Introducing Guitar Prodigy JayBird Byrne

JayBird Byrne is a teenage guitar prodigy living in Redcliffe (Brisbane).
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

JayBird Byrne, a 13-year-old guitar prodigy based in Redcliffe, Queensland (home of the Bee Gees in their younger years), has been captivating audiences with her immense talent since she started playing the guitar at the age of 8.

After her debut on ABC TV earlier this year on the '100 Instruments Countdown' featuring in the electric guitar section with her own interview and live performance, Jaybird Byrne has released the single 'Pups At Work' – a guitar instrumental.

'Pups At Work' follows her debut single 'Convergence', which earned her First Prize with Honours at the International Youth Music Competition in the Modern & Contemporary Category.

Who is JayBird Byrne... I have been playing guitar since I was eight and my thing is instrumental guitar, so I prefer to play tracks with no vocals and let my guitar do the talking (or singing).

I sound like... Well I try to sound like Polyphia, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmesteen, Jason Becker, Jeff Beck and Guthrie Govan.

My first gig was... Busking at Petrie Markets when I was eight. I am told that my guitar back then was almost bigger than me and it was a solid body, so it weighed heaps (or so Mum tells me as she hated carrying it everywhere for me to play).

However, I apparently looked cute and my hands moved up and down the fretboard really fast so even though my technique was sloppy and I'm not sure how good I sounded, I made enough money to buy my next guitar so yay!

In the studio I usually... Play music. Also we sometimes laugh at memes, but mostly we make music. The studio is my happy place.

If I could tour with anyone... It would be Polyphia. These guys are game changers and have made instrumental music popular.

Social media is... Something I love and hate. When you see Polyphia they have made it work for them, but I hate it because it isn't working for me yet. To be famous, views matter but not sure how to make that happen.

My favourite app at the moment is... LogicPro. Not sure I should have to explain this any further.

If you'll have me on your bill, all I ask is that my rider contains... No foods with melted cheese anywhere near me please. And I need to see the mixing desk and talk to the sound guy so I can check he knows what he's doing.

The most scary scenario I've found myself in... Was doing a gig somewhere without soap in the toilets. This was before COVOD, so now luckily everyone has joined me in loving hand sanitiser and soap, so being a germaphobe is kind of more acceptable, so hopefully this never happens again. Seriously though, I really hate touching my guitar with dirty hands.

What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be your spokesperson... Jimi Hendrix because he's the world's most famous guitarist so there is no better spokesperson.

If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why? Tokyo because I like sushi and Marty Friedman seems happy there.

Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party... Scottie LePage and Tim Henson (both from Polyphia so this counts as one person); also Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

These guys are all amazing instrumental guitarists, so I would like to maybe skip the food (that seems a waste of their time) and just jam with them because that would be the most amazing thing ever.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? Well I'm 13, so I won't cook you anything apart from maybe putting some Weet-Bix in a bowl and pouring milk on it. If you don't like that then we can order anything you want from UberEats just so long as it doesn't have melted cheese (see my rider above).

When it comes to pets are you a lover or hater of our furry friends? I have two brothers called Eddie and Bosco. One is a Golden Retriever and the other is an Australian Cobberdog. Does that answer this question?

No matter the expense, send me a case of... Fender American Ultra Sratocasters with HSS pickup and maple fingerboard, preferably the Arctic Pearl colour, but if not I would also be ok with Texas Tea. Depends how big the case is, maybe both colours will fit?

The last time I saw the inside of a gym was... When I went to martial arts last Friday. Mum says I say what I think a lot and that could get me in trouble one day so she wants me to learn self-defence. Wait. . . sorry, not sure if that is a gym? It was exercise so I think it should count.

What's the one chore you dislike the most? Again, I'm going to pull the 'I'm 13 card' and say I hate all chores equally and I pretty much try to refuse to do anything that is not school work or guitar related.

Do you have any phobias... Well I'm autistic and have anxiety, so I pretty much have a phobia about doing anything that isn't playing guitar.

Would you ever partake in a reality show? What is a reality show?

If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down? Mum told me I would lose my iPad if I kept trying to prank people, so I can't answer this question.

Best local takeaway joint for a midnight feed that will leave you with a food coma? I can't drive yet to go to a takeaway joint but if I wake up hungry and Mum and Dad are asleep I steal the Byron Bay cookies. I always get caught out though because it's hard to go back to sleep with all that sugar and I always forget to put the packets in the bin.

Which fictional character best describes your personality? Hermione from 'Harry Potter' (but a musical version of her who doesn't get her head stuck in books) because she hyper focuses on magic and I think I hyper focus on music (but without the books). Pretty sure she's also autistic like me which explains the hyper focus.

Last show you binge-watched? 'Wednesday'. I really related to her character and the way she was always so brutal and didn't always think about others as that can be hard for me too. It was also a REALLY funny show.

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