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A Conversation with ... Peter Buck on How Anybody Can Learn Guitar

The iconic R.E.M. guitarist reveals how he learned to play the guitar and why he's still learning new things to this day.

For more than three decades, Peter Buck was part of a musical revolution in the form of alternative rock pioneers R.E.M.

His ringing, arpeggiated guitar stylings helped shape the sound of a generation on timeless albums like Reckoning, Document and Out of Time.

Throughout R.E.M.’s amazing run during the 1980s, ‘90s and 2000s, Buck also produced sterling records from the likes of Uncle Tupelo, Vigilantes of Love and Charlie Pickett. And that’s not to mention his collaborations with the Minus 5, Robyn Hitchcock, Warren Zevon and the Replacements, just to name a few.

Yes, Buck curated quite the resume when he was in R.E.M., and after the group amicably disbanded in 2011 – four years after they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – it would be understandable if he wanted to take a break from making music.

Contrary to that notion, Buck has been as prolific as ever, whether it’s continuing to produce more artists, releasing solo albums or starting new bands, including his latest, Filthy Friends, with Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, King Crimson’s Bill Rieflin, Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks and Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows.

Recently, 25 years after R.E.M. put out the groundbreaking album Automatic for the People – which saw a massive deluxe reissue that boasts 20 previously unreleased demos, a live concert recording and a book of unreleased photos – Buck chatted with Fender about why he initially wanted to play music and how he learned at a young age.

As Buck, one of the most influential guitarists of all time, reveals, he is still learning new things on the guitar to this very day.

Hear what he had to say in the video above, and click here to learn more about Buck’s annual Todos Santos Music Festival benefitting local charities in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Do you want to begin your pathway to learning the guitar? Start your free trial with Fender Play here.