From a dormant high school hobby to a renewed and passionate pursuit, Rick Burney’s guitar journey is one of determination and self-discovery. Born and raised in Connecticut before moving to Southern California in 1979, the 65-year-old retired engineer and father of two has become a Study With Adam Guitar Legend through his relentless dedication to the craft.
I got a chance to talk with Rick about his music, and we had a great time making this video.
Burney’s guitar journey began during high school but was put on hold for over 30 years. It wasn’t until 2011 that he decided to pick it up again, rekindling his love for the instrument. He joined Study with Adam (SWA) in January 2021 and has since seen his fingerstyle playing skills progress to truly impressive in just a year and a half.
One of the aspects Burney appreciates most about SWA is the instructional videos and the emphasis on technique. He also enjoys the challenge of learning complex fingerstyle pieces. His overall guitar playing has improved significantly, as well as his ability to play with others. Moreover, since Burney often plays songs that include a vocal melody, he humorously adds that his improved guitar skills now spare others the pain of hearing him sing.
Currently, Burney is working on “Let it Be” by the Beatles while keeping his repertoire fresh with songs like “Billie Jean” and “Ain’t Nobody.” He has also started participating in ad hoc music nights with other musicians. His main guitar is a Taylor 414CE, but his favorite is a Martin D-15. He also owns a PRS electric guitar.
Burney’s taste in music is diverse, but he has a soft spot for acoustic tunes. As long as there’s good guitar playing involved, he’s a fan. Some of his favorite guitarists include Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa, and the late Gary Moore. It was, in fact, through following Emmanuel that Burney discovered SWA and decided to join.
To witness Burney’s guitar prowess, check out this video of him playing “Ain’t Nobody” with exceptional skill:
Rick Burney’s story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and the rewards of hard work. His inspiring journey from a 30-year hiatus to SWA Guitar Legend demonstrates that it’s never too late to pursue your passions and achieve greatness.
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