What was it that inspired you to start learning to play guitar? Does musical talent run in your family? Was it a particular song, musician, or a concert?
I know it sounds like everyone's story... but I was in the 4th grade when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan and that's hat started it for me! But,I really began to gravitate towards the acoustic in the late 60's/early 70's and loved the Beatles "HELP!" era stuff, like Norwegian Wood and Yesterday...and then James Taylor became my hero! Edward
I went through my desire to learn stage in high school. Started on electric guitar wanting to learn every Police song I could ( I always tell people The Police were my Beatles). After purchasing my first acoustic that's all I ever wanted to play, something about the pureness of it's sound. Still love Sting's solo work and his acoustic playing but really look to Jim Croce as my biggest inspiration as far as acoustic guitar work goes. I did have a great grandfather who was a concert clarinet player and I started my instrument playing on the alto sax.
I don't know if there was any one thing or incident which inspired me to want to learn. Mostly I've just always loved music. And I've always wanted to be able to play music or sing. (neither of which I can do)
When I was a teenager I was really into the music of the acoustic singer/songwriters of that time, like Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, Dan Folgeberg, etc etc. ad nauseum. And really wanted to emulate them. but I was also drawn to rock and roll. Boston, Led Zepplin, Bachmann Turner Overdrive, anybody remember a guy named Jerry Doucette? his one hit "Mama let him play" was in my opinion, the absolute perfect rock and roll song. The sound of a hard driving electric guitar is certainly a force to be reckoned with!
I finally settled on acoustic, mostly because it's easier. I never was able to figure out how to use a guitar pick, and that pretty much ruled out playing electric.
As far as musical talent running in the family. My mother was quite gifted and could play anything on the piano. (She never had any lessons) My Aunt tells me that when they were little girls they would go see a show, and when they got home my mother would sit down at the piano and play the entire score from the show they had just seen!
Sadly, none of that talent or ability seems to have passed on to me. I grew up in a house with a piano and after 18 years I could almost play "heart and soul"... Although my little brother is quite talented with guitar and has become a very adept songwriter as well. I on the other hand, have no innate talent whatsoever and have fought and scraped furiously for every tiny scrap of knowledge or ability I have (which isn't much).
Sometimes it's frustrating when I think about the years I've spent trying to learn guitar, and I keep meeting guys who, after only playing for a couple of months are already miles beyond me in skill and knowledge... But that certainly won't stop me from trying, I love the guitar, and music in general, too much.
I started late. Always liked music but never had any interest in learning guitar as a teenager. Elvis and doo-wop were favorites. This was pre-Beatles. We had a band called The DiGrados (look it up in your musical dictionary - I thought it was cool and sophisticated) with a guitar player, a sax player (sax interlude was obligatory in 50s rock & roll), a piano player, and me on percussion. Percussion consisted of me beating on an empty composition guitar case (remember those?) as if it were bongos because we couldn't afford a drum set. No electronic keyboards available in those days either. We had one really dumb song I wrote which we taped. Our local DJ was kind enough to play it on his radio show one night, and that was our 3 1/2 minutes of fame. Soon after that we split up over artistic differences!
Then, about nine years ago, out of the blue, I started writing real songs - worship songs, pop songs and novelty stuff. I could find the notes on a keyboard and after about four years learned enough music theory and computer skill to write scores with PrintMusic and produce rough demos with Cubase, but I thought I could write better if I had more of an appreciation for music from a musician's point of view. So that's when I got involved with a weekly music circle and picked up the guitar for really the first time. I'm still not much more than a beginner at guitar, but I've learned a lot. I only wish I had started way back when.
Musical talent must run in my family - I was adopted, and one of the few facts I know of my birth mother is that she was a church organist...
In 4th grade, Sally Lang (the music teacher in my school) came through our classroom with a viola, violin, and a cello (brass instruments weren't offered until 5th grade), demonstrated them, and asked if anyone was interested in learning. I picked the viola - cello too big, violin too small (in my 4th grade mind).
About 7th grade or so, my mother started taking me to piano lessons.
Now, the guitar - in 1980 (when I was 17), my grandmother asked me "if I give you $250 for Christmas, will you buy a guitar and take lessons?" I said yes, and a new adventure began...
Why isn't guitar offered in more schools? My brother's son wanted to learn guitar - they don't have it in school in Denville, NJ - now he's taking the French Horn! Nothing against French Horn players, but alas...try bringing a French Horn to the beach, camping, to a fun gathering of friends, or to hospice to play for your dying father...