Teen busker adds melodic vibe to farmers’ market

2019-05-27 15:04
Timothy Baker busking at the Karkloof Farmers’ Market with his guitars.PHOTO: kerushun pillay

Timothy Baker busking at the Karkloof Farmers’ Market with his guitars.PHOTO: kerushun pillay

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Teen busker Timothy Baker is providing the perfect backdrop music for the Karkloof Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning.

Timothy (17), a self-taught musician who mastered the piano, guitar and drums, mainly using YouTube tutorials, is an apprentice piano tuner — despite being unable to read music.

He told The Witness his musical journey began when he was 11 years old, after he picked up a set of drumsticks. His family lived outside Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape at the time.

“I started playing drums and I knew a little bit of guitar and piano. I started busking with my younger brother at the Grahamstown Arts Festival. We did that a few times.”

Timothy, who has four brothers and four sisters, said he comes from a musical family and learnt how to play the guitar using nothing but YouTube.

“I find a video and watch it a few times to soak it in. Then I begin playing along. To learn a song, I try to find a tutorial. If I can’t, then I try to learn it by ear,” he said, adding that he likes music from the 1980s.

“I try to practise about one hour a day,” he said. “When I come to the farmers’ market, I just free flow. I don’t plan what I play beforehand.”

He has been a piano tuner for just over a year now. “I have to ensure that every string in the piano is perfectly tuned. Some people use a machine to do it but that’s the wrong way — I do it by ear,” he said.

Timothy said he sees himself staying in music .

“I just want to do it and see where it takes me. I’d like to be part of a band, that would be really cool.”

Gavin Brown, who goes to the farmers’ market and who contacted The Witness about Timothy, said he was amazed that he played the guitar so well without any professional training.

“It is the most lovely story. With him, the farmers’ market has a lovely melodic sound. It’s wonderful that something like this is happening,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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