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My Musical Influences as a Child. Do You Still Listen to Your Childhood Favourite Bands?

I didn't start learning a musical instrument until I was ten years old. From that age, I have no real memory of music that I liked or my early childhood musical influences. I remember hearing The Beatles, Vangelis and Dire Straits around the house or on family car journeys, but I didn't really have any opinion on that music. This was the 80s going into the 90s, such a great musical era and a great time to be a kid!

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Secondary School

When I moved to secondary school (high school), to start with, music still didn't play much of a role in my life. I played the euphonium but didn't actively listen to music or have any childhood musical influences.

In the second year of high school, things started to change. I made some better friends (who I mostly still see now) and we explored music together.

We used to hang out over the local park, with our Sony Walkmans and listen to Mr Blobby, Boyzone and Zig and Zag. This is not something I am proud to say! Thankfully those pop songs meant nothing to me and I was destined for a far richer musical upbringing.

One day, while at a friends house, I heard something that caught my attention. It was this:

My mates older sisters boyfriend was playing the main riff on guitar. This was the number one major turning point in my musical life. This guy had long hair and was just cool. He had made a cassette mix tape of a load of songs which I managed to borrow from my mate. From the top of my head, the mix tape contained these tracks:

And one more song......OMG what a song it was! The influence this next song had on me was immense! This is the song:

Green Day's Dookie album was the first album that I got completely lost in. I knew all the lyrics and learnt as much as possible (only from the CD inlay) about the band and it's members.

Listening Was Not Enough

Listening to this music was not enough. I needed closer contact with it. So, I learnt the guitar. The sound of the distorted guitar was so powerful, I had no idea how to create it but I knew I would find a way.

There was no internet and I knew no-one to ask about how to learn the guitar. Okay, there was my mates sisters boyfriend but he was way too cool to talk too, so I was alone. I got myself a cheap guitar, it was a red Marlin, and was quite terrible. I then upgraded it slightly to a Hohner Les Paul copy. Nowadays, for very cheap, you can get a basic guitar bundle, something like this. To start with, something like this is all you need.

Check out my blog post all about the best budget guitars for Rock Bands. This is absolutely something I would have loved to read when I was younger.

The next thing was, I bought the Dookie guitar tab book. I still have it, an original, in perfect condition.

Green day dookie tab book

This book gave me what I wanted and what I needed. It was better than any teacher, it was better than the internet. I had the audio and I had the tablature. I learnt how to play power chords and then I never looked back.

Playing the euphonium definitley helped me, because I could read music and had a good understanding of musical fundamentals. Still today, it is possible for anyone to learn the guitar, you do not need the internet or a teacher just to get started. Remember, it is never too late to learn either!

My biggest tip for anyone learning the guitar is to learn how to play power chords.

Forget all the full chords, G major, C major etc. You can learn that later. Unless you want to learn Oasis songs (which I didn't) then just focus on power chords and you can play almost anything.

I will make a future blog post about learning power chords so please subscribe if you want to see that as soon as it goes out.

My Biggest Childhood Musical Influence

There was one more band though, that had a profound influence on me. Once my guitar playing had improved a bit, I became totally obsessed with Metallica. The lead singer, James Hetfield was a massive idol of mine and still is. I even just mentioned this in my previous blog post, here. I love his story and how he has grown over the years as a musician and as a person.

My bedroom was covered in Metallica posters, I knew all the lyrics to every song, I had read all their album CD inlays a thousand times. In October, 1996, I saw Metallica live in Birmingham, England. When James Hetfield walked out on stage, I actually felt a strange feeling, as if I knew him. A bit weird but I actually felt like he was my dad or uncle or something.

This song, is my absolute favourite Metallica track and in many ways, is probably one of the best songs ever written. A song that helped develop my guitar and musical skills to new levels.

So throughout this time, I still played the euphonium. I was much better on the euphonium than I was on the guitar but playing the guitar and having these musical influences absolutely made me a more confident, and maybe even a more interesting person. I listen to a wide range of music now, I appreciate all music, but my roots always take me back to Nirvana, Green Day and Metallica. 🤘

What childhood musical influences did you have, and do you still listen to them now? Feel free to write in the comments.

Thank you for reading, if you like it, please share. ❤

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Mark Glover


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