How I learned to play the guitar


Why and how I learned to play the guitar?  This is a question I commonly get, and to answer that, I also have to tell you why I learned… because I was bored!  To learn how I came to play the banjo, click here.

Buddy playing his Kremona M20e guitar.When & where?

You see, my parents and I have been missionaries to Central America since 1992 and full time in Costa Rica since December, 1998.  When we arrived I couldn’t communicate in Spanish, and as a consequence, I didn’t have many friends and was pretty bored!

So, after a friend of my parents gave me an old guitar I decided in January of 1999, that if I spent 15 minutes a day trying to learn chords out of a chord book that it would be 15 minutes of less boredom!  After about a month and a half or two months I started to really enjoy it and I was practicing a lot more than just 15 minutes a day.


However, I was enjoying my time on the guitar a lot more than my parents were since I was such a bad player!  So, I asked my dad if we could get a guitar teacher to teach me how to play the guitar, but getting a teacher was out of our budget.  So, I went to my room and prayed in the name of Jesus and asked God to teach me how to play the guitar.  So, the only guitar lessons I received were through the Holy Spirit in my room!

From that point on, my learning curve changed dramatically and within less than a month from when I prayed, my parents noticed the difference in my playing.  The fact was, I was starting to play music rather than noise.

Guitar “University” Training

It became obvious that God had heard my prayer and early on God graciously prepared a “Guitar University” for me in place of the normal guitar lessons I would have gotten!  This “Guitar University” was what God used to influence and molded my techniques, styling and musical tastes.

 My first guitar hero!

Through it I learned from master fingerstyle guitarist, Doyle Dykes.  So, I started to study his techniques by listening to his music and watching every video I could get my hands on!  God used Doyle’s playing to affect my playing style from early on and God has continued to use Doyle’s playing and style to inspire me in developing my own further!  I thank God for his sending people like Doyle Dykes into my life, Doyle has been not only my hero but my friend!

2016 - Buddy Tetreault, The Guitar Guy with his Kremona M20E near Garmisch, Germany on River RocksMore guitar heroes

After I had been playing the guitar for about 2 and a half or 3 years God also used another great guitarist to influence my playing.  The fantastic flamenco guitarist, Paco de Lucia!  The first time I heard Paco’s playing I was blown away.  And again I prayed and asked God to teach me that new style.  By God’s grace and leading, I’ve progressively picked up various flamenco techniques.  The Lord has also used a number of other guitarists that have influenced my playing techniques in other areas as well.

Further musical influences

For example, for at least 3 or 4 years I had no clue who Chet Atkins was… other than a name.  Later on, through the Internet, I was finally exposed to old videos of Chet’s playing, along with the likes of: Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Thom Bresh, Al Petteway, Jesse Cook and many others.  All of them were like “professors” in my special private university courses!

This is just a brief explanation of how I became a musician and how I learned to play the guitar.  I hope you all enjoy God’s gifts in your lives.  Don’t take your family, friends or talents for granted and in everything, give God the glory!

Happy pickin’,
Buddy Tetreault  (  )====:::

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