What can you expect in a first lesson with The London Guitar School?

What can you expect in a first lesson with The London Guitar School?

My names Is Aaron and I am a tutor at The London Guitar School. (www.londonguitarschool.co.uk)

We often get emails and calls form musicians, parents and all sorts of people enquiring about what our lessons are like.  Well let me tell you a few things below I guarantee about your first lesson with us –

 

It will be fun

Guitar Lessons London Chelsea

Guitar Lessons London Chelsea

Well you can’t have it another way!!  We say it all the time but learning an instrument should be a joy and something that lifts you out of doing the same mundane things of life.

 

You can be relaxed and not nervous 

How often should I practice the guitar?

All our teachers want you to be relaxed.  If your nervous, take a deep breathe and realise you don’t need to be and our teachers will work you at apace your happy with.

You will leave playing something really cool

Ben poole

Maybe not as cool as this guy!!  But we make sure you go home being able to play something like “seven nation army”, “Sweet home Alabama”, or “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.  All these songs achievable in one lesson.  Cool right?

 

 

You can learn at a pace thats good for you

 

Guitar Lessons East London | Guitar Tuition in East London

Guitar Lessons East London | Guitar Tuition in East London

Don’t worry about not being musical.  We hear that often and then are blown away by the speed people pick up the instrument.

 

Five fantastic backing tracks on Youtube

Five fantastic backing tracks on Youtube

Let’s have a look at some backing tracks that sound great and will help you with you improvisation skills

1. Funk backing track

One of my personal favourites.   In the key of B minor, a good speed to practice challenging licks

What scales to use?

B minor pentatonic – B blues scale

 

2.Eric Johnson style backing track

A track with lots of space to allow practice for fast runs, creative ideas and melodies.

What scales to use?

A minor pentatonic – A natural Minor

Metal backing track

Good for old school nu metal fans

What scales to use?

A minor pentatonic

 

Zack Wylde style backing track

A great backing track for working on fast pentatonic runs and legato licks and wild bends.

What scales to use?

F sharp minor pentatonic, F sharp natural minor, F sharp blues scale

 

 

Iron maiden style

Who doesn’t love a bit of Iron Maiden

What scales to use?

E minor pentatonic, G major scale,  E natural minor scale

How to solo over a 2 – 5 – 1 (part 1 – Arpeggios)

How to solo over a 2 – 5 – 1 (part 1)

There is never one “correct” way to solo over a chord progression.

There are however lots of different ways to solo over any chord or chord progression.  This is great because different musicians will have different techniques and styles and flavours.  However it can makes things complicated and many beginners ask where do I start!!!!!!

There is also a big emphasis on soloing over the 2 – 5 – 1 due to it cropping up in Jazz music constantly.  it appears in almost all Jazz standards.  This will be a short series split into very manageable chunks looking at how we can use different approaches tot tackling the 2 – 5 -1.

Today we will be using…………Arpeggios.  And more specifically a system called the arpeggiator system which is great for practice.  More on that later.

First up the chord progression in a 2 -5-1 in the key of C major is as follows

2 -5-1 lesson

What we can do to really “highlight” each chord is use arpeggios.  Using arpeggios stops us just playing a scale up and down and also matches with the notes of the chords.  Please also know there is absolutely nothing wrong with using scales to solo and it is essential but we will look at this technique next lesson.

2 - 5- 1 arpeggios

Learn your arpeggios to the point you know them off by heart without looking at the sheet.

The next step is to play through each arpeggio over a backing track (of which you can find many on youtube) and once the backing track changes chords you need to change to the nearest note in the next arpeggio and carry on playing in the direction you were playing.

This way of playing really helps bring out the characteristics of each chord as you will be playing The root, 3rd, fifth or 7th note of each chord.

It also helps you visually see the important notes when using your scales so you can combine arpeggios with scales.

I will attach a video to help with this lesson soon and remember to take it slow

see you soon

 

 

 

 

How to read key signatures

How to read key signatures

Reading music can be a scary task for anyone wanting to learn but like most things in life if you practice slowly and steady it is not hard and very rewarding.

Key signatures are very important when reading music.

What are Key Signatures?

Key signatures help us read the notes we are intended to play by a composer.  The key signature is a grouping of symbols which are either sharps or flats and tells you to play specific notes.  The key signature is always placed after the clef at the beginning of the piece of music.

To better understand how to read key signatures, take another look at the circle of fifths.

Guitar lessons London

 

The diagram above shows the major keys on the outside of the circle and the minor keys on the inside of the circle.

To figure out how many sharps are in each key signature, count clockwise on the Circle of Fifths from C major. The number of sharps in each successive key goes up by one in that key’s key signature. So, if there is one sharp in the key signature, then move one “stop” from C Major, which gets you to G major (or e minor) if there are two sharps in the key signature, move two stops away from C, landing you at D major (or b minor). Therefore, to play a song in the key of B major — five stops away from C major on the circle — you know there will be five sharps in that key.guitar lessons

 

The sharps are arranged on the key signature going “up.”
Therefore, to play a song in the key of B major — five stops away from C major on the circle of fifths — you know there will be five sharps in that key. Sharps appear in a specific order as you go around the Circle clockwise: F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, and B#
Use this brilliant rhyme to help you remember the order FATHER CHARLES GOES DOWN AND ENDS BATTLE.  For the flats you just reverse this rhyme BATTLE ENDS AND DOWN GOES CHARLES FATHER.For major scales that have flats, you go counter-clockwise around the circle of fifths. The flats appear in a specific order in every key as you go around the circle counter-clockwise: Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, and Fb.  Therefore, if the key signature shows one flat (Bb), you would move counter-clockwise one stop away from C major, landing you at F major (or d minor). 

So we hope this helps clear things up a bit.

see you next time

essential guitar pedals for a gigging guitarist

Essential guitar pedals for a gigging guitarist

 

 

Today at www.londonguitarschool.co.uk I want to take a look at pedals I would consider a necessity for a gigging musician in any situation.

 

 

Overdrive/distortion pedal

 

 

overdrive pedal guitar lessons

First on my list as I personally feel its the most important.  An overdrive pedal allows you effortless and quick switching from a  clean sound to a distorted sound.  The OCD Fulltone (pictured above) is my personal favourite, great sound, tweakable sounds and versatile.  Whatever you do make sure you try out a pedal with your guitar before you buy it as pedals will sound different with humbuckers, single coils ect.

 

Delay Pedal

 

 

 

Another personal favourite of mine!! I love a good delay pedal.  I feel it helps me get a BIG sound, think The edge from U2.

Above is the Strymon timeline.  A very new but popular delay pedal.  It is a multidimensionl effects pedal and is not cheap.  There are equally good and more simple delay pedals out there so don’t think you need to spend a huge amount.

Check out this link for a video demonstration

http://www.strymon.net/timeline/

 

Chorus pedal

 

 

imgres-2

Chorus pedals are great as they can be subtle and add that extra spark or flavour to a riff, or chord progression.

Above is the Boss chorus ensemble.  This pedal lets users create any kind of chorus effect–from a mild, natural chorus to the clear and penetrating stereo chorus effect popular in contemporary music.

 

Wah pedal

 

 

crybaby wah pedal

A really fun pedal.  Great for rock and metal solos but also great for disco and funk.  I dont know a professional guitarist without one.  There will always be a gig it comes on handy.

Above is the classic and best selling (and cheap)  Dunlop Crybaby

 

So there ya go.

 

Which ones have you got????

 

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Aaron – 07411798015

 

 

Three amazing British Guitarists to watch out for in 2015

Guitarists to watch out for in 2015

 

 

 

Ben Poole

Ben poole

 

Ben Poole is one of the Uk’s most exciting guitarists to crop up in a long time.  A talented blues/rock player and a great singer.

 

 

James Bay

guitar lessons james bay

One of our favourites here at The Guitar School and a fellow Brit.  James Bay makes every note count, is tasteful and has an incredible gift of songwriting.

Jon Gomm

Jon_Gomm london guitar

 

Without a doubt one of the greatest acoustic guitar players alive.  And again another British guitarist. Wahey!!