Pakistani Guitar School a Hit Among Rock’n'Roll Youth
As Pakistani rock’n’ roll music begins to heat up, Pakistan’s youth have taken upon themselves to teach and learn to play the guitar in bigger numbers than ever – with a Lahori group of youngsters opening a guitar school. ‘The Guitar School‘, as it is known, has been surprisingly successful. Around 40 students have signed up, ranging from surly teenagers in drainpipe jeans to more practised musicians such as Ahsan looking to hone their skills. On a recent afternoon a woman brought in two reluctant-looking teenage daughters for lessons. “It will do them good to learn,” she said. Pakistani rock gained traction with the arrival of satellite television in the 1990s. Today the musicians, many self-taught, publicise themselves through networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace, and Pakistan’s growing number of FM radio stations. And despite the security concerns, a fresh concert scene is emerging. In Lahore a pair of unemployed rockers have tapped into that enthusiasm with a new school for rock’n'roll. Even in a summer of Taliban violence young Pakistanis are rocking on. An underground music scene is quietly thriving in the country’s major cities, nourished by the internet and the passion of mostly amateur bands. Classes take place in a small room lined with egg boxes; the school’s teaching style is reflected in its motto: “Play it like you feel it.” Others have a playful take on the turmoil. The Islamabad band Bumbu Sauce – the name comes from a Pot Noodles packet – recently brought out Jiggernaut, a single that mixes references to kung fu, talking dogs and the Taliban. Guitarist Shehryar Mufti is not worried the insurgents might take the joke badly.