To all those old dogs out there - how was it when you started out?

Richard O'connor

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
Birmingham, England.
I've been playing for about 20 years now so it's difficult to remember what it was like learning exactly. I don't remember ever struggling (not because i was a child prodigy or anything) because i just loved it so much. Everything was new and everything i learned excited me because it sounded cool and sounded like "music" even if that sounds silly. It made me feel like a rockstar. I remember sitting in front of the t.v watching MTV and Nickleback's 'How you remind me came on', I didn't know any chords at this point, but i remember sitting there trying to copy his hands on the fret board to try and make it sound like the song. Of course, it didn't but i still remember the excitement from trying.
I don't think there has ever been a time when i thought "i've got it", more just never ending frustration, chasing down a new beast trying to learn something different, almost a sense that i'll never be good enough or the player i want to be. But i think this is important as this is what keeps it interesting, it stops it from being boring. What would I do differently? Firstly I think id have stopped trying to BE Slash, i'm sure everybody is guilty of this with their own hero, but I wish i had been open to more. I think this is important because when you are first learning you are a sponge and this is where you develop all of your habits. So I think its important that you learn from as many different people as possible as you don't want to be a carbon copy of someone else, instead you want to become your own player, develop your own sound, this is what will really make you stand out from the crowd.
Secondly I think I would have taken theory a little more seriously, I know next to nothing now and get by with my ear and now I don't have the time nor patients to learn.