Hidden talent strums around campus

Hidden talent strums around campus

By Chase Myers

While walking around campus, if you hear a guitar riff echoing in the distance, it may be Taha Khan and his guitar.

Khan, a sophomore from Chicago studying business, doubles as an aspiring guitar player and songwriter.

Khan can often be seen strumming his guitar before and after his classes. The guitar rarely leaves his hands.


Growing up around music in Chicago, Khan noticed guys playing guitar to swooning crowds and realized that was something he wanted to do.

“When I was young, I always wanted a guitar,” he said.

Although Khan showed a liking for the guitar at a young age, the support from his parents was not always there, he said.

When Khan was in eighth grade, he had the opportunity to take his first guitar class.

“I had always wanted to play guitar, so the fact that someone gave me the opportunity … I just couldn’t let it go to waste,” Khan said.

Khan often went above and beyond while taking the class, angering his instructor and earning him a poor grade, he said.

“I would always learn something extra,” he said. “He [the instructor] would want me to play something like “Johnny B. Goode” … But I would always learn something like “Master of Puppets.”


After a while, Khan figured out practice would be crucial in perfecting his skill. He hit a wall when he was learning the song “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, he said. He couldn’t make his hands move quite as fast as he wanted.

From then on, he would bring his guitar everywhere, practicing every chance he got, he said.

“I could be doing anything,” he said “I could be in the bathroom washing my face and I’d still have my guitar.”

He would learn a lot of his intricate riffs from his brother’s friend Derek, who showed him what to do without spoon-feeding him the specifics, Khan said.

Derek taught him using the “learn it yourself ” mentality, Khan said.

As a freshman in college, Khan saw his guitar practicing would interfere more and more with his class schedule. He would bring his guitar with him to work at Planet Fitness to get in some extra practice between classes, he said. At the end of the day he would get his homework done, then play in the dorm hallways.

Khan, also a composer, is influenced by music that shows emotion in its meaning, he said.

“Emotions influence me,” he said. “I like to see songs that show some sort of talent and emotion.”

He has written five original songs, all inspired by different experiences and emotions in his life, he said. The songs deal with topics such as heartbreak and the death of his friend Victor, who passed away in January.

“Each song has lyrical meaning and emotion to it,” he said.

While visiting family in India, Khan was inspired to write a song about people suffering from poverty.

“Some people are worried about not getting luxurious things, while there are children in India begging for food to survive,” he said.

Whenever he thinks of a new idea for a song, he will record it on his phone and save it so he can build on it later.

Khan believes no matter what your major is or what your goals are in life, you shouldn’t give up your passion. Musicians all have their own struggles, he said.

“If you have the passion, you should still give it a chance,” he said.

Chase Myers can be reached at c[email protected] or on Twitter @chasemyers_DE