#3 Going viral...

So you've probably noticed that things have been a little disrupted recently and everything is shutting down etc. Unfortunately, this meant the last 2 sessions of my Beginner Guitar course in Edinburgh got cancelled....or did they? Hell no! We did it anyway via the internet! Being a massive fan of Youtube and having done a few online courses myself, I was actually quite excited by the possibility of teaching via Skype (we actually used GoogleHangouts but whatever). It wasn't without it's hitches but once everyone was logged in and we'd figured out how to not interrupt each other and cause feedback loops it was a really fun way of teaching. Even though me and the students were in different parts of town there was still a nice group feel to it all. I found this quite surprising because I'd assumed it would have felt like lots of individual interactions and would have felt a bit isolating. It was totally the opposite. So we'll be doing it again next week and probably lot's more of it in the coming months. I love the internet. Amen.

#2 Their 1st Guitar Lesson

We started our Beginner Guitar Class in Edinburgh last week - and it all went really well! We had a nice little group of 3 beginners, who were all a bit nervous at the start were but fully rocking by the end. I have to confess I was a bit nervous too. It’s been ages since I taught complete beginners and I had no idea how much material we would need and if concentration levels would last a whole hour. (I’m talking about my own concentration obviously.) But the time flew by and we covered a lot. By a lot I mean two notes and a couple of rhythms. But believe me, if you’ve never picked up the Guitar before that’s a lot. Just holding the frets and plucking the strings correctly takes a lot of concentration in the beginning – there’s a lot of fine motor control needed, not to mention your brain having to think about at-least 4 things simultaneously. It’s a miracle anyone learns an instrument at all really! But it was really fun to start laying the foundations for a new generation of Guitarists and I can’t wait for next week’s lesson…

#1 My 1st Guitar lesson:

I recently decided to start delivering a Guitar Class in Edinburgh. And getting ready for it has made me try to remember what my own first lesson was like. It was a very long time ago but I do remember it fairly well (which must mean it had an a big impact on me because I have a memory like a gold fish). Apparently since social media took over, humans now have less attention span than gold fish, but I digress, what was I saying?... My first Guitar lesson....I was 10 years old and we had recently moved house and I was settling in to my new primary school. Everything was a bit new and a bit weird and one day the teacher said me and another boy had to go to the library for something. So we went to this little room that had books on shelves and a man with a beard was sitting there with a Guitar and said he was going to teach us how to play. So we sat down and he showed us how to walk our fingers on the top 2 strings. That's the 2 thinnest ones, which are actually closest to the floor when you're sitting with the Guitar so I don't know why they're called the 'top' strings, but whatever, it was actually pretty easy and satisfying. And this guy who was really friendly and laid back and had a good beard showed us how these little blobs on lines indicated how many times to play each note and which of the two notes to play. And that was it. The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes. He told us to practice for 2 minutes everyday, and I did, and I saw him the next week and pretty much every week for the next 8 years. He was called Dr Van Spall and my life would have been very different had it not been for those 10 minutes.