What made you play guitar?

  • Was it a song you heard?

    Was it the fact you were bad at sports and a bit spotty?

    Or was it the hope that being ace on guitar would get you closer to leather-clad boobies? (Or cod pieces for the lady-kemper players out there).

    For me it was Johnny Marr's jangles and layering...and before that...during....and after that revelation of majesty I have been metal through and through!

    But weirdly it was HIM, and not Yngwie or Vai that made me say 'I want a guitar'.

    If people ask what I would be if I didn't play guitar, then I say I would be a virgin.

    What/who/when was your divine moment of inspiration? I have been very grateful to talk to many of you on technical matters - but still don't know how you ended up doing the greatest thing ever! GUITAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

    PRS Custom 22's - PRS 594 - Diezel VH4 - Carol Ann OD2 - Colin the Kemper - CLR Neo ii.

  • Under a Blood Red Sky by U2 was the first record that elevated a guitarist to guitar hero for me. Even though the “solos” are very simplistic by other standards, hearing the crowd go wild every time Bono shouts “this is The Edge” made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. My older sister played guitar and my best friend who lived next door started getting lessons at school, which made me very jealous. I asked my sister to try to learn the solo in The Electric Co. and when she was pretty successful, I had to give it a go for myself. She was always banging on about this guy Jimi Hendrix, so I got her to quickly show me the chords to Hey Joe as she was on her way in to town, her thinking that I’d never get it. By the time she got back, I could play it, including the little lick at the turn around. Then I was hooked.

  • I was 6 years old, when I saw a band on television called "the guitar army". They had a bunch of guitarists and it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Sold. Tried to find out about them later, but never found anything. But still remember that day when I knew what I had to response when someone asked what I wanted to be. A guitar player.

    Long live the sixstring. Keen on reading responses here. Great thread :thumbup: .

    Gear: Strats & KPA. Plug Ins: Cubase, NI, iZotope, Slate, XLN, Spectrasonics.
    Music: Song from my former band: vimeo.com/10419626[/media][/media][/media] Something new on the way...

  • For me Metallica & Van Halen as I grew up as a teen in the 80's , but I knew something great happened in my childhood as my mother listened to rock ( born in 71) , but the definitive factor was Jimmy Page and Led Zep.

    yes I discovered Led Zep after metallica , I can recall the exact day & circumstance : my younger sister let a tape in my car after borrowing it for the Afternoon. It was summer , really hot & sunny I just passed my final high school exams with success, them bam ... I hit the car audio button ... communication breakdown ... I was like whaaaaaaat ??? and my spinal cord was shining from the inside, just like if was just discovering the joys of sex.

    I bought an used guitar & amp for the equivalent of 100€ next week and a full book of tabs of Led Zep classics and Kill'em all tabs also.

    I never really took guitar lessons and self taught myself ( no internet at this time ) , when I look what kids have at their disposal now ......

    I then spent lots of years overthinking the guitar & tone and never really developing anything but still loving it , then stopped for 10 years because of frustration in tone.

    I then got back to it when the KPA arrived on the market, that's exactly what I was waiting ... for 10 years ... I then had access to all these tones I had in my memory ... What a bliss

  • Jimmy Page here too. Led Zep II in particular. But also Duane Allman, Clapton and Jeff Beck. The 70s in general. Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, J Winter and Santana. In the 80s SRV. I still love the classics. Beck is still SO inspiring! Eric Johnson, Slash, Lukather, Bonamassa, Gilbert, etc. I've always liked good guitar playing. Also great jazzy comping. And good songwriting. The Beatles, Bowie, Prince,..A good song may move me more than a good solo. But a great song with a great guitar riff is what I always wish to write and never achieve. :(

  • Randy Rhodes! Of course then it was all of the others mentioned above too but Randy started it with Crazy Train for me. The rest of the list is way way too long but lately I like Johnny Hiland a lot and going back to some old Al Dimeola and Malmsteen. I like it all and there is so many great players out there. For me I think it really boils down to what mood I'm in and what your looking for a great performer, technical chops, speed or a great song writer. Octane is my favorite XM channel for sure.

  • The 80's!! I was 12 and was listening to all these bands with that crazy lead guitarist playing faster than the wind with crazy colors guitars and Walls of amps, cabs and racks of effects!!! It was so cool back then, I wanted to be a rock star and in the 80's, that spots really belongs to the guitarists. Everything was just over the top, too much gain, reverb, delay, chorus, compression, too much notes but it's still hands down the best era for guitar IMO. Not only for that hair metal thing, but so much other great guitar heros were at their top in those days, Lukather, Landau, Robben Ford, Michel Cusson (Uzeb), Eric Johnson and so many others. Yeah, those were the days. Almost all of my Kemper patches are built around that wet tone era. This is what still inspires me to play today. And tomorrow and forever!

  • At the root it was just the energy. There was something in the sound an electric guitar made that I could feel that I couldn`t explain or define but I knew down to my last atom was there, and I knew I wanted to tap into it. I didn`t want to be a "rock star", per se. I wanted to make someone else feel what I felt when I heard it. Rocky George was my first inspiration, then Kirk Hammet. Then when I heard Joe Satriani`s Summer Song I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with the guitar and within a couple of months I packed up my things and moved to LA to attend GIT. My financial aid wasn`t even approved yet when I left, I just knew I was somehow going to make it happen.

  • Let's see where do we start when you want to play air guitar....... Zep, Nazareth, Boston, Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, Eagles. Learned to play a couple cover tunes and then moved to blues from listening to SRV. Now mostly improvising to blues backing tracks. Didn't pick up a guitar to really start playing until my 50's so it wasn't about getting the women, already have a keeper!

  • Back in high school all my mates surfed (really well too.. jerks ) and I kinda spent more time trying to not drown than carving graceful washes in the setting sun while out there.

    Option two was to kick back on the beach, and chill with the the pretty ladies in the long warm Australian evenings.. Yeah, i thought that sounded like a pretty good gig . Some time that summer I acquired a beat up old acoustic, strung it lefty and became a beach guitarist .. a really terrible cliche one.. but a guitarist none the less. haha.. and just never put it back down.

    First riff ever learnt.. intro to "One" by Metallica. Not the whole thing mind, just those 3 notes.. and I was hooked..

  • Probably showing my age here but... initially my absolute complete life-changing obsession was brought about by listening to my older Brother's early prog-rock records, especially tracks like Dance on a Volcano by Genesis (when they used to be brilliant); he is/was also a massive Thin Lizzy fan. I had absolutely zero understanding/comprehension of how those noises were created. I then heard Iron Maiden's Powerslave album, also some AC/DC and some Rush and realised that simply listening passively wasn't quite good enough. At around that time Master of Puppets was released, I bought the earlier Metallica albums and that was the absolute turning-point for me: I ended up playing 5 hours a day on school nights, and 12-14 hours a day on the weekends; until going to university and playing regularly in local bands. As it turned out, the very very early 1990s wasn't a brilliant time to attempt guitar-based shred music in a wee place like Edinburgh, but it's made me the man I am today :wacko:

  • Steve Lukather.

    Back in the late '70s after hearing Hold the Line I was inspired to give it a go.

    Turns out I played bass instead and it wasn't 'til I messed my hands up in a factory production-line job that I decided I had no option (couldn't gig anymore) but to learn audio engineering and try to "concoct" the impression that I was a band. At last I had an excuse to play guitar! The funny thing is I'm no better today than I was 25 years ago. I just don't seem to be cut out for playing guitar, whereas bass came easily-and-naturally to me.

    Doesn't matter 'though, 'cause I love guitar so much, and will never tire of hearing virtuosos, especially in the fusion, prog-rock, neoclassical-metal, glam-metal and jazz genres, strut their stuff. Always-inspiring and... riveting! 8o

  • For me, I had a pretty well-rounded musical upbringing. My dad listened to classic rock radio daily and has a pretty awesome vinyl collection and cassette tapes...mind you the vinyl he has is original first pressing stuff like Led Zep, Moody Blues, The Who, VH, Pink Floyd etc. My mother on the other hand is a massive Elvis Presley and Motown fan so that introduced me to a lot of cool music. I grew up digging rock n roll and my dad being a world class (air) guitarist always made me focus on the guitar tracks. I can easily point to two specific things that made me want to play guitar.

    1.) The Dukes of Hazzard. As young boy (born in '75) I loved this show. Loved the car, but seeing Waylon Jennings plucking that black Tele in the beginning theme music always made me want to try guitar.

    2.) Christmas 1987. My family was decorating for Christmas and my dad had put on the local classic rock radio station who was in full holiday mode. They played Little Drummer Boy by Jimi Hendrix and while I was familiar with Purple Haze etc, I had never heard his version of the Christmas classic. I was pretty amazed by it and I expressed my immediate love of this version to my dad who pretty much replied with "You've never heard that before?"

    Wanting to not look uncool to dad I explained that I knew Hey Joe, Little Wing, Purple Haze etc.....then my dad says his favorite was Jimi's version of the Star Spangled Banner. Being a schoolboy I chuckled thinking he was pulling my chain. He asked me what was funny and I sarcastically asked what he was talking about and how that song could possibly be his finest moment on guitar.

    I'll never forget the look on my dad's face. Probably the same look most kids get from dad when they let a curse word fly accidentally. Or the fear when a child says he doesn't believe in Santa. My dad literally drops everything (armload of Christmas lights) dashes to the record cabinet, pulls out Woodstock on vinyl, puts it on the record player, POINTS at the stereo staring at me disapprovingly as if I was a dog that had soiled the carpet and was to be shamed and made me pay attention. The next 5 minutes would completely alter the course of my life as I heard a man take a Fender Stratocaster and somehow simultaneously convert it into a human voice, bombs, fireworks and feedback and brought an entirely new meaning to the American national anthem. One which seamlessly told a story, somehow transported my mind not only to Woodstock, but a moment in the 1700's as I could never have imagined. I'm not sure I blinked in those 5 minutes. I AM certain I made my dad play it two more times after that. Got to experience (no pun intended) Richie Havens impassioned acoustic playing on Freedom and just knew I needed a guitar. Unfortunately being just inside 12 days of Christmas, probably around 8 maids a milking day it was too late to write Santa a new letter asking for a guitar for Christmas and it would instantly become my personal Red Rider BB Gun I'd prayed would be under the tree. Alas....it didn't happen.

    Luckily 6 months later for my birthday I received a white Harmony guitar for my birthday and began learning Zep, Jimi, VH, Metallica, but sadly......I still can't stand country music so I'll never learn the Dukes of Hazzard theme. Sorry Waylon, but thanks for the youthful inspiration nonetheless.