New Rock 99X

Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach on How He Learned To Play Guitar

04/13/2017 at 10:03 | Posted by jwilliams
INDIO, CA - APRIL 23: Musician Dan Auerbach of The Arcs performs onstage during day 2 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 2 at the Empire Polo Club on April 23, 2016 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

For Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and the Arcs, learning to play guitar was a family affair.

Auerbach tells us that he started young, surrounded by support:

“My family played bluegrass music, and I always just wanted to have a Martin guitar and be able to play bluegrass songs. My uncles taught me how to sing and taught me my first songs, some (Bob Dylan) ‘Nashville Skyline’ and Stanley Brothers. My uncle jack taught me how to play (Blind Willie McTell’s) ‘Statesboro Blues’ and, yeah, that’s how I started…That was the kind of music they listened to. They listened to the good stuff.”


Auerbach adds that the family continued to support him as he gravitated into electric guitar playing as well:

“My dad is an old hippie. My dad was in San Francisco in ’69, watching concerts at the Fillmore. I think he was probably pretty happy about it.”


With the Black Keys on hiatus, Auerbach has been working primarily with the Arcs and also produced the Pretenders‘ 2016 album Alone.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

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