No matter what age or level you are at with learning the guitar sometimes finding motivation can be tough. Throw in the pandemic and lockdowns and the isolation that came from that as well as my own challenges with social anxiety it’s no wonder finding an online guitar community helped me get through some tough times.
I came across Adrian Whyte’s youtube guitar lessons while living in Oslo and it was a great way to hear a familiar Aussie twang and guitar one too. Living in Oslo was difficult at times as I was still learning Norwegian, dealing with below 0 (celsius) temperatures which I had never experienced before and working in a job where I was either making coffee or bussing tables at busy canteens around a university campus. Listening to Adrian’s cheerful stories about being inspired by songs from the golden eras of Rockabilly, Psychobilly and Jazz really kept me going through the harsh winters and inspire me to pick up my guitar and learn my instrument.
Since I returned to Australia I joined Adrian’s patreon as well as his discord channel for members and it has been a great experience as a lot of members share their music, their personal stories and the crazy phenomenom that we have all shared in with covid. Making connections with people is something I have struggled with for a long time. Dealing with cPTSD and worrying that people will not accept me as I am is an uphill battle. At times I can be fine but some days I can’t get out of bed, I can’t always turn up for people how they would like and expect and sometimes I can’t even turn up for myself in ways that I would like to.
The beauty of being part of an online community is that I have been able to connect even when it has been difficult, even when I can’t get out of bed and pick up my guitar.
Adrian’s upbeat attitude and encouragement has really helped me during this time. He has also collaborated on three of my tracks including Devil’s Due and become a friend best of all. There are other members on the channel that have been great sources of encouragement, information and humour that have helped make going through hard times a little more bearable and a little less lonely. So if you dig rockabilly, psychobilly, jazz and you want to learn guitar then I highly recommend joining Adrian’s patreon. For me and my experience it has been more than just learning guitar but staying connected to people even when I didn’t feel like it.
Here are some really helpful links in case you need support. Asking for a mental health plan with my GP was one of the best decisions I have ever made and highly encourage reaching out when you’re ready.