15-Year-Old French Guitar Prodigy Flawlessly Rips Through Solos by Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour, Yngwie Malmsteen & Steve Vai

I’ve been play­ing gui­tar off and on for most of my life, and I’d be the first to admit that I’m not the most spec­tac­u­lar musi­cian. I do it for joy and don’t sweat my musi­cal lim­i­ta­tions too much. This is a good thing; oth­er­wise I might find myself seething with mad envy—like F. Mur­ray Abraham’s Salieri—upon real­iz­ing that in 15 life­times I’d nev­er be as good as young French prodi­gy Tina S is at 15 years of age. Tina has sent gui­tar nerds every­where flee­ing to their bed­rooms, work­ing their fin­gers bloody in furi­ous efforts to match her speed and accu­ra­cy. Watch her flaw­less­ly rip through Yng­wie Malmsteen’s “Arpeg­gios from Hell” above, ye mighty shred­ders, and despair. See her destroy Steve Vai’s “Pagani­ni 5th Caprice (Cross­roads)” below, ye mon­sters of rock, and rend your den­im vests asun­der with grief.

The baroque speed met­al of Malm­steen and Vai aren’t real­ly my bag, but I have to say, there’s maybe a lit­tle Salieri voice cack­ling into the void in the back of my mind when I watch Tina’s videos. Maybe she’s a one-trick-pony, it tells me, play­ing arpeg­gios all day like a few hun­dred oth­er gui­tarists in the audi­tion line for a hun­dred met­al bands in a hun­dred cities a day—players who couldn’t slow down and play the blues if they were heav­i­ly med­icat­ed.

So says my inner Salieri. But no, there she is below, flaw­less­ly pulling off the “Com­fort­ably Numb” solo, her bends and slides so impec­ca­bly timed I could close my eyes and almost swear it’s David Gilmour. Sigh and alas.

But can she do Van Halen, you right­ly ask? Because, you know, any­one can play Malm­steen, Vai, and Gilmour, but Eddie Van Halen, c’mon…. Yet there she is below, with a sear­ing ren­di­tion of “Erup­tion,” a song gui­tarists who learn Van Halen often avoid for rea­sons that will like­ly become evi­dent when you see Tina play it. Is she too much tech­nique, too lit­tle soul, you say? Yeah, well, she’s 15, and bet­ter than most of us are at twice that age. Com­ments on her videos include the fol­low­ing: “I want to throw my gui­tar out the win­dow” and “This makes me want to kill myself.” In all seri­ous­ness, I hope any­one who gen­uine­ly feels this way seeks help. Also in all seri­ous­ness, don’t despair. Do what you do and enjoy it. And maybe after many long life­times you’ll be reborn as a Parisian gui­tar prodi­gy.

That Tina S has obvi­ous nat­ur­al abil­i­ty in no way means she hasn’t had to work hard for this lev­el of skill. On the con­trary, any­one this good gets there through end­less reg­u­lar prac­tice and the guid­ance of a tal­ent­ed teacher (in this case, French gui­tarist Renaud Louis-Ser­vais). Tina post­ed her first video in 2008 at the ten­der age of 8, play­ing a com­po­si­tion by gui­tarist Maria Lin­ne­mann. You can see her below hon­ing the clas­si­cal chops that she lat­er put to ludi­crous­ly fast use on a met­al trib­ute to Vival­di.

But does she do Mozart? Not so far on her Youtube chan­nel, where you’ll find more ear­ly acoustic per­for­mances, like “Let it Be” and “Hotel Cal­i­for­nia,” and more recent shred­fests like Jason Becker’s “Alti­tudes.” To learn just how Tina views her own musi­cian­ship and sees her future as a gui­tarist, read this inter­view with her on the Gui­tar Chan­nel. “I have not yet start­ed my career as a gui­tarist,” she dead­pans. Many would-be Salieris have already sworn to end theirs after watch­ing her videos.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Four­teen-Year-Old Girl’s Blis­ter­ing Heavy Met­al Per­for­mance of Vival­di

Great Vio­lin­ists Play­ing as Kids: Itzhak Perl­man, Anne-Sophie Mut­ter, & More

The Gui­tar Prodi­gy from Karachi

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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Comments (8)
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  • Kristen Day says:

    Tina S is a musi­cian and a half!! Her style rocks- no slow­ing this girl down! She is blessed with tal­ent — Go far young woman. Best to you.

  • James Walsh says:

    Hey Thanks for telling us about Tina S. She has tal­ent and a good ear. It will inter­est­ing to see what she comes up with when she writes an orig­i­nal song.

  • TIM RICKARDS says:

    I uploaded Tina S. Half speed “Vival­di Trib­ute” (Patrick Rondat)She is amaz­ing! Not mon­e­tized, all cred­it goes to Tina S


  • Pog says:

    Her cov­er of Steve Vai’s For The Love Of God is absolute­ly fan­tas­tic.


  • Ignacio Romo Lavanderos says:

    Tina you are the most amaz­ing girl I ever see. I stop play­ing gui­tar many, many years ago and you give me the inspi­ra­tion to re-start prac­tic­ing again.. I hope you are going to come to Cana­da some day, if this append I’m going to be the first one to see your per­for­mance.
    The very best for you on your future.


  • Steven J Dunbar says:

    WOW I am blown away by Tina & the gift she has she is going places & its just prac­tice for her now . But she loves doing it she is great & very pro­fes­sion­al, when it come’s to music .like Joe Walsh said :cant wait to hear her own stuff but she prob­a­bly has some of her own already !keep up the good work Tina you have what it take’s & are a vary good exam­ple of what can be done .she makes it look so easy but it’s prac­tice & a great mind set that make’s music like that Thank you Tina for the show I’ve got to share this with every one I know . again WOW!!!

  • roosevelt gomes de santana says:

    Que alto grau de tec­ni­ca, dessas pes­soas. vejo horas e mais horas de treinos diários com grande ded­i­cação e paciênçia, pra apu­rarem uma grande téc­ni­ca. que resul­ta em uma beleza melódi­ca, de grande esti­lo. digo isso por tam­bém está den­tro da bus­ca de uma mel­ho­ra téc­ni­ca e sei bem o que pas­samos, pra chegar a tal resul­ta­do.

  • John McDonald says:

    It is breath­tak­ing, an incred­i­ble cov­er, I agree!

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