Learning the guitar is about more than just learning the guitar!

Studies have shown that children who study music and learn how to play a musical instrument develop an appreciation for music and culture but also gain many other benefits.

Playing an instrument improves brain function by enhancing coordination, concentration and memory. It also improves communication skills and social interaction and overall confidence.

Children learning music perform better academically in school and gain higher grades and test scores.

These are just a handful of reasons why encouraging your child to learn the guitar can be beneficial.

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Black Sabbath

Sad news on 7th March 2017 as Black Sabbath officially announced that they had disbanded. It was of no real surpise given that the gig in Birmingham on the 4th February was meant to be their final show.

Tony Iommi, one of the holy trinity of great rock guitarists of the 1970’s has always been an influence on me (I also play a Gibson SG like the great man). The other two of course being Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore.

If you are unfamiliar with their material, check out their first two albums, Black Sabbath and Paranoid and turn it up to eleven man!

Happy new year!

Happy new year to all my students and many thanks for the Christmas cards, presents and continued custom.

For anyone who still hasn’t made any new year resolutions, what about picking up that old guitar in the spare room and treating yourself to a few lessons?

Details of my prices and services provided are on my website.

Starting up

Learning to play the guitar doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg

A quick visit to Amazon and you can see a number of acoustic guitars costing less than £50 to get you started, or for less than £100 you can get a full size electric guitar with an amp, strap etc.!

So for very little outlay, with lots of practice and some professional lessons, you could be well on your way to your musical dream, be it playing to friends and family, down the local pub or even on stage in front to thousands.

 

 

 

Festivals

If you are into music and like watching live bands, one of the best ways to see a variety of different acts, is to go to a festival.

Whether it is a local one, such as Splendour, Dot to Dot, Chillifest or Gloworm, or one of the big ones such as Download or Glastonbury, you are guaranteed an eclectic mix of styles and music. Sadly, the only thing that can’t be guaranteed is the weather!

So why not drop me an email and one day you could go from standing in the crowd to playing to the crowd.

My rig

For both my original band “Thrasonic” and my function band “Superfuzz” I favour one of the most iconic set ups in rock history, which is a Gibson (in my case, an SG) into a non-master  Marshall amp and turn up to eleven!

In both bands I use a variety of effect pedals, but two I simply couldn’t do without. These are my JMI Tonebenders – I have a Mark 1 and a Mark 1.5. The Mark 1.5  is my current favourite and I use extensively in my original band.

The other classic vintage effect is a Treble Booster, which I use when playing in my function band.

To hear this classic sound of a Gibson through a Fuzz, into a Marshall listen to artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Mick Ronson (early Bowie) and, most famously, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all my students and many thanks for the cards, presents and continued custom.

If you are still searching for that last minute Christmas present, are having a guitar for Christmas, or are buying a guitar for a loved one at Christmas, why not consider some personalised guitar lessons?

Details of my prices and services provided are on my website.

Open Mic & Jam Nights

Have you ever stood in the crowd and watched a band play and wished that you were up there on the stage playing with them?

Well, it needn’t take years to make that dream come true! One of the best ways to get yourself and your music noticed are the local open mic and jam nights around Nottingham where people just turn up and are given a chance to play in front of a ready made audience. Usually you get the chance to play around three songs – it is a great way to boost your confidence and meet with like minded musicians.

Whether you are a complete beginner or a little bit rusty one on one guitar tuition could help you achieve your goal.

Some of the best city centre venues for acoustic sets are The Rescue Rooms, Jam Café, Filthy’s and Pepper Rocks. Or if you want pull out your favourite Fender or Gibson, then go to The Navigation Inn and jam with local blues legend, Colin Staples. Alternatively try the cool, chilled out crowd at The Doghouse, Carlton.

Songhoy Blues

Despite a very wet summer in West Bridgford, I have been seeking out different blues artists and gone back to the real roots of the blues. I am currently listening to a group of talented musicians from Mali, Africa called Songhoy Blues. Raised on a diet of Hip-Hop, R&B and Hendrix, their album “Music in Exile” is an exciting addition to the world of blues music.

If you are looking for something a bit different, check these boys out!

The King of the Blues is Dead

As many of you will already know, B. B. King sadly passed away on 14th May 2015 aged 89.

According to Edward M. Komara, BB introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed. His influences are far and wide and include Eric Clapton, The Edge and Slash.

BB’s classic songs include “The thrill has gone”, “3 O’ clock blues” and my personal favourite, “Sweet little angel”.

Many people know that BB’s guitar was called Lucille and an interesting fact is that in 2005 Gibson made a special run of 80 Gibson Lucille’s – these were referred to as the 80th Birthday Lucille.

If you get chance, try and catch the Big Boy Bloater Blues Magazine Show on Team Rock Radio where they have done a fantastic tribute show to the great man.