From The Beginning – How I got started
Why do I play?
I always have people ask me why I started playing music, and when. I’ve always had a love for music. I grew up like most people, listening to my parent’s music collection. They were into a lot of oldies and classics. I’m talking stuff like 50’s du-wop, surf music, Elvis, CCR and old school country. I remember running around singing along with all those tunes.
When I was 9, our neighbor gave me an old classical guitar but I had no idea how to play it or what to do with it. I didn’t have anyone around me who could teach me so it got stashed away in a closet.
The spark re-ignites
A few years later I got the itch again. I started really getting into keyboard heavy bands. It was pretty cool what they were doing with synthesizers and that’s when MTV actually played music and not reality shows so I was always hearing something new and innovative. I wanted to be a part of it but there was a problem. Well, actually a couple of problems. I didn’t have a keyboard. I couldn’t play the keyboard. I couldn’t read music. I didn’t have anyone around me to learn any of that from. But screw it, I was bound and determined.
First comes theory
I figured first thing’s first, I needed to learn a little about music. Theory that is. I happened to have an old encyclopedia set so I locked myself in my room and went volume to volume, cover to cover and wrote down everything I found that referenced music. This became my study guide. From that notebook, I taught myself to read music. I now also had a basic understanding of how the keyboard was laid out and how to make a few chords.
Now it was time to actually get a keyboard. I had saved up and bought a little $100 Casio keyboard. It wasn’t much but it made sounds. Not nearly as cool as the synthesizers in the songs I was listening to, but it was a start. I hit the ground running. In no time, I was playing full songs and even figuring out how to mimic some of the sounds on the hit songs I heard on the radio.
Practice makes perfect
I was playing that thing every chance I got. I started getting pretty good at it. My high point was figuring out the intro to Jump from Van Halen by ear. Yep, that was pretty cool. There were a few friends in the neighborhood that saw what I was doing and of course the next thing out of everyone’s mouth was “Hey! Let’s start a band”. Sure, why not? A bunch of guys with no instruments, no musical knowledge…..makes sense.
So off we went. Time to form a band. Obviously, I was on keys. About that time I met Gary who was also into keyboards. There’s two. I don’t remember who was supposed to be on drums. Hell, I don’t remember if we even had that one planned out. I do remember that Eric next door was going to play bass. He just needed….a bass. So he started dropped subtle/not subtle hints and just a few short weeks later, a brand new bass appeared under the Christmas tree!
Well, that’s how it started. We’ll continue with the rest of the story in the next post. Be on the lookout for chapter 2. Thanks for following my story. If you want to stay more connected, subscribe to the mailing list and click the buttons below to get notifications straight to your computer and on Facebook.