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Old 03-18-2023, 02:51 PM
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rule18 rule18 is offline
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Great stories. 50 years ago my grandparents brought a Stella into our house and told my parents they should get me some lessons LOL.

Once I got past the first awful teacher and a couple of Mel Bay books things started looking up, and I haven't stopped since Many gigging years and good times.
{ o}===::: Craig
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Last edited by rule18; 03-18-2023 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 03-18-2023, 05:37 PM
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My story is in

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Old 03-18-2023, 06:09 PM
CharlieBman CharlieBman is offline
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When I was about 5 or 6 I remember seeing my dad's Gibson acoustic sitting in the closet. He played occasionally but was too much of a dick to teach me anything. Still, the memory of seeing that guitar is burned into my brain somewhere. Picked up my first guitar when I was 13. For some reason I was was forever smitten when I could finally play my first C to F chord progression. 3 months after getting the first guitar I was in a band. We were terrible. We played in a battle of the bands and were so bad the audience pitched pennies and nickels at us. I was the only band member that got a good review by our judges. I think "Louie Louie" was my first song. 3 chords.

I have my share a challenges over the years. A broken elbow that limited the rotation of my fretting hand. Later on severe osteoarthritis in my shoulders made everything painful and further limited how much I could rotate my fretting hand. For many years now I've been unable to have any rotation whatsoever in my left hand. I've learned to compensate for this by playing my acoustic on a stool. That way I can get the neck of the guitar close to my face where hand rotation is less of an issue.

Honestly, I can't even imagine my life without a guitar. It's been my constant companion for 59+ years. Play on!!
2022 Martin 000-18
2022 Martin HD12-28
2022 Martin HD-28
2022 Gibson J-45 Standard
2022 Taylor American Dream AD27 Mahogany
2007 Breedlove AC250/SM-12
2006 Breedlove AD20/SR Plus
2003 Martin 000C-16SGTNE
2000 Taylor 410ce
1990 Martin Shenandoah
(< 1990 a bunch of great old Yamahas I lost track of)

My music:
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Old 03-18-2023, 07:25 PM
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Dave in Olympia Dave in Olympia is offline
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1975. I heard Rocky Mountain High. I bought the record. I asked my mom to let me get a guitar. End of story.
2023 000-18MD
2021 000-15SM
2017 00-28
2023 0-18
2023 Guild D-1212
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Old 03-18-2023, 07:45 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by Yair Matayev View Post
When did you first start playing the acoustic guitar?
What inspired or motivated you to learn the instrument?
Did you have any musical background or experience before playing the guitar?
What was the first song or piece you learned to play on the guitar?
What challenges did you face while learning, and how did you overcome them?
Do you have any memorable experiences or milestones in your guitar journey that you'd like to share?
How has playing the acoustic guitar impacted your life?
In order:
  • 1962;
  • Got a plastic Mickey Mouse Club guitar for my second birthday (always had some kind of guitar-type object on hand until I started taking lessons) but it was the fact that my father was a major Les Paul fan, coupled with the serendipitous juxtaposition of a broad variety of guitar-based musical styles during my early years;
  • Other than the above, none whatsoever - and neither did anyone else in my immediate or extended family;
  • "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" on the E and B strings, at my second lesson - burned through all six books of the Alfred's Basic Guitar Method over the next nine months;
  • Heavy-gauge Black Diamond strings on an old Harmony Broadway archtop, that turned the neck into a boomerang - didn't know that guitars weren't supposed to feel like that until I got my first "good" guitar in 1964 (a Gretsch 6117 Double Anniversary electric that I still own) so I just plowed through, and to this day I still prefer heavier strings on my electrics;
  • Many and varied - some good, some bad, and too numerous to list here;
  • I think the late John Denver said it far better than I ever could:
"Mistaking silence for weakness and contempt for fear is the final, fatal error of a fool"
- Sicilian proverb (paraphrased)
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Old 03-18-2023, 08:08 PM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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Iím eighty, now. In the spring of 1964, it was the Great Folk Revival. On campus, there were people every where making music - guitars, banjos, basses, drums, flutes, and always, voices. I had loved to sing, still do, but I took the plunge, an bought a guitar. First, a cheap classical, then, almost immediately, a 1957 D-18. I played to accompany my singing, to join with others, to make a band, you name it.

I played in a couple of folk groups, and with my brother. I played on my own. This continued until 1973, when my brother and I and a couple of friends decided to put together a proper band. As a band canít really do well with four six-string acoustics, we decided to diversify, My brother played rhythm guitar, one of the others played lead (electric). I took up the bass, and our fourth guy stared on pedal steel, branched out to play drums, then keys and then sax. With my brother and the lead player sharing vocals and both writing songs, we did pretty well for a while.

I have continued to play up to the present. The guitar has had a large impact on my life. The band took me to Nashville where I met my wife of 46 years. Our first date was to hear Lenny Breau at Mississippi Whiskers, and our secon was for me to play and sing for her in Percy Warner Park. That seems to have worked, as I said, for these 46 years.

I realize I may not have answered all your questions, but this will have to do.
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Old 03-18-2023, 09:01 PM
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b1j b1j is offline
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1966, my older brother taught me House of the Rising Sun on his Yamaha acoustic.

70 ó 73: CSN, Cat Stevens skipping study hall with other delinquents in the high school auditorium.

73 ó 77; More CSN(Y now), Jackson Browne, Beatles in stairwells and college coffeehouses in the dorm. Moved off campus with my playing buddy. Took Ear Training and Music Appreciation electives: led to learning scales and the fretboard. Played two sets in a bar off campus for friends and $15.

Bought the Gurian in my last year with student loan money (shhh).

80 ó 84: Met my second playing buddy in Houston, bought a bass, couple of gigs in a foursome with a female singer. Wasnít very good, but the others were.

Lost decades: Played infrequently to myself for years. Essentially hibernated with guitar. Kids and career.

2011 ó 2013: Discovered home recording and played a few living room meetups with work colleagues.

2015: future wifeís 1966 0-18 got stolen from her house; Gryphon found her a better than ďlevel 1 distressĒ 1952. Started playing and recording with her. Had the Gurian set up by Gryphon (about time!).

2021: the Dread Era (current). Brought the Big Sound into my recording. Most active playing of my life. Couple of open mics, wrote a couple songs, developed bulletproof calluses.

I have always played for my own enjoyment, learned by ear from recordings, and played with fingers only (think Helplessly Hoping). Even now I go weeks without remembering to try to play with a pick. Recently Iíve added different picking and selective strumming patterns.

For me the peak guitar moment is when I strum or pluck a chord, or even an interval, and hear it ring out. Everything else is gravy. Itís the sound of music that keeps me coming back.
1952 Martin 0-18
1977 Gurian S3R3H with Nashville strings
2018 Martin HD-28E, Fishman Aura VT Enhance
2019 Martin D-18, LR Baggs Element VTC
2021 Gibson 50s J-45 Original, LR Baggs Element VTC
1981 Ovation Magnum III bass
2012 HŲfner Ignition violin ("Beatle") bass
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Old 03-19-2023, 08:03 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Curious that the OP has yet to post but here goes.

I was always musical as a kid whistling singing along with the radio etc. In 1962 @ 12 ys. my dad brought home a perfectly awful Sears bargain basement Silvertone that would not stay in tune (at all) which is no doubt why it was returned And I gave up.
Then in the summer of 64 the Animals released House of the Rising Sun and my older brothers girl friend showed me the chords and let me borrow her nice nylon string classic ,, and it was off to the races ever since
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...

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Old 03-19-2023, 08:33 AM
ewalling ewalling is offline
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I came from a non-musical family but fell in love with mainly electric guitar playing as a teenager in the prog rock era.

By my twenties, I was no longer listening to modern electric music and had turned my attentions to more ethnic, folk styles of lowbrow music. That's when I stumbled upon recordings by Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin' Hopkins and the Kicking Mule brigade. That was when I really started playing the acoustic guitar.

Since then I've dabbled beyond ragtime and blues to play jazz standards and Celtic, and other various stuff that has caught my ear and sounds good played on a fingerstyle acoustic or acoustic-electric guitar.

I've even veered back into world of electric guitars and have an American Pro Stratocaster on the way as we speak. I have a guitar synthesizer, too. In fact, all things guitar are appealing now, but my central thing remains sitting down with an acoustic guitar and playing solo fingerstyle pieces.
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Old 03-19-2023, 08:44 AM
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rllink rllink is offline
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When did you first start playing the acoustic guitar?
I first played guitar in 1971 or 1972 aboard the USS Independence. I don't really remember the year so it changes with each telling

What inspired or motivated you to learn the instrument?
There were three or four guys who used to sit on the fantail and play songs in the evenings. I thought that they were pretty cool and I've always been more or a participant than a spectator so I bought a guitar on shore leave and joined them. One of them taught me a few chords, gave me a Johnny Cash fake book and I was off and running.

Did you have any musical background or experience before playing the guitar?
Yes, I played a tonette in fourth grade and a trumpet in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade. I gave it up in eight grade.

What was the first song or piece you learned to play on the guitar?
I can't remember, but probably some Johnny Cash song. Probably Wreck of the Old 97.

What challenges did you face while learning, and how did you overcome them?
School, family, work. I took a thirty year break. There were just too many other things in the way. I guess I overcome that by taking it up in a serious manner later in life.

Do you have any memorable experiences or milestones in your guitar journey that you'd like to share?
Many that involve playing in public and with other people I guess. I think it is hard to put oneself out there for everyone to see. But I think the rewards of sharing my music makes it worth the effort and many are memorable to me.

How has playing the acoustic guitar impacted your life?
I came back to playing guitar when I retired and it has given me a focus, something to be and do. When I retired I lost my identity so to speak and I felt lost. So I became a guitar player and that has been something I can identify with when people ask me what I do. Because I also play out, for and with other people, it gives me a social outlet that I need. I think it really affects my mental health and gives me a more positive attitude about life and old age in general. It gives me something to look forwards to and work toward.
Please don't take me too seriously, I don't.

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Old 03-19-2023, 08:57 AM
ghostnote ghostnote is offline
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My story has already been told in this thread, several times over. Itís very similar to what many others have already said, so I wonít repeat the obvious. One thing that heavily influenced me that I havenít seen mentioned much is that ďotherĒ guitar - bass. From a young age I was always listening to the bass lines in songs. I would hum them in my head and/or make up new ones while I listened to my favorite tunes on the radio. When I heard ďAll Strung OutĒ by the Chambers Brothers, it stopped me dead in my tracks. And all those Motown hits with James Jamerson on bass? - mind boggling. The bass was essentially the lead instrument on many of those songs. To this day when Iím playing guitar I still am thinking about bass lines - where could I put one in this song? How can I leave space for a little bass run before the chorus? And yes, I did play bass in a gigging band for a few years, and it was mucho fun, but Iím not a bass player. Iím a singer/guitarist who happens to think about bass a lot, automatically. The only time I actually play a bass now is if Iím recording something that needs a bass track on it. I have bassist friends who could do it in 1 or 2 takes, but I donít want that - I wanna mess around with those low notes awhile on my own!
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Old 03-19-2023, 09:08 AM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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I started playing February 10, 1964.
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Old 03-19-2023, 09:18 AM
BigJohnSC BigJohnSC is offline
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I was 13 years old. I heard Boston's "More Than A Feeling" on the radio. I knew at that moment, that I would be a guitar player. To this day, it's the first song I play on any new guitar, or a guitar I'm trying out, and the last long I play on a guitar I'm selling.
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Old 03-19-2023, 10:14 AM
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These stories are so great! I'll share.

Apparently, my guitar obsession started when I was a little girl. My dad tells me when I was three or four I had some kind of toy guitar that you would crank and it played music. (Oh if only it were still that easy!)

Then in high school, there was a kid, [NAME REDACTED - What if he's in witness protection now or something?] I can picture him like it was yesterday, shirtless, smoking weed from a bong. He had an electric guitar and an amp and some kind of rig he would set up so he could play Free Bird at our local kegger parties. I'm not sure if I liked him or his guitar better. It was a close contest. But I was ultimately more fascinated with the guitar than with him and decided I would also learn to play. And now that I am thinking back to prehistoric times, I believe there was also a guitar-playing boyfriend in 7th or 8th grade. He played me Beatles' songs. We were crazy about the Beatles, definitely more crazy over the Beatles probably than over each other.

In 11th or 12th grade, my parents got me a plywood acoustic guitar with barbed wire strings and action so high you could slide a vacuum cleaner underneath (as parents who knew nothing about guitars did in those days). Also some lessons. "I got blistahs on my fingahs!" then gave up quick. I was 17 or 18. I didn't know there was a better way. I thought my guitar playing career had ended before it began.

Forty years of intervening college, graduate school, work, life, first marriage, divorce, singlehood, second marriage, menopause (nothing for you gentlemen to worry about), multiple mid-life crises, the Covid pandemic, and here we are.

Fast forward to one year ago, almost to the day. Spontaneous combustion of ideas and inspiration in my post-menopausal brain. Birthday, Birkenstocks, redwood trees, a planned tent camping trip that never happened...


A borrowed guitar from a friend. Then I found this lovely place, which gave me serious GAS, launched me on a journey of 1000 guitars, bought a Martin, and everything since then has been recorded here for all of posterity. :0)

Life is so funny and wonderful and strange, but I wouldn't want to be doing it without a guitar or three to play along the way.
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Old 03-19-2023, 02:36 PM
Blue will Blue will is offline
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Always loved music , always had a cheap radio on all night when I was a kid.

I wanted an instrument at 8 and I wanted something with strings. My father finally took me down to the only music store where we lived in IL and there was this Cello , but that had a high price tag and they didn't sell guitars so what I got was a B flat clarinet and took lessons with songs I didn't like , children's songs . Most of it was learning how to play single notes. Went once a week , when I got home through the week I would try to play real songs. I played in Jr high school bands and enjoyed that even though there were more clarinets in the band than any other instrument , it was playing while the choir sang that got me through. Once high school rolled in it was all about march band music , finally knew what that tiny screw on music stand was for. Traded that clarinet for a cheap acoustic. High action but I stuck with it , it had strings and it was great. I worked with my father building custom houses and wanted an electric so he said once the house was done I could get one. Well it only took a year after the house was done. It was a Harmony rocket , red burst with 3 pu's

I never took lessons , I learned by ear had not record player so I used the radio and waited for the song I wanted to come along while I forged through awful home work and picked out the bass lines to find chords I leaned shapes from piano sheet music books.

Once I had some down a few friends who lived blocks away also started playing so we formed a garage band which was not very good but fun.

Later I got better the band members went with another band and didn't tell me so rather than find another band I got bass and just was a stand in for any band who needed a lead , ryth, or bass plus singer.

I had a few more bands that decided to make me a member then in 73 stopped the band thing.

Now I just play for my own enjoyment. I built a few electrics after I sold the ones I still had. I regret selling the old Epi Casino most.

Now I just play acoustic , been playing finger style for 50 years and once in a while dig out an electric and an amp I built try to recall the pick and soon put that away.

I'm 74 now started in 62 and for the most part play songs I made up and really forgot the long list of songs I used to know well. Once in a while I play one I knew well and I actually remember it.

I don't have a lot of acoustics only 3 that are nice none are all solid wood but have solid tops and play and sound great to me. I do my own set ups and keep them going. A 2004 seagull grand and a 2012 Ibanez 000 and 2022 Recording King G6 parlor . There is a 2012 Recording King dirty 30's parlor and a 2012 Luna parlor both all laminate but they sound good.

I did have two nice Gibson's in the 60's , 1966 J160E and a 12 string all solid.

I just don't have the funds for an all solid wood acoustic but I really don't need one or the worry of one cracking when it gets dry here.

I just enjoy playing and do have times where a few weeks pass when I don't pick one up . Such is life.
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