Our community features a diverse range of musicians coming from many backgrounds, working in different genres and music fields – but what we always have in common is a deep love for guitar. This passion can be felt in today's Orangewood interview spotlight with guitarist and YouTuber: Tyler Larson of Music is Win.
How did you start playing music? What’s the story?
I heard Cliffs of Dover and Eruption back to back when I was 12 years old. This was in a music library of thousands of songs, so the chance that those two would come on beside each other was an act of guitar wizardry that I’m grateful for.
What is your favorite style of music to play, and who were some of your guitar idols growing up?
I don’t have a favorite, but I think I’m rooted in blues and hard rock. Hendrix and Satriani are my two favorite players, but I was heavily influenced by Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC growing up.
You’ve showcased a number of instruments on your YouTube channel. What’s your current gear setup like? What’s your dream guitar?
I am fortunate to have a lot of gear at my disposal, but I think it’s important to remember gear doesn’t make a player. I already have my dream guitar – it’s my PRS SC245.
The YouTube guitar scene is a strange and amazing place that can be challenging to navigate and succeed in. Where would you say you are within the YouTube guitar community, and how do you define success on YouTube?
I think I’m tucked into the community as both a player, educator, and entertainer. There are always those who will have negativity towards you, but those are typically people who don’t have the drive to make something of themselves, so I don’t really pay attention to them. Success on YouTube is being able to create and share something unique with an audience. That’s why I started. And it’s grown into something I’m really proud of and will continue to evolve.
How would you say that the process of coming up with a video concept, filming yourself, editing it, and releasing it to the world on a regular basis has added to your musicality and guitar playing?
On one hand, it’s made me a much more decisive player regarding what I choose to teach or play. On the other hand, development happens in a much different way than it would naturally, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing yet. I see this time as a period to take advantage of the platform I’ve built so that later I’ll have options in the music industry I never could have imagined before YouTube.
You have a very loyal and intelligent community that has accumulated over the years due to your hard work and thoughtful videos. How has this community been involved in your life and the decisions you make?
In the early stages, I really valued the feedback of my tiny audience. As it’s grown, it’s become increasingly difficult to cater to everyone, but that’s a challenge I’m up for every day. Not every video will be a hit from a viewership perspective, but the private messages of encouragement and words of praise are always flowing in, so it makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
We are honored to have Orangewood as a part of your guitar collection. Which models do you have and what do you like about them?
I have an Echo and an Austen. The aesthetics are really nice on both guitars. I particularly like the inlay design of the Echo. Both guitars feel like professional instruments rather than entry-level instruments as their price tags could indicate, which I think is a testament to the quality of the build and attention to detail, specifically regarding the feel of the guitar necks.
Where do you see the guitar world being in the next 20 years? How do you think the changes with technology will affect the number of people that play the guitar?
I think history repeats itself, and despite all the amazing advances in technology that exist and will continue to happen, there will be a threshold we reach where guitar players and musicians will go back to basics and stop accepting new features, gizmos, and gadgets – and instead value skill and guitar quality over other gear. The good thing technology will bring, which I am on the forefront of, is education. I believe the online education community will be massive in 20 years, which is a very good thing for new and experienced players alike.
What is your ultimate dream? What is your purpose in music and in life?
I want to make people love the guitar and make their own music, whether that’s through my own playing, teaching, humor, or something else. Guitar is the best thing in the world and everyone should try it. Also, it would be pretty sweet to play a sold-out show at a huge concert venue and hit a gigantic power chord. Maybe one day.
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