I’ve been playing guitar and writing music for many years. It goes back to when I was around 9 years old and my brother had a keyboard for Christmas. Even though it was his present, I used to play it more then he did. I would often sit and work out a variety of tunes by ear until I had them perfected.
Despite not having any keyboard tuition, I believe those early days of messing around helped develop my ear and listening skills. When I finally got a guitar at around the age of 15 I was eager to start writing my own songs, so it wasn’t long before I had formed my first band. We changed line-ups and names many times until we became known as Lavatane.
Whilst playing in the band I was also on a sound engineering course so I could further study the mechanics of recording and live sound. At one of our first gigs we were noticed by a guy from the BBC who asked us to play at the BBC live festival. From here we got our first live radio interview and did our first outdoor gig, it was a good experience for us. Unfortunately the band didn’t stay together long due to different factors and we all went our separate ways. After this I went to Walsall college for 2 years to learn more about music, especially the performance and studio side of things.
During those 2 years I learnt a great deal as I spent most of my days jamming with various people of different styles. We had guitar, piano and drumming tuition from respected professional players. Incidentally the drum tutor I had was Steve Palmer, the brother of Carl Palmer from the iconic prog rock band ELP (Emerson Lake and Palmer). After I left college I started doing gigs in and around Wolverhampton town. It was around this time that people started asking me if I’d give them guitar lessons, and that was the start of my journey into guitar tuition. It has been an immensely rewarding experience seeing peoples skills develop over the years.
Me with Duff Mckagan, the bassist from Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver.