Hi, I’m Mark.
I hadn’t even considered a musical instrument until I was 14. I watched my friend play Green Day’s Welcome to Paradise on guitar. If he could play, why couldn’t I? I begged my parents for an electric guitar. Instead, I was subjected to 6 months of classical guitar lessons (I soon discovered it is possible to play Green Day on a classical guitar, but doesn’t quite have the same effect).
Eventually, I got an electric guitar, I was in heaven (my parent’s eardrums were not). I played before school, after school, whenever I could, every day for hours on end, I was hooked.
Over 15 years later, I bought a cheap ukulele. I thought it would just be a bit of “fun”. I was wrong, it wasn’t just “fun”, it was inspiring and it was addictive.
I’m older and wiser now, and I certainly don’t approach the ukulele or guitar in the same way as I did.
Playing with other musicians is the best education anyone can get. This is especially true when working with musicians from different musical backgrounds. I never knew I could learn so much about phrasing from a classical flutist. I never knew I could learn so much about chord structure from a pianist. I never knew I could learn anything from a drummer! But all these things are true. And I have incorporated many of these inspirations into my playing style.
I primarily play ukulele and solo fingerstyle guitar these days. It turns out those 6 months of classical guitar lessons were of greater worth than I ever realized at the time.