My older brother Aaron told me about this website (We're planning on working through some of the lessons together
). I used to play guitar a lot in high school. My mom took me to see a classical guitarist named Brandon Yip at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento when I was 15, and like my brother, it was Usher Waltz that made me want to learn classical guitar.
I always think about the phrase "Youth is wasted on the young" when I look back on my time playing guitar as a teenager. My mom, who was quick to nurture all our hobbies and interests, ended up contacting Brandon Yip and I took private lessons with him for a little over five years. During this time, however, I was not a very good student. I didn't deserve it--I was lazy! He taught the Suzuki method, and sure, I learned the songs (Perpetual Motion, etc.), but I never really learned proper technique because I didn't practice the lessons at home--much to my teacher's consternation, I'd often use our expensive lessons as the practice time. I was also terrible with my nails--he'd have to spend portions of sooo many lessons getting my nails in shape. At home, I'd spend hours playing guitar, but it was always whatever new song was on the radio, or, haha, the tabs for Usher Waltz. I played in a local band for a couple of years, and when that ended around 2004, I lost interest in guitar. I still remember the phone call to my teacher to cancel the lessons. Every time I think about that I have so much regret--imagine going back to an age when you not only had oodles of free time, but also an hour every week with someone who really knew his stuff and tried hard to teach you legit classical guitar.
Fourteen years later, I'm wandering around on YouTube and I stumble upon a video from a musician named Sam Griffin, whose shtick is arranging video game music for classical guitar. I tell you what, I've been to so many rock concerts, but watching that guy play Hyrule Castle from The Legend of Zelda was the first time I actually wanted to whip out a lighter and hold it up high:
It wasn't immediate, but after a couple weeks, I started following him on Patreon, looked at some of the sheet music he's put together for his arrangements, and then I tentatively pulled out my classical guitar for the first time in a really long time. Surprisingly, I can still play the first 70-or-so measures of the Usher Waltz, but as messy as always--again, never learned proper technique.
My nails are grown out now, and I'm still rocking my 18-year-old Yamaha CG101MS but enjoying the guitar again. It was definitely Sam Griffin that reignited my interest in it, and I'm currently fumbling through several of his tabs.
I really want to buckle down and learn guitar the right way, though--the way I should have when I was taking private lessons--so I'm here to work through the classes with my brother. Looking forward to digging deep!