How Slash’s guitar teacher motivated him through lessons

If you’ve ever taken guitar lessons, you probably started out learning to play “Yankee Doodle” or something like that and got bored beyond belief. Slash had the same experience, but during an interview with Loudwire nights host Toni Gonzalez, he revealed how his teacher motivated him through the lessons.

Before Slash even had an instrument, he sought music lessons from a nearby guitar teacher named Robert Wolin. At that time he thought he would play bass, but after Wolin played one Cream sang to him on the guitar, he realized that was what he wanted to pursue instead. His very first guitar only had one string on it, but he was determined to master the instrument anyway.

“So I went back there and [Wolin] taught me how to put the other five strings on it and then he started giving me what you would call rudimentary lessons on guitar, where you use a little book and you use notation and all that. It was really dull and boring and he realized that,” Slash recalled.

“He says, ‘I’ll tell you what — you pick a song that you really dig and I’ll learn it for you and teach it to you at the end of every lesson.’ That way it will keep you motivated. ‘ So I thought, ‘Okay.’ So I went and did it, I brought in a song and I sat there and watched him listen to the song and play it and figure it out on the guitar. And I thought, ‘F–k, I can do that.’ So I subsequently quit and started playing, that’s basically how I learned.”

That doesn’t mean Slash didn’t find Wolin’s lessons valuable, though. He admitted that he learned a lot from the teacher in the short time he worked with him, including how to choose and read music.

“So I have to give him a lot of credit. And I told him that later Appetite came out, we were on the road and at some point I got in touch with him. He was aware that I had gone, it was pretty cool.”

The Collection: Slash is a coffee table book that explores Slash’s journey as a guitarist and his range of instruments. It is Gibson Publishing’s very first book and comes in multiple editions and can be pre-ordered through Gibson’s website now. Orders are expected to ship in January.

Loudwire Nights with Toni Gonzalez airs every night from 7 p.m. ET. You can tune in anytime, anywhere and from anywhere here or by downloading Loudwire app.

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