The Guitar World of Richie Sambora
In an interview with Guitar.com in 2000, around the time Bon Jovi released their album Crush, Richie talked about his first guitar: "A $10 guitar that was returned to E.J. Corvettes, which used to be a big department store in New Jersey. My dad used to work there part-time in the music department and he brought it home for me one day."
Sambora talked about how he learned to play guitar in an interview with M Music & Musicians Magazine: "I approached it a bit backward. I would put on something like the Live Johnny Winter And album—which has lots of fast lead solos—and try to move my fingers as fast as I thought he was playing. I didn't know which notes I was playing; I was just trying to get the same type of phrasing. I did that for a long time with lots of different albums. That created a kind of muscle memory in my hands. By the time I tried to actually put notes to what I was doing, I was already pretty good."
Even though Sambora is self-taught according to the previous quote, he revealed in the same interview that he has recently started taking guitar lessons: "I walked into Norman's Rare Guitars in L.A., and there was a guy playing acoustic guitar. He sounded like two players at once. I asked how he was doing that, and he started showing me all these alternative tunings. He turned out to be [former Wings guitarist] Laurence Juber. I said, 'Would you teach me how to do that?' It was fingerstyle playing that had passed me by when I was learning to play. So I took my first guitar lesson at the age of 53. I'm still taking lessons from him. It's been a gas." A lot more.
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