For the first time, he picks up the dusty instrument, giving it a light strum and letting the wooden material produce an unfamiliar, yet enticing sound. Junior Tyler Frausto has been playing the bass for years, but found a new passion for the classic guitar over quarantine.
Though he has been playing the bass since a young age, Frausto expanded his expertise to the guitar over quarantine, enjoying the different sounds it produces. Now a cabinet member in Guitar Club, Frausto teaches other students how to play and enjoy both instruments.
“[Guitar Club] is really just to mess around and have fun. [We] explore other people’s passions and learn more about music or experience music that you’re not usually accustomed to,” Frausto said. “It’s a fun group of people who are really good at guitar, and it’s just fun to be around.”
His passion for playing guitar makes it much easier for Frausto to enjoy his process of practicing. For three to four hours a day he plays songs from the bands Royal Blood, Tool, TesseracT, A Perfect Circle and Cage The Elephant.
“I’ll be watching Netflix or taking a break from homework and I’ll just pick [my guitar] up and play it. I don’t need to look or anything, it’s just muscle memory,” Frausto said. “I really like music, it’s always something I’ve done, and I enjoy making it or listening to it.”
Other than playing instruments, Frausto enjoys music in general, especially from progressive or alternative rock genres. When choosing songs to play for Guitar Club, he often tries to introduce these genres to other members.
“It always helps when you’re passionate about something. Teaching other people can be very hard, especially if you don’t have that passion,” Frausto said. “It’s fun to see someone who didn’t get it make new progress as they go on or get better and better and hopefully surpass you one day.”
Music has always been part of Frausto’s life, as his grandfather, father and sister all play the guitar. Following this path, Frausto first began playing the trumpet in sixth grade, moved onto the euphonium and finally, decided to pursue the bass and guitar after stumbling upon a bass cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” on YouTube at age 11.
“[Band] got me started in music; I found it fun to play with other people. It’s fun to play by myself too [because] I can do it anywhere, especially once I moved to the bass,” Frausto said. “ I always watched my dad play [and] it was fun to watch. [So] when I had this guitar that was my grandpa’s that was laying around, I was like, ‘I’ll just mess around with it, start playing.’”
Currently owning two basses and one guitar, Frausto takes pride in his instrument collection. His collection includes a Yamaha TRBX204, Schecter SLS Elite Evil Twin 5 bass and 1953 Guild X-350, one out of only a couple hundred in the world.
“The fact that I have [the 1953 Guild X-350] is just pure luck,” Frausto said. “My grandfather bought it in the 60s, and it’s been in my family ever since.”
Although he is not considering a career in music, it will always remain a hobby he loves to pursue.
“Music to me is a language—everyone can understand and speak it, even if they don’t know they can,” Frausto said. “It is something that one can judge or find great. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because it sounds good to you.”