RISING STAR: Finger-style guitarist Sarah Koppen will perform as part of the Acoustic Guitar Spectacular coming to Gladstone on July 13.
RISING STAR: Finger-style guitarist Sarah Koppen will perform as part of the Acoustic Guitar Spectacular coming to Gladstone on July 13.

Funky finger-style guitarist on her way to Gladstone

ACOUSTIC guitar talent Sarah Koppen has come a long way from jamming with a church band at Innisfail where she grew up.

Her first guitar was "a rusty no-brand guitar" her father picked up from Cash Converters.

"It was super hard to play, which made me tougher in the long run," Koppen said.

 

Koppen has had no formal training in finger-style guitar playing but she's managed to excel at it.
Koppen has had no formal training in finger-style guitar playing but she's managed to excel at it.

Now she plays a Maton acoustic guitar and will be releasing her first EP on July 6.

She's based in Brisbane these days and has been known to pack out Brisbane streets when busking, to the extent that traffic gets blocked off.

She started busking in Brisbane's CBD when she was just 20 and found it initially nerve-wracking.

"I didn't realise I would get that response, it was very validating," she said.

There's a reason she can draw a crowd. The talented 26-year-old is skilled at playing finger-style guitar and uses tapping and percussive style playing to wow audiences.

I utilise the acoustic guitar as a drum, you've got a big hollow piece of wood so why not? she said.

Koppen has studied music and had guitar lessons in the classical style but in fingerstyle she's had no formal training.

She picked up most of the technique by watching YouTube videos.

She's also drawn inspiration from artists like Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, John Butler and Rodrigo y Gabriela.

In two weeks time she'll be performing with international talent in a touring acoustic guitar spectacular.

 

Italian superstar Andrea Valeri has performed to audiences all around the world.
Italian superstar Andrea Valeri has performed to audiences all around the world.

Acclaimed acoustic guitarist Michael Fix and Italian guitar superstar Andrea Valeri make up the touring trio.

Koppen actually met Michael Fix when she was 15 and still living at Innisfail.

"He did workshops in my hometown. I played with him and that inspired me," she said.

In the lead-up to the tour, which kicks off in Gladstone on July 13, the three artists collaborated to create the music for an album only available on the tour.

Get your fix

  • At the Acoustic Guitar Spectacular on July 13, from 7.30-9pm at Library Square Goondoon St, Gladstone.
  • It's a free community event made possible by Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre and facilitated by Red Chair.
  • The guitarists will also run a free finger-style workshop at 3pm on the same day. To book tickets go to gladecc.com.au/


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