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Thread: When did you know you wanted to play guitar?

  1. #21
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    My sister played the flute and was 1st chair all-city her senior year (best high school flute player in Virginia Beach) which inspired me to also to play music. We went to her concerts and stuff all the time and I really enjoyed the experience of it. Between 5th and 6th grade I played cello, viola, alto sax, xylophone/bells, bass drum, and snare drum. 7th grade was the start of junior high and I switched to baritone sax. Together with the trombonist, we were the low end in Intermediate 7th grade band - everyone else played trumpet, alto sax, flute, clarinet and drums. I was chosen for an all city performance and sat next to an electric bass player. I thought it was awesome how he could turn his volume knob down and play/practice while the conductor was trying to work out parts with individuals or groups of players and we were all just sitting there bored. I had also been messing around with my sister's classical guitar and started writing riffs and songs before I ever learned to play some other song.

    My brother, by the time I was in 7th grade, was also in high school and was my parent's worst nightmare. He had older friends who played in a punk band and played the local punk clubs. He was sneaking out his window at night to go drink. Worst of all he was playing DRI, 7 Seconds, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, the Dead Kennedys, etc etc etc for his 11 year old brother. I would hang out with him and his friends sometimes, they would build skate ramps and I would try to keep up with their moves. I even went to a Face Reality band practice once, the band where his friend Nelson played - it was awesome. Nelson had a Hondo 2 Les Paul Custom copy with a bolt on neck that he sold to me for $45. For my 12th birthday I got a Crate G20 with a 12" speaker. It was all downhill from there.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    It was sort of a weird progression for me, with a few starts and stops.

    My father has an old Silvertone archtop acoustic that he bought for I think $20 in 1960 (he was 12), because he wanted to be a singing cowboy, like Roy Rogers or Gene Autry. I banged away on it a little when I was a kid but I wasn't really interested in playing guitar until I was a teenager. I had been taking piano lessons since I was 7, and started playing trombone in band in 6th grade. For some reason I wanted an electric guitar when I was 12 or 13. I wanted a black Strat from the Sears catalog so bad, but I couldn't tell you what triggered that desire. Looking back on the music I was listening to at the time, it was 1989 and I hadn't really gotten into hard rock yet. I just had it in my head that the electric guitar was cool. I'm also left-handed so I thought I wanted a left-handed guitar, but was convinced to learn to play right-handed (still the smartest piece of advice I've ever taken when it comes to music). I ended up buying a black Strat copy made by Arbor at a garage sale probably that year or next, along with a Marshall Lead 20 amp.

    It sat neglected for a few years because I couldn't make it sound like I wanted it to. I didn't know anything at all about distortion, overdrive, or gain. I knew when I turned the gain up on the amp it got louder, but because it was *too* loud for playing indoors I never did get it loud enough to break up.

    For the next couple years I got into 70s folk-rock. James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, and so on. At some point I pulled out my mom's old LP version of American Pie by Don McLean, and decided I was going to learn how to play that song.

    I started on my dad's acoustic but quickly went out and bought my own at the local pawn shop (the guitar itself was not used; it was a new but cheap catalog import sold by a fellow who had set up a small music shop in the back of the store). I paid $60 for it, and, armed with a chord book, I sat in the garage in the back of my parents' 1985 GMC Safari minivan, doors wide open, and listened to that song over and over, figuring out the chords and teaching myself how to play American Pie.

    Then a friend showed me a distortion pedal, and everything suddenly made sense. After that, I decided I would try to tackle Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Couldn't Stand The Weather," on my Strat. It all blew up from there.

    If Don McLean inspired me to start really hunkering down and learning how to play, Rush was the band that made it stick. Another friend had me listen to "Chain Lightning," from the Presto album... and Rush quickly became my favorite band. I picked up an enormous book of music ("Rush Complete") and learned a bunch of their early work. I bought every guitar magazine that had one of their songs in it. The guy who introduced me to Rush soon became my first bassist, and along with a drummer I recruited from marching band, we started our first band. That was the point at which playing the guitar was no longer a temporary hobby to be discarded and forgotten, but a long-term project.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    1972 ( 11 years old ) listening to Machine Head, friend has an old Tesico Strat older brothers were trying to learn Smoke on the Water, I played Violin and figured out the lick been hooked on guitar ever since.
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  4. #24
    Junior Member pickwithaustin's Avatar
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    I would guesstimate approximately right after the first trimester.

  5. #25
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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  6. #26
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sage View Post
    I'm also left-handed so I thought I wanted a left-handed guitar, but was convinced to learn to play right-handed (still the smartest piece of advice I've ever taken when it comes to music).
    +10,000

    I thank my lucky stars that I did not learn how to play guitar left-handed. I was playing lead guitar within a year of picking up the instrument because my dominant hand was on the fingerboard.

    Here's a partial list of famous southpaws that play/played guitar right-handed:

    Neal Schon
    Ritchie Blackmore
    Gary Moore
    Mark Knopfler
    Joe Perry
    Duane Allman
    Danny Gatton
    B.B. King
    Steve Cropper
    Robert Fripp
    Steve Morse
    Mike Bloomfield
    Rik Emmett
    Chris Rea
    Michael Hedges
    Johnny Winter

    Here's photo of Neal Schon drawing on what appears to be a PRS SE:


  7. #27
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    I had wanted to play a guitar since I was very young, and had a crappy little First Act that my uncle broke(he thought he was teaching me to tune the d*mn thing, but in reality he tightened it so much that the face peeled right off the rest of the guitar). I didnt have a guitar for a long time after that. when I was 14/15, I started venturing into Rock music. Third Day, Daughtry, and SKILLET were the favorites. I was watching the live DVD for the Third Day album "Revelation", and I was admiring Mark Lee's guitar collection. my friends dad gave me a Yamaha F-310 Acoustic, and I took lessons from a friend for 6 months before moving to Florida.

    the players that have Inspired me the most are:

    Ben Kasica - (formerly of) Skillet
    Seth Morrison - Skillet
    Mark Lee - Third Day
    Keith Urban
    Taylor Swift
    Oz Fox - Stryper
    Benjamin Burnley - Breaking Benjamin
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    Quote Originally Posted by gush View Post
    I'm in the"buy all the prs guitars you can afford" camp.

  8. #28
    Member boxstop7's Avatar
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    I was 14 years old. It was summer, and I remember being out of school. My friends and I had always been in to music (we did a lip sync routine to Poison's "Nothin' But a Good Time" when we were in 4th grade; turns out my best friend's dad worked with Bret Michaels' mom, and she shared the video with him...we had tickets and back stage passes to every local show for years as a result! But I digress...). We were listening to Poison, Def Leppard, 'Roses, etc. But then...then I got hold of an album that changed everything. Three notes...D, D#, E...in galloped succession. Three more quickly galloped after...A, A#, B. I was so blown away I had to start it over. I managed to listen to the whole progression this time - D, D#, E...A, A#, B...B, A#, A...A, G#, G...G, A, then landing on a resounding E. That riff changed my life forever. It goes a little something like this:



    I told my mom that same day that I wanted one thing and one thing alone for my birthday that year: a guitar. We never had much beyond the absolute necessities when I was a kid, but my mom found a way to get her hands on a black Yamaha guitar, and I never looked back. Nearly 20 years later, a dozen or so bands, several guitars, a brief record deal, and countless memories that I wouldn't trade for the world, the "Rust in Peace" album is still without question my favorite record. It's timeless, it's a masterpiece, and it still gives me chills. And none of it would have happened without my mom. I know she's not on this forum, but she deserves the credit nonetheless - Thanks, mom, for opening this door for me, and for your unwavering and unquestioning support. Through the countless hours of pure noise that slowly, methodically turned into organized noise and eventually intelligible music, I never received anything but reassurance and encouragement. That, more than anything, I'll treasure for the rest of my days.
    Heh...check it out. Under my name, it says "member".

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by rocguitar View Post

    In 1964....after the release of this album!


    This is what did it for me.

  10. #30
    I don't recall making the decision. It was always there.

    It went away between 8 and 13. Then... girls brought it back to me. It was all downhill from there.
    One Life

  11. #31
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    I don't remember a particular song that sparked it, but I know who was responsible.



    I don't remember the first time I heard Johnny Cash - he's just always been in my life. I remember at some point saying I wanted to play guitar like him, and I vaguely remember repeatedly asking, but I don't remember when it all started. I remember that my first lesson was in January of 1971. And I'm still trying to get good.

    I did finally get to meet Johnny in 1987 and tell him that I was glad I was finally able to meet him and thank him because I played guitar because of him. And then he thanked ME.

    Other guitarists have inspired me and helped shape me into the player (technically it's accurate) I am today, but only one made me a guitar player.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  12. #32
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Worst of all he was playing DRI, 7 Seconds, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, the Dead Kennedys, etc etc etc for his 11 year old brother. I would hang out with him and his friends sometimes, they would build skate ramps and I would try to keep up with their moves.
    Your brother sounds awesome!

  13. #33
    Senior Member cosmic_ape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMoonsRJT View Post
    YES!

  14. #34
    Member Dan-d-1985's Avatar
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    Yet another lefty who's a guitar righty.

    I remember the first album that got me interested in guitar was the parisienne walkways album by Gary Moore, followed closely by Sex and Religion by steve vai. I was about 9 or 10 I think.

    I don't know why i didn't start right then, but I lusted for a few years before decidinbg to use my paper round money to buy a guitar.

    I came to guitar pretty late in terms of some of you at least - I was 16 - and I tried a lefty guitar since I am a lefty and it felt so wrong. I went to a righty and it was comfy.

    The first couple chords my dad taught me - C/D and G kept me busy for ages but the first full song I learnt was (I think) pretty fly for a white guy by the offspring haha!
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  15. #35
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Another southpaw here, but I have only played right handed.
    I was around 12 or 13 ('69 or '70) I think when I wanted to play guitar.
    Dad got me a cheap Teisco and small amp with only a volume control, and I know not how to play anything, but I soon learned.
    Took lessons at the local YMCA, and then later a few lessons at a local shop.
    I think the few first songs I learned that I could play all the way were Tom Dooley, and House Of The Rising Sun.

    Friends had guitars, so we later would get together and jam.
    There was no artists really that inspired me to want to get into it, it is just something I wanted to try since other kids in school were playing.

  16. #36
    DGT Club Vice President
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    1987 - "La Bamba". All I wanted was a Stratocaster.
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  17. #37
    Junior Member Nodealcreel's Avatar
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    Seeing Richie Sambora wailing on his Strat, sweat pouring out of him, and getting cheered on in the video for Dead or Alive gave me the idea that if I did that.....maybe the crowd would do that for me. Then in the &th grade, my uncle had an SRV tape...I stuck it in my walkman while trying to sleep one night, and heard Tin Pan Alley....game over. I had never heard a guitar do THAT! Took me a while to get my first guitar, a cheap ARIA strat my wife bought me for my first fathers day gift. 14 guitars later and a regular gig at church on Sundays, I still dont sweat for the audience, but cant imagine one day without a guitar.
    "I've got a job with my name on my shirt!"

  18. #38
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    This is probably the most embarrassing post, but here goes! Taylor Swift got me on to guitar stuff. Of course, i was very much "younger" back then...and that was before i have a guitar.

    But mostly it's because of my uncle. He knew i was interested in guitar, then he sent me a Norman. Canadian made, very high quality yet it's a very affordable one. It's the most wonderful acoustic i've ever laid hands on. That set the ball in motion. I'm pretty much into electric now (and much more "matured" music, obviously) since i've gotten my SE. But every now and then when i'm bored of the stuff i play, i still pick up the Norman, give it a few plucks and strums and it inspires me differently. Makes me want to keep on playing guitar.

    edit: gosh i just realised, i may be the one of the youngest here :haha:
    Last edited by maxtuna26; 07-30-2013 at 10:04 AM.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    This is probably the most embarrassing post, but here goes! Taylor Swift got me on to guitar stuff. Of course, i was very much "younger" back then...and that was before i have a guitar.

    But mostly it's because of my uncle. He knew i was interested in guitar, then he sent me a Norman. Canadian made, very high quality yet it's a very affordable one. It's the most wonderful acoustic i've ever laid hands on. That set the ball in motion. I'm pretty much into electric now (and much more "matured" music, obviously) since i've gotten my SE. But every now and then when i'm bored of the stuff i play, i still pick up the Norman, give it a few plucks and strums and it inspires me differently. Makes me want to keep on playing guitar.

    edit: gosh i just realised, i may be the one of the youngest here :haha:
    There is nothing to be embarrassed about by admitting that an excellent guitarist/singer/songwriter inspired you to play guitar. Im not much of a fan of the "New Taylor Swift" but I have been a fan from the start of her career. 90% of the hate any musician/band gets is undeserved, with the exclusion of Justin Bieber, 90% of rappers, and One Direction
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    Quote Originally Posted by gush View Post
    I'm in the"buy all the prs guitars you can afford" camp.

  20. #40
    unfortuanately it was about fifteen years too late when i realized i wanted to play seriously. in my late teens and 20's i was always to busy trying to pet somebody's kitty, or having to much fun throwing whiskey down my throat. i played for fun then, but those things got in my way. in my middle 30's as i was getting divorced is when i realized how much i truly loved it and wanted to get serious, but by that time all my music budde's were working different shifts, paying mortgages, raising kids, and time was few and far between. now at 51, my passion for playing is stronger than ever, but time has basically run out except for just some fun jamming with friends. if i could go back 35 years and change everything, i would devote every waking moment to music. (and maybe a litle time for kitty's)
    Last edited by helmi; 07-30-2013 at 06:44 PM.

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