These include the gift of a piano from his grandfather and open mic nights at Gruben's Uptown Tap in Plainfield.
Whereas some people pursue music for fame and fortune, Hoffer's reason is fairly simple.
"It makes me happy," he said.
Except for listening to classical with his aunt and his father, and Paul Simon songs with his mother, Hoffer didn't grow up listening to much music and certainly not the blues/funk/rock/folk/jazz/progressive the Alex Hoffer Music Facebook page list as his preferred genres.
But after Hoffer's grandfather gave Hoffer a piano when he was 14, Hoffer taught himself how to play theme songs from movies such as "Jurassic Park."
A couple years later, he acquired a guitar and taught himself how to play that instrument. Armed with his new-found skill, Hoffer began attending open mic events at Gruben's Uptown Tap.
"My mom actually took me because I wasn't old enough to be in the bar," Hoffer said. "I was just a kid showing up with a guitar."
But these open mics had a blues theme, which introduced him to the genre, Hoffer said.
"I'd never heard it in any capacity more than a song on the radio," Hoffer said. "I never sat in a place listening to it all night. The guitar playing was amazing. To me, everybody I saw was an outstanding guitar player."