I didn't pick up guitar until I was about 16-17 years old. Even then, I only knew chords, until the age of 20 when i learned all about finger-picking and harmonics on a 12 string
When I was 21, I discovered Kaki King in my sleep (long story.) I was inspired by her style and opened up a completely new way of playing, and so I took up "Unorthodox" playing, as she would call it. I learned from listening to Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, the bassist from Primus, and Tom Morello, and eventually came to my own way of blending everything i learned and writing my own songs
By the time I was 22, I have almost completely forgotten how to sight read music. I stopped initially, because when you play off a sheet, things become too technical and there is virtually no room to improvise. I learned that playing by ear allowed me to feel the emotions the song expressed, and apply it to my own music.
I then decided i wasn't challenged enough, so I paid extreme attention to the bass lines from Korn, Ryan Adams, and any other band that was different from most
23 years old, now inspired by the ambience and the way of the railroad, More and more songs crank out of my head, showing small resemblances of my influences.
And if you are into my music, be sure to check me out on the myspace bandwagon at Http://www.myspace.com/nickkropelnicki
to learn more about me