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  #91  
Old 06-24-2023, 07:10 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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I began playing guitar after seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. My older brother got a guitar that year and played for about a week then I took it over in ernest. It was a Stella with horrible action but I was able to teach myself some basic Ventures songs. A year later I got a Lafayette Strat knock off that had better action. There were many friends who also began playing guitar at this time and we all tried forming bands. A year or so later I got a used Fender Jazzmaster and learned a lot of songs. I became lead guitar in a giging band through junior high and high school. I took guitar lessons at a local shop for about 3 weeks then quit as the instructor wanted me to learn notation and I wanted to learn popular songs. After High School I sold the Fender (still kicking myself over that) and my big Heathkit amp and bought A guild acoustic which I played off and on for many years. My next guitar was a 1980 Ovation Legend and got more serious about my playing. About 15 years ago I bought a Larrivee L09 and began lessons for fingerstyle. I always wanted to play like Alex DiGrassi or Leo Kottke and figured I better get real instruction for this. I have loved fingerstyle and although I don't play as good as my idols, I have been able to record a CD of my favorite fingerstle songs and hope to continue playing all of my guitars, acoustic and electric as long as I can. The guitar has been the most consistant joy in my life no matter what is going on.
P.S. I eventually learned tab and standard notation...
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  #92  
Old 06-24-2023, 08:41 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yair Matayev View Post
Hello fellow acoustic guitar enthusiasts!

I thought it would be interesting to create a thread where we can all share our personal journeys with the acoustic guitar. Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner, we all have unique stories and experiences that have led us to pick up this beautiful instrument.

So, let's get to know each other a bit better and share our acoustic guitar journeys! Please feel free to answer any or all of the following questions:

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?

Don't be shy – let's share our stories and inspire each other in our pursuit of musical growth and enjoyment! Looking forward to reading your responses!
I don't have a journey, but I do have answers to your questions:

- Started in '68.

- I started because my high school buddy asked me if I wanted him to show me how to play guitar.

- My main musical background was a houseful of my big sister's barefoot folksinging buddies caterwauling in our livingroom all the time when I was in grade school.

- I think the first song my high school showed me was the Doors' version of "Backdoor Man." Or maybe Dylan's "Mister Tambourine Man." (When I was about nine, my sister tried teaching me "Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home" on ukelele, but it didn't take.)

- The challenge was that it's hard! I overcame it with practice.

- One big milestone was learning to play for an audience. When I was in my mid-thirties, my beloved Travis Bean got stolen from my bedroom (the only room it ever occupied). So I saved and saved for a new guitar, and when I bought it, I justified the expense by saying that this time I'd bygod learn how to play in front of people. A local bar had a Sunday afternoon blues jam, and the host band was real friendly and supportive. So I started getting the hang of standing on a stage looking like an idiot. Now that I'm retired, I gig and look like an idiot regularly, thanks to that.

- It hasn't impacted my life, but it has affected it. The guitar (any guitar!) is my one enduring lifetime buddy.

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 06-24-2023 at 09:06 AM.
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  #93  
Old 06-24-2023, 07:26 PM
BlueBowman BlueBowman is offline
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When did you first start playing the acoustic guitar?

In 1995 when I was 15. I had learned piano earlier on, and that for sure helped me pick up guitar quicker.

What inspired or motivated you to learn the instrument?

Probably SRV more than anyone at first, but also flamenco and gypsy jazz (and every style of blues).

Did you have any musical background or experience before playing the guitar?

Piano, though only for a couple years at a young age. I still don't read music at all...which is my shame.

What was the first song or piece you learned to play on the guitar?

I think it was Dust in the Wind.


What challenges did you face while learning, and how did you overcome them?

I wish I would've learned theory in a more comprehensive way sooner!

Do you have any memorable experiences or milestones in your guitar journey that you'd like to share?

Absolutely! And that would be learning to be proficient at improvising (though some days are better than others on that front )! As much as I enjoy writing, improvising has always been the most important thing to me in music. The heart and soul of musical expression, I think. To be in the moment, in the pocket, in the groove...nothing else exists but that rising tide under your feet, and you just pray you won't fall off. Yeah, I love it.

How has playing the acoustic guitar impacted your life?

I've benefitted economically from it at times, and I have made so many great friends through music. The love life never waned when a guitar was within reach. But most importantly, I'd say playing music is one of the best forms of mediation/therapy a person could have. It's saved my life so many times. I don't think I would be the same person without having a guitar or piano nearby. It's a gift that we all get to play music.
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  #94  
Old 06-24-2023, 08:38 PM
bbintn bbintn is offline
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I started playing in 1972 at age 15. I wanted to be a singer and was singing in a band with some guys in high school, and one day at practice they told me the bass player was moving away, so another member was going to take over bass and I was going to learn guitar. I said "cool!". The lead guitarist showed me how to play "Aimless Lady" by Grand Funk- Em and A over and over. I went home and played those two chords for hours. The next day I learned something else and took it from there. I"ve always played by ear and never took any lessons.
In the early days I started writing songs because it was easier than learning other people's songs. I eventually moved to Nashville (in '88) and spent the '90s writing at Sony/ATV Music Publishing. I had 8 songs recorded by major label artists but never got the big single, so in 2001, with the shrinking of the music biz due to people downloading (pirating) music, I decided to get a real job. Now I lead worship in church every Sunday, and my wife and I play and sing together wherever and whenever we can.
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  #95  
Old 06-24-2023, 08:46 PM
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Gee, I really think I started playing because of John Prine. His songs were so strong and simple, I just had to learn how to do that.

Prine and Steve Goodman were the first artists, after the Beatles and Dylan, that really struck a chord with me. I will be forever grateful to the two of them.'

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  #96  
Old 06-24-2023, 09:00 PM
abn556 abn556 is offline
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I was around 15. After 5 years of piano lessons and some time on drums, my cousin showed me how to play E-Type and A-Type bar chords when we were on a vacation visiting them in North Carolina at Ft. Bragg. I learned how to play American Band by Grand Funk. I know - its not an acoustic song. But it got me started on guitar. Iíve played both acoustic and electrics ever since.

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  #97  
Old 06-29-2023, 03:33 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I like how @BlueBowman addressed the questions in the OP directly, so I'll respond in kind. I'm getting older so I hope it will keep me from rambling too!

When did you first start playing the acoustic guitar?
I started playing seriously in high school, but I was made to take lessons when I was about 9-10 years old.

What inspired or motivated you to learn the instrument?
We went on a family vacation to the Jersey shore and my teenage cousin brought another stringed instrument to serenade the teenage girls in the rental unit downstairs. I had been playing in the sand all day with no sunscreen on and was laid up with heat stroke and sun poisoning and pretty much out of it, falling in and out of consciousness because of a splitting headache and skin that was on fire. The sound of the strings and the crying of the gulls was therapeutic.

Did you have any musical background or experience before playing the guitar?
No, though my mom listened to a lot of records when I was young (early 1970s.) Her tastes were eclectic (at least from my perspective and in comparison to what I'd heard on the radio) with vinyl albums from the likes of Joan Baez, the Moody Blues, Peter Paul and Mary to more jazzy selections like Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Billie Holliday, Gato Barbieri, etc.

What was the first song or piece you learned to play on the guitar?
I could be cheeky and say it was "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple but in all honesty it was the melody to Love Me Tender from the Mel Bay Method. The first "real song" I learned to play was Stairway to Heaven when I was a teenager.

What challenges did you face while learning, and how did you overcome them?

I was bored by having to take lessons from the Mel Bay Method. I couldn't identify with any of the song selections and the progress I made felt too slow. I quit taking lessons a couple of times but my mother was a single parent who was a little too self involved, so she practiced "tough love" by continually taking me back.

Do you have any memorable experiences or milestones in your guitar journey that you'd like to share?

My final teacher had a degree in psychology so he read the subtext and talked me back into it. His teaching style was also much different and instead of a textbook, he'd write the lessons himself in a music notebook and taught me how to train my ear so that I could transcribe songs by ear. He also introduced me to guitar magazines and worked with me to learn all of Stairway.

By that time I'd gotten the bug and listened to lots of records and bought a lot of guitar magazines. What really got me into playing music wasn't learning chords or strumming patterns but getting hooked by melodies. The song that did it for me was Jeff Beck's interpretation of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready."

How has playing the acoustic guitar impacted your life?

It's been therapeutic. It's like meditation that helps me reboot my mind when I feel overwhelmed and learning to slow my tempo and focusing on singing while playing helped me to focus, regain a feeling of calm and even to "find the groove."
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  #98  
Old 07-10-2023, 03:01 AM
puggy puggy is offline
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Two words....."Harriet Smith", helper at the youth club where I attended Saturday morning and she started a group learning session for guitar.

My parents had no idea where my newly found obsession for learning guitar came from but obliged with a old beaten up secondhand acoustic.

Good Lord, I worshipped that woman, although I suspect she was oblivious to my obsession as I spent most of the Saturday morning hiding in the corner, unable to look at her.

Never was " Michael row the boat ashore" slaved over with such fervour.

P.S. She was probably in her early twenties, I was thirteen.....

P.P.S there was a sticker on her guitar case which read" I suffered for my music, now it's your turn" which still makes me smile when I think of it
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  #99  
Old 07-10-2023, 06:49 AM
vintage40s vintage40s is offline
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Started with a Favilla classical when I got to college in 1960.
Other people around me were playing.
No musical experience except Glee Club singing in grade school.
First songs were by Joan Baez and Kingston Trio.
First challenge was replacing the Favilla with a steel-stringed Martin, next was to learn alternating bass. Was fortunate to have players to learn from.
First memorable experience was when the alternating bass pattern just came into my fingers as the hand was dangling alongside a chair leg in study hall.
Second memorable experience was teaching a class of teen-agers to play and sing at a community center in senior year.
Third memorable experience was recently discovering back picking from Steve Goodman on YouTube.
Guitar playing and singing has been a good companion to have for the past 60 years.
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  #100  
Old 07-11-2023, 03:45 PM
zimmy65 zimmy65 is offline
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When did you first start playing the acoustic guitar?
I started on a Yamaha acoustic guitar when I was about 14-15 but switched over to an electric within months (probably because my acoustic wasn't set up properly and was too hard to play). I took weekly lessons at my local music store for a couple of years but just felt like I wasn't very good and put it down.

In my late 20s I started taking classical guitar lessons at the local conservatory and felt I made a lot of progress but wanted to play different genres of music so I quit and wandered from teacher to teacher unable to find one I clicked with.

Over the next couple of decades I played occasionally but usually gave up after a few weeks frustrated by lack of progress. Despite my frustration I held onto a Blueridge steel string along with the old cheap classical guitar I had acquired along the way.

Earlier this year (as I'm closing in on 60 years of age), I started taking classical guitar lessons at the conservatory again and also started dabbling in playing fingerstyle on the steel string (trying to learn some Bert Jansch pieces). I love playing again.

What inspired or motivated you to learn the instrument?
Listening to Neil Young in high school made me want to learn to play. I had also played a ukelele briefly in grade 3 and really enjoyed it.

Did you have any musical background or experience before playing the guitar?
Not really. I've since learned some piano and clarinet along with taking music theory classes.

What was the first song or piece you learned to play on the guitar?
It might have been "Old Man" by Neil Young.

What challenges did you face while learning, and how did you overcome them?

The list of challenges is too long to list but breaking things down into smaller steps and practicing (along with getting guidance from a good teacher) have been my main strategies.

I struggle with learning by ear, but work at it occasionally as I know it's a skill that can be acquired.

Do you have any memorable experiences or milestones in your guitar journey that you'd like to share?

Learning to read music, understanding some basic theory along with finally learning the fretboard were game changers for me.

Also, not comparing myself to others and stopping putting pressure on myself to achieve a certain "level" have helped me immensely in just enjoying where I am on the journey.

How has playing the acoustic guitar impacted your life?

Like others have said it can be therapeutic, especially when I'm able to lose myself in what I'm playing.

Last edited by zimmy65; 07-11-2023 at 04:00 PM.
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  #101  
Old 07-12-2023, 02:41 AM
jazzd jazzd is offline
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Cliche'd or not... it was indeed Zeppelin, the Jimmy Page instrumentals.

Christmas age 14, asked for and was lucky enough to be given the boxed set, then woke up one day at age 15 w/ Bron-Y-Aur in my head, and an overwhelming urge to play it, so that following Xmas I asked for a guitar, folks got me a Yamaha FG-something and lessons, and I've never looked up since.

In college, a buddy taught me the open G tuning for That's The Way, and since then for better or worse, bc it was easier and addictive, I've played almost exclusively all kinds of open tunings that've evolved into my own (I'm told, cool) style so I can rarely play covers and am still limited on the traditional neck, but can write some pretty songs.

My original Yammie was stolen from my car in 2003, which turned out to be a total blessing in disguise, bc insurance covered it, got me an Alvarez AD60CK, then finally when I got a real job, I traded that against my first "real-er" guitar (Breedlove Atlas DR) and ever since, it's been nothing but GAS with quite an affection for Alvarez/Yairi & Yamaha.

But my fav guitars are all still Martins, nothing has yet dethroned the D-15, HD-28V & D-18 to my ears, not even much more expensive luthier builds.

30 years later I've finally learned how to play Bron-Y-Aur. Go figure.

Thanks for asking, brought up some very nice memories.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yair Matayev View Post
Hello fellow acoustic guitar enthusiasts!

I thought it would be interesting to create a thread where we can all share our personal journeys with the acoustic guitar. Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner, we all have unique stories and experiences that have led us to pick up this beautiful instrument.

So, let's get to know each other a bit better and share our acoustic guitar journeys! Please feel free to answer any or all of the following questions:

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?

Don't be shy – let's share our stories and inspire each other in our pursuit of musical growth and enjoyment! Looking forward to reading your responses!
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Last edited by jazzd; 07-12-2023 at 02:51 AM.
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  #102  
Old 07-12-2023, 07:51 AM
brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
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Around 1960, 12y/o. at the height of what Dave Van Ronk called the "Great Folk Scare," i was hooked by all the guitar oriented music around. I had played piano from an early age but really wanted to play guitar. After a few months of lessons using Mel Bay, I went on my own to learn. When I heard Leadbelly and Muddy Waters, I was hooked on the blues, especially Leadbelly and his 12 string. Got my F212 in '65, stayed with blues/folk stuff until an old band mate turned me on to classical guitar around '73-'74. Been going back and forth between the two ever since.
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  #103  
Old 07-12-2023, 08:31 AM
Steve-arino Steve-arino is offline
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Lot's of backstory for me but I'll net it out.

I'm 68. I decided in my mid 50's that I'd devote myself to learn how to play fingerstyle guitar when I retire. I didn't want to have to look for a pick when they wheel me into the old age home. And guitar was something I could learn and get better at as I age. The first couple of years were frustrating but after 8 years (retired at 60) I couldn't imagine not playing.

Interesting reading this thread; contrary to many long time players, I don't have physical issues that keep me from getting better yet. One of the benefits of starting to play later in life is that you have no where to go but up. I accept that I'll never play like TE; imo when you get older, the outcome is not as important as the doing.

Playing guitar has added indescribable joy to my life.
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  #104  
Old 07-12-2023, 12:49 PM
Roksbug Roksbug is offline
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When I was in the 6th grade the school I went to hired a new music teacher. She started a guitar class. We had an old beat up $12 guitar from Fred Meyer shopping store. The action was so high on that thing that I still can't believe it was possibe to play on it.
First chord she showed us was Em, then G and then either C or D.
After two classes I wanted to quit. My mom said "why don't you give it two more weeks and maybe you will start to like it.
She was right! I practiced constantly and was loving learning new chords. THEN, I received John Denver's Greatest Hits album and I was obsessed with leaning all those songs.
Over the years I always seemed to "stumble" onto new songs by accident. For example, one day I was sitting on the couch trying to write something new. I started playing a guitar part that I was thinking I made up. I kept playing it over and over and it really sounded familiar. It turned out I was playing the intro to the Rod Stewart sone "You're In My Heart". I played it note for note.
Even when I was a well into my teens and gravitated more to electric guitar I always had an acoustic around. I got back into more acoustic in my late 20's and would always be asked to play at parties or even small get-togethers. It seemed that inevitably someone would ask if I new any John Denver. I probably made them sorry they asked because I knew at least 80-90% of his music.
I've been fortunate to have many nice guitars over the years and have also made many dumb mistakes in getting rid of some of them. Some of them would now be worth at least several times their initial value.
Now in my late 50's I've developed a nerve issue in my neck that has affected my fretting hand so it's difficult to finger many chords. I have trouble wit a "C" chord and bar chords are out of the question. I am seeing a surgeon tomorrow to see if this can be corrected.
At this point it seems strange to not be able to play many songs but to know in my head what chords or finger picking is needed on many songs.
We'll see what happens next.......
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  #105  
Old 10-01-2023, 04:27 PM
gurroz gurroz is offline
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I tried playing the guitar 20 years ago with no success. After retiring over a year ago I bought a Ukulele (well actually 5 of them) and plaid them every day for 1 year. I purchased a used Yamaha FG700S for $100 thinking I could play it. I was right! The uke gave me a tremendous head start learning the guitar. I already knew strumming techniques, timing, chord changes, the circle of fifths, and Travis picking. In addition, my fingers already had calasas. I enjoy folk, Americana, and old cowboy music which lends itself to strumming.
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