A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an introduction to the 12 bar...
I first started playing guitar when I was around 11 years old. For years prior to this, we’d had a child sized classical guitar in my house that no-one touched. That was until one of my older brother’s friends came around to the house, grabbed a 10 pence piece to use as a plectrum, and started thrashing out old covers of Green Day songs.
It totally captured my imagination, and shortly afterwards my parents bought me my first guitar. For the next 5 years I was totally devoted to the instrument. I would come home from school to practice for hours each night and I started listening almost exclusively to rock and blues music. Thanks to my parents – I was one of the few 15 year olds going to B.B. King, Chris Rea and Dire Straits gigs.
Then it all fell of the side of a cliff…
University, relationships and a brief dabble with the world of high performance sport saw the guitar put to one side. Practice stopped almost altogether, and for a couple of years, I barely took my guitar out of its case.
The situation marginally improved when I graduated and got a job. I joined a band and started playing more. But a nagging feeling persisted. I still wasn’t practicing regularly and it showed. I was rehashing the same old licks every song, and there were (and remain) some serious gaps in my playing.
It wasn’t all bad. I began listening to a greater variety of music, and I totally fell in love with the blues. I became entranced by legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King and Eric Clapton, as well as modern artists like Gary Clark Jnr, Derek Trucks and John Mayer.
I’ve since become determined to improve as a blues guitar player. To practice consistently, learn new material and fill in those gaps in my musical knowledge.
I wanted to share the journey, so I started this blog.
If you’re a fellow guitar player, I hope you’ll find the content interesting and helpful. More generally, I hope the blog is useful for anyone that’s trying to balance their passion for a creative endeavour alongside work commitments, relationships and everything else that we have to juggle. This has been the biggest challenge for me and I hope to provide some practical ways of overcoming it, that you can apply to whatever creative endeavour you’re pursuing.
Above all though, this is a blog for blues lovers.
I love everything about the blues. Simple and pure in form, it beautifully captures the breadth of human emotion and experience. To listen to the blues is to engage with the universal issues that we all face – love, desire, grief, anger, loss, loneliness, pride and joy (sorry, I couldn’t resist…)
The blues has amplified the joy of my happiest moments and has provided comfort in those times that haven’t been so great. It has remained one of the only constants of my life, and it has enriched it immensely.
If nothing else, I hope to share my passion for the blues and spread the good vibes 😁
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