Music as a profession – my history

Some time ago I wrote a post about how I didn’t choose to have music as a profession – I just couldn’t imaging a life without playing guitar every day … all day – so today we are looking down the history lane.

My first guitar

I started playing guitar when I was around 4 years old. My big brother bought an electric guitar and I got so jealous that my parents bought me a small acoustic as well. I guess they thought I would keep interest for a week or two and then return to my normal routines, but no …

My brother, who was ten years older than me, showed me new chords or a scale every once in a while, but I didn’t had “real” lessons on a regular basics. I had fun with the guitar, but I also did a lot of other typical child stuff.

When I was around ten years old my brother took me to an Eric Clapton concert and I was blown away. When we left the concert hall, I told my brother that I would play like Clapton one day. He smiled and told me that if I wanted to do that, I should practice and practice a lot. l remember how I said to myself: “hell yeah, then I’m going to practice a lot”, but I just looked at my bro and said “ok”.

Jesper Reiff playing livewith Soren Reiff (10 years old) @ Smogen, Holbæk
Jesper Reiff playing livewith Soren Reiff (10 years old) @ Smogen, Holbæk

After that experience my interest for music intensified. I bought my first electric guitar when I was ten years old and started practicing a bit more seriously. Every time my dad, who was a potter was asked to entertain with some of the songs he wrote as a hobby, he always invited my brother and me to join him. I slowly got used to playing live. This also resulted in my first radio-show-recording when I was around twelve. My brother and I played two “songs” (different types of improvised blueses) and I played a jazzy song together with my dad.

Erik Reiff and Soren Reiff as 10 years old
Erik Reiff and Soren Reiff as 10 years old, doing a radioshow together

Music as a profession

I still did a lot of other things and wasn’t thinking of having music as a profession – it was just fun to play – the same way that I enjoyed taking pictures with my camera or driving my moped.

When I was around sixteen and enjoying the holiday before I had to to start my final three years at highschool, I bought my first serious guitar – a Gibson Les Paul deluxe. I started practicing from morning til night, every single day.

I was practicing jazz chords by “Mickey Baker”, and playing along to every record I could get hold of with Albert, B.B. and Freddie King. When the school was about to begin again, I was so caught of music that I don’t have words for it.

When all my classmates started talking about university – studying law or how they wanted to be a dentist or vet, I was paralysed. The only thing I could focus on was my guitar. The following three years I went to school – not much, but enough to stay in. In conjunction with every examination I was called to the principals office and had some serious warnings. I was told tofocus more on the school and less on music. I tried … seriously I tried but couldn’t.

With my moms help, who taught me “everything” I should have learned the last 3 years within 1-2 months up to the final examinations, I graduated. It wasn’t an impressive graduation, but I passed.

A year after the graduation I moved to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and started to follow my dream – to make a living by music. It was  a struggle and I had to work hard, but after a couple of years it started to make sense … I’ll gladly write about that periode another time 🙂 (you can read more about who I’ve played with here).

As you can read, I didn’t choose to have music as a profession I just couldn’t exist without music and playing my guitar. My life wouldn’t mean anything if I wasn’t practicing and playing every day – 100% dedication … 100% passion.

All the very best


2 Replies to “Music as a profession – my history”

  1. Hej Søren

    Tak for din mail!
    Det er vel nok sjovt at se de billeder af dig og Jesper, og også din far. Når jeg ser dem nu, kan jeg godt huske, at Kim Zander dengang inviterede mig i “Smøgen” til arrangementet, hvilket jeg desværre ikke kunne. I øvrigt ser det ud til, at Jespers guitar til forveksling ligner den Gretsch, jeg spiller på i dag, pudsigt!
    Glæder mig til at høre nyt vedr.dit studieprojekt.

    De bedste hilsner


    1. Fun to hear Peter that you were invited to my first performance in a club!!! The guitar I play was the one I bought from Nils F.
      It’s also quite funny that you now got a Gretch similar to Jesper’s – it’s a super cool guitar 🙂
      All the very best

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