Original Score

Youth from JH makes electric guitar, dreams to be a rock star

There are heights scaled as testimony to deep passion for art and as a devout music lover and musician, Pyntheme Pale has scaled his, that of self-sufficiency.
The 20-year-old guitarist from Lad Mukhla in West Jaintia Hills makes his own instrument from scratch. “My electric guitar is special because I custom-made the design and the fretboard is scalloped, which makes it different from the ordinary local guitars,” said Pale in an email interview.
Pale started making electric guitar at the age of 15. He learned to play guitar at 13. His father, Sakhiatbha Pala, has been a constant inspiration. “He taught me how to play the guitar. We often have long talks about various issues, especially the positive things in life and he wants me to be a good person,” says the young musician, who dropped out of college in the third semester because “I want knowledge as well as to make money but college does not offer that, it only completes the syllabus without any physical demonstration and only exams and degrees… I don’t want degree but wisdom”.
Pale’s story was first posted on Instagram by #ontheground.99. The short video clip titled The Flying Machine says Pale “loves birds and makes guitars in the shape of a bird”. It got over 2,000 views. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also tweeted about the local talent.
Music is a vital part of the culture and tradition of the people in Meghalaya where young talents are aplenty. But Pale is a musician with a difference. For him, it is all about knowing his subject in entirety by putting in extra effort.
Pale has made two guitars so far using local hardwood. For other parts of the musical instrument, Pale banks on online shopping. “I really cannot say how much time I took but I can say that it needs passion to do the tedious work. I follow my way of working, which does not always follow a particular method. I shuffle my work,” said Pale and added that financial problem has been a hindrance for him to make more guitars.
Pale starts with making a rough sketch of the instrument in his imagination and then gradually improvises on it. He is yet to sell the customised guitar but he is hoping that his good work will be recognised soon. A customised guitar will cost nothing less than Rs 8,000 and “the price will go up according to the customer’s specifications”.
But money continues to be a problem and though Pale’s talent has found praises from the chief minister, no help has come his way.
The young guitar maker is equally sincere about bettering his playing skills. Among his favourite guitarists are Synyster Gates, Slash, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, John Petrucci and Yngwie Malmsteem. His music band called Gift of God, which Pale formed with his three brothers, plays hard rock. “I want to become a rock star. I want my band to become famous and make many songs. I want to become a musical legend,” he said.

~ NM

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