Not Every Musician Is A Band Kid

Senior Nathan King taught himself how to play guitar when he was 15 years old.

“I was at my sister’s house, and it was when Guitar Hero Live first came out. I was playing it, doing horribly. I turned off the game turned to my brother-in-law and said ‘You know what? I’m going to learn how to play guitar,” King said.

King, who enjoys learning rock music from the 60s, used the Internet to look up chords and YouTube tutorials rather than attending guitar lessons.

“There are some things that I’m sure if you had somebody who’s been playing guitar for years and knows what they’re doing to teach you how to do something. I feel like with some techniques you can do this that way or this that way and they can help you learn the better way,” King said. “I’m sure there were things that are like that and that if I got lessons, I probably would’ve learned it a lot faster, but I wouldn’t say it was harder because regardless with lessons or teaching yourself, you’ve got to start somewhere.”

Freshman Nico Carlson is also self-taught but has since taken lessons to better his skills.

“I started playing guitar a couple years ago; I had a little Toys-R-Us guitar, and so I started learning songs on that. My parents said I wouldn’t be able to have lessons until I had gotten better, so I basically taught myself. I found my dad’s old guitar, started using that and started taking lessons about a year ago,” Carlson said. “I go to Guitarworks, and this guy Mark teaches me. He’ll pick songs to do that’ll help improve finger strength and overall getting used to guitar. It definitely helped having someone show me what to do instead of having to figure it out.”

Carlson acknowledges that teaching himself was challenging but has overcome that obstacle and expanded his skills past the usual acoustic.

“I think that’s why I liked it; it was something to learn. Obviously I wasn’t very good but I really loved it, making music. Most people don’t know how a guitar works so that was pretty cool. For a Christmas present I got a bass guitar and I have started taking that to the lessons,” Carlson said.

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