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#790244 - 01/24/10 04:03 PM First song you learnt to play  
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Nigel Quin Offline
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Birmingham, UK
While reading the 10 songs in your set thread. Someone mentioned The House Of The Rising Sun which happened to be the first song I ever learned to play on the guitar.

I had a basic Teach Yourself Guitar Chords book. All the songs in it were old and traditional and I didn’t really know any of them, except for one, The House of the Rising Sun. My older brother had the single by the Animals and played it a lot which meant it was familiar to me, so a good one to learn. If it wasn’t for that pesky ‘F’ chord I would have mastered it a lot quicker than I did grin

So,

What was the first song you learnt to play (or sing) on your chosen instrument?

What was the story behind you learning that song?

#790245 - 01/24/10 04:10 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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cincinnati oh usa
Cocaine--Eric Clapton/JJ Cale.


bc
#790246 - 01/24/10 04:15 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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Ray E. Strode  Offline
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Uh, maybe WILDWOOD FLOWER.

Can't remember.


Ray E. Strode
#790248 - 01/24/10 04:18 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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Kevin Edward Rose  Offline
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I think it was "Wipe Out", but I had to quit it. The drum sticks were ruining the finish on my guitar.


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#790249 - 01/24/10 04:24 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
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Scott Campbell Offline
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Lakeland, FL, USA
Oh man, I can't remember! grin

Suspect it was probably "Skip to my Lou" grin

But not long thereafter, my brother and I got hold of a Beatles songbook. Those were some hard chords to play but we managed some of the easier songs. I remember the first time we tried harmony was on "Help". smile

Scott

#790251 - 01/24/10 04:31 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Scott Campbell]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
Started with Bert Weedon's Play In A Day book and learned She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain, etc. but progressed to The Breeze and I by The Shadows before long.


Colin

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#790252 - 01/24/10 04:39 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Minneapolis
When I was 9 or 10 I used to take care of my neighbors' dogs when they went up to their lake cabin. (Why they wouldn't bring Monty and Sugar to the lake is beyond my understanding--that's just weird.) Anyway, they had a small but well-tuned Acrosonic spinet piano, and I was glued to that thing. I learned how to play by myself, and I think one of the first things I figured out--after the usual forays into "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul", which everyone seemed to learn back then--was the intro to a brand new Beatles song, "Let It Be". I spent hours and days trying to figure it out, but I eventually did. It was hard to coordinate the left hand with the right, and even harder to sing along without screwing up...but to this day whenever I play that on a piano, I still picture the summer of 1970, sitting at that Baldwin Acrosonic in the afternoon sun.

On guitar, it's hard to say, because I was singing in a rock band in 9th grade, watching the guitarists play all these songs, and it all kind of sunk in at once...I could play licks like the beginning of Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" or the power chords from "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Whole Lotta Love". I guess the first song I remember learning and singing all alone and all the way through on my new $5-garage-sale-classical-guitar was Cat Stevens' "Sad Lisa".

#790270 - 01/24/10 05:49 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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blackrose101 Offline
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I think my first song was "Los Mananitas". I was taught by my grandpa and had to learn everything by ear. It seemed pretty easy, but it was harder than i expected. I dident help that at the time i didnt know a lot of spanish and my grandpa only spoke spanish.

#790271 - 01/24/10 05:50 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Hummingbird Offline
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Victoria, B.C. Canada
What was the first song you learnt to play (or sing) on your chosen instrument?

--Gordon Lightfoot's "In the Early Morning Rain"

What was the story behind you learning that song?

--used to sneak into my older brother's bedroom when he was out, and teach myself to play the guitar by looking at the chord charts in his music books. I thought no one knew what I was doing. One Christmas morning, there was a big box under the tree for me and I had no idea what it was... when I opened it, it was my brother's guitar! My dad had bought it off my brother for me. I still have it too - an Eko Coronado.


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

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#790295 - 01/24/10 06:53 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Hummingbird]  
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Ms.Goody Haines Offline
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It was Columbus Stockade Blues in D at 9 years of age.


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#790315 - 01/24/10 07:59 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Ms.Goody Haines]  
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Rick Norton Offline
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Rick Norton  Offline
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St. Augustine, FL
Probably "Little Brown Jug" during my three weeks of guitar lessons. McHale's Navy was on TV at the same time so I quit my lessons. On my own, either House of the Rising Sun or Wipeout.

#790327 - 01/24/10 09:14 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Rick Norton]  
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Douglas Murphy Offline
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Douglas Murphy  Offline
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
"Sweet City Women" (Can't remember by whom) followed closely by CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"

Doug

My cousin and I were learning the guitar together at the time and he picked it up faster. He was and still is a fan of CCR and I believe it was the Stampeders who sang Sweet City Woman and so he began teaching me. Ya play what ya know.


"Is this a practice? They are all practices." John Denver

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#790332 - 01/24/10 09:29 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Douglas Murphy]  
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Rick Heenan Offline
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Lockport NY, usa
The first song that I wanted to learn and did, The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie." I,IV,V. There were others that I learned but didn't really want to.

#790335 - 01/24/10 09:41 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Douglas Murphy]  
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Two Singers Offline
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Northern Alabama
Originally Posted by Doug Dude
"Sweet City Women" (Can't remember by whom) followed closely by CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"

Doug

My cousin and I were learning the guitar together at the time and he picked it up faster. He was and still is a fan of CCR and I believe it was the Stampeders who sang Sweet City Woman and so he began teaching me. Ya play what ya know.



Doug,

My wife is a HUGE CCR fan. Other than the various compilation albums, she has every original album they ever released...some still in their cellophane wrap. Of course, I'm talking vinyl.


The first song I ever learned all the way through was "Your Cheating Your" by Hank Williams, Sr. It took me a couple of days to get it down decent, but I had learned it good enough to play it before a crowd a few weeks later.

I picked up a guitar for the first time in June of 1961. I played my first paying gig ($8.00 per night!!!) in January of 1962. I was the lead guitar player in a Country band. My father was the singer, my girl friend was the drummer, her sister played pedal steel (she was very good!), their father played bass and I played lead. I had a Chet Atkins model Tennessean Gretch guitar that I played through a Magnatone amp. other than my year in Vietnam, I played at least twice a week, usually 5 or 6 nights, for the next 30 years.

The first guitar instrumental I learned was "Honky Tonk".

A lot of interesting stories here! Enjoy reading them.

Alan

#790348 - 01/24/10 10:38 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Duncan Wells Offline
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Originally Posted by Nigel Quin
While reading the 10 songs in your set thread. Someone mentioned The House Of The Rising Sun which happened to be the first song I ever learned to play on the guitar.[/b]



House Of The Rising Sun? Me too. First song I ever learned in it's entirety.

Last edited by Duncan Wells; 01/24/10 10:39 PM.
#790358 - 01/24/10 11:31 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Duncan Wells]  
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RE_Goldenbird Offline
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Brattleboro, VT, US
The first I can remeber the name of is Chopsticks. There was one I learned before that where you roll your fist over the black keys of the keyboard, but I never knew the name of it.


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#790359 - 01/24/10 11:32 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Duncan Wells]  
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Alador Offline
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WV USA
I'm glad someone else owned up to not learning a cool song first. You and me Rick, Little Brown Jug.
I had a terrible old Stella with strings so high you could use it as a cheese slicer and my cousin also had an old acoustic, but he had an advantage, he had someone who played and was willing to teach him. So one day I'm at his house and he picks up the guitar and plays Little Brown Jug. I'm amazed and make him teach me the chords and how to tune the guitar. I don't know which song I learned next but it was something out of a Beatles book I bought the next day. And the rest is mournful, heart-breaking history.


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#790386 - 01/25/10 01:25 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Alador]  
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Jean Bullock Offline
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Anaheim, CA, USA
I can't remember what I learned to play first. My teacher taught me to read and play notes and the book we used had some well known children's songs. But he also taught me to finger pick and he taught me arpeggios. A little while into the lessons he taught me House of the Rising Sun (with arpeggios) and finger picking for Freight Train, 500 Miles, Puff the Magic Dragon, and a few others and a flamenco piece as well.


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#790395 - 01/25/10 02:21 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Jean Bullock]  
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Polly Hager Offline
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Cincinnati, OH USA
The first song I learned to play, at age 14, was "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, on a Yamaha guitar. Yes, I sang it too. smile


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#790422 - 01/25/10 04:34 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Harriet Ames Offline
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Harriet Ames  Offline
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Shelton, WA
my first instrument was piano.
chopsticks, heart and soul, the fistroll over the black notes...all came a year or two later...
the first song I learned had words to go with the notes...

C - D - E (stepping up)
E - D - C (stepping down)
D - E - C (then we'll skip)

that was probably around 6 or 7 (my mother was my first teacher)

a few years later when I was in junior high, my sister came home from college with a guitar. I think the first song she taught me was 500 Miles. I remember playing (or trying to...couldn't play an F or anything harder)a number of songs in her folk song books. only other song that I remember I could play all the way through from back then was The Cat Came Back.

#790473 - 01/25/10 10:48 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Harriet Ames]  
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Jean Bullock Offline
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Anaheim, CA, USA
Harriet, I learned The Cat Came Back from a stranger in a sheet music store. After I had stopped taking lessons I was looking for more music and another customer started talking to me and wrote out the words and chords for me.


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#790478 - 01/25/10 11:15 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Jean Bullock]  
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PopTodd Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
"The Spirit Of Radio" by Rush

Seriously.

At least the first "real" song that wasn't "Twinkle, Twinkle" or something like that.
Now, I'm not saying that I played it well. I just played it.

#790489 - 01/25/10 11:54 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: PopTodd]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Get Back- The Beatles

#790497 - 01/25/10 12:52 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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Tom Tracy  Offline
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Lumberport,WV, USA
"Tiptoe thru the tulips" on ukulele.
Shortly after that, it was Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on banjo, followed by "Dueling Banjos".

First song on guitar was probably "Freight Train"

Then in high school, when friends saw that I could play guitar pretty well, they had me play "Ace" in their KISS cover band. So I learned all the KISS songs.
Quite a natural progression.

Last edited by Tom Tracy; 01/25/10 12:54 PM.
#790505 - 01/25/10 01:12 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Pleasant Hill, Oregon
The first song I remember learning on guitar was "Waiting for my man" by the Velvet Underground, probably because the chords were simple. The second one was "Don't let the sun catch you crying" by Gerry and the Pacemakers.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#790690 - 01/26/10 06:43 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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Nigel Quin Offline
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Birmingham, UK
Originally Posted by Tom Tracy
"Tiptoe thru the tulips" on ukulele.
That is precious! Did you do the Tiny Tim high voice as well?

Actually you just reminded me. We did have a ukulele and there was a song called ‘Old Folks At Home’ – The opening line being ‘Way down upon the Swanee River” – it only had 3 chords – a ukulele standard in my house

Some great stories here guys

#790698 - 01/26/10 09:17 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
Im not entirely sure, but think it was the ole Robert Johnson classic "Ramblin'on my mind"..

#790712 - 01/26/10 10:37 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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Tom Tracy  Offline
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Lumberport,WV, USA
Originally Posted by Nigel Quin
Originally Posted by Tom Tracy
"Tiptoe thru the tulips" on ukulele.
That is precious! Did you do the Tiny Tim high voice as well?


Yes I did! I figured if his voice could make it, there was hope for me. smile I can still occasionally do the falsetto, but not like I could in my younger day.

#790715 - 01/26/10 10:55 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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IdeaGuy Offline
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IdeaGuy  Offline
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Philly Burbs
"Wish You Were Here" Pink Floyd... followed very shortly by "Stairway To Heaven"

They still won't let me try out any guitars in music shops...

#790970 - 01/27/10 12:49 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: IdeaGuy]  
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Kurt Fortmeyer Offline
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Kurt Fortmeyer  Offline
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Tennessee
"Mary Had A Little Lamb" on the trombone.


I love words. They say so much.

http://kurtfortmeyer.com
#791030 - 01/27/10 05:23 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Kurt Fortmeyer]  
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Herbie Gaines Offline
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Herbie Gaines  Offline
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Chicago,IL, USA
Mine was ""Where do the Children Play" by Cat Stevens


Herbie
JPF Chicago Chapter Coordinator
http://www.herbietunes.com

#791031 - 01/27/10 05:24 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Mike Caro Substudio Offline
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NY
[quote=Nigel

What was the first song you learnt to play (or sing) on your chosen instrument?

What was the story behind you learning that song?
[/quote]

Very easy to remember - "Smoke On The Water" - Deep Purple
One string only low E & by ear of course.

When I was a child 3- 5 years old my older brother had a rock band practicing in my basement. All day long "Smoke On The Water" riff lol
So when they would leave I would go down and check out the equipment. Naturally I had to try to figure out that song.

Drums - The first thing I tried to play was "Wipe Out"
The first song i could play completely was "Honky Tonk Woman" The Rolling Stones.
We had a quadraphonic 8 track player and the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 8 track so i would put that on play along on drums. They were cool simple beats that varied. So you would learn to play inside a song nicely. The Stones have great grooves. Charlie Watts.

So it was Smoke On The Water, but the guitar was NOT my first choice instrument the drums were, but Mom & Dad had enough from my brother, so they got me an accordion, to learn Italian Songs.
That didn't work, then a Magnovox Organ that didn't fly either so at age seven I opted for an acoustic guitar. Played it every day until switching off to bass primarily at age 19

First song recorded on bass was an original I wrote with the band then called "Hung Up In Your Affairs"

I have a memory and a half smile


Thanks!
Peace Mike
Sub

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#791058 - 01/27/10 08:13 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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Aladar, talk about memories, I had an old $19.95 Stella that my neighbor from Italy actually used the strings from to make a spaghetti cutter.

#791073 - 01/27/10 09:30 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Originally Posted by Mike Caro Substudio
[quote=Nigel


Drums - The first thing I tried to play was "Wipe Out"
The first song i could play completely was "Honky Tonk Woman" The Rolling Stones.


So it was Smoke On The Water, but the guitar was NOT my first choice instrument the drums were, but Mom & Dad had enough from my brother, so they got me an accordion, to learn Italian Songs.


Like Mike, my first instrument was drums. I was in the second grade and the band teacher came into our class of about 30 kids and said "Who would like to play the drum". Every hand shot up but when he auditioned us, he picked me. I played for Mr. Brenner for 5 years. In high school, I played "percussion" and after high school, traps for a rock and roll band. So like Mike, my real first song had to be "Wipe Out". Although I have been playing guitar for 40 years, I would in a heart beat happily sit behind a trap set in a decent band. After all these years I am still tapping out rhythms on everything from a steering wheel to a dixie cup of ice (ice in a cup does make a nice sound by the way- a little like a snare- a 20 oz empty plastic coke bottle makes a nice Tom Tom)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#791079 - 01/27/10 09:46 PM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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Maurer51 Offline
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Maurer51  Offline
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Ohio USA
The first song I learned to play all the way through was Old Man by NY on a red silvertone my brother gave me I could hardly be played I was 13 and when Harvest came out I wanted to play and sing. I picked up the gitfiddle pretty quick but my singing could be compared to hog callin' to quote a friend, You couln't carry a tune in a bucket.

#791144 - 01/28/10 05:30 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Maurer51]  
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Jean Bullock Offline
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Anaheim, CA, USA
Wipe out reminded me that I learned to play "Walk Don't Run," too.


Please visit my facebook EZ3D PopUps for free papercraft templates. Great for beginners of all ages.

Favorite Sites:
http://facebook.com/EZ3DPopUps
http://ez3dpopups.blogspot.com/
http://harrietschock.com
http://jpfolks.com
http://phillipmartin.com


#791146 - 01/28/10 05:44 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Jean Bullock]  
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billrocker Offline
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Nashville TN
The 1st song on page one of Alfred's Basic Guitar Method, Book 1. I haven't a clue what it was. But I do remember WAY early on sounding out the melody to "And then along comes Mary" by the Association on the high E string of a Stella acoustic. I had this huge crush on a girl named Mary and I thought if I learned it she'd fall in love with me. Didn't work out that way.

Bill Renfrew
www.writethismusic.com

#791147 - 01/28/10 05:57 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: billrocker]  
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Mike Caro Substudio Offline
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NY
I'm not gonna try to dig it up Bill but I think it may have been Jingle Bells. Jingle Bells is at least in that book smile


Thanks!
Peace Mike
Sub

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#791156 - 01/28/10 07:30 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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Ethan Offline
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Ethan  Offline
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Washington State, USA
"Green Sleeves" on acoustic guitar with a teacher at a local music store...I must've been 10 years old.

#791392 - 01/29/10 04:39 AM Re: First song you learnt to play [Re: Ethan]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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Berwyn, IL, US
When I was about eight or so, my father brought home a guitar and told my brother and me not to touch it, so naturally, as soon as he left the house I got it out. He also brought home a song book with chord diagrams. I taught myself three songs the first day. The very first one was "I gave my love a cherry" since it only had two chords. The other two I believe were Midnight Special and Goodnight Irene.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 01/29/10 04:39 AM.

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