Dept. of Whoa.

This 14-year-old girl plays the everliving FUCK out of Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption.”

This should give new meaning to “plays like a girl.”

Also, it’s good to see that kids today still appreciate the classics. Had I as a 14-year-old tried to learn a piece of music of similar age, by the way, I’d have been kinda out of luck, since 1948 was basically a musical wasteland — rock and roll was years away, and musically interesting rock-specific guitar playing even farther.

It’s odd to consider now, but the middle 1970s were still pretty early in the development of modern popular music — Elvis’ commercial breakout was only 20 years before. If we consider 1957 as the first year of rock-and-roll hegemony on the charts (which may or may not be defensible for more than a blog post), then a Van Halen fan in 1977 has just 20 years of rock to draw from. Plus, the evolution of the form was so dramatic that few folks enjoyed both the hits of the late 1950s and the kind of post-Beatles, post-Hendrix, post-Zeppelin music that came in the next decade.

In 2013, we’re closing in on having SIXTY years of rock and roll to choose from, and even if we dismiss the first decade of essentially playful bits and start at 1967 instead, we have a half century. That’s a big buffet, and it makes it more remarkable that this kid found that first Van Halen record. (I suspect good parenting.)

One thought on “Dept. of Whoa.

  1. I think the phenomenon of more and more young players making impressive leaps in technique is also due in varying degrees to the killer teaching tools available today. Split screen (fretting hand/picking hand) videos, endless YouTube videos, hardware/software that slows down music without changing the pitch, that crazy fretlight guitar (not that anybody bought it), and the mind explodingly awesome Rocksmith “game”…I would have given anything to have had any of that stuff around when I was a frantic kid desperately trying to crack the code.

    One of my most hilarious and embarrassing self-taught moments was not being able to figure out that Unchained was in dropped D. I didn’t even know what dropped D was, so I would play it with great frustration and difficulty in standard A440 tuning and obviously never got even close to the vibe. In my isolation and consequent rigidity of thought, the idea that alternate tunings might exist would have been like a caveman thinking that space travel might one day be possible. YouTube would have solved that in 5 minutes.

    And yet…suddenly….I shudder to think what might have become of me if I’d discovered dropped D at that age. There would have been no end to the chunka chunka. I’m seeing my parents walking out of a courtroom as free people as the headlines read “justifiable homicide”.