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12-Year-Old Walks into Music Store and Blows Minds Playing 1964 Fender Stratocaster


Back around 1989, a 12-year-old Joe Bonamassa walked into Norman’s Rare Guitars in Tarzana, California, and proceeded to stun proprietor Norm Harris with his playing.

Norm had a flash of déjà vu recently when 12-year-old Jaden Lehman came by his shop and began riffing on a 1964 Fender Strat.

“I was sitting in my office and I was listening to somebody play,” Norm recalls. “And when I walked out, I went ‘What?’

“Joe Bonamassa came in when he was 12 years old. Jaden is 12 years old, and he is playing the hell out of the guitar.”

Jaden, who is from Lake Worth, Florida, has been playing for four years. In the video below, he starts out playing some blues licks, after which Norm asks him to perform some of the jazzy passages that originally got his attention, which he does around the 1:53 mark.

“Look out for this kid,” Norm says, “ ’cause if he keeps doing what he’s doing, it might be another story like the Joe Bonamassa story.”

You can see more videos from Norman’s Rare Guitars at his YouTube page.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.