How to choose a guitar

November 2018

How to choose a guitar
This is a question I get asked about a lot, especially around this time of year with Christmas looming. From beginning students right through to intermediate level, 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?

Acoustic guitars: there are two general types, nylon strung and steel strung, either type can be purely acoustic or may have a pickup fitted so the sound to be amplified.

Nylon strung: generally known as 'classical guitars'. Great for young beginners, or if you specifically want to play this style of music. The strings are generally softer and have lower tension than steel strings. They come in half, three quarter and full size; even full size they are not huge instruments, so fit most people. On full size classical guitars the necks and fretboard tend to be wide and flat and generally suit a bigger hand; adults with smaller hands should look out for guitars with narrower necks such as Faith range of guitars, also some nylon strung guitars are fitted with pickups/internal mic and frequently offered with slimline necks, e.g. Yamaha.


Steel strung: sometimes called 'folk' guitars, but they are used to play many styles of music. They are fitted with bronze wound steel strings and are similar to classical guitars in that they come in all shapes and sizes. Apart from the half, three quarter, and full size models there are names given to differently built acoustic guitars; here are some of them:

Parlour - small intended for indoor performance and practice, short scale and usually sweet sounding.
00 - the standard acoustic blues guitar, small body, but a distinct punchy midrange sound.
Jumbo - medium to large size guitar as the name suggests, big bass and clear highs.
Dreadnaught - large guitars with good loud projection, developed for use outdoors
Grand Auditorium - similar to a jumbo but a more pinched waist and quite deep, original design from Taylor guitars.

Electric guitars: there are lots of different shapes, sizes, colours, makes and it can be confusing to choose your first electric guitar, but the same rules apply as for acoustics. They come in two types, solid and semi-acoustic, and in the usual range of sizes half, three quarter and full size. Check to see what is comfortable.

Travel guitars: Acoustic and electric travel guitars are made small enough to fit as aeroplane hand luggage. As with all guitars prices and styles vary a lot. If you travel a lot, or just have room for something small, these may well be a good choice. Brands to check: Acoustics: Washburn Rover, Martin Backpacker. Electrics: Steinberger, Hofner Shorty.

Three golden rules
1) Buy from a shop, not over the internet. Every guitar is different, even across the same model range, and cheaper guitars are often variable in build quality, components and the woods used.

2) Check the neck is straight (look down the strings from the tuning pegs end, the guitar neck should look straight in line with the strings); check the frets are comfortable for height and along the edges, and the action (the level of closeness the strings have to the fretboard) is low and the strings easy to press onto the fretboard.  All of these things can be fixed later but it costs money and time. If there is a guitar you want but things need doing to it ask if the shop will sort these if you agree to buy it. Note: the better shops often offer a 'free setup' as part of the sale.

3) Be wary of cheaper instruments made in China, quality control is variable and buying can be a bit of a lottery, especially if buying over the internet. Again buying in a shop will help sort these issues.

Note - Some people ask whether a solid top acoustic guitar is best... my response: try the guitar and see! Solid tops generally sound louder and project better. Laminated tops tend to be stronger, are less prone to warping and, to the player, usually sound just as good.

What makes are known to be good?
Generally as with most things you get what you pay for. Well designed and made guitars of any type will be at the more expensive end of the scale. Mid range and cheaper instruments can often be OK but, as with most products, they are built to a price point, i.e. Many companies produce a wide range of instruments to cover the price ranges, usually with a subsidiary company or brand name making the cheaper instruments.

Electrics
Fender and their subsidiary Squier
Gibson and their subsidiary Epiphone
Yamaha
Fret King
Vintage
Tokai
Godin
Ibanez
G&L
Music Man
Washburn
Hofner

Acoustics
Add all the electric guitar companies above to the following list of acoustic guitar brands:

Martin - and their subsidiary Sigma
Guild
Taylor
Takamine
Crafter
Lag
Tanglewood
Simon & Patrick - subsidiary of Godin
Seagull - subsidiary of Godin

There are many other names used on guitars in the cheaper range of guitars, mostly made in China. Always apply the 3 golden rules above regardless of how much it costs, what the salesman says etc..

Prices, prices, prices..
Assuming you are buying a new guitar, not second hand.

                              Acoustics                   Electrics
Cheap                    £75 - £200                 £90 - £200 (sometimes bundled with a practice amp)
Lower Mid            £200 - £400               £200 - £450
Upper mid             £400 - £700               £450 - £800
Expensive              £750 - £2000             £800 - £1800
Second mortgage   £2500 - £5500+        £2500 - £7000+

Recommended shops
Any shop with a good selection of instruments and knowledgeable staff. Usually specialist guitar shops. Here are a few of my local personal favourites here in London (not to say others are not good, just that I like these and have experience of them):

Ivor Mairants - Rathbone Place WC1
Hobgoblin Music - Rathbone Place WC1
Macaris - Tottenham Court Road, and Denmark St WC1
Rose Morris - Denmark St WC1
Hanks - Denmark St WC1
Guitar Guitar - Epsom (largest guitar store in Europe)
Yamaha London - Wardour street WC1
Tune Inn - St Mildreds Rd, Lee, SE London
Eric Lindsey Music - Catford SE London
Rock Bottom - London Rd, Croydon
Martin Phelps Music - South End, Croydon



Winter Jazz Course 2018

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

'includes a free 1 hour introductory lesson'


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 your inner musical ear'



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 - 3/4, 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, simple understanding of 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.

LCM Music Theory Exams 2019

London College of Music Theory of Music Exams (UK & Ireland)

Advance notice of these changes:

From the Winter session, entry for LCM Theory exams will only be available online. Please do not use the paper entry form from the website or the back of the handbooks.

Theory Exam Centres: UK and Ireland Theory exams are offered at selected public exam centres - see list on website:

Exam and Closing Dates 2018/2019 


  • Winter 2018 - Saturday 24 November 2018, 10am (closing date 8 October)


  • Summer 2019 - Saturday 15 June 2019, 10am (closing date 15 April)


  • Winter 2019 - Saturday 30 November 2019, 10am (closing date 8 October)


Further information: https://lcme.uwl.ac.uk/information/theory-exams

Looking ahead: What's happening this Autumn

Right, here we go; the summer break is well and truly out of the way, (it's been the longest hot summer here in London since 1976!) so time for me to tell you about what's coming up from this month (September) at Dave Bold | Guitar:

The fabulous Mo-Bo Duo (me n Rich) are working on a brand new project, can't say too much at this stage but for some gigs we'll become a 3 piece. Expect new tunes as well as the regular standards, blues, bop funk n pop folks like us to play.  Also a new recording is planned and a new residency is likely in mid Autumn.


I'll be introducing a new guitar lesson pathway in the early Autumn, called Fretboard Navigation, to help budding guitarists find their way around the guitar fretboard. I've mulled over how to teach this skill over quite a while now, with bits of it often being drip fed to my current students. I've decided it should be it's own a specific pathway with set outcomes.  It will also feature videos and an eBook as backup resources... so... watch this space!


Meanwhile in the Green Chain Quartet, we are working on some new tunes to our extensive blues/jazz/boogaloo repertoire which will add to the fun. We'll be back at BNN's in the Autumn and talk of a possible new residency in SE London.

Here's looking forward to a great Autumn :-)

Dave

Meantime Road Runners - Blackheath Bandstand, Greenwich Park - Sunday 15th July

We're no longer in the World Cup so what could take it's place? Well....what's taking it's place is Gordon Mark Webber's super soulful Meantime Road Runners are at Blackheath Bandstand in Greenwich playing some terrific summer soul, disco, funk and blues tunes for y'all on Sunday 15th July from 3pm.

So why not join us? Forget the World Cup and the Tennis (far too stressful), relax and enjoy a great summer's afternoon of live music. 

It's a lovely spot for a picnic too, and it looks like this great weather we've been having will continue... T
weet us: @davebold_guitar @GordonMarkMusic 


Road Runners.. No summertime blues for you!

Summer Strummers course returns!

Want to learn to play the guitar or ukulele this summer?  Every summer I run a 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, impressing 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, or ukulele, 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 work on.

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



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

Green Chain Quartet: Live on Hampstead Heath - Sunday 10th June

Don't forget the groove-tastic boogaloo-ist Green Chain Quartet are live on Hampstead Heath this Sunday 10th June 2018.

Funky, bluesy, boogaloo-swingy music for your soul.

Parliament Hill Fields Bandstand, Hampstead Heath: Sunday 10th June 3 - 5pm
http://www.greenchainquartet.com/2018/05/gcq-live-on-heath-sunday-10th-june.html

(very interesting history to the bandstand if you are a music fan; more at above link)

The Groovy Green Chainers on Hampstead Heath Sunday June 10th

Fab-tastic Upcoming Gigs!

I've got two up and coming live dates you may be interested in, both with the fab-tastic boogaloo-ist Green Chain Quartet, and both free.

If you like that funky, bluesy, swingy sound from the late 60s this will be your thing.



Birdie Num Nums Cafe/Bar: Sunday 3rd June, 12.30 - 3pm 
http://www.greenchainquartet.com/2018/05/gcq-live-at-bnns-sunday-june-3rd.html










Parliament Hill Fields Bandstand, Hampstead Heath: Sunday 10th June 2 - 5pm
http://www.greenchainquartet.com/2018/05/gcq-live-on-heath-sunday-10th-june.html

(very interesting history to the bandstand if you are a music fan; more at above link)

Summertime Blues Pathway

My 12 week blues pathway always seems to be popular so I'm going to keep it running throughout the Spring/early Summer.

Following on from the success of my Winter Blues and Winter Jazz courses, this blues pathway is a course that takes 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!

Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar...


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.  If you have a favourite player we can take an in depth look at their playing style and techniques to get you in their zone as soon as possible.

Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, Country Blues, Folk Blues, its your call ...


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, Smokestack Lightning 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.

Gordon Mark Webber's fantabulous Road Runners

Gordon Mark Webber's spiffing Road Runners are back at Water Station 6 in Greenwich (by Maze Hill) for the London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April.

Playing the tunes to keep the runners running and the rest of us warm! If you are running, or there to watch, give us a wave, or.... you can tweet us: @davebold_guitar @GordonMarkMusic @PhilVeacock


It's a great spot to see the runners coming through because at this point they are still pretty close together. We usually start playing at about 9.30. Hopefully see you there, as usual it'll be wonderful! Of course it will.. No, it won't rain... tsk... What?!



Road Runners.. the right way up and upside down

Practice: How often? When? What?

How often:
Learning new material: Often twice a day if you can manage it, but not for long. Break your practice time into smaller chunks and repeat them often, especially when learning new things.

....Practice while you drink tea...

When:
Ideally: When you are fresh after a great night's sleep. In reality: it often happens that we get home at the end of the day too tired to really get to grips with practicing well, if at all. Before work/school/college is a great time... set your alarms 20 minutes earlier. Tea/Coffee breaks can be a useful time if you are working (buy a small travel guitar - see below - very handy if you can get 15 mins to yourself!).

Practice while you drink tea or coffee.. a great combination, constantly refocuses your mind as you have to stop to take a drink. Got a longer practice time? Try breaking it up by making a drink, taking a short walk, do a chore etc. Most things that we struggle with are easier when we take a break away from it and come back to refocus on the task.

..if you are really, really busy do this: Steal it from somewhere else..


Making time:
Making time is the biggest area that guitar students struggle with... Even if it's only a short period of say 10-15 minutes, its valuable time; and it's time well spent especially when your a beginner.  Just remembering parts of a song, strum patterns, new notes, as a refresher of what was covered last lesson.  Remember the old saying: If you don't use it, you'll lose it.. Well that applies to learning the guitar too.

So how do you make time? Well, most people can usually find 10-15 minutes in a day But if you are really, really busy do this: Steal it from somewhere else, which usually means giving up something, hopefully not too important, 20 minutes of TV, socialising, lunch hour (take a travel guitar into work) etc.,



...make a list. Keep it simple, just 3 things...


What to practice?
1) Practice the hard bits, the things you struggle with, the easy bits will take care of themselves.

2) Have a near target in mind: e.g. learn this song/scale shape/arpeggio by end the week.

3) Short list: It may seem obvious but the best way is to make a list. Keep it simple, just 3 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


Travel and Practice guitars

Typical price range in brackets
- Yamaha APXT2... (£180 - £240)
- Martin Backpacker... (£190 - £240)
- Washburn Rover...  (£150 - £190)
- Ibanez Piccolo Guitar... (£140 - £170)
- Hofner Shorty - Electric Guitar... (£105 - £120)
- Yafine Pocket Guitar / PocketStrings - the ultimate beginners practice tool?... (£8 - £22)

There are lots of others, but they are more expensive... and this really is about practice, not how nice guitars look or sound.

Saturday 24th: BSLJ Band @ The Golden Lion Sydenham

The BSLJ Band will be entertaining folks over at the Golden Lion in Sydenham on Saturday night from 9pm.

Featuring the vocals of Carole Dooley and covering a pile of Soul, Disco, Funk and RnB hits. Get your dancing shoes on and head on over!


Mo-Bo Duo - Live at the Alex! Thursday 15th March

The fantabulous Mo-Bo Duo are live at the most excellent, hip, cool, Alexandra pub in Parish Lane, Penge on Thursday March 15th 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, 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.

Mother's Day Brunch @ Birdies

Join us this Sunday, 11th March, for a Mother's Day Jazz Brunch, 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/2018/02/mothers-day-jazz-brunch-at-birdie-num.html



The GCQ: Flying with the Birds at Birdie Num Nums


The Scientific Benefits of Music

There are many benefits to learning musical instrument, or even just singing! 

Find out how music can:

  • Improve your memory - Music and musical training have also been shown to protect the aging brain and keep it healthy.
  • Help with your fitness - Listening to music releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins reduce anxiety, ease pain and stabilise the immune system. The higher the endorphin level, the lower your level of stress
  • Help you heal - Music connects with the automatic nervous system (brain function, blood pressure and heartbeat) and the limbic system (feelings and emotions).  Slower music helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, breath slower and reduce tension in the neck and back. Music is also increasingly used in therapy for brain-related injuries and diseases.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety - relaxing music helps us do just that. It's a great stress reliever. Well documented evidence also shows that casual music-making can short-circuit the stress response system and keep it from recurring or becoming chronic.
  • Improve the quality of your sleep - research suggests people who listen to music before going to bed show statistically significant improvements in sleep quality and a decrease in depressive symptoms. 

Full article and video here:

Green Chain Quartet at Birdies Sunday 11th February

I'm out this Sunday lunchtime 11th February 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


Mo-Bo Duo live at the Two Spoons bar Saturday 3rd March

The great-tastic Mo-Bo Duo return to the delightful Two Spoons bar in Honor Oak Park (just a few doors down from Honor Oak Park station); playing all your favourite tunes on Saturday 3rd March, live from 8.30pm.

It's a great place to eat, drink and they put on some excellent music (including us!)

Mo-Bo Duo back at the Two Spoons

Expect jazzy, funky pop, bebop, super cool soul-jazz and blues...

For full details see:

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

Never seen us before? Check out our sound on the Mo-Bo Duo page above for audio clips.



See you there!

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/