Ethan - Chesapeake, Virginia
Entered on April 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I’m not the best musician. There are times when I sit with my guitar and just pluck the same note over and over and over and listen. I take it in and I think, why does it sound different when one person plays the exact same thing as another? The answer is expression.

I believe that every person on this earth should be given a guitar as soon as they are old enough to hold it. A guitar gives any person who plays it the power to express themselves in a so many ways without even thinking. They cannot help but to sound like themselves. They have to fight to sound like someone else. I should know, I’m in the business of sounding like someone else because I play in a cover band.

The bar band scene can be a tough. It sucks the expression out of your playing and makes you into a human jukebox; but that’s not why I play guitar. I play because everything about it is an expression of my self, right down to the plank I’m spanking.

I currently play a faded yellow 1983 Gibson Explorer that my dad got me at an estate sale. It’s not pretty, and it’s not fancy, but it has that classic cool mojo that just works for me. My strings are heavy and they make me fight for each note, but that combo of thick strings and humbuckers through my Marshall stack that lets me belt out the music that I love to make, but that set up is not for everyone.

Somehow, even though I teach each of my students the same things, each one of them sound unique. They have their own special tone in their fingers right from the beginning and it just wants to get out. They all start on the same crappy acoustic that I provide, but put them behind a curtain and I could tell you who they were just from the tone they squeeze out of that guitar. Their playing is as unique as their voice. I think it’s important to have my own unique voice, even in scales and cover songs, especially in today’s world. If I don’t play it, no one else will.