“Mainly, I was playing guitar because she was so awful”: Dave Mustaine learned guitar because his sister couldn’t play piano

“If it wasn’t for you sucking on piano I would have never been so great at guitar,” Mustaine once told his sister.

Dave Mustaine on stage. He's wearing a white shirt, is smiling, and playing a Gibson V guitar

Image: Suzanne Cordeiro / Getty

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Dave Mustaine has his sister to thank for “sucking on piano”, as according to him, this is the reason why he learned to play guitar.

The Megadeth frontman received an acoustic guitar from his mother as a graduation present at a time where he wasn’t sure of what he wanted to do in life, and the rest is history.

Speaking to Chaoszine, Mustaine shared how he would play chords from a songbook she owned. Something he grew better and better at, because his sister “was so awful” at piano. And as it happens, this is something the rocker has already told her to her face.

“The reason I picked up a guitar… It was a graduation present from my mother and she got me an acoustic, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at the time, I wanted to be a baseball player,” begins Mustaine.

“I started learning, [and] had a little book that had some chords in it and I learned those but I didn’t enjoy it very much because of how it hurt my fingertips. I kept at it and I started to notice that it was getting a little easier to play.

“My sister played piano and she used to do songs out of songbooks for The Beatles and Cat Stevens and Elton John, and I think those were the main three that she had so I learned a lot of the chords that they use in their songs,” he explains.

“Mainly I was playing guitar because she was so awful and I’ve told her that, you know, if it wasn’t for you sucking on piano I would have never been so great at guitar, so that’s kind of how it started.”

In late July, Mustaine was captured at a show in Stockholm, Sweden, challenging a drunk audience member who claimed he could play guitar better than he could. Giving the disruptive fan a middle finger, and declaring “this is what happens when cousins fuck”, its safe to say Mustaine was having none of it.

To catch Megadeth on tour, visit the band’s website for tickets.

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