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Why I Created ArtistWorks

...When we last left off, ArtistWorks founder David Butler was on his way to learning how to play guitar (read Part 2 here), after finally having a guitar of his own. Listen below to hear some of the songs he was learning. David's experience ultimately inspired him to develop a new way to learn guitar online by establishing ArtistWorks, a company dedicated to providing a better way to teach and learn music. 

David encapsulates his musical journey in ArtistWorks’ newest course, Beginner's Guide to Acoustic Guitar. Taught by David, these online music lessons provide fundamental acoustic guitar lessons for beginners in a fun, approachable manner. You’ll learn how to play acoustic guitar through lessons that are based on the songs of your youth, including tunes by The Beach Boys, Van Morrison and Neil Young.

 Part 3: My Mom Steals My Guitar

learning guitarThough a bunch of my neighborhood friends had guitars, in the end, only three of us continued playing after the novelty wore off:  Me, Wayne, and Gary. Wayne continued to take "real" guitar lessons at the Jack Marshall music store at 3627 Park Avenue in East Memphis.  Wayne went to his guitar lesson every Saturday morning, and on Saturday afternoon Gary and I pumped out of him whoever information he had received.  Very cost effective. 

Before long Gary and I caught up with Wayne's playing ability, and then sailed on passed him.  Of the three of us, I had the best "ear" and developed the ability to listen to songs on the AM radio and figure out how to play them.  Pretty soon the three of us were playing the hits of the day such as "Gloria" by Van Morrison's Them (played 'E', 'D', 'A' over and over), "House of the Rising Son" by the Animals (played 'Am', 'C', 'D', 'F') , and "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones (played 'E', 'E', 'A', 'D', 'D', 'A').

You could go a long way with a just a hand full of chords.  As I got better, my parents worried about the effect rock and rock was having on their son.  They had given me a "folk" guitar, yet I was beating the you-know-what out of it playing rebellious British Invasion rock tunes.  One day in the summer of 1966, out of pure exasperation with the rock music she was hearing in the backyard, my mom briefly took my guitar away from me.  I guess this was an early tremor from the generation-gap earthquake about to hit later in the 60's.  She stashed my guitar in her closet.  I was more confused than angry, because to me, music was music, and I didn't really "get" her concern about rock and roll. 

peter paul and maryWhen Gary showed up that day, I told him my mom disapproved of us playing the rock tunes in the backyard and that she had taken away my guitar. He told me not to worry, he had a plan.  He went home and came back the next day to convince my mom to let me have my guitar back.  When she answered to door, Gary said, "don't worry Mrs. Butler, I'll teach David some nice folk music."  As always, he had his guitar with him, and he proceeded to her play "Blowing in the Wind", the Peter, Paul, and Mary version. My mom thought that Peter, Paul and Mary were nice kids, especially compared to scary rock and rollers, and she allowed herself to be convinced to give me back my guitar. 

Little did my mom know that the song's actual composer, Bob Dylan, had already "gone electric" in Newport and was to become a much more subversive influence on my generation than the Brits ever were.  But for me, it was about the guitar, not any particular songs or genres, I just wanted to get better.  After a while I finally convinced my parents to let me take guitar lessons.  I figured with my (mostly imagined) talent plus the sure-to-be expert instruction I would be getting at Jack Marshall's Music Store, there would be no stopping me.  Boy was I wrong.  

Next:  Duane Breaks My Heart

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Read Part 4

Read Part 5

Read Part 6


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