My method is very much based on demonstrating first, and giving opportunity for the student to copy, phrase by phrase if and when appropriate. I have plentiful resources at my disposal, and cover a wide range of styles, including Rock, blues, jazz, country, metal, funk, soul, and classical.
I have been tutoring since 1995, and have extensive practical and theoretical knowledge to help students to attain their musical goals. I have plenty of experience as a gigging musician, and can offer guidance in developing improvisational skills, ear training, and a solid technique, both in fingerstyle, and plectrum work.
B-Tec Music Industry Management (equivalent to a double A level)
A- Level Music ( B )
Grade 8 Rock School Electric Guitar
(accredited by Trinity College London)
Access To Music Instrumental Music Facilitator Certificate
City and Guilds 7307 Teaching Certificate
Since 1995 I have taught the guitar for a living. From 1995 – 98 I taught under the auspices of Access To Music, and taught on their “Foundation Course In Contemporary Popular Music” at their Cambridge and Leicester Courses. Since then, I have taught both privately, and in Schools, and in a prison, (the now defunkt Ashwell Prison in Rutland).
The majority of my work in schools has been with secondary age students, (year 7-13).
The private tuition work I have done has catered for all ages and abilities. During this time, I have taught a significant number of primary age children.
A significant portion of my teaching has been working with students at GCSE level, helping them to achieve their set performance projects.
This has involved transcribing music very quickly. Often this is the chords, but sometimes the specifics of rhythm, and melody, as well as any riffs a song may include.
I have vast resources at my disposal for delivering curriculum content.
I can use a variety of approaches to help a student to achieve their targets. Each student has their own unique learning style, so I am ever mindful of this, and my approach to each student is modified to suit their characteristics.
Instruments and styles:
Guitar (both acoustic and electric)
5 string banjo
The styles I can play and teach run the gamut of contemporary popular music, and so encompass blues, rock 'n' roll, heavy rock, funk, soul, reggae, classical guitar, jazz, pop, and folk.
Bands / Musical experience :
1987-1988 “Built For Comfort” (Rollicking Rhythm & Blues)
1989 Own Material (writing and recording)
1990 Night Moves (club cover band)
1992-1993 P.J. Baker’s Blues Brand (Blues)
1992-1993 “The Cool Grey 5ives” Featuring Lee Sankey
(West Coast Swing / Chicago Blues)
1994-2000 Til U Drop (60’s & 70’s Soul)
1995-1996 Young Guns (pop / funk)
2001-2002 Mick Ridgway’s Mojo Hand (Blues)
2003 - 2005 The FaFa Beans (70’s Covers)
2005 – 2010 Dawson Smith And The Dissenters
Tour with Nashville recording artist, Tommy Womack
Tony Alles’ Bluesville (Blues)
The Reel Deal (Celtic / Traditional)
The Smoothe Soul Brothers
2010 – 2018: Guano (writing and recording own material)
Take 2: Easy listening music duo (wrote, recorded, and released an album)
2015 – 2018: Hillbilly Jukebox – Hillbillly versions of pop & rock songs.
2018 – present: Back to writing, recording, and releasing own music, and doing live gigs with Guano.
Some of my ex students have taken their music education to the next level, and have achieved not only their music degrees, but also have gone onto earning their own living within the music industry. Please see the 'testimonials' page on my website. One particular student now tours internationally with an all girl group, and plays guitar (and an array of other instruments) for shows on the West End of London.
I have worked with children and young people with special needs, and mental health issues. I can tailor my lessons to suit their particular requirements.
During my work in schools, my services have sometimes been called upon to assist with school productions. I have recently been involved in “We Will Rock You”, and “Little Shop of Horrors”.
I can deliver one to one, group sessions, and workshops. A popular workshop is my improvisation workshop.
Simon taught me guitar when I was a kid, back in the 1990's.
He was always happy to tab out a different song for me, in full, every week, half of which I never learned, back before the Internet was invented.
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