If you’re a guitar aficionado visiting the Headbanger Rare Guitar shop in Madrid, Spain, you’re likely to find a teen in a baseball cap bent over a 1955 Gibson, his nimble fingers creating jazz scales.
The shop, with black walls were attentively hung on by a selection of classic guitars, is a second home to Pedro Gonzalez, 17, who’s bringing interest in the Spanish capital because of his ability and jazz guitar playing with.
“(His technique) appears determined by Django Reinhardt,” said Madrid-based guitarist and professor Joaquin Chacon, comparing Gonzalez to the late Belgian-born musician considered one of the greatest guitarists ever.
This summer, Headbanger’s owners organized a concert using several Spanish indie rock musicians to raise 2,000 euros ($2,138) for Gonzalez to study under Chacon at the private Escuela de Musica Creativa.
Gonzalez were accepted at the school using a scholarship that was partial but his parents, struggling on low incomes and a stubbornly high jobless rate in Spain, couldn’t cover the remaining fees — therefore the fundraising event.
“It is sad that people can not get an instruction because their family doesn’t have enough cash. There ought to be public schools for music,” Amaral, a popular Spanish band that played in the concert, said in a statement to Reuters.
Gonzalez began playing the piano but by 13 was increasingly drawn to the guitar.
When Pedro plays at Headbanger, customers listen in amazement and gather about to take pictures. His technique is based on Internet videos of guitarists like Wes Montgomery, among his idols. He’s never viewed a live jazz concert.
“They are too expensive. I have just been to the ones where I play myself,” Gonzalez said while taking a short break from playing the coveted Gibson on a stool at Headbanger.
After completing the Madrid course, Gonzalez has his sights set on Berklee College of Music in Boston or Conservatorium van Amsterdam, defying some fans’ perspectives that he is a master.
“I have still got a great deal to really go. You cannot stop learning,” Gonzalez said before getting back to his scales.
Chacon said that for pupils like Pedro, with natural ability and plenty of motivation, formal training is like “a high-speed highway that takes you to your destination much quicker than if you attempted to find the road on your own”.