Hill sharpens his ax skills

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By Sebastian Garcia

Teen Pulse Staff Writer

When Jake Hill, 18, was in seventh grade, he tried to play acoustic guitar in a music class. He didn’t enjoy the class and resolved to stop playing guitar.

That seemed to signal the end to a very short music career, but then one Christmas, Hill’s mother bought him an electric guitar. 

The new guitar reignited a desire in Hill to learn how to play, and from that day on, he was on a quest to learn the secrets of the electric guitar. 

Once the interest in playing guitar was rekindled, the Los Alamos High School senior started learning how to play by teaching himself. He later took guitar lessons to improve his skills. 

When Hill was 14, he got into his first band. To date, he’s been in five bands. His most recent venture is called, Kaos Ink. 

Hill’s love of guitars is evident by his collection. He owns about 22 instruments. Though he likes all of his guitars, his favorite is the Gibson Flying-V.  

Hill’s musical tastes are as diverse as is his taste in guitars. He enjoys playing blues, heavy metal, classic rock and music by heavy metal band, Metallica. 

His influences are evident in the choice of music he plays. Hill said some of his favorite musicians include Metallica, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. 

Hill is no stranger to performing in front of a crowd. He has played many venues including halftime shows at basketball games, which he’s been doing for three years. He’s also performed at music festivals in front of more than 3,000 people.

Although he’s played some fairly big venues, he still gets nervous. He’s especially nervous when he has to play in front of smaller crowds because he’s afraid that people will tell him he isn’t a good guitarist. When asked why he likes playing guitar, Hill said, “It’s just something with no right or wrong, you just come up with something.”

One of three brothers, Hill is the only musician in his family. During his free time, he works on cars, dirt bikes and occasionally plays video games. Though he has a passion for guitar playing, it’s not something that Hill wants to do in terms of a career. When he finishes high school, he wants attend technical school to become an auto mechanic. 

 “It’s my passion and it’s what I want to turn into a career,” he said.