I have been playing guitar non-stop since I was 6 years old, since the time I was 6 or 7 years old, since I had to be put in an orphanage in Brazil before I was able to get out to do anything. I would tell people that I just wanted to play, and that I wanted to play to feel better about myself, and what I was going through in my life.
In college, I started to take guitar lessons, first at a band called The Blue Knights. At that time I did not understand the concept that someone could sit down and play a bunch of songs for five minutes over and over again. I really struggled with my performance and the way I played, in general, and realized then that I really needed to learn from people with experience playing this instrument. That’s pretty much what I did for about two years. In the past two years, I have been getting a lot better at how to hold chords in my mind as well as how to listen to songs and think about them.
As far as my playing goes, I am extremely lucky that I had an incredible teachers and family when I started. I had great musicians in elementary school at the time who were playing guitar, so when I got out of college and started to get into school again, I had good guitar friends. I did not have a strong personal guitar teacher growing up, just people telling me to play guitar and that I needed to grow my voice, etc. It’s really weird in this day and age, since we have all the tools available to anyone, to learn, and learn how to learn the art of music. It’s just like anything else in life; you need to get started. To quote a famous teacher, “Learn to teach yourself, then learn to teach,” that’s what I always tell people and it can apply to anything, from learning to play your favorite instrument. I think that there is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with just starting, and that just has to be overcome. I believe it is possible to grow and develop and develop and develop your own skills.
My favorite guitar teacher was Paul Bleysteen at Northern Arizona University. He would always just sit by my desk and play a bunch of songs that he would play in our band. We would always ask him to play at any time and he did it, and he would just play the same thing for the five minutes he had, until one day he finally gave up and played something different, and I was like
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