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Drum Lessons and Bass Guitar Lessons 

With 15yrs experience playing bass guitar and about a decade on drums, I now offer both bass guitar and drum lessons (full kit as opposed to hand percussion; which is a different skill set).

At a glance... 

  • From my home in Arnside 
  • From 7yrs to 70yrs, all welcome 
  • Ideal for beginners 
  • Professional musician and qualified teacher: CRB checked 
  • £18 per 45 minute session or £24 per hour  

About my approach.. 

I've been informally educating for as long as I can remember; I've welcomed showing people how to make music since I learned to do so myself! 

I began 'officially' giving guitar lessons about 30yrs ago and have since run my own recording studio for 5yrs, spent over a decade as a training consultant, been a full-time 'jobbing' musician and gained qualifications in training, life-coaching and teaching along the way. I have an enhanced CRB disclosure, available for viewing upon request.

My approach is to adapt to what works best for the learner, and I come with a clean slate; no expectations and no judgements. The learners job is to have some idea what they want, and to learn how to get there. My job is to create a safe learning environment and, using my comprehensive skill-set, be their professional guide. As a life coach and a father, I am used to facilitating folks whatever their age and am used to teaching between the ages of 6yrs and 70yrs. 

We will discover what you most enjoy and find rewarding, and focus upon that. 

I'm fishing for your motivation, and when we find it I'll be doing my utmost to feed and fuel it! That will inform the route we take in our journey together....My focus is upon what you want - not what I want to give you. I tend to be slightly more directive with young children, but even then I am always looking for opportunities to empower them into recognising that they are responsible for their learning. 

I don't have much time for the concept of 'talent'. I've never met anyone who can play well because they're talented...on the other hand, I have met talented people who can't play very well! The reason I'm a competent musician is because I've spent over 35,000 hours making music...not because of how 'talented' I may or may not be. 

Don't waste time trying to decide whether you're talented and please, please - do not think that you can't learn to play an instrument because you're not 'talented' enough! 

If you practice, frequently and regularly, in an informed and focused way; 
you will become a drummer / bass player / guitarist. Simples. 

I hope you choose me as someone to help guide you.

 

Am I good enough? 

In my experience, even the most confident of us enter a new classroom or lesson with some amount of nervous trepidation. It seems there is something inherently scary about learning. I believe that it's because of negative experiences in the past; being told we're not good enough, or being exposed in some way by poor teaching practices. 

I remember asking a student in the States what he liked about my approach. He considered for a moment and then said, "You've got a great 'bedside manner'. You're always friendly and enthusiastic. I don't ever think you're judging me. I trust you." 

There is no 'good enough' that you need to be :) 

 

Try thinking your way to creating 

Etude F 1625 (Robin May)



I was working with one of my students in the States. We were exploring chords using open strings ~ not your usual 'open chords'. She likes to finger-pick so I came up with this brief progression as an example of how one can create complex chords by simply introducing open strings. It's essentially a practice piece, which I've discovered is what an etude is:
 
étude
ˈeɪtjuːd,eɪˈtjuːd/
noun
noun: étude; plural noun: études
 
"a short musical composition, typically for one instrument, designed as an exercise to improve the technique or demonstrate the skill of the player"


the chord progression is a I, VI, II, V ~ hence I titled it 1625.

I knew that I wanted to do something in the key of F, and that I wanted to keep the top string open throughout. It made sense to begin with an F major seventh:

FMaj7
-0-
-1-
-2-
-3-
-3-
-X-

I discovered this wonderful sounding Dm chord sometime ago...simply a 'standard' Dm from the fifth fret - but with the top string left open - so I tried that next:

Dm9
-0-
-6-
-7-
-7-
-5-
-X-

I could see, from the position of my fingers, that this was already almost a major seventh chord (only needed to move one finger) ~ so I tried that next:

A#Maj7#11
-0-
-6-
-7-
-7-
-X-
-6-

Finally, since I'm in F and the V chord, often used to complete a progression, is C ~ I tried a C7:

C7
-0-
-8-
-9-
-8-
-X-
-8-

Picking pattern, in string numbers:

5, 4, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 3, 1, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 5

*The 5 is sometimes a 6 - dependent on the chord.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Well, one of the things that struck me was that I came up with a lovely little piece by thinking my way through...often when I create/compose it's more a sense of something 'coming to me' ~ more emotional or certainly not an intellectual exercise. However, this was entirely an intellectual exercise and I think it's a good example of how we can, if we choose to, 'think our way' into/through composing and creating.
 
Try it out for yourself!

Simply set yourself a challenge ~ for example:

- find a set of bar chords that work if you only press down the root note with the 1st finger of your fretting hand
- take a set of chords you like and then set them to a time signature that you're unfamiliar with (5/4 time, or 7/8?)
- take a chord shape you're familiar with (try E or D7, open chords) and try it all over the neck, on different strings and frets, to find new chords that you like
....and then explore / create / compose :)


 

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