WHY do you play the guitar? And what do you get out of it? Let’s chat...

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
#22
TL:DR

I need a creative outlet and you can't play drums in a house full of little kids.

Longer version:

I have two sleep disorders and my doctors have told me repeatedly I cannot watch TV or look at any other screen like a laptop or phone for long periods of time for hours before my bedtime. I didn't listen for years but when I did it made a radical difference.

So what do you do for the two hours after a long commute and before bed when you can't do those things? First, you put your kids to bed, but you still have an hour left. Read a book or play a musical instrument! The problem with a book is if it's any good, I will get sucked in and won't put it down and I'll stay up too late. But guitar? Ahhhhh, my hands will hurt eventually and I will be forced to stop!

I played in a band for 10 or so years when I was younger - I became the drummer because we needed a drummer. When I started in the band, I played guitar. I learned a few chords and would strum around, but it wasn't long enough to even learn the first scale. Eventually, we wrote songs and gigged. I wrote lyrics and I directed arrangements. It was a very egalitarian band and I could tell the bass and guitar players "no, go here instead" and hum it out. I could suggest melody lines for the singer - who was also the bass player. They'd suggest things to me. Nobody felt threatened. It was fun and I miss it sometimes. I also miss the creative outlet.

So now I've been playing guitar for a year. I only get to play for 30 minutes to an hour a few times a week, so I'm not progressing as fast as I could, but I'm not doing this to create a band and make it big so it doesn't actually matter. However, I have this intense desire and frequent frustration to write and record. It's the only downside of the hobby because I never have 2-3 hours to setup and do something like that. Even on the weekends. Doesn't matter. I'll carry on.
 

doctorpaul

Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.
Staff member
#29
My older sister played.
When she grew up and left home (she's much older than me), I inherited her acoustic.
I made screetchy noises and hurt my fingers for a few months, then took lessons at school.
Wednesday lunchtimes with Mr Callaghan. I was 8.
It was a challenge, but I was ok at it, so stuck with it.
Then I heard Knopfler play Money for Nothing. THAT changed everything.

Now, I get as much satisfaction from collecting as I do from playing, but both aspects are rewarding.
I don't study, I don't practice ... I neither want to nor need to. I just play to relax ... and to help work out what gear I 'need' next.
 

Scottygilbert

Well-Known Member
#30
Some great answers here, nice and diverse.

I played piano from 7-8 and got to grade 7 Standard, at one point was considering going to music college - but as you approach your early to mid teen years you have access to different types of music. (Oh, and the thought of “studying and practicing” 8 hrs a day....)
When I got to high school I kept on with the piano for a few years, used the playing and theory to get music Higher grade, my second instrument was the guitar.

I’d actually found the drums before that, having a bash on a friends older brother’s kit kind of hooked me. At one point I had two kits mashed together, double bass drums, the works, played in a school band (Beatles, stones, etc) which was great fun.

But, the guitar took over...big time. Lot easier to put out a tune, sing along and make people smile with an acoustic than a ‘mum’s car full’ of drums!?
(Oh, I also played the bagpipes for a while - grew up in the scottish highlands - standard...)

But my love affair with the guitar was there to stay, right in the heyday of GnR, Bon jovi, poison, even Bryan Adams, plus a bit of the stones and Hendrix and I was just in my element.
Scabby Bullet strat copies in the music room, Hondo strat copy, ovation copy acoustic, never really spent any money on equipment - at one point I even chose a Peavey Studio Pro over a 40w Marchall valvestate....I know....I know...just sounded better at the time (to my ears anyway).

Played at school concerts, 1 memorable gig in a local greasy spoon (support act for a country band!?) loss of fun.
Highlight for me was my final year Xmas concert, squealing out Knockin on Heavens door (GnR version obvs...) with 5 of the girls from my class on backing vocals....was rubbish and just awesome all at once :dance:

Played on and off through uni and first part of my career, I love to golf as well, so my guitar playing does drop off a little in the summer when I remember that there are sporting activities I enjoy too....

Nowadays, I’m fully with the good Doctor.....don’t practice, not interest in writing or recording, my enjoyment comes from blasting along with my favourite tunes when no ones there to listen!

Having said that, I spent an evening with a friend of my wife’s who is a gigging guitarist, very talented, absolutely no pretensions (although a bit of a gear nerd too!) but plays for the song / tune.
We spent 4-5 hours drinking and jamming, all kinds of music, switching between acoustic and electric, was great fun :)
Apparently I was strumming away with a smile like a Cheshire Cat the whole night (don’t get out much...)

And that’s why I play the guitar :oops:
 

Speedin Bob

Getcho Groovy Face ON!
#31
Jumping around on my bed imitating KISS blaring Alive II at a ripe 8 years of age then again at 11 with Back in Black.

Paid $30 for Sears shit guitar and junk amp at 15 because my parents weren't that supportive of music and what else is a better and direct way of defiance than doing it your damn self. :) Amp was so bad that it went into the trash in short order and plugged into a mic in on my stereo and plucked around and broke more strings than anything.

A buddy got a Hondo LP and little Peavey amp for Christmas and I had recently bought the Lotus LP copy I still have and play today, a little Peavey Studio Pro 50, and Boss SD1 pedal. Buddy's older brother taught me a G Barre chord, the octave, and how to move it up the neck. I had some sort of time having played percussion in Jr. High band. We clunked around inebriated for a few years playing partial riffs until leaving for the military.

A guy on my ship from my home state came aboard and had a Floyd Rose loaded Charvel and could/can really play. Inspiration and informal lessons I guess. Still close friends with him today. Got out of the military four years later and by then had acquired a '77 Iceman w/ EMG's and a Marshall JCM 800 and 1960a Cab.

There have been a few years where there are less than three digit hours played per year and almost just gave up and sold all the gear.

Life got REALLY shitty about 15 years ago and I bought my first NEW guitar and proceeded to use as a therapy tool to channel the release of all the negative emotions and darkness swirling around my head.

Why do I play and what do I get out of it? The self satisfaction of accomplishment whether it be a song, upgrade, hardware build, hunt for a good deal, or wiring challenge under the guise of non-threatening relaxation, frustration, and an area of my being where I can go to keep the balance. Something positive and have made some good friends.

That's about it. \m/
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#32
Life got REALLY shitty about 15 years ago and I bought my first NEW guitar and proceeded to use as a therapy tool to channel the release of all the negative emotions and darkness swirling around my head.

Why do I play and what do I get out of it? The self satisfaction of accomplishment whether it be a song, upgrade, hardware build, hunt for a good deal, or wiring challenge under the guise of non-threatening relaxation, frustration, and an area of my being where I can go to keep the balance. Something positive and have made some good friends.

That's about it. \m/
This^ is the main reason I play
And GAS
And mod the crap out of my gear
Plus meeting you lot has, and continues to be, an absolute joy...
:hug:
:)
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#33
I work for a Guitar Distributor, so when I'm at home, I tend to play less guitar. I do really need to steam outlet that is band practice every friday. Usually, if I play on friday, I tend to play saturday morning as well, and those are the moments where I get creative and start writing songs. Guitar playing to me is relaxing and a creative outlet in a world where everything works by strict rules. It's become so normal to me, that it's alsmost abnormal to me when somebody can't play a single note.
 

DrJazztap

Well-Known Member
#34
Twenty four years ago I stopped playing the violin. I hated the violin, my father always wanted me to play an instrument so I was told to pick another instrument. My first choice drums was resoundly turned down...hastily i said "guitar".
The guitar has given me so much..I was never confident around the opposite sex but that didn't matter I could put my energy into the instrument. Music has shown me that you can't judge a book by its cover and given me a real sense of accomplishment.

I really don't play or study as much as I used to. But soon soon.. even just strumming a few chords gives me a sense of peace.
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#35
Twenty four years ago I stopped playing the violin. I hated the violin, my father always wanted me to play an instrument so I was told to pick another instrument. My first choice drums was resoundly turned down...hastily i said "guitar".
The guitar has given me so much..I was never confident around the opposite sex but that didn't matter I could put my energy into the instrument. Music has shown me that you can't judge a book by its cover and given me a real sense of accomplishment.

I really don't play or study as much as I used to. But soon soon.. even just strumming a few chords gives me a sense of peace.
:hug:

Also...
BD1337BF-957F-4CA9-AC05-D418BC26EB7B.jpeg
#mandatory
:)
 

craig

Well-Known Member
#37
Great thread!.
I started playing when i was 14, my mum and dad got divorced and i used to go to my uncles all the time and he played. He showed me a few things and lent me a guitar and it calmed me down from acting up as you do as a kid when things like this happen, i stopped going out with my buddies to cause trouble and just played guitar. Was obsessed for years until girls came along, then i stopped on and off for years. The longest period i stopped for was from 23-26 or 27 because i was in a shitty relationship to the point she would say "that sounds shit" and make horrible comments and even turn my amp off when i was playing! I ended up selling my entire collection of guitars and amps which was quite large at the time. Anyway i met my girlfriend just over 3 years ago and i had my Strat in a case on top of my wardrobe, she asked me to play her something and we would spend many an evening with her playing songs on her phone and me figuring them out and playing along, since being with her i have re-discovered music and guitar again and with her help have a nice little collection of great guitars and pedals again along with a great amp.

I know there is probably someone or people on here that have experienced the same thing, so i wanted to share my story of how i started and stopped. You want a good reason to start playing again, heres one "fuck em" thats why!

I have since learnt that nobody or nothing should come between you and what you love
 

DrJazztap

Well-Known Member
#39

I can think of a handful of women who were attracted to me because of my six string shenanigans. Although my friend likes to tell the tale of when I bored a woman at a bar because I was droning on and on about Allan holdsworth

"The thing is he doesn't think like a guitarist...."

Pretty sure I have some sort of social interaction problem.
 
#40
I saw this thread and spent 30 minutes trying to come up with an answer. Can't do it. I've spent too much time with too little result for it to be logical for me to continue, yet when I picked up my Tele to see if I could figure it out I spent another 30 minutes just playing whatever felt good not thinking about anything else. I like zoning out, maybe that's the answer.:p
 
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