May 16th, 2015

To Everyone Who Helped Me Learn to Play Guitar

Many years ago, my mom and dad took me to the music store in Belleville. There, I picked out a red Gibson Melody Maker guitar and started two years of guitar lessons with Mr. Masloski. I learned a few things, the most useful of which -- other than the general ability to figure out where to put my fingers on the frets! -- was picking up the Chet Atkins style of fingerpicking from his beginners' books on the subject.

After we moved to Guam, my amplifier failed and I ended up putting the guitar down for many years until roughly my junior year of high school when Sam moved in next door. He also played guitar and had a working amplifier. We spent a good amount of time at his place plugged in and playing together very badly. :) But I was playing again.

Not too long after that, we traded in the Gibson on an Epiphone six-string acoustic which (happily!) did not require an amplifier. This gave me many more options for playing and I started picking up music books: Beatles Complete, The Songs of Paul Simon, America Complete, the complete Jim Croce collection. I learned a lot about playing guitar from playing those songs and songs from other collections that I snagged. (It was many years later that I finally realized that the reason that I couldn't make my fingerpicking sound like Jim Croce's was because there were two guitarists. Humph. I learned a lot by trying though. :) )

And I found filking, which taught me more about playing guitar (with thanks to Wulf and Barry) and showed me that I really could write my own music.

Thanks all!