It was my 8th birthday. To be completely honest (and at risk of sounding like a spoiled brat) I was a little disappointed with the present now propped in the corner of the room against the wall. There it sat – a 3/4 sized, hollow, wooden guitar with 3 metal and 3 nylon strings.
I’d pictured myself getting home from school to pick up my new electric axe and join the rock legends from my favourite bands in the hall of fame. But there’d be no power slides or shredding solos for me until I’d learned the classical guitar, my parents had said.
They reassured me this was the right way to start out. I learned the ropes with the classical guitar, passing numerous practical and theory music exams but still I longed to plug in, crank up the gain and set the volume to 11.
Fast forward 3 years to my Grandad’s 60th birthday. Tasked with the challenge of a classical guitar rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, he surprised me with my first electric guitar as a reward. Quickly forgetting who’s birthday it was, I scrambled to screw in the tremolo bar, plug in the amp and satisfy my years of built up electric guitar frustration.
It didn’t take long before the classical guitar was neglected altogether and the remaining music grades went out of the window. I wanted to be the lead guitarist in a band. It was only a Squire Stratocaster but everything about it felt amazing – the weight, the thickness of the smooth neck, the sharp 9 gauge metal strings.
16 years old. It’s the last day of school with one exam to go, but all I can think about is getting home and getting ready for the gig. This time, I won’t be part of the admiring audience but I’ll be on stage with my 3 friends, while friends and family watch on in pride. A few feedback squeals here and there but the whole thing is a huge success – at least, it is to me.
For the next 48 hours I rode a wave of adrenaline and excitement, already anticipating my next gig. I decided to call in at my local guitar shop and ask for a job. I began a Saturday shift, cleaning at first but eventually being responsible for everything from restringing and full guitar setup to product demonstrations.
This year I’ll be 30. I’m still an avid guitarist (sadly the band parted ways) and I still love my job in the guitar shop. I’ve had chance to jam with some incredible musicians and recommend guitars and equipment based on playing style and genre, having had over 14 years to finely tune my musical senses.
I spend my free time truly enjoying and getting to know the products I test for sale in the shop. I’ve personally had the pleasure of playing all of the amplifiers, guitars and other equipment I write about here at guitarsoundguru.com and this website is dedicated to bringing you honest reviews and recommendations based on my experience.