Why Did You Learn to Play Guitar?

Here’s the question that every guitar player gets asked “Why did you learn to play guitar? For some it’s to be cool. Others to try to be a “rock star”. Then there are the players who just wanted to express themselves as “artists” or “musicians” if you will. Lastly there is the brutally honest group who just say they wanted to learned to get chicks.

I for one got started playing the guitar because of two reasons. 1- My cousin played and ever time we visited he had some friends over jamming (sometimes with another cousin) and it sounded so cool that they were playing together making music right then and there. He was a few years older and actually played out doing (gulp) gigs! Reason #2- The Beatles. What else can you say about reason #2 right? I saw them on TV and just thought they were the absolute coolest thing EVAR!!! Still do as a matter of fact. I thought that being in a band, playing guitar wearing cool clothes and making buckets of money was right up my alley. Can you say naive….?

As the years went by and I learned more about playing the guitar and eventually got into some bands and did some local gigging. As I became more serious I did some touring and recording and learned more about music as a business. I sort of fell out of love with the whole idea of a music career and my interest in the guitar, amps and pedals grew stronger. I wanted to know how they all were built and why. What made them tick? What made them different? I had hundreds of questions and this passion lead me to become more of a guitar and amp tech first and a guitar player pursuing and music career second.

I worked for some really great shops and finally opened my own shop doing repairs, mods and restorations on guitars and amps. I also had my own brand of amps back in the 90’s called the Pennalizers. Those were the days when there was just a handful of “boutique” amp builders and no internet. Parts were much harder to find back then as well as cabinet builders and other resources.

So, looking back I think the reason I got started playing the guitar was my love affair with the guitar itself and all the other pieces that went with it. I remember getting my first guitar and within a week I had the whole thing apart (as well as the amp) and back together again. I guess I’m a tinkerer at heart with the notion that a guitar or amp can always be a little bit better, more comfortable and more personal for each player.

So there it is. What was your reason for learning to play the guitar? Please leave your comments here on the blog!