My Inspiration to Learn and Play Guitar

Samantha, Rita, and Jeanne 🙂 Here’s why:

I’ve been in to music since I was very young. My Mom had a lot of old albums like The Ink Spots, Marty Robbins Gunfighter Ballads (the pink album), and several crooners. My Dad played the trumpet but he only played for himself in his bedroom. I don’t recall his playing in front of us, ever. It was a brass trumpet but with a silver mouthpiece. When I was in school, I joined the band and played Dad’s trumpet. It was in a tweed case. I actually played pretty well. There were three of us playing first chair and another guy and I would compete and swap First Trumpet. I learned how to read music as well. Unfortunately being a military family, when we moved I didn’t continue.

30 years later my younger daughter, Samantha was going through musical stages. Voice lessons, piano lessons, guitar lessons, etc. My ex and I had split by then but I attended the showcases. They sold the guitar when she moved on to the next big thing but I was interested. I stopped in to Apple Music in Fredericksburg VA and asked what I would need. I bought a Made In Mexico (MiM) Telecaster, hard case, Fender bullet amp, a few picks, and a tab book of songs. I even bought my only ‘For Dummies’ book (Guitar for Dummies) and tried that. Not very inspirational though. A few years later I bought a Fender Acoustic in a box. Came with a gig bag and some other swag. I also bought a Bad Horsey Wah pedal for some reason 🙂

I did try to learn through the book but never really got anywhere. I carried the Tele with me as I moved around and would occasionally break out the books to try again even learning a little bit of Stairway to Heaven.

About 5 years later Rita, my second wife and I were visiting her cousin in California and he had a couple of guitars. I mentioned I’d been trying to learn from a book but he said my fingers were the wrong shape and I wouldn’t be able to play well (too rounded).

In Dec 2010, Rita tried to convince me to sell the guitar and gear (“either sell it or learn to play”). As she is pretty minimalist, I’m reasonably sure she wanted it gone but wouldn’t come right out and say it. And of course that kind of thing doesn’t work too well with me and I figured, the heck with it. I’m taking lessons. Humorously Rita signed me up for a group lesson at the rec center. 10 or so of us with acoustics each playing one bar of a song 🙂

The first one on one lesson with an instructor, Zack watched me fumble and made a couple of shape suggestions which pretty much opened my eyes and I was on my way.

I’m making up for lost time and pushing to get better so I can play with others. The little I’ve done has been excellent!

Jeanne has been super supportive over the past couple of years even singing with me on one Student Showcase last year. Someone being supportive of your efforts is immeasurable in motivating you to advance and improve. I’m pretty self-motivated but like many people, can lose interest if progress is not seen. Jeanne has pointed out that I’m improving and encouraged me to continue learning. That moves this into Awesome! 🙂

Thanks Samantha, Rita, and Jeanne 🙂

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