Folks, I know that this page is something completely different, but I wanted to create a place that I can come and discuss my journey in learning to play guitar.
Although I’ve been learning for a number of months now, I’ve recently found myself out of work, and want to do something with my spare time, in addition to my music reviews and features which I’m so well known for these days.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you will already have seen that on engagements with some bands, I have got involved in some way or other, playing guitar or drums etc. So far, I don’t feel that I’ve done a very good job of it, but have really enjoyed doing it. At the end of the day, life is too short to beat yourself up about things too much. Its all about doing the best you can, and enjoying it!
So let me start by telling you about my journey so far.
I have distant memories from my childhood, (I was about 9 years old) of my mom sending me off up the street with a cheap acoustic guitar of some description, to have lessons from an older girl who was taking music at college. I used to sit in her bedroom which was about 9ft by 6ft to have the lesson, and had to sit on her bed as there was no room once we were both in there with our guitars. She was really patient, and she used to get me strumming chords while she sang the songs, such as Streets of London, Brown Eyed Girl, and Yellow Submarine. These lessons only lasted a couple of months from what I can remember, but as I grew up, I still kept my guitar, and at times I would show an interest in it for short periods, but then give up again.
It wasn’t until I found my love for rock music that I decided I was ready to put everything I had into learning to play. I started having lessons with a great guy called Rich Bates, who was everything I could of asked for from a guitar teacher. He soon had me hooked on learning, and even though I didn’t do a very good job of playing the songs we chose to learn, he continually boosted my confidence and made me believe in myself. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to give up my lessons, but I didn’t give up my determination to learn to play.
So first off, I bought myself a guitar that I absolutely adore with all my heart, an Epiphone Les Paul Classic T in Midnight Blue, which has Min E Tune, another new found love of mine.
Here are some photos of my beautiful baby.
So as far as my ability goes at the moment, I can manage chords, nothing fancy. I can play by fingerpicking a little better than using a pick, which I think stems back to the lessons I had as a child more than any other time. I can play Blackbird by The Beatles, Spanish Romance, and other songs with similar techniques, however, this is not what I want to play! I want to rock!
I’m currently ‘attempting’ to play Psycho by Muse,
along with a couple of my favourite tunes from upcoming bands, Cigarette by Unhinged
and Ride On by Theia.
The basics are there, but I find it hard to stay in time, and obviously any more advanced solo’s are not something I could dream of doing right now, but I’m determined that even if I’ll never be great, I will give it my best shot.
I will be uploading footage of my attempts as and when I can find effective ways of recording myself, and I would welcome any tips or feedback, so please get in touch if you can help me to get better!