Fans of the guitar know that there are a variety of styles and ways to play that vary both in the difficulty of mastering a song and in the unique sound and feel the song produces. While fans of classical music may prefer complex melodies to popular hits, there are certain songs that almost everyone enjoys. One of these melodies is the incredibly catchy 80-s tune, Take On Me.
You may remember the song from it’s out-of-this-world music video in which a pencil-sketched comic comes alive and immerses a woman in the strange world of its art. Both the video and its art have been recurring themes in popular culture even through the past year, particularly with the songs inclusion in the soundtrack for the 2018 film Deadpool 2.
While the song has been re-imagined endlessly, one cover stands out for its unique blend of two genres that are often seen in conflict: classical guitar and pop rock. Alexandr Misko has created an arrangement of the tune that will make your ears do a double take as you hear the guitar make sounds you didn’t know it could. But what makes this version of the pop ballad so special is the incredible skill and precision required to execute it.
Fans of the guitar or anyone who has ever tried to learn a few chords to impress their friends and neighbors know that learning guitar is easy… but learning it well is next to impossible. It takes years of practicing daily for hours on end to reach the mastery needed to make the most of this ubiquitous six-stringed instrument. But most musicians choose to use this talent to play the same classical pieces that have been played for centuries.
It may be surprising, but Misko told Beat in a 2018 interview that he first picked up a guitar at the age of thirteen in a family of economists. What distinguishes this artist from your typical guitarist is that he immediately began training in the classics with formal lessons. In spite of this background, Alexandr enjoys all types of music– particularly metal and rap. With honed skills and typical sensibilities, after a few years of learning, Misko took his first break from classical pieces with songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Overall, Misko attributes his success to his passion.
The more you’re inspired the better you work. That was my way I used to sit for six or eight hours a day just learning songs from my favorite composers. I was excited when I was able to play those songs and get that same sound. I don’t much believe in talent, there’s only hard work and many hours of practicing and dedication. If you want to be successful in any field you need to be ready to put some long hours in and master, it. That doesn’t matter whether it’s music or painting or just anything.
It was only a matter of time before Misko found his own musical voice within the picks and strums of his guitar. The twenty-year-old musician has managed to gain a large following of more than 250,000 subscribers on YouTube through a blend of original pieces and innovative covers of artists like George Michael, Michael Jackson, and A-ha.
By recreating Take On Me with only a guitar, Misko shows the true potential lying dormant in every dorm room– and he does so with a tune that everyone can enjoy. From harmonics and tapping to returning his instrument mid-song, Misko takes no shortcuts to recreating the full feel of the song with a single instrument– and his hard work pays off.
The only way to convey the full impact of the music of Misko is to take a listen yourself. While the acoustics of the song are impressive on their own, watching Alexandr play is a wonder in itself. Not only are his movements performed with great skill– but the enthusiasm he carries throughout is inspiring in its own right. You can watch him perform in the video below, and if you enjoy what you see, you can follow him on Facebook or find a full album of his covers and original works on iTunes.
Watch the full video below.
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