The electric guitar has become
an icon of our age. From its invention in the early twentieth
centaury to our own times it has undergone an unprecedented
evolution- both in its technological development and in the
techniques used by its players.
electric guitarist needs to be familiar with all of the basic
skills associated with lead and rhythm playing, as well as a
thorough grasp of musical theory and the ability to read chord
charts, guitar tab and/or standard musical notation. He or she needs to demonstrate a
detailed, practical knowledge of those aspects of playing which
are unique to their chosen style- whether it be the expressive
string bends of blues and country guitar or the sweep picking and finger
tapping pyrotechnics of contemporary rock and metal players.
Lessons are shaped around
individual needs and interests, striking a balance between the
development of solid technical and theoretical skills (scales,
arpeggios, chord construction etc.) and reading skills. Students
are shown how to learn music from recordings
which inspire them, and to become confident improvisers. I
dedicate a significant part of lesson time to playing
songs and pieces which reflect the students interests, and
encourage the use of the many 'play along' tracks which are
available. This helps establish essential interactive lead and
rhythm guitar skills, is good fun and builds confidence and
experience in the practical realities of performing with other
musicians. Those wishing to enter graded exams can choose between
either the Trinity/Guildhall 'Rockschool' or RGT/LCM.
exams. Those who prefer a more informal approach or
who, understandably wish to explore musical territory which lies
outside the mainstream are equally welcome.
With more experienced students I
place a great deal of emphasis on ear training, group
interaction, composition and song writing, improvisation,
advanced technical studies and musical theory. I also
encourage more advanced students to explore a wide range
of musical topics which lie outside of their own immediate areas
of interest as this can act as a springboard to their
musical evolution and the development of their own unique voice.