Green Chain Quartet - Live at Birdies - Sunday

I'm out this Sunday lunchtime 21st January with my favourite boogaloo-soul-jazz-bluesy-whatever outfit; the Green Chain Quartet, as we continue our regular monthly lunchtime jazz session at the spiffing Birdie Num Nums.

Sunday lunchtime 12.30 - 3pm: 10th December

Birdie Num Nums: 11 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6PP (Opposite Goldsmiths College) 

More info: http://www.greenchainquartet.com/2017/12/jazz-in-new-cross-sunday-lunchtime.html



New guitar for Xmas? Need to get a good head start? Contact me for a free lesson

A very Happy New Year to you all. Hope you had a great time. 

A quick reminder that if you got a new guitar, bass or ukulele for Christmas, and you'd like a free lesson so you can make a good start on it, just get in touch. Use the message form to the right, or choose email, or phone from the Contacts page

So many guitars, so little time... :-)



Resolute Resolutions

Hello fellow musicians! New Year is here again... and bringing with it another year laced with potential.  2018... 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 Goal.
2 - Work out what you need to do to achieve it, including the amount of Time you need to invest and the Date you want to complete this by.
3 - Apply your Routine.
Learning to playing an instrument takes time and routine

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

The secret, if there is one, is to build the routine into your daily and weekly 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!

So for example:

Goal - learn 5 new pieces
How - with help of guitar teacher
Time - 1/2 hour per day
Date - end of the month
Routine - set clock to wake 30 minutes earlier

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 music has been resolved, completed.

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, work out a plan ...

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




RGT Spring 2018 exam entry deadline

Reminder! Just in case this has slipped through the net... 

The entry deadline for the RGT Spring 2018 exams is Thursday February 1st. 



By the way. Well done to all my students who took RGT, Trinity and ABRSM grades this year. Take a bow: Holly, Dan, Jack, Lucy, Matt, Ali and Mike.

The secret ingredient to their grade success? Mmmm.... Practice yes, but especially 'smart practice'!


Thinking about doing graded exams in acoustic, classical or electric guitar; bass guitar or ukulele?

For more information see:


My Lesson pages: http://www.davebold.com/p/lessons.html


RGT Website: http://www.rgt.org/index.php


Rock School: https://www.rslawards.com/music/graded-music-exams/guitar

Trinity: http://www.trinityrock.com/instruments/guitar


ABRSM: https://gb.abrsm.org/en/about-abrsm/

Wishing you all the best for Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Wishing all my students, fellow musicians, bookers and venues that I worked with this year, a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2018.

May your stars shine brightly!

Buying guitar lessons as a Christmas present?

If you are buying lessons for anyone this Christmas please note that I can complete the gift by sending you a personalised electronic copy of the flyer below.  Then just contact me to arrange a time to come over.  This applies to a free introductory lessons as well standard blocks of 6 lessons or the specialised Rock, Blues, Jazz or Strummers courses.

To take up this offer simply email me (dave@davebold.com) giving the name of the person receiving the guitar, I'll send you a personalised electronic copy of the flyer below. then simply contact me to arrange a starting lesson day and time to come over.

Also see the post: Getting a New Guitar For Christmas?

Cheers

Dave



Mo-Bo: Xmas special - Live at The Alexandra, Penge, 21st December

The fantabulous Mo-Bo Duo are live at the hip, Christmassy Alexandra pub in Parish Lane, Penge on Thursday December 21st from around 8pm.

Great venue, good food, great beers, (GREAT music), nice people...

See you there for dinner, a few schooners, a pint, or maybe a cocktail.... :-)

The Alex is the place to eat, drink and be merry. Expect jazzy, Christmas tunes, funky pop, bebop, super cool soul-jazz and blues...

Find out more see:

The Alexandra:

https://www.facebook.com/TheAlexandraPenge/ 

http://picbear.com/thealexandrapenge


And, in case you've forgotten what we sound like, check out the Mo-Bo Duo page above for audio clips.

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

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

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, if you're getting new guitar for Christmas... Get started with a free lesson from me! 

To take up this offer simply email me (dave@davebold.com) 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!



Know someone else who may be interested? Use the buttons below to share. Thanks.

Winter Blues course is back!

While the weather's bad and the nights short.... there is no better time to hunker down and learn to play this soulful, creative and yet simple form of music. Following on from the success of my summer jazz course, this blues course follows a similar format.

You can start as a complete beginner, or with a range of experience, the course will be tailored to you. The real focus is to improve your playing through a blues pathway while learning some great songs. Simple!


Learn to play the Blues through learning songs and instrumentals!


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. This could be electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar: covering Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, Country Blues, Folk Blues, it's your call! Each week you'll study your tunes, work through the chords, the tune, the rhythm and organise your approaches for playing solos, introductions, turnarounds, outros and endings.

The tunes we select together will include those played regularly at jams sessions, including classic tunes such as Baby Please Don't Go, Dust My Blues, Further On Up The Road, Killing Floor, Phone Booth, Stormy Monday, Spoonful, Roadhouse Blues, Sweet Home Chicago, Catfish Blues, and many more. At the end of the 12 weeks you'll know the tunes inside out, along with different rhythmic styles, and great licks and lines you can use to take solos on them.

The course includes a free 1 hour introductory lesson to evaluate your starting points in technique, and experience, so we can hit the ground running the day you start your first proper lesson.


Build good practice habits for great progress


An Introductory Lesson (free) - will cover an assessment of your current technique, level of understanding and preferred learning styles. Along with discussions on what targets we set, likely practice plans and useful listening list.



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, and what you hear, not what your fingers are limited to.  Chord patterns for your tunes, the two main blues scales, double stops, blues fingerings, licks and phrasing along with the rhythm and vamping patterns that all apply to the tunes you have selected to work on. In short, building your musical scaffold. This stage also includes some visualisation and memory techniques for quicker learning of songs, licks, fingerings, rhythm patterns etc.



Build your hearing skills with musical games 


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 on your fretboard. How to use the phrases you've learnt and make them your own. Fun music exercises and games that you can also use instantly into your playing. Building your rhythm and timing skills. Fun music hearing exercises - tap into the 'musical ear you didn't know you had' to make huge leaps in your playing. All of this while working on your next set of tunes.

Consolidating - Weeks 9 - 12: Building your blues vocabulary. Turning the scales, chord tones into definable licks and phrasing. Common licks used with different chord changes, how to adapt licks to fit lots of playing situations. Rhythm comping and filling out between phrases as part of your playing style. More on rhythm - getting in the groove with a great feel for the backbeat, swing, funk and gospel influences. And applying all of this to your final set of chosen tunes.

To get started simply use the contact form to the right of this page, or email me at dave@davebold.com.  Fees for the course are the same as my standard rates; info on the Lessons page.

Know someone else who might be interested? Share it below ⇩  Many Thanks! - Dave

Xmas is looming... What practice amp should you buy?

I'm recycling an article I wrote in July 2014 with a few updates where needed. I often get asked questions by my electric guitar students on buying gear, advice on practice amps is near the top of the list.
iRig2: makes great use of your phone

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, it's 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?


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.

New! Audio Page!

Now you don't have to faff about looking for audio clips of my playing.... They are now all on one page: check the new ⇒ AUDIO ⇐  page. Happy listening!



Science research show the health benefits of music

Continuing the stream of articles and references to research that has been done around the holistic benefits of music. Here's a great article from Science of the People website on the many health benefits from listening to and playing music.

And relax....

In a nutshell much research evidence concludes that music:

- Improves the memory

- Improves fitness workouts

- Helps you heal and rehabilitate

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Improves sleep quality

Most musicians would know this from experience anyway but in case you didn't:

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/scientific-benefits-music/

Well done to all my students who got graded this year!

A huge well done to all my students who've taken and passed RGT, Trinity and ABRSM grades this year, Great effort from you all! Holly, Dan, Jack, Lucy, Matt, Ali and Mike.

The secret ingredient to their grade success? Mmmm.... Practice!

Thinking about doing graded exams in acoustic, classical or electric guitar; bass guitar or ukulele?

For more information see:

My Lesson pages: http://www.davebold.com/p/lessons.html

RGT Website: http://www.rgt.org/index.php

Rock School: https://www.rslawards.com/music/graded-music-exams/guitar

Trinity: http://www.trinityrock.com/instruments/guitar

ABRSM: https://gb.abrsm.org/en/about-abrsm/

Live at the Two Spoons - Saturday 18th November

The fantabulous Mo-Bo Duo are live at the lovely, luscious, Two Spoons bar in Honor Oak Park (a few doors down from Honor Oak Park station); playing all your favourite tunes on Saturday 18th November, live from 8.30pm.

Eat, drink and be merry (even if it is a month before the official 'eat, drink and be merry' season!).

Those Blue Embers of November are back at Two Spoons

Expect jazzy, funky pop, bebop, super cool soul-jazz and blues... perhaps even a jazzy Irish jig, a reel, a polka, a horn-pipe ­čś│ ?!

For full details see:

Two Spoons Bar: http://twospoons-cafebar.co.uk/events/
                             
                         https://twitter.com/twospoonslondon?lang=en

And, in case you've forgotten what we sound like, check out the Mo-Bo Duo page above for audio clips.

See you there!

How does music improve other academic progress for young people?

A very interesting article appeared in The Guardian newspaper recently on how pupils at a school in Bradford made huge improvements in attendance and in academic subjects, notably by playing music and engaging pupils in musical games, making school life fun and engaging again.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/oct/03/school-results-music-bradford

As I discovered during my time as a music undergraduate, and in working in specialist music schools, Kod├íly's methods for encouraging children to engage in music, and learning many other subjects through music, are very effective. 

Zoltan Kod├íly - educator, philosopher, composer & linguist

The school bases its music programme on the methods of Zoltan Kod├íly; in which children learn, both subconsciously and through playing musical games: rhythm, sounds, hand signs and movement, in a way that complements and helps their reading, writing and maths. All children at the school get 2 hours a week of music and 30 minute instrumental lessons, so this is a big commitment of teaching time by the school; and by all accounts it's paying off. I hope more schools take note and can apply the same approach.

For full details on the education approach of Hungarian composer/educator Zoltan Kod├íly see:

http://www.britishkodalyacademy.org/kodaly_approach.htm

Mo-Bo Duo: Live dates in November... Catch us!

The fantabulous Mo-Bo Duo are live at the excellent, hip, Alexandra pub in Parish Lane, Penge on Thursday November 16th from around 8pm. Great venue, good food, great beers, (GREAT music), nice people... See you there for dinner, a few schooners, or maybe a cocktail.... :-)

Morrison-Bold Duo - The Blue Embers of November...
And... we're at the lovely, luscious, Two Spoons bar in Honor Oak Park (a few doors down from Honor Oak Park station); playing all your favourite tunes on Saturday 18th November, live from 8.30pm. See you there!

Both are great places to eat, drink and be merry (even if it is a month before the official 'eat, drink and be merry' season!). 


Expect jazzy, funky pop, bebop, super cool soul-jazz and blues... perhaps even a jazzy Irish jig, a reel, a horn-pipe ­čś│?!  Yeah well, you'll have to see what we rustle up....eh?


For full details see: 


             

                                https://twitter.com/twospoonslondon?lang=en


The Alexandra:       https://www.facebook.com/TheAlexandraPenge/                        


                                http://picbear.com/thealexandrapenge


And, in case you've forgotten what we sound like, check out the Mo-Bo Duo page above for audio clips.







Winter Strummers Course

Nights are closing in, leaves are falling, autumn is here already. And with cooler weather, and less daylight to do things outdoors, it's a great time to start learning an instrument.

If you want to learn to play the guitar or ukulele this winter I'm starting a new 6 lesson Winter course just for people who want strum a few simple songs.

Time to get picking..
This is a 6 lesson course for absolute beginners, no experience necessary. All you need is an acoustic guitar, or ukulele, short spaces of time for practice and the ambition to learn at least 6 songs. Simple.

Over the 6 lessons you'll learn 6-10 songs, 4 of your own choice; a song each week. You'll learn how to adapt the strumming patterns and chords you learn to play many other songs.

You can learn on your own, 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. My usual teaching rates apply, see the Lessons page for more information.

Mo-Bo live at Two Spoons Saturday 30th September

The fantabulous Mo-Bo Duo are at the Two Spoons bar in Honor Oak Park (a few doors down from Honor Oak Park station); playing all your favourite tunes on Saturday 30th September, live from 8.30pm. See you there!

It's also a great chance to get your teeth into some Peruvian food with the Two Spoons Peruvian pop-up 'Frankly Peru' !

For full details see: http://twospoons-cafebar.co.uk/events/




Winter Jazz course is back!

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 on the guitar.

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. This stage 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 these 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 while 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. And 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 dave@davebold.com. Fees for the course are the same as my standard rates; info on the Lessons page.

Winter RGT/ London College of Music Exam entry deadlines

A quick reminder to all students that the deadline for UK entries for this coming Winter 2017 RGT/London College of Music exams is Sunday 1st October.

Please note that these deadlines are the dates by which RGT need to receive the complete entries. Don't forget to include your name and tutor code with entries you submit to RGT !

Exam dates are still to be confirmed, but they usually occur around late November/early December.


Thanks

Dave