Now that we are getting back to some kind of normality after a difficult 18 months, learning the guitar is a great way to relax and have some time to yourself in the midst of a busy life – all beneficial to your mental health. Not only that, but it is a great confidence builder, especially for children.
I am double jabbed, practice social distancing and happy to wear a mask during lessons if required.
If you are thinking about which guitar is best for you, the two major brands are Fender and Gibson. Most other cheaper alternatives are usually based on one of these brands.
There are lots of differences between the models but the main difference from a playability standpoint is that Fender necks are a bit longer and therefore tend to suit slightly bigger hands. If like me, you have quite small hands, the slightly smaller Gibson necks are usually more comfortable to play. If possible, try to play a guitar before you buy it as every person is different and a guitar is a very personal choice.
For younger children 3/4 size guitars are available but a good age to start thinking about a full size guitar is around 10 or 11.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
I bought the new Rival Sons album, “Great Western Valkyrie” a couple of weeks ago. They are a good, modern, rock band and are worth a listen. Interestingly they are signed to Nottingham based Earache Records. I’ll be catching them at Rock City in April – it should be interesting!
I hope everybody has had a good Christmas and New Year. My girlfriend is bitterly regretting buying me the Led Zeppelin biography “When giants walked the earth” by Mick Wall as she has not seen me since Christmas Day. An excellent read and highly recommended.