Music Man | Sophomore embraces passion for creating music

Sophomore Gus Ferguson plays around on his acoustic guitar, searching for new sounds he can use in his music.

Sophomore Gus Ferguson is no stranger to music.  

In fact, he has turned his bedroom into his very own recording studio. Ferguson stores a drum set, three guitars, a bass, a ukulele and two keyboards, completed with a microphone system with speakers, with just enough room to squeeze a bed in.  

Music is a major part of Ferguson’s life, and it started out with school band in fifth grade when he decided to try percussion. In sixth grade he started out on his very first instrument, the drum-set. 

He hasn’t looked back since.  “I started to pick up the drums in sixth grade, which was my major instrument that I really enjoyed, and I really started to get more interested in music and picked up guitar, piano and a few other instruments over the past few years,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson’s inspiration for making music has come from his time listening to other artists and seeing what they are doing and applying it to his work. He has developed his own taste in music, which allows him to be unique with his style.

“One of the things I enjoy most about playing music in general is listening to music and listening to what other people are doing, and I think that’s probably one of my biggest inspirations. I’ve always loved music and just really have a deep passion for it now, and then basically my parents have their own music, and I kind of enjoyed that for a while, but once eighth grade hit, I think I started to pick up my own taste in my own kind of area that I really enjoyed, and I have so much fun listening and playing and like just taking it in,” Ferguson said.

While Ferguson is very involved with music at the high school, he prefers doing his own thing outside of school.

“I’m in the chorus, and I’m doing a couple solos for that, and then I’m in band with percussion, which is fun, and then I’ve been in production band since fifth grade, and I play drum set for jazz band at school, but really I much more enjoy just messing around on my own outside of school and being able to create stuff by myself,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson would not be able to be where he is at musically without the help of his family.  Whether it is helping out with the costs of new instruments, or helping him chase after his passion, they are always there to help him with his dream.

“A lot of my influence comes my uncle and my dad. My uncle is an unbelievably amazing guitarist, and it’s hard to believe what he is able to do sometimes with the guitar, and he’s always kind of pushed me to play guitar, but he was never overly pushy, and so I never picked it up until recently, but now that I have, he loves sitting down and going through a quick couple lessons with me real fast, and then I’ll go home and practice for the next couple months until I see him again. Another big influencer is my dad. My dad is not super musically talented, but he can sing all right, and so in his high school years he made All-State choir twice, but he can’t read music and is almost deaf to pitch, but he loves it, and he can sing, and he’s always just pushed me. He tells me don’t stop where he did, but to go out and be better than that, and that I have so much more ability than I think and to just keep going and then you’ll get there eventually,” Ferguson said.

“I feel that his mom and I support him by helping him get to his activities, making sure he is aware of what opportunities are out there for him musically, and offering encouragement to help him to follow his dreams,” Gus’ dad Augie Ferguson said.

Ferguson plays drums on Wednesday nights and Sunday morning for church and is a part of a band with some of his friends, which really helps him get experience with collaborating with other artists and getting a hands on approach to music. Ferguson is fully on board with pursuing music as a career and wants to make it the main focus of his life.

“I’d like to go to school somewhere just to learn more about music and really get to understand it so much more. I would really enjoy being involved with music for the rest of my life. That is something that I could really be passionate about, and it wouldn’t be a burden like other jobs. I just can’t see myself not doing something involved with music,” Ferguson said.

The idea of playing five or six different instruments at the same time can seem pretty overwhelming, but Ferguson uses it as an opportunity to keep himself interested and entertained.

“It’s really nice to know that if I am having an off day on the drums or something and I’m just not feeling it, I can always just switch over to guitar or something until I find something interesting that I want to experiment with or work on. There’s always something for me to mess with, and so I never really get bored with it,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson’s friend, sophomore Gage Flanscha, knows first-hand how passionate Ferguson is about music.

“Every time I’m around Gus, he is always tapping on something or making music with whatever is around him, and you can see his passion for music whenever he is playing. If I go over to his house, he is always messing with guitar stuff or fixing his drum set— just anything music related that he can surround himself with,” Flanscha said.

Ferguson knows that making it in the music industry is not the easiest thing to do, but he feels that he is doing his best to prepare himself. He said that anyone can get involved with music if they want to put in the work.

“I think anybody could play music, but the biggest thing that you need is a passion for it. I think most people would rather be doing something else instead of practicing or whatever. There’s so many people that would like to be good at music, but they don’t want to put in the time, and you know, so it just the biggest thing is working to get things together and make something happen.”

Ferguson wants others to know that music isn’t as big of a monster as it may seem and all it takes is picking up an instrument and practicing. Being self taught on all his instruments, he believes that lessons aren’t necessary to be a successful musician, and anyone and everyone can make music.

“The biggest thing you have to do is just reach out and find an instrument you want to play.  All it takes is wanting to play and pursuing it,” Ferguson said.

Gus’ 4 Tips For 

Musical Success

1. Ask Around

“The biggest thing you have to do is just reach out and find an instrument you want to play”

2. YouTube is your best friend

“You don’t need to go out of your way to pay for expensive lessons.  There are plenty of great YouTubers that can help you get started”

3. Play as much as possible

“You can only get better if you play. A trick I use is leaving my guitar out in the open so I am more likely to pick it up and play it”

4. Play what you want to play

“There’s no point in playing an instrument that you don’t like, so make sure you are enjoying what you are doing and find what you are passionate about”

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