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It’s not everyday that a guitarist can enter a competition, not make the final cut, but end up walking away with the grand prize. Local teen Joey Farish, 18, did just that during the annual KZRR 94 Rock’s Ibanez Guitar Lick Off.
The contest, sponsored by radio station 94 Rock and Grandma’s Music and Sound was from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 13 at Grandma’s in Albuquerque. Guitarists from around the state gathered to shred for 60 seconds apiece, in hopes of winning one of three Ibanez guitars.
Farish, who currently works at the Animal Clinic of Los Alamos, is taking music classes at Northern New Mexico College, and has been playing guitar for almost five years. He said he taught himself how to play after getting a guitar for Christmas one year and only recently began to take music classes.
Farish first heard about the contest last year through one of his instructors at NNMC and decided to enter. He placed third in last year’s competition, so he decided to give it another try this year.
“They gave us 60 seconds to solo,” Farish said, “If you make it into the finals, you have to do another 60 seconds.”
Farish said he prepared for the contest by writing a solo piece that he played.
“I actually wrote two, in case I made it into the finals,” he said.
Initially, Farish thought his shredding was over for the day when he didn’t make the cut into the final round, however, his luck changed when one of the finalists failed to return to play in the finals. Because of the guitarist’s no-show, Farish was tapped for the final round.
“I got really nervous,” Farish said. “There were quite a few people watching. I did mess up a lot, but I also got to hear a bunch of other really good guitar players.”
Unlike some musicians, Farish doesn’t adhere to a rigid practice schedule. “Whenever I want to play guitar, I play,” he said. “I do practice everyday.”
Farish is majoring in music at NNMC and is taking classes in music theory. Eventually he would like to learn how to record music and would like to be a studio musician.
“I want to do as much as I can with the knowledge (in music),” he said.
Farish said he’ll enter the Lick Off contest again next year. “It was lots of fun,” he said.