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Jose Mena

Location: Miami, FL USA
Hometown: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Date of Birth: May 13th 1979
Playing guitar since: 1992

I was born in a family of musicians, therefore I don't remember when I was introduced to music, nor when I became interested in music. From a very early age I was tought to play the piano, and I had fun playing simple songs as a kid, I loved listening to my grandfather, father and uncle play and desperately wanted to become as good as them. My mom decided to give my brothers and I formal music education, and we were forced to attend a music conservatory.

At Age 12 I discovered the electric guitar, it hadn't been long since Guns n Roses had released their Use your Illusion albums, and Metallica its black album, and I became obsessed with the guitar and Heavy Metal, I quit playing piano and put all my efforts into learning the guitar.

My influences are many, I grew up listening to Beatles, Supertramp, Queen, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Rush, mainly the music my mother and father liked, but then my uncles introduced me to metal, and the rest is history. I began with Guns n Roses, Metallica, Nirvana, later moved on to Yngwie Malmsteen, Mr. Big, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Vai, Satriani and then fusion guitar players such as Greg Howe, Frank Gambale, Al Di Meola. I am currently listening to Guthrie Govan, I am amazed by his technique and phrasing as well as his composition.

I wish I would've had access to something like this when I was learning. Being in a thirld world country and with no internet at the time, I had limited access to videos or learning material. I figured out most of Yngwie's arpeggios and fast licks by sticking a pencil on to a tape player to slow it down, later on got a hold of tabs to learn solos from John Petrucci, and had a few friends that managed to get an instructional video. Now everything is here at your finger tips, I am glad that I can be a part of it and share what I have learned over the years. I can not think of a better way to improve your playing.

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