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Teen Spirit

 

XVI.V.XXI

 

AMITHAV: GUITAR IMPROVISER!


Ravi V. Chhabra-Managing
Editor-fnbworld 

By Ravi V. Chhabra

 

Amithav Gautam-fnbworld-ravi v. chhabra

Crashing into Amithav Gautam's guitar solos at Youtube was a pleasant accident. At 16 years, he is passionately forceful and is already a master improviser of many musical genres. 

 

fnbworld.com {news for soul} first got in touch with him (emails) in March 2021 but he was held up for his high school exams. Living in Chennai in south India - a home to musicians and many dance forms of global recognition, he comes from a lineage of musicians/artists. 

 

His musical education in short: Piano Grade 6 of ABRSM board, Music Theory Grade 5 ABRSM board and, Rock And Pop Guitar Grade 8, Trinity College Board. Here's a peek into the bright, young mind and his musical forte.

 

"I have many musical heroes, not just guitarists. My first big influence were the Beatles, followed by The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. Then I started exploring the blues with BB King, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Freddie King, Muddy Waters and many more. My favourite rock guitarists include Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani, Dickey Betts, David Gilmour and Derek Trucks."


Ravi V. Chhabra:  Who is your teacher in guitar?

Amithav Gautam:  My first guitar teacher was Mr Atlee who taught me the basics when I was ten. Then I met Sir Vivek Anand when I joined the present school and he has been the  most influential teacher who introduced me to a whole new world of musical genres and guitar playing styles and techniques. He continues to be my teacher to this day.

Ravi: Which kind of guitar did you learn and which brands are you playing these days?

 

Amithav: I use a PRS and a Fender electric guitar and a Yamaha acoustic guitar. I first started learning on the acoustic and then moved on to the electric.

Ravi: Who are your favourite guitar heroes as I can smell quite a few influences?

Amithav: I have many musical heroes, not just guitarists. My first big influence were the Beatles, followed by The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. Then I started exploring the blues with BB King, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Freddie King, Muddy Waters and many more. My favourite rock guitarists include Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani, Dickey Betts, David Gilmour and Derek Trucks. 

 

However,my all time favourite guitar player who has influenced me the most is Duane Allman. Of late, I have been exploring the world of jazz through the work of Lester Young, George Benson, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Mclaughlin, John Scofield and many more. I also look up to the guitar playing of Sir Ehsaan Noorani, Sir Rudy Wallang and Sir Warren Mendonsa.

Amithav Gautam in balcony-fnbworld


Ravi: Southern India has a history in many kinds of music and unique instruments, what has been your exposure?

Amithav: My brush with south Indian music is limited at this point to the film and Berkeley music of A.R Rahman and also the great Ilaiyaraaja.

Ravi: You are just 16 years, what career path do you wish to tread on? 

Amithav: It may be a little too early but I do hope to make a career in music.

Ravi: What career guidance do your parents provide you with? Anybody in your family into music or fine arts?

Amithav: My parents are very supportive of my decision to pursue music. In fact. my dad is a huge influence on my musical tastes as he is a music buff and has opened new musical worlds to me. My grandmother was a veena player. My Mother a classical dancer and I learnt the sitar along with my uncle.

Ravi: What are your favorite study interests in school?

Amithav: I am also studying music in school so that obviously is my first choice.

Ravi: What all states have you travelled in India till now?

Amithav: I have been to Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Delhi

Ravi: You haven't been moved by the electronic music revolution, especially due to the Corona lockdown running into second year?

Amithav: One cannot beat the energy of a live gig but under the circumstances, music using technology is perhaps the only way for musicians to be heard.

Ravi: How much time do you spend in practicing guitar & how old were you when you first played it? Are you planning original compositions?

Amithav: I was 10 years when I held the guitar for the first time and I try my best to practise 4-8 hours every day, depending on my school schedule. Well, I have already released one original composition called Blossom that is available on most digital platforms and I am working on many more.

Ravi: What other instruments/musicians have influenced your style of playing guitar?

Amithav: As I get deeper into jazz, I have been most influenced by saxophonists and pianists. Hank Mobley, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Bill Evans, to name a few.

Ravi: Special areas of interest?

Amithav: I adore wildlife and nature, so I love watching Nat Geo, Discovery and Animal Planet. I also like sports, especially cricket and football.

Ravi: How about doing a Zoot Allures cover for me in next 28 hours?

Amithav: I'll try my best sir.