What Inspires You?

SupermoonWhat inspires you to play guitar?

Where do you get your ideas from?

Do you just play… or do you try to make your playing sound like something, or perhaps sound like you imagine something would sound like… if it had sound. (!!!)

Terje Rypdal is inspired by the mountains of Norway, what inspires you?

The comments section is open, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Leave a Reply 21 comments

Kenny - August 14, 2014 Reply

no doubt it is seeing music being played either in person or on video. ultra strong inspiration.

Eric - August 14, 2014 Reply

Sadness…it’s weird, I am addicted to it, so I practice at least 1/2 hour (almost) every day. But, the times I really sit down and just play, without thinking about it, or trying, just go on automatic and let loose, is when I feel sad and tired. See that’s when I used to booze it up the most, to kill the pain. Now guitar does it..starts out with minors to match the mood, then just turns into majors and 7ths, and solos and songs, and b4 ya’ know it….no more sadness–just bammo—magic!!

Douglas - August 14, 2014 Reply

I have to admit that I love music and who shouldn’t,the music I play is the the music I love the most which is mostly 60s and early 70s stuff which I crew up with, and, I truly beleive to be the greatest music ever produced. Music to me is agreat inspiration because I just can not imagine what life would be without.

Bev. Gant - August 14, 2014 Reply

Acoustic Guitar tones are beautiful. Inspirations comes from my lyrics. I write the lyrics before I put the guitar to the song.My lyrics, might come from a picture,/subject or from a emotion in side of me. When creating only a acoustic piece I use mother natures surroundings that set my mood. I try to balance myself into the nature I am surrounded by. There is so much to learn on the acoustic and I am still a beginner. When creating a background for my lyrics, I try to place myself into the theme of the lyrics. Sometimes it comes out without trying. Other times I am looking up cords/progression patterns to find a sound I think would be unique for the lyrics setting the mood of the song. I also listen to other artist songs to get a idea of how I might create a acoustic background taking their strum pattern or beat mix into my brain and see if I can produce the sound I am seeking.

dave - August 14, 2014 Reply

Guitar itself. I have 17 guitars. Had more ..sold some .. room too small.
I just love to look at them They are work of art. Just looking at them inspires
me. Every one of them has a different voice . like we humans. Just looking
at a guitar makes me want to play it( not sexual)

That’s inspiration ..motivation .. all bundled into one

Sadly I am neither a guitarist nor a musician. even though I love all music



Bob Mansfield - August 14, 2014 Reply

I am only a beginner with the guitar although I am 72 years old. I could never play the piano as a child except by tonic sulpha (doh-re-me-fa-so-la-te doh).
I have been able to get to grips with scales but prefer to use my own “feeling for sound” when playing with backing tracks.It usually works for me and I can always “feel” the notes and therefore not make too many errors. This fills me with a great contentment when playing which is what I have always aimed for.I am not the fastest or cleverest but am improving each time I practice. My favourite music is the blues and my favourite player is Gary Moore. I could never, ever, achieve what he does on the guitar but prefer my softer approach to his music.

Desiree - August 14, 2014 Reply

Pain. Emotional pain has a way of bringing out some beautiful music. Some of the pieces I’ve written come from that, as bizarre as that seems. I play a 12-string and the richness coupled with just the right cord combination… priceless.

George Bass - August 14, 2014 Reply

What inspires me now is the desire to improve, and gain enough confidence to play for other people.

My initial inspiration was a couple of years ago, I was working in Jacksonville, FL. There was a guy staying in the same hotel I was, and he would go to the gazebo behind the hotel and play his guitar every night for a couple of hours. He was an amazing guitarist. I would go out there just about every night an just sit and listen while I cooked on the grill. Sometimes we talked about music and he would try to explain what he was doing with the chords. I had never played guitar before, and just didn’t really understand. But I was intrigued. He told me that if I was really interested, I should go get a guitar and learn to play. A couple of days later I went and bought a used guitar (I can’t afford a new one, those things are expensive!). He soon finished up his work in Jacksonville, and went back home to Texas. Since then, I have learned quite a bit, but still don’t have the confidence to play in front of anyone but my wife and kids. I played for my mother once, but she lost interest within a minute or two. I think if I had a better guitar and more time to practice, maybe I could develop the confidence to play for friends and family. Until then, I will just continue to fly solo.

Xander - August 14, 2014 Reply

Many of my songs were created from life’s struggles. For me it works very well as a form of emotional release, a catharses of sorts. Even in the middle of the day, I grab the guitar and play for 5-20 minutes to relieve stress. The power of emotion has compelled me into writing songs with cords I would not normally use. Its a form of therapy for me and it’s on-going without end. I already wrote the song to be played at my funeral. I just need to make a video to it and it’ll be ready when the time comes. No, I’m not sick that I know of, but I wanted to leave an impression on my family and loved ones with music.
I used to play when I was young, back in my teens and early twenties then I took a thirty+ year break. Never completed any songs back then but now, I’ve found a real creative spot and have been writing song after song. I use the acoustic because I can grab and play on the spot when I need an emotional release. Doing so makes my world a better place.

Hynek - August 14, 2014 Reply

I come from the Czech Republic as well as a hockey player Jaromir Jagr. I’m 58 and I started on guitar castles 4 years ago. As a boy, I tried to play guitar, but I had no guidance. I try to practice every day, but sometimes just playing songs. I like a lot of folk and country. I also like jazz and blues but it’s very difficult for me. My model is Chat Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel.
I know I’ll never reach their quality, but it does not matter,. I’m pleased with any progress.
The fact that I could play some time ago, now will play with ease. Sometimes when I can not sleep at night, I’ll take a guitar and play in the dark with eyes closed.
I’m enjoying it. Much to learn from U.S. web sites. For example JamPlay and others. I buy a training course. I had a little problem doing my English. Guitar is my pleasure, relaxation and taste brings me to another life.

Randy - August 14, 2014 Reply

Wanting to play like my heroes!! Music is the most awesome thing on the planet!! There is every kind imaginable!! When I heard Clayton and that slide on “Motherless Children” from 461 Ocean Blvd, I knew that’s what I wanted to do!! I would still love to for a band!! So many great players are gone and way too young but there is so much young talent out there and carrying the message!! That’s inspirational also!! To see guys like BB and Eric still touring is awesome and they sound amazing!! Music should inspire everyone!! It’s a universal language!!

Randy - August 14, 2014 Reply

I meant Clapton!!

Gerry Mc Nally - August 14, 2014 Reply

When I hear Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore – he inspires me to play guitar. I only wish I could play like him. In a word he is “fantastic”.

Tony - August 15, 2014 Reply

Hi. I read all these comments and I identify myself with a few. By the way I have known Terje Rypdal for years. Why? I am Norwegian. I took up guitar when I was a 12 year-old. I got a boring teacher that went into music theory to a point that there was no fun. I kind of regret it. One needs applied music theory for guitar to progress. But there I was, playing and singing through my college years in Florida. But then came work, the crazy business life that has grown past common sense. So, I play by ear, have a piano, organ, but guitar it’s for me. Music and guitar is a medicin, it’s both challenging and soothing. I love blues, rock, jazz, you name it. And I wish I had more time to play. I read your inspired emails. Take a look at this gal: Kirsten Thien. She lives close by. Look up kirstenthien.com, Norwegian, he gave up business for music and has made a few CD’s and is playing tonight, close to where I am now. She made it into the N.Yl Blues Hall of fame and has good reviews in the US., etc.. I am actually driving to her very little small town in a 1/2 hour. But tomorrow I fly home to Spain, where I live, and back to my Gibson Les Paul and my Brazilian Acoustic (I also lived in Brazil and love the music too). And I am looking forward to replace my old Yamaha Acoustic (damaged by humidity) and I think a Taylor would be it. Keep the work you guys and gals. Regards. Tony

Charlie - August 15, 2014 Reply

I’ll hear something on tv or the radio and say “hey,I can play that”.or I just see my guitar sitting there all by itself and I have to pick it up….I just like to play..

Fred Holland - August 15, 2014 Reply

I really enjoy most all kinds of music. But it’s Ambient music that draws me in the most. I’ve been playing since ’68 when I was a kid. Started out on old folk songs. Stayed with folk for a long time, then some light rock(always on an acoustic). Then about six or eight years ago I picked up a full hollow body electric(A Godin 5th Av.) I had always been afraid to play an electric because I never thought I was “good enough”. My current hero is Andy Othling, but there have been many. I now have two solid bodys and a semi-hollow body and a full hollow body, and yes an acoustic. And effect pedals. I love my pedal board.

Brad Wagner - August 15, 2014 Reply

Life inspires me and how I write. Also the guitar in my hand be it acoustic or electric. The blues & rock have always been there for me.

Mike - August 15, 2014 Reply

ever since I was a little boy and hearing the beatles for the first open e chord I was hooked.
what inspires me are the songs that have had an effect and inspired my love for music. All forms of rock n roll are fine with me music has never been out of my life so if taken away from me I wouldn’t know what to do next.

Dick - August 16, 2014 Reply

The idea of dave with his 17 guitars, maybe slugging back a coupla six packs of root beer and then arranging his guitars in soldier
formation or putting Angus Young Bugle Boy suits on them is kinda
inspiring in a bizarre way. Maybe put little wigs on them and some soft music in the background (nothing sexual).
The door knocks…”Dave?”.. “Dave’s not here, man”…

1st cook enny - August 17, 2014 Reply

I truly fill blessed that God has given me talent to play the Guitar,I can only Hope and pray He knows that i Play to Him at all times…

Davey - August 25, 2014 Reply

What inspires, when you look at some successful guitar players/ song writers/ singers, a lot comes from something that’s real and what they have felt, an old country/western saying – you can write a song from just three chords and the truth. I do have to give credit to a couple of people in the early days for helping me out and getting me interested again. But also have to give thanks to Jonathan and Colin for the extra theory info needed to write.

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