Myron Thomas: The consummate guitarist

Guitarist/singer/songwriter Myron Thomas has been making great strides in music in Guyana, specifically as a guitarist. Myron’s hand on the strings creates such a dazzling rhythmic effect that it draws any audience in whether they are au fait with music or not.

Myron grew up in Bethany Mission, a village in Supenaam Creek. His father played the guitar and piano and his grandfather played the piano. Both of these men would have augmented Myron’s musical skill to some degree.

At eight years old, he yearned to play the guitar but had to remain contented with singing at the Bethany Seventh Day Adventist Church and strumming the strings of the church guitar. His chance to learn to play the guitar didn’t come until four years later when he began attending the Kimbia Mission Academy, situated 80 miles from New Amsterdam in the Berbice River, a long way from home.

Myron performing at the Umana Yana

The mission school is spearheaded by Americans and there, Myron interacted with Australians, Romanians, Colombians and Americans among other nationals from other countries and he had a wide view of playing the guitar. One of these friends taught him three chords which grew. He had a Romanian music teacher and didn’t leave the music in class but constantly practiced with friends until one day his teacher told him that he played better than her.

“We would learn songs from other musical bands and copy them,” he said. “We practiced on the school campus during the week but mostly on weekends. I taught a couple of people to play so they were better equipped to play along with me; altogether it was like six of us. We played rock songs mostly from bands: Hinder, Linkin Park and Creed but I had a liking for the classical music like Beethoven as well.”

After five years of being surrounded by music and playing his guitar all the time, Myron has evolved into the enthralling guitarist he is today.

However, his guitar playing has also gotten him into trouble, and he was almost suspended from school. He and friends were playing and singing a naughty song which landed them in the principal’s office. They were requested to sing the song for him then analyze with him whether or not the song made any sense or emphasized good values. It turned out, he said, that the song was pretty messed up.

He took to music so seriously that there were many times when he would ignore outdoor games and work on improving himself on the guitar. Because of this he was deemed antisocial.

At 14, he got his own guitar, a blue one he fell in love with the minute he laid eyes on it and some years later when he began his medical training at the Georgetown School of Nursing, the other student nurses named his guitar, Abel. Abel is pretty old now but still plays as sweetly as ever.

“Music is the wing knitted to my mind and takes me to places unknown to many,” Myron said, before responding to the question, what would happen if you should be banned from playing? “I’ve never been in solitary prison but I am guessing it would be an experience of such torment if an action of such should be employed.”

The 23-year-old medic does not have a specific mood he needs to be in to play his guitar. With his current job he plays mostly in the afternoons after work, sometimes at lunch time or if he is around a guitar; mostly it is all for the fun of it.

Myron’s inspirations come from bands like Linkin Park, Nickleback, Creed, Hinder, Lonestar, London Philharmonic and Piano Guys and by lone musicians: Sungha Jung, Daughtry, Beethoven, Mozart and Rascal Flatts. In fact, Jung is someone Myron would wish to meet if he ever got the opportunity. Myron calls him the King of Acoustics. “I would want to follow his way of thinking, his personal approach when it comes to manipulating the guitar at will. He can literally play anything; I want to do exactly that, even better him at some point.”

Being a guitarist, the talented young man said, aids in keeping the mind active and creative which he admitted helps one academically also. However, the downside of being a guitarist in Guyana is that you could never really prosper. For one, musicians are not paid as they should be and without the copyright laws here, persons can easily burn CDs to sell on the street for a measly $200 or $300 with no consequences at all.

Myron hopes that he can be both medic and musician. In fact, he doesn’t plan on remaining a medic for the rest of his life but hopes to advance medically as well. If things work as planned, then Myron can go off to study music at university level and has his eye already on the University of the Southern Caribbean to do so. Then when he returns he can teach music too.

Yet with all that he has planned he sees himself recording songs and someday having a few concerts of his own, with maybe a band of his own. At his age with all he’s achieved already including being a certified computer technician, he’s well on schedule.

In a recent Facebook video upload, he sang and strummed to Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and prior to that a cover of 3 Doors Down’s “Here Without You”. He sings mostly alternative rock, Latino and classical genres. To date Myron has written ten songs; he writes poetry also.

Apart from just having a talent Myron has spent most of his life practicing and wants aspiring musicians to take this into consideration. “Think outside the box when playing music and even if you aren’t getting the smallest piece of music right, work on it a thousand times and you’ll get there.”

Myron also plays the piano, harmonica and the accordion. He’s performed at numerous events including at the Umana Yana and at the Sophia Exhibition (both being last September). He’s also performed at last year’s Miss Indigenous Pageant at the National Cultural Centre.

Apart from studying at the Kimbia Mission Academy, Myron has also studied at the Georgetown School of Nursing and has obtained his Associate Degree in Science at the University of Guyana. He’s also studied Spanish at the Venezuelan Embassy.

In his free time when he is not strumming on his guitar, he can be found reading literature or text books, playing football, writing poems and watching comedies.

To listen to Myron playing the guitar and singing, check on Facebook and for performing at events he can be contacted on 602-3678.

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