So I’m learning guitar…

I started learning guitar when I was 18. While I was away at college a friend of mine got a guitar and started talking about how cool it was.

Ironically, I had turned down a music scholarship for percussion and recently sold my drum set.

I went home for Christmas and picked up (stole) my mom’s old, broken-down, cheap, acoustic guitar. It was missing strings and sitting abandoned in an old closet.

When I got back to school, I immediately hit up the library (no, the web was not invented yet) and checked out a book about how to play guitar. The book was old and taught a fingerpicking guitar style. I loved it. I already knew how to read music and had a strong sense of rhythm from being a percussionist in the band since elementary school.

Within a week I was playing “Worried Man Blues” in C with open chords, using my thumb for alternating bass and three fingers for the chords.

From there it turned into Robert Johnson, CSNY, the Dead, and Zeppelin. Only one thing – I never learned, did not want to learn, and simply could not use a basic guitar pick. For me it was “FPO – finger picking only.”

Well, that actually served me well. I played many live gigs as a fingerpicking bluesman. I still love fingerpicking and always will.

But — I just got a new guitar. It’s an Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II Pro. And I got it to learn how to play Jazz.

So after many years of being Johnny, the amazing fingerpicking country bluesman, I am starting at square one – with a pick.

My goal is to become Johnny, the distinguished older jazz guitar virtuoso.

This time around I am beginning with these books:

So I’m learning guitar…