Don't Give Up Playing The Guitar

By Ulrich Dietherr

It was a Robert Johnson tune called "Crossroads", played by The Cream with Eric Clapton on guitar. I never heard anything like that before in my life and boy was I impressed. Because until that very moment, I had never considered learning an instrument.

A friend of mine had started playing the guitar three years before me. We were sitting in his bedroom and we were listening to "Crossroads" coming out of his little tape recorder. And he just played along the song. The riff, the solo, just everything. That left me deeply impressed and motivated enough to get a guitar and start to learn how to play it.

Unfortunately, I didn't want to listen to the advice I was given. Everybody told me to get a regular, inexpensive acoustic guitar in order to learn the basic chords. But I wanted to play like my friend. And he wasn't playing a boring acoustic guitar, but a Fender Stratocaster copy. And he had a Marshall amp. And this is what I wanted, too.

The next day I went to the music store and I bought my first electric guitar. I had never heard of the brand "Rockson" before, but the fact that this guitar looked exactly like the one I had seen in a Jimi Hendrix video, convinced me enough to just buy it. Further to that, with a $50,- price tag it fit perfectly into my budget.

And a lousy guitar it was. The neck had a slight twist and the frets were beyond worn down. But I was still happy and proud, because after all I had just purchased my first instrument. And I started to play immediately. Well, at least I tried to play.

The first thing that I noticed was that I had no talent at all. Learning even the easiest things took me forever. Or just tuning the instrument was nightmare. I'm sure I broke countless strings because I strained them a little bit too much. And there was another thing I had to realize; my finger tips really hurt since I used metal strings, because I insisted playing an electric guitar against the advice I was given.

But anyway, I slowly progressed. The key was, that I never gave up playing. It doesn't matter if it takes you longer to learn things as long as you don't let go. I'm certainly not a great player, but I guess it's fair to say that I can play decently.

The key was that I always kept playing a little bit over all these years and since I had started. There's barely a day going by when I didn't have a chance to get to play at all. And even if it's just ten or twenty minutes practicing a new scale, that's enough to prevent your fingers from getting rusty.

I really like my guitars and I love playing to this day. My kids couldn't care less about guitar music, but they still love to watch me rocking out every now and then. - 31840

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