The ‘guitar guy’

Freshman doesn't fear playing in public

By on September 17, 2015

When it comes to showing off his musical skills, freshman Nicholas Cotharin isn’t afraid of the public’s opinion. Since arriving on campus, he regularly plays his guitar on the steps of the Arnold Bernhard Library.

“When I got here, it just felt right,” he said. “I like to play for people in public.”

Cotharin began playing guitar when he was about 10 or 11 years-old. He admits that at first, he hated playing the guitar. However, as time went on, something changed.

“Music came kind of [naturally] for me,” Cotharin said.

Last summer, Cotharin went on vacation and when he got back, something just “clicked” in his head. All of a sudden, he wanted to play the guitar, so he bought one at a pawn shop.

Cotharin listens to classic rock bands, such as the Rolling Stones and AC/DC, and he is also a huge Beatles fan. He says Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King are his inspirations.

After picking the old hobby back up, Cotharin has now been playing for about a year, although he says he’s better at playing improv than chords. Cotharin said he’s “not the best” on campus.

During his time at Quinnipiac so far, he has met a couple of people that also play guitar, and they are now friends.

Cotharin and his friend, freshman Ryan McCarthy, plan to eventually form a band, but they say if it doesn’t work out, they will “jam around places with other people.”

Cotharin plays lead guitar and McCarthy plays back-up guitar. In addition, they also have a drummer lined up for when the future band starts, freshman Tom Gilmore.

“When I first heard Ryan play, I knew right away that we could start up something big,” Cotharin said. “Ryan is an amazing guitarist that I am going to learn a lot from in the future. We both have learned a lot about each other already; we both have unique style that just works so well together. It was like it was meant to happen.”

The feeling seems to be mutual between the two friends.

“Nick is one of the best players I’ve ever played with, and he’s only been playing a year,” McCarthy said. “It’s really outstanding.”

Cotharin and McCarthy both have different schedules so they only practice together for short periods of time, but on they make an effort to meet daily. However, it’s not always easy.

“It’s hard to pass around one guitar in a dorm room,” Cotharin said.

Despite this, Cotharin says he will continue to play outside around Quinnipiac with his future bandmates when time allows, but they are trying to get a studio at school so they can “really play together.”

All future band members agree their “chemistry playing together” is really what makes them special.

McCarthy said Cotharin also plays the drums and piano. But around campus, Cotharin is known as “guitar guy,” as quoted by Yik Yak.

Despite what people will think of him playing in public, Cotharin says that is the least of his worries.

“I’m not afraid of putting myself out there,” he said. “I just want to express myself.”

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