THE RED BULLETIN: Is it true that you’ve never had a single music lesson in your life?
Gary Clark jr: It’s true. I started teaching myself to play guitar when I was 12. Even now, I still can’t read music.
Is that a problem?
I don’t think so. Classical education can get in the way of creativity sometimes. Forget the textbooks. I actually had an opportunity to go to university and study but I decided not to because I knew it wasn’t the path for me.
How did you find your own style?
I learn things in life when I jump right into the fire. When I was a teenager, instead of just reading up on music theory at home, I would take my guitar along to clubs and jam on stage with old blues musicians. It was tough in the beginning, but it got me hooked. I worked through it and got people’s attention.