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Nokie Edwards, guitarist of Tacoma's The Ventures, dies

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  • Nokie Edwards, a long-time Puyallup resident and lead guitarist for the Tacoma-based influential instrumental rock group The Ventures, died Monday. He was 82.

    The Ventures official website reported Edwards had been battling an infection after hip surgery in December.

    The Ventures recorded 37 albums between 1960 and 1972, including the theme to Hawaii Five-O. They were also known for Walk, Don't Run, which one writer dubbed a "surf rock standard."

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    KitsapGuy
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  • Every week somebody posts about some guy I've never heard of who played in some band I've also never heard of has passed away. And everyone's like "oh no, not him, he's the greatest musician of all time!"

    This time, I know the band and the guitarist, but nobody else has commented. I guess I'm the weird one.

    Walk, Don't Run is one of the songs I used to play on my guitar all the time when I was in high school. Of course, I had no rhythm and put no effort into fine tuning my playing back then, so basically I just practiced playing it totally wrong and out of rhythm so that I could really reinforce my bad habits that would take years to undo. I should learn to play it properly one of these days.
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    fenderbender123
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  • fenderbender123 wrote:Every week somebody posts about some guy I've never heard of who played in some band I've also never heard of has passed away. And everyone's like "oh no, not him, he's the greatest musician of all time!"

    This time, I know the band and the guitarist, but nobody else has commented. I guess I'm the weird one.

    Walk, Don't Run is one of the songs I used to play on my guitar all the time when I was in high school. Of course, I had no rhythm and put no effort into fine tuning my playing back then, so basically I just practiced playing it totally wrong and out of rhythm so that I could really reinforce my bad habits that would take years to undo. I should learn to play it properly one of these days.


    I'm with you fender. This has hit especially close to home for me and my family. Nokie was a close friend to and guitar mentor for my Dad. I literally grew up with this man playing country hot licks in my living room at 3 in the morning. He was an amazingly lovely human, and an honest to goodness severely underrated guitar player. Even if people think they've never heard his work, they've heard several different Ventures tunes a countless number of times in their lives and didn't even know it.

    I made my band jam "Walk Don't Run" with me at practice on Saturday in memorium. That was one of the first songs I ever learned as well. I'll never forget that riff.
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    DanejaHawk
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  • Love the Ventures. As really they were an original. Would had loved to learn to play the guitar or drums.
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    Passepartout
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  • Passepartout wrote:Love the Ventures. As really they were an original. Would had loved to learn to play the guitar or drums.


    I tried learning guitar many years ago, but I found bar chords impossible, and music in general totally incomprehensible.
    I've not heard of this band, but 37 albums in 12 years is incredible!
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  • When I first started playing guitar, I also found bar chords impossible and music to be incredibly difficult to comprehend. No rhythm, no nothing. I also noticed that the only good guitar players in high school had bigger hands and much longer fingers than me. I figured it was hopeless for me, as I struggled to play chords and stuff on my electric guitar, which are much easier to play than acoustic guitars.

    Was that way for years. Seemed like little to no progress. Still struggling with chords. Only barely got strong enough to play an acoustic guitar, and even then had to have the action lowered for me so that it was easier.

    Then, something clicked for me when I was in my 20s....I realized that the trick to getting better was not to play until my hands and fingers hurt...but to keep playing while they were hurting. My mom used to tell me all the time when I was a kid "you shouldn't be in pain, that's not good for you" about anything. I'd tell her my fingers were starting to hurt from playing the guitar, and she'd tell me I should stop so that I didn't cause permanent damage or injury. And now that I'm an adult I don't know what the hell she was talking about. Because pain is the only thing that makes me better at anything in life, mental or physical.

    So I just played played, and played. My fingers would hurt, but I'd keep going. I'd go until they were literally so fatigued that the muscles were pretty much dead. Many, many times over and over. All on an acoustic guitar.

    Fast forward to today (I'm 34), and I can play Metallica and Led Zeppelin licks on my acoustic guitar with the factor setup/action and with medium strings, and it sounds good and I can play in rhythm. My hands and fingers are ripped with muscles. On top of that, I can now even sing on key and also in rhythm, and I'm even getting pretty good at singing and playing at the same time.

    So, just wanted to attest that if a person who does not have the physical attributes desirable for music, was completely tone deaf, had absolutely no sense of rhythm, and just overall had absolutely no natural talent for playing music can transform into a respectable musician (I think people respect me? lol), anybody can do it.

    The reality is that it's hard to play an instrument. Kids get ZERO development with their hand skills and strength in public schools these days, so trying to play a stringed instrument for the first time can be pretty discouraging when you realize how much pain you have to go through. Learn to love the pain. Pain is pleasure. That's my motto.
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