“This is hard to say. Probably the guitar,” he says confidently, with a smile. The guitarist’s signature guitar is an old black ashwood model he bought from his father’s former shop in his native Scotland in the 1970s. “There you put in a set of strings, and in a very short time you will learn the most difficult thing in the world to play, the most difficult instrument.”
His father, a classical guitarist, played his first few gigs as a teenager. “But soon he had to work to earn money to put food on the table,” the singer says, looking after his father. “He lived in a room with my mother. He worked as a lorry driver, selling his own goods, and I learnt guitar from there.” The guitarist started to play guitar as a child, which became a hobby, and eventually a way of learning to play. He started learning at an early age, taking instruments with him in public venues until he could play every note on them.
Today, the guitarist’s home is an impressive collection of instruments. “Lots of guitars, and a whole lot of amps and effects,” he explains. “My parents got me a guitar before the internet, and I have them all in my living room”.
In his spare time, which runs as wide as the guitar strings and as long as the guitar neck, the guitarist spends time teaching others how to play, sometimes to his daughters, sometimes to friends. He also teaches himself guitar. By then he has amassed a large collection of equipment, which he says is partly a result of his hobby, but partly a result of living in the studio on a regular basis: “It’s a constant cycle of doing something and then something else. I’m always playing music, always going into studios. I don’t leave home without anything.” And to be honest, for the most part, the guitarist just kind of plays.
One of his personal pieces is called “Guitar Man”, which was composed as a birthday present for his daughter. “I went into my head, and there are just so many things that I like,” he says. “Music is my world. We are all connected through music, but if I have played music for 15 years… There will always be other guitarists in this world.”
He is also very busy on stage. Not only do he perform with his own band, The Black Keys, but he is also a regular host on Jimmy Kimmel Live! On stage, his
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