Tulsa Guitarist Wins Big At National Competition

Monday, October 3rd 2011, 10:56 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa guitar player rocked out and knocked out the competition, winning the Fender Freakout competition for his amazing guitar solo.

"It was a great feeling, I felt like I had won the super bowl or something you know," said Peter Banfield.

You will find Banfield In a small practice room at Fiery Brothers music store where he teaches about 40 students guitar lessons each week.

At the very last minute, one of his students entered Banfield in the Fender Freakout guitar solo contest. Banfield really didn't even know what it was or what the prizes were.

"They said they went through thousands of videos and I was the very last one," Banfield said.

Banfield won a preliminary round after judges saw that entry video. He then advanced to the finals in Chicago.

"I was up against four other guys that were really good," he said.

Banfield has played for 32 years, often practicing more than four hours straight each day, session work, and 14 years of touring. It all paid off with prizes like a $10,000 Guitar Center shopping spree.

"They told me I won and I was just blown away. I couldn't believe it," he said.

Even Banfield was freaked out at winning the Fender Freakout contest. In addition to the prizes, winning the competition was also proof that practice pays off,

"It's just the greatest thing ever. All those years of soloing paid off," Banfield said.

Peter Banfield saw Jimi Hendrix play in Tulsa when he was 6 years old. But he really got interested in playing the guitar as a teen when he met Eddie Van Halen.

Van Halen gave him a few tips while loading equipment after a Tulsa show, and Banfield has been playing ever since.