Hi, I'm Ruan.

Systems Development Engineer, DevOps, Linux, AWS, Python

NonTech: Back to School with me and my Guitar

Sep 10, 2019 | 5 minutes read

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After 12 years, I decided to persue my dream in music, going to a Music Academy to become really good at guitar


M&M Music Academy in Cape Town, South Africa

You play guitar?

Yes, but playing for 2 weeks and leaving the guitar alone for 8 months does not count.

Fresh in High-School, I met one of my good friends QJ, we both liked the same music and wanted to start learning to play guitar, from what I can remember he could do the basics, and I could barely hold a guitar.

We walked past the music class, and we both noticed: “Guitar Lessons”:


So we both got excited and decided to join. It was just about one term, after every class I would ask: “Okay, how do I play AC/DC”, I got a bit bored with the basic stuff. We got really good with it, and after the lessons we would download tabs and started learning songs from all our favorite bands.

The guitar lessons was only teaching us the basics, so when the course finished, I went on learning all my favorite songs and trying to impress people with the songs that I learned. After a couple of years I got really good, but there was always something missing.

Music Theory

I am really passionate when I see other musicians start to improvise when people play a couple of chords and a lead guitarist rips out his fancy guitar magic and breaks out insane solos, riffs and licks! And that is always something I wanted to do, but never really sure how to do it, or where to start.

In and Out

As the years went past, I got new hobbies and especially when I started my career working with Linux and Systems Development, which im also really passionate about, got me almost every second night tinkering with new tech and learning new things. In tech, if you don’t keep up with the latest tech, you can fall behind very quckly. Im super curious and very passionate about tech, so I started to lean more towards tech and my guitar started to collect more dust. Which got me to a phase where I got in and out of playing guitar.

The problem with that was that whenever I stop for 6 months or so, getting back into guitar is really difficult, its as if your figers gets “rusty”, and I keep want to compare how good I used to be, and then when I pick up that guitar, I want to play songs from “All that Remains”, “Killswitch Engage” or “In Flames”, then I will get frustrated and I will leave the guitar again.

This will go on in a infinite loop, until I decide to buy a new guitar, because that motivates you to play more, and then I will go back to basics and start playing easier songs, which helps, but only lasted for some time.

Back in December when I bought my new guitar (Fender, Mexican Stratocaster):


A ha Moment

So I’ve been working myself to the bone, and realized that I should get another hobby because burning yourself out is a bad thing, and you could potentially be less productive at work. So just before I got to the burnout zone, I really felt down and felt like its time for a change.

So I was browsing on instagram and I stumbled upon a guitar cover of Guns & Roses - November Rain by Kfir Ochaion (he is brilliant btw)

And the song, the solo, the way he played it, everything just got to me, and the way that music makes me feel, can rise me up from the bottom in milli seconds, and that’s when I realized that music takes me away from the day to day things, and motivates me a lot. I mean when I work on tech stuff, Im very passionate about it, but it requires a lot of brain power, so you get tired after time. And this made me realize that its something that takes your mind off things and exactly what I needed.

One more go

So this time, I really want to start playing guitar again but also in a proper way, to avoid losing interest again. On top of that, I want to learn all the theory, techniques, skills etc, that I never learned which was missing for all these years. So the way I thought I would be able to achieve that was to go to a Music Academy

So I signed up and did not know what to expect. The first day, which was the day of writing this post, I explained that I want to be able to improvise and play solos when anyone plays a couple of chords, if people show me how, I can do it, but I want to understand how to do it. We started with music theory, as that is a essential part that was missing for all these years. Im also getting home work so that forces me to play more regularly.

I will be recording myself every week, which will encourage me to keep going as after 12 months I want to be able to see the progress.

End Result

At the end of the day, I want to play guitar to enjoy myself, to continue my passion, to get my mind of things and to escape earth a bit, and when I hear good music, good solos, riffs and licks, it always give me goosebumps and my anxiety goes out the window and motivation shoots in a positive trend! :D

M&M Music Academy

It’s only my first day but the teacher, Stefan Louw is insanely good! He obtained his grade 8 in Rock School and he explain things very well. If you are in the area and you want to learn how to play guitar, does not matter what skill you have or even a beginner, you should definitely give him a call.


Thanks for reading!