HE’S used to playing to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.
But singer songwriter Newton Faulkner performed in front of a much more intimate audience during a recent visit to the Capital.
And, speaking to Edinburgh College music students about how daunting it can be to entertain large groups of people, the double platinum-selling star – known for hits such as Dream Catch Me and I Need Something – insisted the pressure had made him the best he could be.
He told students attending his two-hour master class: “Challenge yourselves and you’ll get stronger and more confident.
“I’m playing Glastonbury later in the year to over 80,000 people and while it might be a daunting prospect, playing live keeps you under pressure and on top of your game. I never stop learning.”
The musician had taken a break from his role as the lead character Johnny in American Idiot, the sung-through stage adaptation of punk rock band Green Day’s rock opera.
He addressed more than 100 students, occasionally bursting into impromptu strumming and singing, at a question and answer session at the Music Box auditorium near South Gyle station.
Faulkner was also asked to play some of their favourite tracks including Pulling Teeth, Tear Drop and Gone in the Morning, to thunderous applause.
When asked for advice on working in the music industry Faulkner said: “Dedicate as much of your time as you can to honing your craft.
“Keep improving your skill set and whatever you do, don’t stop writing and playing.
“Do as many live gigs as you can and keep trying to reach your true potential. Find your weakness and kill it.”
Students and staff said they felt inspired by Faulkner’s witty humour and ability to produce a bewildering array of percussive effects on his acoustic guitar.
Edinburgh College Associate Principal Jon Buglass said: “We love getting artists of this stature to come along to the college so our students get the chance to learn tips from the best in the industry.”
Student Katya Mansell said: “I really learnt a lot in two hours. It’s so cool that our college gets big stars sharing their ideas and techniques with us. He’s just one man on a stage with his guitar but he somehow manages to sound like a full band.”
Faulkner is known for his percussive style of guitar playing which he began mastering aged 13 when he fist learned to play the instrument. He released his debut album, Hand Built by Robots, in 2007.