My first guitar: once I figured out those chords, my life was set | EBay: find your thing

I fell in love with music when I was about 10 or 11. I wanted a trumpet, but as I’m the youngest of eight getting one just wasn’t a priority for my parents. Then one of my brothers came home with a classical guitar that he’d borrowed from a friend.

At the time I was listening to Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car on my dad’s Walkman – I loved it so much I had it on repeat. My brother said: “I can show you how to play that song,” and put the guitar in my hands, moving my fingers to show me the chords.

It took an hour to learn. The feeling was just glorious, an incredible moment that opened up a gateway for me. The guitar became the access point to something sacred; it was akin to prayer. Playing became as vital to me as breathing.



Okumu’s beloved classical guitar. Photograph: Camilla Greenwell

We had that guitar for the whole summer, then my brother had to give it back. After that, I played my friends’ guitars and then ones at school. They were all acoustic, but I always had a vision of getting back to a classical guitar.

At 15 I went to a great school in Pimlico where music was really encouraged. I was amazed to discover that John Parricelli, one of my heroes, was my guitar teacher. With his encouragement, I applied to the Prince’s Trust for a grant to buy a classical guitar. Parricelli sourced one for me – the same make as the one he played.

It’s almost impossible to explain how it felt to own it; I took it with me to university in Edinburgh and played it constantly for the next 10 years.

Two months ago my partner Ruby gave birth to our son, Django Sebastian. Now I’m experiencing almost the same sense of creativity as a father that I’ve always associated with music. I just want to look at him and hold him all the time.

When I first learned to play that guitar I could never have imagined how everything would come together for me through music – emotionally and spiritually. But once I figured out those chords, my life was set.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a new hobby or already obsessed, eBay can help you find your passion and connect you with the things you love. Inspired to indulge your tuneful side? You’ll find guitars, drums, keyboards and other instruments available new on eBay.


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