Hello everyone my name is Jim and i hope to meet you all.
I misspent my youth growing up in San Francisco during the hippie era. I love all genre of music but i am particularly interested in playing the blues,and classic rock music. I was fortunate enough to be able to watch most of the great artist of the 60's,70's,80's. when i was in my youth i always had access to a guitar but just fooled around on them but after getting married and working never had the time to devote to playing. it seemed when i had the time i had no guitar to practice and vice versa. Go figure.
My wife passed away from Cancer a few years ago. I retired early to be her caretaker. Now i have lots of free time so I bought me a Fender Strat and small fender practice amp. I really like Gibson guitars but decided at my age it was to expensive for my budget.
My goal is to learn as much as i can with the time i have left to live but most of all have fun.
Nice meeting everyone
So sorry to hear about your wife passing. Music is a great pastime to help deal with everything in our lives.
I too dabbled on guitar years back and fell away from it for years and eventually got back to it.
Welcome to MGA there is lots to learn here so I think you will have a lot of fun! Enjoy it. I hope you will post to the forum and keep us informed of your progress.
thanks Clayton, being a newbie to MGA i have been trying to navigate my way around and i thnk i am getting a grip on it.
I feel like a kid in a candy store. so much to learn and a lot of very cool practice sessions . looking forward to chatting more with you in the future.
Welcome aboard Jim!
Like you I'm an old guy that came to the guitar late in life. I was busted up in an accident when I was fifty and had a three plus year rehabilitation before getting back to "normal" what ever that is. During that time a friend and life long slinger came for a visit and asked if I might have interest in learning guitar? In a wheel chair I had a lot of time to watch the paint dry so I said sure, why not. He brought me an old Strat and some Mel Bay books and that started my odyssey into the Blues.
Physical therapy got me to crutches and that enabled me to enroll in lessons at a local music shop close to home. There I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Tony Baker. A multitalented Slinger that could play just about anything on the guitar. Classical, Jazz, County, Blues, you name it. No slouch when it came to Lap-Steel, Do Bro, Resonator Slide, and all with virtuosity too. My luck was improving when I found Tony.
I was with him for five years when I could no longer be there at two in the afternoon do to my life situation and he had no openings in the evenings. Feeling really bummed, I had to leave and it was hard on my head for me to do so. I leaned on Tony like I leaned on my crutches and he was there when I needed him. The music was healing my mind as my body was healing itself. His would be big shoes to fill.
Then, a couple of weeks later, my luck would improve again. I chanced upon Mr. John Garcia at the School of the Blues in Morgan Hill, forty-three miles south of me, an eighty-six mile round trip. With John I was able to make my lessons two times a month from 8:30 to 9:30pm. That allowed me to take advantage of the open carpool lanes that allowed me to make a one way run in about forty-five minutes if I watched my speed and thirty-five if I pushed it. We would often run over time getting me back home sometimes after eleven. I looked forward to every lesson, the time and miles were the best spent.
John was the real deal. A Blues man that had played with a lot of the greats. He was humble, knew music as a first language and like Robert was not just a great Slinger but a great teacher as well. He seldom missed a lesson and neither did I. However, due to the distance I would always call his cell before I left home to be sure something didn't come up preventing him from meeting me at the studio for my lesson. On the evening of my last lesson we said good by as we always did, nothing unusual. Two weeks later for my next lesson I called as I always had and the phone was answered by an obviously distraught significant other though trembling voice said that she didn't think that John would be able to make the lesson that night, she didn't think he would make it to any more lessons at all. "He's in Hospice", she told me. And three days later he was gone. Sixty-eight years young, no closure, no good byes, just emptiness, I spent seven and a half years with John.
John was as much my Shrink as he was my music teacher. Some lessons we never picked a string. We often talked about life on the road, other players and waxed philosophically about life in general. Those lessons to me were as important as any Tab or Notation. Many of which I still listen to today as we always recorded the lesson to DVD. I'll always miss him.
I continued to practice on my own and started visiting large online sites and individuals, many posing as instructors but were mainly producing to appease there own ego's. I got frustrated tuning in only to see the cluttered rooms, scattered clothing, poor lighting and camera set ups. It was hard to find any wheat among the chafe, until I found Dolphin Street Guitar Robert's predecessor to MGA.
Wow! Roberts video's were different. I saw Robert as an early adapter of technical prowess that was not seen at the time in other guitar presentations. Not necessarily complex as I am sure his site is now but it was clear to me the he "got it". A simple black back drop. Shadow box and key lighting. Multiple camera angles with sharp focus for full, fret and strumming hand vision. And, most importantly, here I found an "instructor" not just a Slinger that can hold his own but can actually communicate what he knows, regardless of the complexity, in a calm, relaxed normal voice in small easy to digest pieces that even I could understand and with due diligence I could perform. He wasn't there to blow his horn he was there for me. I was hooked!
I worried a bit when he announced that he was moving to this site. Would he become like so many of the Super Sites of numerous Slingers to choose from, with large productions capabilities, interviews of players, product reviews, merchandise sales and slowly fade into the background of the business of running a business and let others do the teaching here. I honestly understand the temptation of maximizing return and that he breaks his butt running the site like he does. Who would blame him his fortune? But I have yet to see that in my almost three years here on the site.
What I do see is a one man show that pours his heart and soul into what he has built. And what he has built is not a show case for how great a Slinger he is, his playing speaks volumes by itself, but how he can sincerely make all of us better players. The available notation, tab, backing tracks, looping on the web pages and print outs. The yearly subscription is a bargain! I wish Robert everything he has coming to him in the best of ways. If he is not the real deal, well, Bob is no longer my Uncle!
That's my story of how I found my way here and so glad I did. I hope your time spent here is as fulfilling as mine is.
Play those Blues Jim, they will heal you too!
Oh, I meant to say, I'm in San Francisco too!