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Guest Bob Travis

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Guest Bob Travis

Hello Fellow Guitarists, I'm Bob.  I began playing guitar in 1956.  For the following 10 years I took lessons for a while then got together with a few friends and formed a band. Although we practiced frequently, we never had a gig.  Four years into my guitar "career" I quit that band and went off to college.  One fall afternoon I was practicing in my dorm room when the leader of a campus band stopped by to listen.  After a few minutes he asked if I would play lead guitar in his rock band.  Sounds impressive, but in reality I got by with the 12-bar blues progression on most rock songs and two doo Wop progressions on the slow ones. My biggest accomplishment was learning several guitar instrumentals and becoming quite adept at bar chords.   I must say you youngsters in this group may not realize how fortunate you are to be playing in these times.  In the 1950's and early 60's we didn't have tablature, pedals, and the Internet was still about 40 years in the future. Our main sources for learning were Mel Bay lesson books, sheet music, and records. With 45 RPM records we could play them at 33 RPM and isolate parts we wanted to learn by moving the needle  

My guitar heroes were Chuck Berry, Bill Dogget's band, The Ventures, The Virtues, The Stringalongs, The (original) Wailers, The Fireballs, Jimmy Reed, Lonnie Mack, and most any other early instrumental rock band. That was a fun 3 years, but by my senior year I had a wife and son. We were playing frat parties 4 nights a week and I was studying in all my free time.  At that point I put my Fender Jazzmaster and Vibrasonic amp in the closet where they remained for the next 45 years.  I've regretted that decision in recent years.  There is so much that I didn't learn over the years and now I'm battling the clock trying to catch up.  

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