Bright Young Things
While practice makes perfect, having a great ear for music and the ability to play a song merely by listening to it a couple of times certainly takes a talent to a whole new level.
EMMA GOODWIN meets a young man who is striving to put a band together and become famous.
He begged, he pleaded, he wore his parents down, and finally they bought him a Suzuki acoustic guitar.
Now they say it was the best thing they could have done for 13-year-old Connor Todd.
"He practises every day and he's now got a few more that he can play too," says dad Daniel Todd.
Connor received his first guitar 2 1/2 years ago and hasn't looked back. He now has six guitars and has been taking lessons for several months from Darroll Hannam at Soundworks Music School.
"Before I got the lessons I was playing stuff by ear. I'd listen to things on YouTube and then play them."
A student at Freyberg High School, Connor doesn't play in the school orchestra but he is looking for like-minded teens to start a band.
"That would be really cool, but it's quite hard to find people. I don't know anyone yet, but I'll keep looking."
Connor has a natural ability to pick up tracks and play them after just a couple of listens.
"His tutor says he has a natural ability that is quite rare and he's pretty excited," says Mr Todd.
As Connor's expertise has improved he has added to his guitar collection, helping to pay for them by saving up pocket money and birthday money, and his bedroom now is packed full of amps and various other bits of musical paraphernalia.
"It's something I would like to do for a career."
Connor says he writes a bit of music and a few lyrics, and while it's something that he is still toying with, preferring at the moment to play other people's music, he expects he'll do more as he gets better at it.
Once he finds a few other like-minded and talented kids and a band has been formed, he intends to enter competitions like Battle of the Bands and Smokefreerockquest.
So what is his favourite genre?
"Rock and metal. I love Guns `n' Roses and Slash is my hero," says Connor.
"I think I may have had some influence on that," says Mr Todd, a little sheepishly.
Keen to extend his musical prowess, Connor says he would like to try drums as a second instrument and a studio is being constructed in a shed at home in Tokomaru.
But it's not just music that Connor excels at.
He also played in the hockey first XI at intermediate school, and is part of the sports academy at Freyberg.
"I want to make a career out of music and I have to put the effort in to get there."
"If he puts the effort in and he obviously has the talent then we will support him every step of the way," says Mr Todd.
Recently Connor put a few of his guitars in the Manawatu Guitars exhibition at the Square Edge and had a jam session with organiser Jason Sadd and other players.
"He's good, he's very good," says Mr Sadd.
- © Fairfax NZ News