Looking back

gibbycustom

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Evening everyone…Does anyone ever miss the excitement of first learning to play? I’ve been playing guitar for roughly 27 years, and I recently heard one of the first songs I learned to play. I had a moment of nostalgia, and was thinking of how amazing it was to learn songs and techniques in the beginning. I was a teen in the nineties, and I would print tabs from the shiny new internet thingy. There was just something so special in those early years that I just can’t capture anymore. It wasn’t about being a shredder, the gear, or even being better than the next guy..it was just the joy of learning and playing. Maybe it’s just me…I haven’t been jamming with friends like I used to, or playing as much at home. We all just have lives and responsibilities now, and playing long hours isn’t an option anymore. Maybe I’m being sappy, but I was just wondering if anyone here has felt like this, and if you were ever able to recapture some of that magic.
 
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simon connor

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I've been playing since I was 14. I started taking lessons in college, but it was pretty hard work and much of the jazz theory they were teaching was beyond me. Then I played in a band for seven-ish years during and after college. That ended when I moved to Seattle in 1991 and I actually started studying guitar in a way that worked for me (or I was just old enough or something, I don't know what it was...) Anyway, that point, when I was 30 years old and I started actually studying it seriously, was the time that I got the most excitement from it. Interestingly enough, the last few years during the pandemic I started taking lessons again (because what else was I going to do, pandemic etc...) and I had times where I felt that excitement again. So that's my suggestion: find a good teacher, one that works for you, and take lessons!
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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I've been playing since I was 10 or so. I'm still learning new things. I've learned new stuff every year for 30+ years.

Always new styles, genres, techniques, songs, etc to learn.

Guitar doesn't get old. You get out of it what you put into it.

I even go full circle sometimes and learn a new Slayer/Iron Maiden/Yngwie/whatever song like when I was a kid.

Idk, it's all fun n games. It's guitar. Guitar is fun.
 

smk506

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My interest comes and goes. It’s been pretty strong the last few years. I’ve seen an improvement in my playing and learning lately and I’m thinking about taking lessons again to sharpen up my skills and see if any theory sticks this time.
 

Lungo

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I will say I forgot to mention it's ok to take a break once in a while.

When you come back to it it feels 'new' again.
It’s like the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I had to take a break from playing this year because I fucked up my knee and had it immobilized for a while and then could only bend about 60°. Probably could have played but it’s hard when you feel like shit. I’m getting back in the swing now and it’s great feeling.
 

redcoats1976

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my first guitar teacher was a trip.he would come out to the house in his old VW,if he didnt run out of gas,probably high and whip out his old martin(it was old in the 70s).when he played classical gas on that sucker it sounded just like the record.hes probably up on some cloud by now playing his harp and waiting for me to show up for lessons...
 

PeteK

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I first started playing guitar around the time Green Day's "Dookie" album was big. I learned a lot of the songs off that album so still when I hear "When I Come Around" or "Basket Case", I get a little nostalgic about it. I don't remember exactly what the very first song I learned was, but Green Day were some of the firsts.
 

SteveC

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It was more "frustration" than "excitement" for me. Having a tin ear meant that I spent countless hours lifting the needle, rewinding the tape - trying to hear and trying figure out. Coupled with my lack of DNA-given talent, learning as well as improving, was quite difficult.

At one point the yield wasn't worth the investment. And, life began to take on different priorities. Family, career, and general living was the order of the day. So, I put away the guitar for many, many years (25+?).

Fast forward decades to the YouTube era... the kiddies were all grown up, my career was on autopilot, life had become stable & stress free. I decided to start playing again.

Learning songs became automatic. Actually, the correct term would be memorizing songs. Days & days of trying to hear the chord changes and follow the flurry of lead lines were a thing of the past. Lifting the needle was replaced by rewinding the video. It got to the point where I could learn a new song in a few hours, then in a few minutes.

Much to my surprise, the more songs that I learned, the better my ear became. I found myself sitting on the sofa in the evenings with a guitar in hand, figuring out the jingles in the commercials - just for fun.

The only limitation remaining was my inability to play some/many of them. By and large, that was never overcome. But, even with that - there were still literally hundreds of songs that I could play. The last time I counted, I have about 450 songs in my personal 'fake book'.

I ended up playing in a few cover bands for about 10-12 years, then grew tired of that scene. Now, I just dabble at home. I buy backing tracks and play along with them.

Thinking back... the early years of learning how to play sucked balls for me. :laugh2:
 

efstop

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I haven't played for more than a few minutes at a time in years. I learned simple songs by playing single notes by ear, and then my dad showed me some chords so I started learning the songs he played and then tried to learn chords of other songs by ear. I suck at that, generally, but now I can find the chords on the web.
For a song that I know from airplay, I only need the chords and usually don't have to watch a video to know how to play it.
 

MenaceMartin

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I haven't touched my guitars going on 6 years now. I got frustrated with my lack of progress and inability to play solos... my fretting fingers just lack the agility, like they are taped together. Had been playing for around 15 years at the time of stopping (started guitar at the age of 14), and returned to playing Drums.

I do still think back to the first song I ever learned. I heard "Mutter" by Rammstein, the main guitar lick in the chorus. I thought it was an awesome tune, so I 'borrowed' my older brother's guitar and learned it. I thought it was friggin' amazing! I absolutely loved playing guitar.

I still have all of my gear... I'd never sell or get rid of any of it, ever. Granted, the LP will need a service/setup after sitting for so long.

So I will return to it one day. I know for certain I've forgotten pretty much everything I'd previously learned, so I'd be starting afresh.



PS. I guess I could say that along the way I forgot that playing guitar was about enjoying it for myself, and not about having to prove my abilities to others. That's something I'm still having to remind myself on the Drums currently, because I fecking love drumming.
 
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NotScott

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My parents bought me a Decca guitar and amp from Sears when I was 9. I thought I was progressing well and played every day until I saw George Benson on TV one night. I was so discouraged that I couldn't immediately pick up what he was doing, I quit playing for a couple years.

When I was 11 we moved and that old guitar became my only and best friend in a new city. Back then, we didn't have the Internet nor cable TV so I spent most of my time playing along to the radio or walking to the nearest music store to buy song books. Up until then, I didn't have a pick so I used a piece of plastic from one of my old models. I remember when I bought my first pick, I felt like a rock star!

Living in the NY metro area, there were plenty of cool radio strations to listen to but I quickly became bored with the usual FM pop playlist dreck so I commandered my parents reel-to-reel recorder and connected it to the stereo and would wait for hours for the cool rock station to play some Jeff Beck or Deep Purple. I would record the songs and then play them back at 1/2 speed to really learn what was happening. I would stay up all night practicing Blackmore riffs with a mug of hot chocolate (I still have that very same mug today along with those song books!), often getting a late night visit from my dad reminding me of the time.

All of those memories of buying my first pick, walking through the snow to buy a music book, staying up all night with that reel-to-reel tape machine, the hot chocolate, are my fondest in my guitar playing career, despite the countless gigs, sessions and travels I have made over the years. I couldn't ask for better childhood memories.

KyUwKs3.jpg
 

efstop

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I went for so long without playing that I forgot how to hold a pick or maybe I just get fed up with adjusting one :laugh2:
I have a few dozen picks but rarely use one. If one starts migrating while I'm playing, I toss it and use my finger tips.
 

Leee

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Probably could have played but it’s hard when you feel like shit.
I completely understand this.
There were plenty of times that I decided to push everything else aside and get a couple of guitars out and see what I could do.
If I couldn’t get my head into it, I realized I couldn’t remember songs that I should be able to play in my sleep.

Or my tempo was loose.
And something I’ve always been proud of, at least I had a good sense of timing.
When I couldn’t even pull that off, I realized my head was nowhere near where it needed to be.

Put these beautiful, shiny, valuable toys away carefully, and go back to slaying dragons in the real world.

A few big life-changing adult-world events over the years meant that my guitars stayed cased up for many months at a time.
Even a few years here and there.

I've been "learning to play" for over 3 decades.
Exactly!

One of the bright spots of being a mediocre player is that most other players are far better than me.
:rofl:
I can always learn something from hanging around with guys who have some serious chops.

… …

I’ve bought and sold and traded dozens of guitars.
So just the gear aspect of it is fun.

My first Les Paul, over 30 years ago, just didn’t work for me.
I sold it.

The second one, I had a little longer.
But I sold it too.

Maybe I really am just a Strat guy.

Bought my third Les Paul, and it was a keeper.
Bought my first tube amp, and figured out why the first two Les Pauls didn’t work for me.
So I bought the second Les Paul back.
I still have it.

I remember getting my first Marshall over 20 years ago.
Holy cow!
I couldn’t use them anywhere, but it was great therapy by the time I had a full stack and a couple of heads and some different cabs to play with.

When the prices got irresistible, I finally decided to sell off all of my Marshall stuff over the last couple of years.
I don’t really miss it, but it was a lot of fun at the time!

Sometimes a few years passed in between, but I still get some stuff out and kill most of the day at home by myself, remembering why I first wanted to do this back in the 70s even before my voice changed.
 
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