of Bluegrass. Learned the intro and chords of that one and for the first time I used a pick. Last fall I signed up for Bryan Suttons course on artistworks and really started working on it. Never played/rehearsed so much in my life !
But it gives results and adds to the toolbox. I am never going to be great in any stye of playing. But all the hours of pure joy and fun I have had playing guitar is priceless !
I mostly play a Yamaha FSX5. Good sound and nice size and feel. But when I really want to hear those angels sing I pick up my 2019 D18.

Hobbies and interests come and go, but I will die playing acoustic guitar. Nothing calms me more then going into my own bubble playing that wooden box and sing with my horrible voice !
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Old 04-18-2023, 09:59 AM
Photojeep Photojeep is offline
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Originally Posted by Mcmac View Post
Hey PJ,

I couldn’t help but respond to you being at the Treasure Island base when you were younger. Over the past 4 years I have been supporting a large subway project and n SF and the warehouse I was working out of was located on Treasure Island and in fact they say we were in what was once the morgue 😂.

One of my uncles was also stationed there in the Navy. Small world, just wanted to share. By the way, they are demolishing most of the old buildings and are putting up expensive housing… as you probably remember, they are some of the best views around.
Thanks for the update ... I guess. It's a little sad to hear but then when the Navy took over the island I'm sure they demolished a lot of the old World's Fair buildings. They did keep a few items here and there. I remember a few random buildings had some mosaic tile designs above their front doors. Quite a sight seeing something like that on a building with some military sign posted right next to it.

And then there was this big fountain that sat right in the middle of a round-a-bout that had concrete statues of naked ladies. Quite the sight for a 12 year old boy!

Thanks again,
A Gibson
A Martin
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Old 04-18-2023, 06:30 PM
Logdy Logdy is offline
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Wow.. I started to play when I retired 7 years ago. I always wanted to play, and decided to pick it up to keep the noggin fresh. I went though several acoustics, and electrics before choosing a D-18. I play rhythm and probably have a library of 200 songs that I play, mostly along with the song on the stereo. I add maybe a song every two weeks or so when something catches my ear. It’s a blast and wish I didn’t wait 60 years.
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2017 Martin D-18
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Old 04-18-2023, 06:45 PM
abn556 abn556 is offline
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My parents were both music teachers. My dad was music professor at a local college. My mom was a piano teacher and the organist and piano player for our church. She had a truly great ear for melody and a natural gift to be able to transpose keys on the fly. By around 6th grade the piano lessons that I was forced to take since were wearing thin. I wanted to quit taking piano from my dad, but they insisted that I had to pick another instrument. I chose drums. That lasted about a month and my mom vetoed my choice. I had to choose something else and picked guitar. This was right after the end of the Beatles, and the deaths of Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison. Heavy guitar music was the thing and I loved it. So I got a cheap gut string nylon that could barely be tuned. That started me on a 50 year journey that still goes on to this day. I didn’t realize it until much later, but the years of piano lessons really helped me learn guitar in a era long before tab, Youtube, or even live music on TV more than a few times a year.

Gibson Custom Shop J-45 Koa
Gibson 1963 LG-0
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Old 04-18-2023, 08:15 PM
MRW100 MRW100 is offline
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That's a good journey.
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Old 06-24-2023, 12:06 AM
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tinnitus tinnitus is offline
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Playing since the 1960s, I've always owned an acoustic guitar, but 99% of my musical energy went into rock bands. Electric guitars, tube amps, pedal boards and monthly bar gigs - all just for fun, certainly not much beyond gas money, food and drinks for the evening. And all the usual 'diverse' personalities to manage, with mountains of gear to haul and set up. Done with it.

Now, with tinnitus and progressive hearing loss, I'm compelled to take up acoustic guitars instead with an occasional open mic duo performance as the objective.

I could not imagine ten years ago that I might ever be satisfied with an all-acoustic regimen, but (luckily) it has really grown on me. After searching a lot, I'm currently fortunate to be playing rock and blues with a partner who shares my background and tastes. Acoustic guitar is certainly not limited to simultaneously strumming boring (to me) 3-chord folky ballads.

I still have a few electrics gathering dust in a closet. My son plays, so he'll probably inherit all that stuff. I simply don't play loud anymore, and I'm sooo glad I don't miss it.

My four acoustics (all with electric innards) hang on hooks in the bedroom, office and living room where I can grab them several times a day. It's a flourishing and fulfilling passion. So thankful that I like it a lot more than I ever believed I might.

Last edited by tinnitus; 06-24-2023 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 06-24-2023, 02:23 AM
kizz kizz is offline
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I started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 12 when my older brother played and I saw the attention it gave him. When my brother found out I was learning fast he obviously felt threatened at some point and he smashed my guitar. I punched him in the nose so he bled, bought an electric guitar and started listening to heavy metal.
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