My Guitar Story: Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Playing
In this video I want to answer a question that many of you have asked, over the years: when did I start playing guitar? I’ll not only answer that question, but also go pretty deep into my complete guitar playing story. My early attempts to learn, the various times I quit, what finally got me over the hump, what my big early inspirations were, ruts I’ve hit along the way, and finally – a summary of all the big-picture lessons I’ve learned along the way.
My goal in sharing all of this is to give you context on the path I’ve taken. To be honest, it hasn’t been a straight line! There’s been plenty of zig-zags, false starts, areas of frustration, and times in my live when I struggled to find guitar-playing footing. It’s my hope that in detailing all of these travails, it may help you contextualize your own guitar playing journey.
Here’s a list of video timestamps:
- 2:14 Trying to learn as a teenager (1990s)
- 7:06 Going to college, getting over the hump (1999)
- 10:27 The first favorite guitar songs (2000)
- 14:15 Getting my 1st nice guitar (2001)
- 16:59 Notebook of printed song notes (2003)
- 19:03 Playing live (2003)
- 24:07 Starting to play less (2005)
- 24:30 Writing songs (2008)
- 25:44 Started the Song Notes website (2012)
- 29:38 Started my YouTube channel (2013)
- 32:06 Started regularly posting to YouTube (2016)
- 35:54 Started PDFs & Patreon page (2018)
- 39:21 Finally getting a 2nd guitar (2020)
- 41:33 Final thoughts & advice
Some of the items I mention in this video…
My original binder of printed Song Notes (2003)
As I mention in this video, back in ~2003 I spent a ton of time creating a binder full of printed “song notes”, where each song was meticulously formatted to fit on a single page (for the most part). Here’s a video tour of that binder, if you’re interested:
My brief songwriting period (2008)
I also mention in this video, the period of songwriting I partook in 2008. You can listen to all of the songs I recorded below, and you can also read the lyrics here.
My ukulele video lessons (2016)
Back in early 2016, I started recording video lessons (technically, “covers”) again – after taking a 3 year break. These videos were all recorded on the ukulele, and match the songs I was casually learning at the time. After I created this handful of lessons, I was again struck with the bug to start recording guitar lessons again… which quickly followed! But if you’re interested, here’s the uke videos I recorded.
The year I started making videos again (2016)
Although I cover it in my full video above, here’s a video I recorded back at the end of 2016 just after getting into the groove of making YouTube videos again. This marks the start of a 5 year (and counting!) era of continued, consistent productivity.
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