How Slash’s Guitar Teacher Motivated Him Through Lessons


If you’ve ever taken guitar lessons, you probably started out by learning to play “Yankee Doodle” or something of the sort and were incredibly bored. Slash had the same experience, but during an interview with Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez, he revealed how his teacher motivated him through the lessons.

Before Slash even had an instrument, he sought music lessons from a nearby guitar teacher named Robert Wolin. At the time, he thought he wanted to play the bass, but after Wolin played a Cream song for him on the guitar, he realized that was what he wanted to pursue instead. His very first guitar only had one string on it, but he was determined to master the instrument nonetheless.

“So I went back there and [Wolin] taught me how to put the other five strings on it, and then he started giving me what you’d call rudimentary lessons on guitar, where you use a little book and you use notation and all this stuff. It was really tedious and boring, and he realized that,” Slash remembered.

“He goes, ‘I’ll tell you what — you pick a song that you really dig and I’ll learn it for you and teach it to you at the end of every lesson. That way, it’ll keep you motivated.’ So I was like, ‘Okay.’ So I went and I did that, I brought in a song and I sat there and watched him listen to the song and play it and figure it out on the guitar. And I was like, ‘F–k, I can do that.’ So I subsequently quit my lessons and started playing, that’s basically how I learned.”

That isn’t to say Slash didn’t find Wolin’s lessons valuable, though. He admitted that he learned a lot from the teacher in the short amount of time he worked with him, including how to pick and read music.

“So I gotta give him a lot of credit. And I told him that after Appetite came out, we were on the road and at some point I got in touch with him. He was aware of the fact that I’d taken off, it was pretty cool.”

The Collection: Slash is a coffee table book that explores Slash’s journey as a guitarist and his assortment of instruments. It’s Gibson Publishing’s very first book and comes in multiple editions, and can be pre-ordered through Gibson’s website now. Orders are expected to ship in January.

Loudwire Nights with Toni Gonzalez airs nightly starting at 7PM ET. You can tune in anytime, from anywhere right here or by downloading the Loudwire app.

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