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Kaj's Rock Guitar Journey

AW: How did you find out about the Rock Guitar School with Paul Gilbert?

KS: Stroke of luck really, the same week school was opened I was going through various YouTube lesson videos from a lot of different people and I stumbled across Paul's guitar lesson videos, I watched quite a lot of those. What really struck me, was that he was the first one in those videos that I understood what he was teaching. Even the really hard stuff that I couldn't even fathom to play, I understood the concept he was saying. It made me want to learn more from him because his way of teaching was so much different than the rest of those kind of videos out there. So I then looked up his website and learned more of him and about the online school that was coming.


AW:  Of all the different styles out there, why did you want to learn how to play rock guitar?

KS: Even though my mind is open to all music genres, I love Rock/Metal. So there really wasn't even choice.

online learning - guitar student kajAW: What drives you to keep learning guitar and playing music?

KS: Midlife crisis! No really, that's how I see it. :) Others buy motorcycles and cars, I just love what the instrument can do. After sticking to it and learning more, you kind of get into this hunger for learning more and then one day you notice that something that you struggled with a year ago is now easy and sounds awesome. Then it just repeats.

AW: Who was it that inspired you to get into music and learn how to play guitar? Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

KS: I'm a gamer first really, I've played computer games since I was 7 or so, and have worked with computers all my life. So it wasn't hard to get the Guitar Hero game and play that with my girlfriend. It's a fun game, but once I started playing it on the expert level I realised that I'm simply memorizing the patterns and not really playing it the way it's meant so I thought I'd give a real guitar a try, I mean how hard it can be. :) And also my workmate of that time had played guitar a long time so he helped me to get one.

I think my biggest influences are actually my reasoning to listen to good music regardless of genres. Of course there are all the usual suspects: Bach, Mozart, Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Zak Wylde, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Jon Schaffer, Steve Vai, Nile Rodgers… I mean I could go forever listing basically every great player there has been. So sorry about those I didn't list. :)

AW: Is there a favorite memory or musical highpoint since you started learning guitar?

KS: Since I haven't really played guitar that long, highest point so far has been meeting Paul in the flesh At Nosturi in Helsinki, such an awesome down to earth guy I've ever met.

AW: What's your favorite about taking guitar lessons online with Paul Gilbert?

KS: Video Exchanges obviously, but to able to see other people's videos as well and learn from them is even better. I mean you can have question in mind and then somebody else asks that already, you can then ask something else that you struggling with.

online learning - paul gilbert response video

AW: What's the biggest improvement you've noticed in your playing?

KS: Stomping! No really, I thought I joined for just playing guitar but I've stomping with my feet a lot. :) My overall ability for playing and handling the guitar, at first I pretty much thought I'd break the thing, now I've realised what I can actually do with it, and how. It's now just time to practice the hours in.

AW: What has surprised you most about the school once you became a member?

KS: The overall supportive nature of other students; Its great to see others get better and also get feedback and encouragement from them.

Watch Paul's Free Guitar Lessons

AW: What would you tell someone who was considering online guitar lessons with ArtistWorks?

KS: Do it now! It's well worth it. The quality of the video exchanges are beyond awesome. And the actual course alone is worth it. Everyone has different experience, I have an hour long work trip everyday, so I can watch VEs [Video Exchanges] in the bus and plan my time better when I actually do pick up my guitar. I still have a local teacher and my friends to learn from. But being in the Rock Guitar School with Paul Gilbert has hastened my ability to learn and play guitar better. You still have to practice, make no mistake there, you still need to put the hours in to train your hands to do the things you want them, but this will make it a fun experience.

AW: What's next in your life as a guitar player?

KS: Who knows. We have band at our workplace so I get to play with them and I'm trying to compose my own music as well. But mainly getting better at those bends and vibrato. :)

AW: Is there anything else you'd like to add, any final words?

KS: Rock on! and keep bending those strings!

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Read more about our students in our series: "Profiles in Online Learning"

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