Next Mo-Bo Beer Rebellion gig: Thursday 3rd November 8pm start

The trees are turning, a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us....

No better time then to catch the fabulous Mo-Bo (Morrison-Bold) Duo! Back at Beer Rebellion, in Sydenham, South London, with all your favourite tunes, on Thursday 3rd November 8pm start.

Join us there for a lovely craft beer (maybe two), in a quirky venue, with great art on the walls, a wide range of brews available and of course great live music to wash it all down with. Mmm Hmm!

Light Artwork - Beer Rebellion Sydenham

Wondering what we sound like? There is now an audio/video clip on the MoBo Duo page.

New! Autumn/Winter Jazz Guitar Course

Want to learn to play jazz?  If you've been playing guitar for a year or so already and have built up the basics of playing the instrument playing blues, rock, classical or country it's not as hard as you might think. In fact a lot of what you already know can easily be adapted to play jazz.

Learn to play Jazz by learning tunes and their chords!

Together we'll sit down and tailor-make a 12 week course for you, to move you from where you are in your playing now, to where you'd like to be in 3 months time.

The 12 week course will contain between 6 and 8 tunes to learn, each one negotiated between us to work out which tunes will suit you best to develop your playing style. Each week you'll study your tunes, work through the chord changes, the melody, the rhythm and your approaches for improvisation for best results. Some will be simple, others more challenging, all of them fun to play!

The tunes selected will include those played regularly at jams, i.e. jazz standards, blues, ballads, latin, bebop heads etc. At the end of the 12 weeks you'll know the 'heads' and the 'changes' to your chosen tunes, along with different 'comping' styles, and a range of strategies for improvising on them.

The lessons include a free 1 hour introductory lesson to evaluate your starting points in technique, hearing and musical understanding, so we can hit the ground running the day you start your first proper lesson.

Save yourself the agony.. Build good practice habits :-)

Intro Lesson - assessment of your current technique, level of understanding and preferred learning styles. Discussions on what targets we set, likely practice regime, useful text books/reference sources.

The course will fall broadly into 3 areas:

Foundations - Weeks 1 - 4: typically this will include: getting your ears in gear and fingers moving efficiently around the fretboard, so you play what you want to, not what your fingers are limited to. Chords and progressions, triads, scales and modes, arpeggios, double string studies, fingerings, note names, aural studies, and rhythmic and timing foundations, that apply to the tunes you have selected to work on. In short, building the musical scaffold that makes improvising possible. Also includes Visualisation and memory techniques.

Tap into the musical ear you didn't know you had!

Moving on - Weeks 5 - 8: Putting all the above information and resources into your playing. Phrasing, fretboard mapping; getting a clear and simple understanding of how things really work everywhere on your fretboard. How to find the sweet notes and how to apply this to different jazz situations. Exercises and drills that are fun and you can put instantly into your playing. Building on your rhythm and timing skills. Hearing exercises - tap into the 'musical ear you didn't know you had' to make huge leaps in your playing. All of this working on your next set of tunes.

Consolidating - Weeks 9 - 12: Building vocabulary. Turning scales, triads and arpeggios into licks and phrasing. Common licks used with different chord changes, how to adapt licks to fit lots of playing situations. Filling out between phrases as part of your comping style. More on rhythm - swing, bebop, hard bop, cool, funk and latin styles. Get in the groove with other time signatures - 6/8, 6/4, 12/8, 5/4, 7/8. Applying all of this to your final set of chosen tunes.

Get a clear and simple understanding how music really works..

To book your free Introductory lesson, use the contact form to the right of this page, or email me at Fees for the course are the same as my standard rates; info on the Lessons page.

Winter RGT Exams

Reminder to all students that the deadline for UK entries for this coming Winter 2016 RGT exams is Saturday 1st October.  Exam dates still to be confirmed, but they usually occur around late November/early December.

Improve your practice - make a list!

It is without doubt the biggest area that guitar students struggle with... making time to practice, and when they pick up their guitar, what to practice first.

It may seem obvious but the best way is to make a list. Keep it simple, just 5 things, in order of priority, and don't do other things on the list until the first priority item is done. When you've finished practicing immediately write out your list for your next lesson.

A bit like this article in fact, from original productivity consultant Ivy Ledbetter Lee in 1900:

100 year old to-do list hack that works like a charm

Gigs this weekend: Road Runners Return! Green Chain Qt - Park tour rolls on!

I'm out on two 'open to the public' gigs this weekend, would be fabulous to see you at either, hope you can make it!

Saturday 20th August: Return of the fabulous Gordon Mark Webber's Road Runners, appearing at The White Swan in Charlton from 8pm. Classic soul, disco and funk featuring the vocals of Gordon Webber and Francesca Payne, and the RR Horns featuring Frank Mead on sax and Toby Simmons on trumpet. Full address: The White Swan, 22 The Village, Charlton SE7 8UD

The GMW Road Runners in full swing

Sunday 21st August: Jimmy Smith/Wes Montgomery revivalists The Green Chain Quartet will be appearing at The Bandstand in picturesque Golders Green Park, Hampstead from 3-5pm. Expect funky guitar and organ tunes from the classic cool jazz era.  Loads of stuff for the kids to do in the park if jazz isn't their thing  (hoping it stays dry!).  Full address: Golders Hill Park, West Heath Ave, London NW11 7QP 

Green Chain's John Gittos

The Cycle of Fifths... Online and interactive!

Most of my students will know the importance of the Cycle of Fifths several lessons into their guitar studies with me.

Its great for practicing the guitar, practicing improvisation, composing/songwriting and understanding how keys, modes, chords and their progressions work. If you write your own songs you'll find the Cycle of Fifths 'wheel' a very useful thing indeed :-)

Now software developer, Rand Scullard, has come up with a truly interactive online version of this important music tool and you can find a free copy here: Rand Scullard - Cycle of Fifths - complete with a detailed 'User Guide'.

Thanks to Carlos at Schwilly Family Musicians for sharing this find.

New! Summer Strummers 6 week course

Want to learn to play the guitar this summer? I'm starting a new 6 lesson Summer course just for people who want strum a few simple songs.

Ever imagined yourself being able to strum songs by the campfire, on the beach, or leading a sing-along at parties, impress friends and relatives? Or maybe as a personal challenge, just for your own enjoyment?  Well you can. This is a 6 lesson course for absolute beginners, no experience necessary. All you need is an acoustic guitar, short spaces of time for practice and the ambition to learn 6 songs. Simple.

Over the 6 lessons you'll learn 6 songs, 3 of your own choice; a song each week. You'll learn how to adapt the strumming patterns and chords you learn to many other songs.

You can learn solo, share with a friend, pile all the lessons into 2 weeks, whatever suits you, it's your call.

Each lesson lasts an hour; at the end of each lesson an achievable practice schedule is set out, with targets lined up ready to focus your progress.

To book just use the contact form on the right, or email. Usual rates apply, see Lessons page for more information.

Whatever you're doing, have a great summer :-)

Choosing a guitar that's right for you

December 2015

How to choose a guitar
This is a question I get asked about a lot. From beginning students right through to intermediate level. And with one eye on Christmas looming here's my answer... generally speaking:

You need to consider your budget, your size (or the size of the person you are buying it for), and the style of music you want to play with it. Check the 'Three Golden Rules' towards the end of this blog post.

Firstly, what sort of guitars are available?

A bit of musical psychology from Austin City Limits

Right, so Austin City Limits is one of the big music events across the globe and big festivals are a great place for hearing different sounds and musical styles back to back, side by side.

A couple of years back I was there at ACL and made a few observations re the differences between live and synthesised sound.  Even in this age of fantastic digital modelling synthesised music still lacks the spikes and variations that occur in analogue sounds.

Now, not everybody hears things the same way, each of us are different depending on what we've listened to before, our age and previous listening experience; plus any musical instruments we may play etc., myself included, so these are completely my observations, not anyone else's. You might hear things differently?

Resolutions, resolution

Winter's here again... and bringing with it another new year.  2015... full of promise, expectation and ... New Year Resolutions. The best type of New Year resolution (if it's going to get results) is the type that sticks... and they usually stick when we apply a routine to whatever we are trying to get done. So if you're practicing an instrument, sort out what your goals are, the practice you need to do to get there; and most importantly, apply a routine.

In short:
1 - Identify your Target/Goal.
2 - Work out what you need to do to achieve it, including the amount of time.
3 - Apply your routine.
Playing an instrument takes time and routine

Most people are pretty good at working out the first two and lousy at sticking to the routine needed to achieve the goal. This is especially true of people learning an instrument.

The secret, if there is one, is to build the routine into the activity.  Set aside the time you need, diarise it, set reminders and treat it like anything else that's important, after all it's your goal. Achieve it and it really is like winning something!

Of course if you're a musician resolution also means the music has come to a close, the tension released, the work is done, the chord has been resolved, completed, at least in part.

And for some of us, especially after a busy Christmas period, where we've been winding up to the holiday period, it's a time to take a break, recharge the batteries, reflect and plan for the year ahead, identify new targets, set new goals, set out a plan ...


Whatever your goals are, I hope you have a good crack at achieving them. Happy New Year.

Getting a new guitar for Christmas? Grab a free lesson!

December 2015 - This has been popular for the last couple of years, so the same offer is going out again :-)

I meet a lot people who say "Ah, the guitar: I bought one but couldn't get started on it..." Well the short answer is they probably would have, if they'd had a few pointers on how to get started; i.e. what to practice in those early stages so they could make good progress, how to get over those new beginners' 'humps' and how to start sounding musical as soon as possible.

So, getting new guitar for Christmas? Grab a free lesson from me! 

To take up this offer simply email me ( giving the name of the person receiving the guitar, I'll send you a personalised electronic copy of the flyer below. After that just contact me to arrange a time to come over. Job done. 

This could also be a major help if you're making a New Year's resolution to play a few songs on your new guitar by Easter; what a great start this would be! 

It also makes the best of your Christmas present and sorts out your fledgling guitarist's New Year resolution and, if your own resolution was to get them started on a musical instrument, that's two NY resolutions sorted in one hit!  Simple!

The Physics of Productivity: Newton’s Laws of Getting Stuff Done

For procrastinators everywhere... Great article here by James Clear on Getting Stuff Done using principles of Newton's Three Laws of Motion as a guide.

If you are looking for motivation on anything... but especially practicing the guitar, or getting the gig, and you need a bit of motivation then this could be the right idea for you... makes sense to me anyway!

Sir Isaac Newton
(click on the picture to find out more about Newton's life and amazing achievements)

What do you need from a practice amp?

July 2014

Hmmm.... Practice amps.. they're intended to help us practice aren't they?  Let's face it, there is a huge amount of music gear for us guitarists to acquire, some of it meeting our needs, some of it falling well short, some of it keeping its treasures buried deep in the technical manual that came with it, never to be discovered.  So, its worth pausing a moment and considering what do we actually need?  Does the stuff that we think (we are often told) we need, actually serve its purpose? And very importantly, how easy is it to use?

Industry standard Roland Cube amps 
This blog discusses the pros and cons of the many different types of practice amplifier, and looks at some of the many features useful in your practice routine.

At the bottom of this blog entry there is a list of amps by type, with links to the manufacturers' websites. Just Google the name of the amp to get many independent reviews on these products.

Twitter and the games people play

Ok so I signed up for Twitter a couple years ago. Started following people and sending the occasional tweet. After a while I began to collect a group of followers that mostly shared my interests - music, astronomy, sport and political incompetence. 

I noticed that my number of followers stayed basically the same, despite lots of confirmations saying 'You have a new follower'. As Twitter only tells you who follows you not who 'unfollows' you I enlisted a piece of software ( ) to track what's happening and to my amazement uncovered a whole new pastime...

Now I'm not sure if there really is some kind of game going on here, wherein we play 'I follow you, and you follow me then, sneakily, I stop following you so that it looks like I've got more followers than you... ' but it certainly seems that to some people Twitter is a competition in collecting followers, rather than sharing mutual interests.

Me - on Twitter

If it is, what's the end result? Do you win a medal? Do you sell loads of stuff to other people? Does it make you impossibly attractive? Do other twitterers play God and remove their 'follow' from you to bring you down a peg or two, issuing a metaphorical thunderbolt because you've got more twits following you then they have !?

Whats even more strange about this process I've discovered, is that some twits do this 'follow then unfollow' process over a couple of days, and some do it several times over the course of a month...  

Perhaps they are trying to lure me in to some horrible fate that awaits me when I become their follower.   Perhaps they've unfollowed me because they are peeved that I've taken no notice of them?  Perhaps they see themselves as some kind of leader, a kind of social media Napoleon who's ego demands they appear more popular than all the other twits. If so, how sad, and what a huge waste of their time.


Sunken Condos - Don's New Album


Donald Fagen's new solo album Sunken Condos is out.. and I have to say it's pretty damn good!

A new album by one of the best song writers America has ever produced in the last 42 years is always of interest and there's always going to be some debate on how it measures up to the rest of the Steely Dan / Donald Fagen / Walter Becker catalogue, and especially Fagen's legendary The Nightfly album.

What strikes me about this collection of tunes is that while the similarity in feel, tone, quirkiness they have to all of Fagen's solo output, it's instantly placeable stuff, it just couldn't be anyone else.. but it's different too.

As you might expect there is a fair dose of cool jazzy funk grooves, great extended chord harmonies, understated horns, laconic vocals, funky keys, great guitar playing, plus a great mix..  a slightly softer, more sympathetic bass & drum sound than previous Fagen / Steely Dan albums of recent years. It certainly makes more of the funky grooves... think more The Nightfly, Gaucho, Aja than say Kamakiriad or Two Against Nature.

Following The Nightfly model all songs, bar one, are by Fagen. That outsider is Isaac Hayes' Out Of The Ghetto. Fagen gives the original 70s funk an update and a brand new arranged middle section which partly filters back towards the end of the song forming a sort of overlaid coda.

Like most guitarists I always look forward to the players' contributions to Becker & Fagen albums, and Sunken Condos doesn't disappoint. There are is some nice offerings on most cuts courtesy of (fast becoming) Steely Dan stalwart Jon Herington and a lovely Kurt Rosenwinkel solo on Planet D'Rhonda.

Herington's playing perfectly compliments the mood of the songs with chameleon-like colour shifts sitting right inside each song's style.  Check the altered blues Weather In My Head and The Good Stuff for melodic lines uniquely their own while tilting a hat towards the legacy of previous great contributions to Becker & Fagen recordings.  The lazy funk of Planet D'Rhonda provides Kurt Rosenwinkel with a great platform to echo the mood of Fagen's cynical wit with some great jazzy outside playing.

Great album, recommended listening. Available at all good record shops ... as they used to say.. : -)

Live Music Bill - Good News


Good news indeed... the much heralded Live Music Bill has just become proper legislation, meaning that small venues in England and Wales, with a capacity of under 200 people, will no longer need local authority permission to host performances of live amplified music between the hours of 8am-11pm.

Will it make a difference? Recent research suggests that 13,000 additional venues in the UK could now stage gigs for the first time, with over 20,000 venues now able to increase their provision for live music. 

More information and further links at:

London Acoustic Guitar Show Cardboard Cut-Out Guitar Thing


Well the London Acoustic Guitar Show Cardboard Cut-Out Guitar Thing with Phil went pretty well, with lots of people picking up picks, having their photo taking and generally messing about.. Interesting that the ladies were more keen on taking photos, and having their photo taken, than the lads were... probably some psychology in there somewhere!

The Brief
" Beckenham based musician, Dave Bold asked us to help promote his guitar lessons. We created a set of plectrums with his details on ( These were stuck onto the neck of a fake guitars that we rigged up on bicycle locks outside the London Acoustic Guitar Show. These were designed to draw visitors in to interact with the display and take a plectrum. " - Phil Bold, Graphic Designer - Bold&Bold

Find out more
Inside Croydon:

The event has also appeared on a few design blogs. You can find them, along with more details at:

Happy Picking :-)


London Acoustic Guitar Show

(21 /9 /12)

If you are attending the London Acoustic Guitar Show at Olympia Conference Centre this Saturday morning, why not say hello, collect a free pick and have your picture taken with a large cardboard cut-out guitar! My nephew Phil (a graphic designer) and I will be outside the venue near Kensington Olympia tube station.

It's a double promo, for guitar lessons with me at Dave Bold | Guitar and design services from Phil at Bold & Bold, so drop by and say hello, it's free and it's always good to meet other guitarists :-)


Ceilidh At Blackheath Halls - 28 September 2012

Happy to report Bold's Band are back at Blackheath Concert Halls on Friday 28 September at 7.30pm, for another Barn Dance evening of crazy country dancing and frivolity... :-)

Have a great evening dancing to jigs, reels, polkas, hornpipes and a few Breton tunes. There is a bar and food is included in the ticket price.

This annual event is in aid of the charity supporting the Halls.  Tickets are £20, £5 for under 14s, and this includes a 2 course meal. If you'd like to attend, please email organiser Ann Glynn at