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Inspiration from the Life of Wes Montgomery


Born in a musical family, Wes Montgomery was an American jazz guitarist who followed the steps of iconic guitarists such as Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Wes produced several albums with his brothers using Montgomery Brothers as the name of their band. Many people remember Wes for his impeccable skills while playing the guitar. For example, he would pluck the guitar with the side of his thumb producing a highly distinct sound.


Wes Could Not Handle Being Away From His Family

Wes started practicing the four-string tenor guitar and the six-string guitar at age 20. Although he could not read music, he was a quick learner and therefore, he could learn complex notes by listening. He loved Charlie’s music and could flawlessly play his solos. Wes’ ability to play these songs led to Lionel Hampton hiring him to tour different cities with him. However, Wes could not handle being away from his family back in Indianapolis and that means he had to quit touring. He worked in a factory from 7 am to 3 pm and later, he would perform in discotheques at 9 pm to 2 am.


Wes Ventured In Other Music Genres

Wes’ technique of playing the guitar was outstanding as he could play chord melodies and octaves that no other guitarist could play. This ability to play the guitar helped him earn the respect of his contemporaries in addition to influencing other jazz guitarists that succeeded his generation. Although Wes explored other lucrative markets such as pop, he never abandoned jazz entirely.


Inspiration from the Life of Wes Montgomery

Sometimes passion and career might be demanding, and it is upon you to decide the right balance between family and career. Wes opted for performances in local clubs so that he could be near his family. From Wes’ story, we also learn that it is important to explore your limits. In other words, do not stick to one genre of music all your life. Remember, Wes was a great jazz musician, but he tried pop music as well.


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