Meet Our Guitar Teachers – Video Performances

Hi everyone,

Here’s a chance to meet our guitar teachers who cover London and the surrounding areas.

On our website we feature a page of Guitar Teacher profiles, listing our teachers’ information, qualifications, experience and successes.

And here below is a video playlist featuring performances by a selection of our Guitar teachers – From home studio performances, to Classical Guitar competition recitals, to Glastonbury to The Albert Hall.

We hope you enjoy the great playing featured in the videos, and we’ll post soon when we upload some videos of our newest teachers too.

-Alex

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

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Guitar Themed TBT Part Two

Welcome to part 2 in our Guitar-themed TBT (Throwback Thursday) mini series.

You can find part 1 here.

Again, we’re featuring 3 great Guitar videos from days gone by.  Just as part 1 contained performances from 1959, 1969 and 1979, now’s the time for 1989, 1999 and 2009.  So here we go!

1) 1989 – Night Of The Guitar

2) 1999 – Guitar Boogie – Tommy Emmanuel

3) 2009 – Joe Bonamassa Live 

Enjoy!

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

Lead Guitar Phrasing Study – Part 2 – All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix

Welcome to part 2 in Bruce Music‘s series on Lead Guitar Phrasing.  View Part 1 here.

Today’s  Jimi Hendrix’s innovative, brilliant cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”

So what can we learn from Jimi’s lead guitar phrasing on this recording, and how can we apply it to our own playing to incorporate better phrasing when playing, composing or improvising our solos?

– “On Edge” 
Like a large amount of Jimi’s playing, the phrasing and timing is “on edge”.  Right as your ear starts to detect his rhythm becoming loose, he nails an intricate phrase, ending squarely on beat 1 of the next bar, and right as you feel a phrase has gone off track, he twists it into an unusual resolution, making you realise he knew where he was going all along.  This is one of the central, magical principles of Jimi’s soloing, and what gives it such a soaring, but mellow freedom.  When you see live footage, he often gives the impression of just mindlessly stabbing and thrashing at the strings without a second thought, but what’s coming out is some of the most innovative and creative lead playing we’ve ever seen.  So what we can take from this is that the combination of security in your technique and fretboard knowledge, with a relaxed, free style, will take you a long way.  Essentially, it’s knowing your stuff whilst appearing too cool for school!

– 1.5 Tone Bends 
In the intro and the solos, Jimi’s using some 1.5 tone (ie. one and a half tones, or 3 fret) bends.  These are very expressive, as it’s even more of a climb and a stretch for the note being bent, and also very distinctive, as we’re so used to hearing 1 tone bends (2 frets).

– Variation 
If you add up the time spent soloing during this track, it’s probably about 90 seconds.  In that time, we’ve got rock and blues licks, a chordal soloing section, a wah-wah section, a slide guitar section, tons of bends and slides, slow fills, fast flurries and an ocatver effect coming on and off at different points.  What you should take from this is the variation that is afforded to you by a knowledge of different styles and techniques, getting to grips with FX pedals, and intertwining rhythm guitar aspects with your lead playing.

– Sustain/”More Time On The Ball”  
Here’s a great article on top sports stars seeming to have more time on the ball.  Jimi Hendrix is the musical equivalent.  His notes are held until the very last possible moment, aided by a practised, full-bodied, vibrato and sustain.  Yet he doesn’t seem or sound rushed.  Sustain your notes as long as possible, and try thinking one phrase ahead.

– Loose Call & Response 
We’ve previously looked at Call & Response and what exactly it is.  If you don’t know what it is, here’s lots of info.

Jimi’s at times using a very loose Call & Response technique, probably down to a natural musicality and love of The Blues.  Occasionally he is answering his own phrases very directly and symmetrically, such as the second phrase in the intro solo being almost a mirror image of the first.  But very often he’s using this very loose variant, almost as if the response is answering a mutation of the call, rather than the direct call itself.  This is how he manages to make his soloing have a very clear and unified style, without being repetitive.  give it a go!

Next Time – How Mark Knopfler plays almost no notes at all!

– Alex

London Guitar Lessons

London Piano Lessons

Lead Guitar Phrasing Study – Part 1 – Bird of Paradise by Snowy White

Welcome to part 1 in our new blog series looking at Lead Guitar Phrasing.  We’ll be studying some of the most beautiful moments in soloing history, from the classic, unforgettables, to the unheard of, obscure gems.

We’re breaking one of our own rules here, as for once, we’re not preaching that “it’s all about the song” – This time it’s all about what we can take from a solo to improve our own playing and phrasing, regardless of our opinion on the song as a whole.

No.1 – “Bird Of Paradise” by Snowy White.

We’re focusing here on solo. 1 at 1:57

This is something of a paradigm of phrasing and soloing for aspiring guitarists.  Below is a list of why that might be, and thus what we can take from it to apply to, and improve, our own playing.

– Dramatic entry and exit.  
The solo crashes in with a wailing bend with strong vibrato, and exits with an expressive phrase landing on the key centre of D.  These are powerful musical bookends.

– Building Throughout
The comedian Louis CK says that when writing and developing a new stand up show, he’ll take his finale, and make it the opening of his routine, so he’s forced to make the show grow from what was previously its peak, and raise the level of the whole act.  We can do a similar thing with our Guitar solos, whether composed or improvised.  Start strongly, and force yourself to build.

– Leaving Space
It might sound silly to say “You don’t have to play constantly” – But, you really don’t!  In fact, it’s much better if you don’t.  The analogy here is language, the use of full stops, commas, and the necessary drawing of breath.  Guitar wise, it’s impossible to create something memorable, singable or catchy without leaving spaces between phrases, ie. “PHRASING” your solo!  “It’s the notes you don’t play” has been attributed to Miles Davis and is often referenced in relation to Eric Clapton, and is seen in action here in this solo.  This solo is “singable” – it has all the melody of a great vocal line, but with all the additional expression that Guitar Techniques can provide.  Leave Gaps!

– Classic, with unusual twists
On first listen, this solo sounds like a particularly good bit of fairly common Pentatonic/Minor/Blues playing.  There’s one major difference, one big factor which makes the solo stand out, a little more difficult to transcribe, and extra-specially beautiful.  The point is, every phrase in this solo is so close to being a standard, well-played Rock/Blues lick, but with a twist.  With just the smallest amount of string-skipping, or root-note avoiding, or landing on an unusual note, the solo is transformed into one that really stands out.  So test yourself!  – Improvise over a backing track and ban yourself from ending a phrase on the root note, play all your usual licks but with one note different, ban all full tone bends, etc etc.  There’s only one way to get out of a rut!  (And get into a slightly more melodic rut!  Still, at least you have 2 ruts to choose

Coming up later in this blog series:  Hendrix – Over or Under Rated?  Mark Knopfler – Could anybody play any less?  And many more!

Thanks for reading and good luck!

-Alex

Bruce Music – Guitar Lessons In London

Bruce Music – Piano Lessons in London

Meet The Teachers: Introducing Daniel

We were recently delighted to welcome to our teaching staff Daniel Vildosola, an award-winning Classical Guitarist, educator and composer, originally from Arizona, USA.

Having moved to London in Summer 2014, he has both BA and MA degrees in music to his name.  He has 9 years private and classroom teaching experience in the USA and the UK, including at The University Of Arizona and Pima Community College.  He’s a highly sought-after teacher due to his professional, personable style and his recognition in the world of Classical Guitar.

As an active performer and session musician, Daniel was the guitarist in Green Day’s acclaimed broadway musical“American Idiot” and deputised in Flashdance the musical.  He’s also a former winner of both The William Wolfe Guitar Competition and the Leonard & David Shaeffer Memorial Guitar Competition.

Here’s his performance video from our Meet The Teachers playlist.  He’s playing “Toccatina e Preludio” – The 3rd movement from Sergio Assad’s “Aquarelle”.

Bruce Music – London Guitar Lessons

Meet The Teachers – Pedro

Welcome to the next post in our Meet The Teachers series, inviting you to meet our London Guitar Teachers.

Pedro
Pedro is an experienced, versatile guitarist who specialises particularly in Flamenco, Metal and Rock.  He studied at The Luthier Guitar School in Barcelona and now teaches all over London.   As a performer, he has had UK Chart singles and played the main stage at Download Festival with the bandBREED77.

His students always note his obvious dedication and his ability to make seemingly complex styles accessible to beginners.

2014 sees Pedro expanding his roster of students alongside touring the UK in support of the 10th anniversary of his band’s biggest hit album, “Cultura”.

Guitar Lessons London

Meet The Teachers – Nina

Here’s the next part in our Meet The Teachers series, inviting you to meet our London Guitar Teachers

Nina is a dedicated guitar teacher and experienced touring musician who is a graduate of Brighton’s Institute of Modern Music.  She is currently lead guitarist for iconic 60’s/70’s rockstar Arthur Brown, who had a UK no.1 single with “Fire”.  She has performed on UK and european tours and at festivals including the world famous Glastonbury festival.

Nina’s teaching draws on experience at the very forefront of the UK Music Industry.  She teaches with a practical, modern approach and her kind, friendly nature makes her a very popular guitar teacher

Summer 2014 sees Nina playing the major venues and festivals on the UK and Europe circuits.

Guitar Lessons London