I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14 years old, learned my first chords on my mothers acoustic folk guitar and got my first electric Ibanez on my 15th birthday. At the time I was neck deep into the Anarcho punk scene (and have been for many years after) and used the guitar mainly as a tool to express my outrage at the injustice of “the system”. 🙂
After a few years of DIY guitar playing (no studying, no lessons, no theory whatsoever.. just getting on stage and being loud and in your face) I started to learn songs from other bands and started to think of my instrument as more than a means to an end.
I remember well, I was at a friend’s who was also into blues (very daring in our scene back then) and he had put on a Stevie Ray Vaughan album. I instantly fell in love with the jazzy instrumental blues songs he did. Then there was also Melvin Taylor’s album “I’ll play the blues for you” that completely blew my mind.
Since then I’ve always wanted to learn how to play jazz but I had a long way to go still…
Somewhere in my early twenties I took the first step to learn some theory and subscribed to the Music Academy in Antwerp, first 3 years of “solfege” and theory, then 3 years of classical guitar because there was no jazz education available at the academy. Then in the 3rd year there was and I followed both classical and jazz. I had a half year of weekly flamenco lessons as well but we never got very far, we did some bulerias rhtythm guitar techniques but never got to the solo stuff because the Spanish teacher was often absent.
After a few years of Jazz guitar at the Academy, I lost my steady job at a CD distribution company because it got swindled by a client and went bankrupt. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I got a very nice severance pay and used it to buy an amazing Ibanez AS200 jazz guitar (like John Scofield plays) and the rest to pay my rent and (a little) food for my first year in Jazzstudio (Antwerp) which is an alternative to the Conservatory; daily lessons instead of 2 hours a week in the academy.
I must say that this has been a turning point in my career as a musician. Up until then I had only heard how talented I was and couldn’t help feeling “special”. All that changed very quickly at jazzstudio, a school full of people like myself, where I was not “special” at all. 🙂
Since then I’ve played with lots of musicians whom I consider to be a lot better than me, which is an blessing and a curse… I enjoy the higher level of playing immensely but it often leaves me feeling like I should be able to play better.
Of course I have to admit that, unlike a lot of top musicians, I’ve never been able to focus on music alone, and enjoy the rest of what life has to offer too much to do that. There are many other interests competing, some of which are represented on this website, some that aren’t (like sports). So I guess that I have nothing to complain about. You reap what you sow and I’ve sown enough to eat well. 😀
- funeral dress
- belgian asociality
- antwerp attitude
- antwerp gipsy-ska orkestra
- tachyon – burning shoes
- belgian asociality – wakker worre
- antwerp gipsy-ska orkestra – tuttilegal
- belgian asociality – kabaal
- antwerp gipsy-ska orkestra – i lumia mo kher