When it comes to music, Limpopo has delivered many successful on-stage artists and recently added to the list is a young musician and learner Edmund Hern of Hoërskool Pietersburg (PHS), who received a golden ticket during the SA Kids With Talent regional competition which guaranteed him and his electric guitar a spot in the finals.
“It was a wow-moment. I did not expect to win and a golden ticket was not even an option because I made so many mistakes on stage. I was flabbergasted and am now looking forward to the finals to be hosted in September,” Edmund said.
The golden ticket is given to outstanding participants at regional level and guarantees them a spot in the final meaning no further elimination rounds for Edmund giving him the opportunity to use every spare moment practising for the finals where he stands a change to be elected for the grand finale at the end of September.
“It is the third year I enter for the competition. The first year I did not qualify. During the second year I qualified and surprisingly came third in the 11 to 12 years category. I believe it is hard work, non-stop practising and determination that contributed to this year’s success,” Edmund said. He added that he has some high expectations of the finals with a much bigger stage and audience which makes him a little nervous. According to him he tends to get nervous during sound checks, but once he starts playing he becomes calm and only focusses on the notes and getting the right tune out of his guitar.
He has been playing acoustic guitar for about five years but three years ago a performer at a local show piqued his interest in electric guitar. “The principles of playing acoustic and electric guitar are the same but the electric guitar can produce many more different sounds. I cannot really say that the one is more or less difficult to play.”
For Edmund the most difficult part of learning to play the guitar was to memorise the different scales and remember different notes.
“But it all comes in time. Patience is the key word. I practice at least two hours per day and though it is exams now I try to put in extra time to tweak those strings. I believe that a good guitarist is someone who does not give up easily and who is willing to spend hours with his guitar. One should also have confidence on and off stage,” he said.
His advice to other upcoming guitarists is never to give up, believe in yourself and not to let anyone influence them negatively.
“I have not yet decided on what I would like to achieve. For now I am only playing for fun. I would like to establish my own band one day and for now would like to play in local restaurants for some pocket money,” he said.
Kids with Talent SA aims to showcase the musical talents of across the country and to give them the opportunity to feel like a rock star. They are provided an opportunity to perform in a professional and positive environment and given star treatment regardless of age, instrument, music style or ability.
Story & photo: RC Myburgh