Hello from John Mark (JM), currently residing in CT!

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    JM
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    Hey Tomas and friends,

    I was actually just planning on being a lurker until I was happily surprised to have received the kindest, personalized video you sent me yesterday, Tomas! Your personality is largely why I focused in on your YouTube videos and ultimately decided to join RGS, which I have been loving so far. Along with you catering to adult learners.

    I am a complete beginner when it comes to guitar and starting was actually somewhat of a fluke. Without getting too much into it, my life was turned upside down by the pandemic and I decided to apply across the nation for the next step in life and someone in Connecticut had a great offer so I thought, why not? I had never even been to New England before and now I’m living here!

    I’m originally from Nashville, TN, and grew up playing the drums like my dad so I am not new to music all together. I never really stuck with the drums though in adulthood, honestly just too cumbersome and loud. I have always been a bit envious of the portability and versatility of the guitar but never planned on picking it up until I randomly ran into one here at my apartment. There is a spot underneath the stairwell of our first floor that is implicitly understood to be a place people leave things that they are essentially giving away or it’s going in the trash. Usually it’s just junk (this is a college town, so lots of students leaving old Ikea furniture from moving!) but one day there was a much larger haul of items, one of them being a dusty, older looking acoustic Epiphone guitar on a floor stand. Seemed a bit too good to be true so I let it sit for the rest of the day before finally sending pics to my guitar playing friend asking if I should take it. He obviously said yes. (Side note to squash any worries, we certainly have had people mistaken items on the first floor as “giveaway items” while someone is moving in/out and have gotten emails asking to return them. I would have been happy to return this guitar to it’s owner had we gotten one of those notifications!)

    That was a year ago and it mostly sat in my apartment as more of a decoration piece until recently in the last almost two months when I decided to give it a serious try. Been feeling a lot more lonely not being by my family and needed some kind of outlet besides just TV and internet. Everything I felt about the portability, convenience, and immediate versatility in what you can play has been confirmed and I think the instrument is so cool! I am really enjoying having some better direction too with the lessons, journeys and exercises you offer, Tomas. I was originally just trying to learn the “folk” chords from you and other YouTubers and then messing around trying to play the intros to different songs, mostly Metallica songs (One and Nothing else matters lol.) thinking I’ll just figure it out as I go or whatever. It didn’t take long before I felt overwhelmed by info and a bit listless on what I was doing.

    But I have had so much fun having some kind of direction now and it also gives me the confidence that I am building a solid foundation for my playing going forward instead of just learning songs. I really don’t have an end goal with my guitar playing. Yes it would be fun to play with others eventually but now and the foreseeable future I am just doing it for me as a creative outlet. I need to get better at changing chords on time, which I know will just come with time. I can play Spanish road perfectly by myself until you add the band and all of the sudden I’m making bad sounding chords and having trouble keeping up! But I am enjoying practicing until my fingers start to hurt. Building up those callouses slowly but surely!

    I sincerely look forward to learning with everyone and getting to know you all on this journey. Maybe it’ll be an unplanned but very welcomed byproduct of joining to make a friend or two! Sorry if this is a longer than normal intro post! It has been cathartic to write this all out.

    Thanks for reading,

    John Mark (JM)

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