Thursday, January 15, 2015

St. Louis Teenage Guitar Phenom Draws Celebrity Attention, Plays Guitar Better Than You

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 4:29 AM

Fourteen-year-old Connor Low can outplay you. Bet on it. - COURTESY ALIYAROSE PHOTOGRAPHY
  • courtesy AliyaRose Photography
  • Fourteen-year-old Connor Low can outplay you. Bet on it.

When you're learning how to play guitar, you understandably might start with the easy stuff. Experts often recommend Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl," Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" and The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" for novices because of those songs' simple chords or strumming techniques.

For the record, Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" would not be considered "the easy stuff." With its string-skipping antics and crazy time signature (or lack thereof)? No way, not by a long shot.

So when guitar virtuoso and "Dover" enthusiast Rhett Butler gave fourteen-year-old Connor Low a virtual high five for his rendition of the difficult composition, you know it was a big deal.

"GREAT JOB, Connor Low! That is the best one I have seen yet!" Butler told Low on Facebook.

See also: St. Louis School of Rock Teens Play Milwaukee's Summerfest, Taste Tour Life

It all started when Low, a Lake Saint Louis resident and student at School of Rock in Ballwin, uploaded a rendition of "Cliffs of Dover" to his YouTube channel that features covers and original music. But instead of playing Johnson's original version straight up, Low did something different.

"I thought, 'What if I did an acoustic arrangement of this song?' I play finger-style guitar, so I started working on it and found Rhett Butler's version," Low explains. "I downloaded the music for that and kind of took some from his and combined it with what I had done."

Proud of his work, Low took a chance and posted the video to Butler's Facebook page. That's when Butler -- who can play two guitars at once -- made the teenager feel like a king:

Low watched the view count for his "Dover" video climb.

"I was very humbled and honored," Low says. "He does a lot of two-handed stuff, and I'm really into that, so he's always been an inspiration."

Watch Low's version of "Cliffs of Dover" below:

That wasn't Low's first brush with greatness, though. Several years ago, the Liberty High School student and five-year guitar player performed the Eric Johnson composition for none other than, well, Eric Johnson. Low remembers running into Johnson near the men's room at the Old Rock House, where Johnson's band was hosting a meet-and-greet. The group asked if Low played guitar, obviously not knowing what they were about to witness.

On page two, watch Low perform with still more popular musicians!

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