You were a lucky kid. I am told that my grandfather played at house parties when my mother was a young girl (1930's) and that he played a number of instruments. Unfortunately, I never knew that until long after his death. I will say that it was important to my mother that her children play instruments and she loved to hear us. Family is so important in encouraging us and it does become tradition.
Playing touches something inside that nothing else can touch. No day is complete without at least a few minutes on the guitar.
I made my first guitar at the age of about 17 - inspired by Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran - and eventually sold it and bought my first electric guitar. After many years in rock bands eventually came to traditional Irish and English and (with a few later years in a rock revival band) now play with friends and in occasional informal acoustic sessions.
I am still developing my hybrid plectrum/fingerstyle playing method and aim to continue doing so as long as I am able. I had a bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome situation about ten years ago which was affecting my playing but after minor surgery the problem was solved and has not returned as apparently sometimes happens.
Most of my best friends are through music. Music is always there when you need it. It can lift you when you're down and gives you a unique way of expressing your feelings.I am now 68 and it is my intention to keep on playing and developing for as long as possible.
As a kid growing up in the 50's and 60's, my Dad had a guitar around, but he knew only a couple chords and a few Hank Williams and other early Country artist's songs. However, even though I was chompin at the bit to play guitar, for whatever reason, he didn't want me to. At age 8 a door to door accordion teacher stopped by and played a simple waltz on a little 12 bass squeeze box and then dropped it in my hands and said give it a try. I tried my best to play the tune exactly as he had...........well, the next 8 years of my life revolved around lessons and performances from talent shows to church luncheons either solo or with an all accordion band. But mostly, it was at family gatherings basically to show me off. I understand now that my folks were proud of me and were doing what they thought was best for me. But...................I hated the damn accordion! And I didn't much like being trotted out ALL the time to give family and friends a show. At age 16, in high school, around 1967 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the times they were a'changin! I bought a cheap guitar and much to my parents chagrin, I taught myself to play. I did everything wrong, but loved every second of it. I was soon playing with other people, partying and going my own way. Now, music is music and I got a really good base of knowledge through the accordion lessons from some pretty decent teachers, which I appreciate now and I definitely let my Dad know well before he passed on how grateful I was for his persistance on that note. I got married young and had 3 kids and like so many others I know music took a back seat for the next 30 years or so. But the point is "why do you still play" right? I never really QUIT playing, ever! I just didn't play very much cause I didn't have time. So, about 15 years ago, I noticed the house was quiet when I got home and my beloved Martin D-28 was just waiting there, so I went to work. Now, here is what I think is the key for me - I never find music to be boring at all (well, maybe accordion music) like most people do, I mean when they pick up the guitar or some instrument and get tired of it right away. For me, tunes are playing in my head all the time and I am compelled to learn new and wonderful things all the time even at 60 years old! The thing is, how can you hit a wall? Ya know? If you are bored with a piece, then aren't there about 50 others waiting to be learned? It's hard work, yes, but the well is infinite!
One more thing. Again, a nod to my early teachers. Whether you had music lessons, or grew up playing by ear in a musical family, a song has a beginning and an end. Play it start to finish and stay on tempo! Even I would loose interest if I didn't at least do that...................Play on fellow geezers!
Wow, been a while since anyone posted on this thread. Hopefully some of you are still following it.
For me, being self-taught, I never learned much on the how-to side. Oh I'd pick up a song or two by ear but I never had a lesson, couldn't read music and was generally inept. Then a funny thing happened. I got an iPad and started listening to music through headphones at work and heard guitar sounds I'd ignored for years. I started looking up tabs and how to read them and discovered in the years gone by the internet had become a wealth of info on how-to stuff for guitar. It revitalized me and I picked up more tips and could do more in my old age than I ever dreamed possible in my youth. Which stimulated the urge to get back involved and buy a new guitar. Now here I am looking for what I want next. I'm back baby! LOL
Not counting the toy plastic guitars that I used to rake across the bars of my crib, I've been playing for 50 years. Like many have said, it's therapeutic, a form of meditation. Never mind that even pushing 60, the chicks still dig guitar pickers. Having a few extraordinary guitars is certainly an inspiration to play. I have a pair of McAlisters and a BTO LKSM in koa.
I have to admit I don't know a lot of brands beside the well known biggies. So what's a McAlister and what in tar-nation is a BTO LKSM? (I get the koa part, and the chicks comment too. LOL)
Not to butt in to the conversation, but BTO LKSM = a Taylor-ism for "Build-to-Order" Leo Kottke Signature Model 12-string
I grew up with my dad playing guitar on radio in Brantford Ontario. I remember him going every Friday night to play and Saturday at local bars' . I started playing when I was 12 along with my brother. I have collected 6 guitars over the years .I love playing for my own pleasure love a guitar that plays well and looks fantastic still nice every once and a while to get with old friends and play. And just maybe see a few more acoustics I might like be fore I die lol
Man don't you love it when you find a guitar that fits ya. I just picked up a Martin 00-15 and feel right at home. I'm a fingerpicker. I think I have gotten over this idea you need a wider neck if you fingerpick. I have smaller hands and like the narrower, slimmer neck. I think a slim neck was what players like Merle Travis and Les Paul and Robert Johnson were using.
I should have your restraint (or maybe good sense). I think I may have bought 6 guitars in the last few years.
my wife says if I bring one in I have to take one out I need new hiding spots lol
My genesis with nut width and string spacing has gone the other way round. Up until about 2006, I thought playing fingerstyle on a standard scale length neck with a 1 3/4" nut was ok. After playing many, many other guitars I find a slightly wider nut width 1 13/16" and string spacing at the bridge at 2 5/16" with a short scale 24.9" length is just about perfect. I now have 2 guitars with this configuration and couldn't be happier! The 1 7/8" and 2.0" wide nut widths are just too wide though. I find playing them difficult even on a nylon string guitar.