Music and Acting

Domain Buddy Interests in Music and Acting, Guitars. Singing, Amateur Theatre. Open Mics. Performing

Music, Performances, Open Mics, Jazz Workshops, Record Producer

Weekend Warriors - How to form a live Band in Six Weeks

I had always fantasised about playing in a “live” band, and in 2001, I signed up for the Weekend Warrior course with ICMP London – The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

The ICMP was originally known as the Guitar Institute and has modern offices with professional studio facilities and classrooms for music students, and is situated in Dyne Road London NW6

One of the courses they ran was known at the time as “Weekend Warriors”, and my fellow group of applicants included amateur singers, guitarists, bass guitarists, drummers and some keyboard players. The organisers then formed a number of complete “bands” from amongst the applicants by matching instruments and talent.

Once you had your fellow band-members. it was then up to each band to decide on four or five “numbers”, and then perform those songs in The Luminaire, a “live” venue, which was a well known music club close to the studios. Each band had six weeks to rehearse and practice, and could use the studio facilities at Dyne Road and get professional advice at any time from the resident musicians. I was on rhythm guitar and vocals

It was another very interesting experience for me, and highlighted some of the problems which can arise in music when there is a “team” situation, and differing levels of skill, but we got through to perform the numbers together at the venue, and I have a Video evidencing the performance. Let me just say that I have not played the Video for many years, and I think I could probably do a better job now! But I had crossed another “to do” item off my list, and it had been very educational!

Open Mics and Why they are Important

In my opinion, open mics are the “life blood” of amateur music, and the definition given by Wikipedia is pretty accurate in my experience.

In the SW London area, there were a number of open mics available to attend and perform at, and the venue was usually a pub. Most of the audience are either fellow musicians or friends, and generally very forgiving, and very generous – however bad the rendition – and they understand that open mic performers are not professionals!

The plus point for the performers is that it gives one the chance to perform new or old songs, with their own unique arrangement and style, and it provides the experience of, and adrenalin rush involved in, a “live performance”.

Because I had previously invested in my own audio equipment – speakers, amplifiers microphones etc. – so that I could practice at home, I was in a position to set up an independent “open mic”, and so I did, and it ran for a year or so – starting at the The Coach and Horses Pub in Barnes.

This was a very friendly pub, and had a separate private room large enough to be used for events like the open mic. Just down the road in Barnes were other popular pubs, some of whom also provided “live music” – the Bull’s Head being one example.

So I became the “roadie” and organiser for the “open mic” and invited friends from both BCP and Andy Walpole’s RACC workshop to attend. It was held once a month and great fun to organise and perform at.

A little later, I moved the venue to the Richmond Lawn Tennis Club, which was also more convenient for the guys and gals from RACC. After a year or so, I had other priorities: with no-one available to take over the organisation of the open mic, I closed it down.

One long established open mic is the Teddington Acoustic Music Club, extremely well run by Jeff Porter, and I attended and performed there on a number of occasions.

My chum David Day had his own favourite “watering holes” which encouraged live music, where he would perform Jazz songs with a group of jazz musicians in the Open Mic style, and these pubs included the Brewery Tap in Brentford. I did participate very occasionally!

Shireen Francis - Singing Classes and Workshops

Shireen Francis is an accomplished professional jazz singer who has performed regularly at London venues – quoting from her own website: “London based jazz vocalist Shireen Francis has developed her own unique blend of jazz with flavours of gospel, blues calypso and reggae.  Performing with some of the country’s top jazz musicians, the combination of Shireen’s stunning expressive voice coupled with her natural musicianship has delighted audience all around the world”.

I can confirm that she is not only a talented singer, but also a very nice person and a very good teacher. After teaching jazz singing via workshops at the RACC – I did not attend at that time but I had heard about her workshops – she started her own singing courses and workshops in 2008 using the idyllic Barnes Green Centre in Barnes as the Venue, and Michele and I started classes with her in about 2009/2010.

By this time I was a little more confident about my own singing abilities: her class consisted of mostly women who had much more experience than I did! Shireen made her courses extremely interesting: apart from the songs chosen for us to perform (mostly jazz based) – there was always a professional musician in support, sometimes a pianist, sometimes a double bass player and sometimes a drummer. At the end of the course, we had all three – a full professional trio to back our songs – just like one’s own band! 

Apart from learning more about the particular instruments and their role in a jazz trio, Shireen also explained how to “count in” the band and how important it was to discuss beforehand – as examples – the key, the tempo and the style you wanted as the singer, and how to maintain the “connection” with the musicians.

I learnt a great deal from Shireen’s workshops, and appreciated her professionalism, which undoubtedly helped me to better understand what was required in order to become a more competent musician.

How I Became a Record Producer

Some time in the early ’80s. I was on holiday in Ibiza with my first wife Rosie and my son Russ. We met another family at the time, Len and Carol Hawkes with their three children – Chesney, Jodie and Keely. Len “Chip” Hawkes was both vocalist and the bass player from 1965 for the well known Pop Band The Tremeloes, who probably achieved most fame for their UK Hit Single “Silence is Golden”

We got on well – Carol was very attractive, and I think Rosie had a crush on Len, who was most charming. After we returned to the UK, we were invited to their home in Sunningdale, Ascot, which was a very expensive house that Len afforded through the Band’s earlier success. At this time in his life, Len was out of work – in other words, not in a working Band – as we would say today “asset rich, cashflow poor”. 

Amongst his many talents, Len had a gift for songwriting, and he had recorded a few new songs in his home studio that he wanted me to hear. Amongst these new songs was a number called “Seventeen” and to cut a long story short, I agreed to finance him and try to get the new song “into the charts” as an independent label. The record was to go out with the singer as stage name or  pseudonym “Maxwell Silver“.

We formed a company called Broomfield Music Ltd, with the record label also as Broomfield Music, cut the Master Tape for the song and went into limited production with several thousand record “singles” for distribution and marketing to local radio stations etc. The printing process, where the records were pressed and labelled, was a new and interesting experience for me.

The key to the success for any new song at the time lay in “plugging” -i.e. persuading radio show presenters and other music outlets to play the “indie” record “on air” – and this area of marketing was very much down to Len’s own contacts built up through his years in the music industry.

Unfortunately, the song did not make the charts – although I did think that it had a chance: but without a very large budget for enough plugging/marketing it is rare for any song to succeed.

After this, our friendship and relationship fizzled out, although I have watched with some interest the progress of each of the talented Hawkes children, and Len’s own recent “comeback” tours.

Making Music in a Private Recording Studio

One of the things on my “to do” list was to record some songs with the help of a professional musician. After I had been in Crete for one or two years, I met up with Phil Harrison, who was exactly that – a professional musician. Not only was he living locally, but he owned a 160 Track Recording Studio, and his fees were very reasonable.

I gave Phil a list of songs that I had always wanted to record – most of them “Golden Oldies” where the instrumentation was pretty basic – and we set about recording the songs, with Phil providing the arrangement and the vast majority of the playing (he is proficient on most things including Guitar and Keyboards). After each session he would mix the tracks and add harmony and whatever else he thought necessary: if he thought I should re-record a vocal, I would do so until it sounded reasonable.

I should say again that I do not think I have any great talent as a singer, and for these particular recordings, my aim was to sound like the original artist rather than try to impose my own style.

Many many thanks to Phil Harrison for such a professional job.

Song List (also on SoundCloud under domain buddy)

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Amateur Theatre and Experiences

Barnes Charity Players

While involved with the Singing Course at the RACC, Michele and I discovered that Deirdre was also very involved with a local Theatre Group in Barnes called the Barnes Charity Players (BCP), now called the Barnes Community Players who were very active and put on two or three shows a year and a Christmas Pantomime.

Shorly after we had joined Deirdre’s class, BCP was holding auditions for their next production, and I persuaded Michele to attend and audition for a part in the play. I remember that Darrol Blake was the Director, and I went with her as “support crew” and observer, with no intention whatsoever of taking part. As it turned out, there was no role available for Michele but I was offered a minor role in the production! Although I did not accept the role – because of work commitments – the “stage was set” and Michele and I enrolled into BCP and were both involved in many of the productions over the next 10 years. 

How BCP works

In 2000, BCP was a very friendly group of players who mostly lived locally to Barnes in London’s SW13 district. The aim is to raise money for local charities through ticket sales for the various productions that BCP produce. There is a Committee who decide on the Production schedule and which Charities receive donations, and they report to the BCP members. The productions are performed in a number of local venues, including Kitson Hall and the OSO Arts Theatre – see photo – and the Barnes Methodist Church. The OSO Centre is also used for smaller productions, various meetings and parties. The favourite local “Watering Hole” in my day was the Sun Inn 

Principal Players at BCP

I cannot remember all the Players, and so my apologies for any omissions, but these BCP members were particularly important and/or memorable to me and I enjoyed their company as directors, fellow actors and socially. Some have moved on from BCP, but where possible I have included a link to their social media profile.

Fergus and Phyllis O’Kelly
– I was very sorry to hear that Fergus had died very recently. Fergus and his wife Phyllis were the beating heart of BCP in my time there, and made me feel very welcome. I shall miss his professionalism, wonderful singing and engaging acting. Sadly missed.

Deirdre O’Kelly
Deirdre is supremely talented as both singer and actress, and also as a Musical and Stage Director. Always patient, she knew how to get the best out of her less talented colleagues.

Amanda Harker
– Amanda is absolutely essential to the success of BCP, and I am so glad to see that she is now on the Committee. A professional dance instructor, trainer, costume designer, in my view she held many of our joint productions together with immense skill and patience. Her efforts at turning a rabble into a group of passable dancers for any particular routine required in any one BCP show defy rational explanation!  

Darrol Blake
– When Darrol retired as one of the BBC’s leading Designers and Directors, BCP was fortunate enough to attract his attention and his services as Director to many of the shows. In my time, I remember him as a charming individual, although sometimes in the habit of forgetting that he was directing amateurs and not professionals.

Keith Perry
– Keith is a wonderful actor and fine Director. Quietly spoken and modest he was a teacher at the time, and no doubt used to dealing with motley crews of children, which required supreme patience. He brought this talent to BCP and I greatly enjoyed working with him.

Susan Conte
– Susan is absolutely passionate about anything involving arts, theatre, film and productions and a very nice and talented individual. Extremely encouraging, I worked with her as the Director in my last appearance at BCP as an actor. She is linked with BCP, Hampton Hill Theatre and the Richmond Shakespeare Society, and is currently the Artistic Director and Founder of her own Wild Duck Theatre.

David Day
I have said a lot more about David elsewhere and he is one of my closest friends to this “day”! Always modest, he brought humour into every production and made the long hours of rehearsal in cramped conditions infinitely more bearable!

Marc Pearce
– When I first met Marc, he was only 24, but you could tell from his work ethic that he was determined to succeed! Highly gifted, he was interested in all forms of theatrical work, from acting and singing to stage production and directing. He had the “lead” in several shows, and we resumed our friendship at St Michael’s Players in Chiswick.

Fleur de Henrie
– Fleur is another very talented actress and singer, and at the time was very attached to Marc Pearce. It seems that they are now married – belated congratulations! Fleur also joined St Michaels Players and I remember that we were co-actors in one or two shows, where she had the starring role.

Martin Wright
– Martin is a very nice bloke, but I always had the impression that we were in some form of competition for roles in the various BCP shows! We did perform in various shows together – notably My Fair Lady as two of the four Costermongers – and he was extremely good.

Andrew Lawston
– Andrew was another “youngster” at the time I was involved with BCP and I remember him as a very talented co-actor and a bit of a “cheekie chappy”!

Patrick Van den Bergh
– Patrick I remember as a more serious individual. Another fine actor, he had a slight accent, which meant that he had an unfair advantage for some roles!

John and Chris Mounsey
– The only father and son pairing at BCP, both Mounseys were great characters. John was educated at Eton, but despite that (!) he was great fun, with a mischievous sense of humour. I was in several plays with John, and one with Chris: both are fine actors and good company.

Personal Performances and Recollections

I think that the best BCP production that I was involved with was “My Fair Lady”, starring Basil – a professional actor – as “Henry Higgins” – and Deirdre O’Kelly as “Eliza Doolittle”. The Director was Darrol Blake, and the Choreographer was of course Amanda Harker. I think most of BCP were involved one way or another, with Fergus O’Kelly as Alfred  Doolittle and Marc Pearce as Freddy and in my view it was a great success.

Some years after My Fair Lady, and with a little more acting experience “under my belt” I was very fortunate to be asked by Deirdre to be the lead in the next BCP production which she was directing. The Play was “Blithe Spirit”, based on the Noel Coward novel. The producer was Susan Conte, Marc Pearce our set designer and I had a great supporting cast which included John Mounsey as the Doctor, and professional actress Jane Sherwin as Madam Arcati. To watch our version of this story, please select Blithe Spirit by Barnes Charity Players

Private Video Recordings and Personal Problems Resulting
OR “No Good Deed goes Unpunished”

Over the years that I was with BCP, I had always thought that it was a shame that all the effort and energy that went into putting on one production which lasted only for one week would be consigned to history and not remembered. Not only that, but the actors  in the play would be the only people unable to judge and view their own performances. And so – out of my own pocket – I arranged for some of the shows to be captured on Video. The list of previous BCP shows recorded includes Peace in Our Time, Top Girls, Salad Days, A Midsummer  Night’s Dream and – finally – Blithe Spirit.

As a small personal gift to those most closely involved with Blithe Spirit, I arranged for extra copies to be printed. However, a rather unseemly squabble arose as to who actually received the Videos, and why others did not, and I was held to blame. Apparently, by not distributing the Video to the entire supporting crew, I was devaluing or not appreciating their contribution.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. At BCP we all contributed to each show in our different roles. I did not have an acting role in many of the shows – and only in one of the 5 shows that were videoed – and I often contributed off-stage in a “support” role but did not expect to receive a gift: and I had the opportunity to watch both the rehearsals and the “live” show. The gifts were meant for my fellow actors in Blithe Spirit who did not otherwise have an opportunity to judge and remember their own performances.

It seemed to me to be a totally unnecessary reaction to what was meant in the nicest possible way, and led directly to my joining St Michael’s Players, which was in any event much closer to my home in Chiswick.

St Michael's Players Chiswick

St Michael's Players
St Michael's Players

I read recently that St Michael’s Players in Chiswick have been going for 70 years, which must be some sort of record. The building shown in the photo was used as the Theatre, with a small room off to the right as the “dressing room” for the actors when a show was in progress. Next door to St Michael’s Church in Elmswood Road and within easy walking distance of the Copper Cow pub, it really is a very friendly group.

The Players had the same format as BCP – namely putting on 3 or 4 amateur productions a year – but differed in that the aim was not to raise money for Charity, but to “break even” financially and maybe have enough surplus to afford the occasional party for the members. I thought that this was an excellent ambition, and did my best to assist!  

Principal Players at St Michael’s

I cannot remember all the Players, and so my apologies for any omissions, but these  members were particularly important and/or memorable to me and I genuinely enjoyed their company as directors, fellow actors and socially. Some have moved on, but where possible I have included a link to their social media profile.

Jane Atkinson
– Jane was the Player’s Chairman when I first joined, and was not only a fine actress, she was also a most generous hostess, with parties at her home a regular feature. An extremely attractive and interesting lady!

Chris Hulatt
– I believe that Chris has been a Player longer than anyone – 30 years and counting! Another talented actor, ready to assist with whatever production task that was necessary and in charge of PR and membership, he is essential to the Players and a thoroughly nice individual.

Bryony Wilman
– I shall always remember Bryony as the very patient and long suffering director of many of the plays I was involved with at St Michael’s! She is of course also a gifted actress, but I remember her more for her generosity when she was directing, much of the rehearsal time being spent at her home. 

Paul Ritchie Tomkinson
– What can one say about this man? Supremely talented, ex-professional ballet dancer, choreographer, champion gymnast, writer, raconteur, actor and producer. And extremely nice into the bargain! It was great fun working with him in Amateur Theatre…

Elizabeth Ollier
– In my opinion, Elizabeth was one of the most talented actors I had the pleasure of working with, and has what it takes to be a professional. She was always modest and was great company with a sense of humour (often required in Am Dram!)

Alastair Dewar
– I see that Alastair has now succeeded Jane as Chairman: unlike most of us, he had a “proper job” in the Human Resources sector, but we never held that against him! I acted with him in a number of plays, and he was also great fun to be with.

Hampton Hill Theatre - Calendar Girls

In 2012, Susan Conte suggested that I might like to audition for an upcoming play to be performed at the Hampton Hill Theatre in Teddington: Susan was linked to the Theatre, and – if I remember correctly – had some influence over this new production which was to be a stage version of “Calendar Girls”, originally a novel, and then made famous by the 2003 film starring Helen Mirram, Julie Walters and a hugely talented support cast of other top English actors.

The role I auditioned for was the husband of one of the two female leading characters, and required a “Northern” accent: to my surprise, I was awarded the role, and rehearsals started shortly afterwards with an entirely new group of actors whom I had never met before. Michele and Susan Conte also had roles.

The Hampton Hill Theatre is a professional venue, and therefore completely different to the “am-dram” facilities I had been used to at BCP and St Michael’s. We had proper dressing rooms – not a crowded “free-for-all” changing area – and there was an auditorium with comfortable seats for the audience of 200 people: in other words, a proper theatre!

The play ran for a week, and involved a certain amount of nudity for the ladies concerned. This was the point of the story – in order to raise money for Leukaemia Research, and in memory of the “other” husband who dies from cancer, the ladies of the local Woman’s Institute decided on a daring scheme to produce and sell a nude calendar.

This of course made the Play more interesting! And in order to show support for the ladies in the cast, I wrote a short “Pete and Dud” type script, and persuaded the guys involved including Dave Dadswell (the other husband) – to put on a private performance for the girls, which involved a certain amount of male nudity!

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was probably my first and last time as an actor in a professional theatre: I think the show was well received, and I was particularly pleased when one of the audience complimented me one night after the show on my Northern accent! Thank you, Susan Conte, for giving me this opportunity! 

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How I started in Music

How I started in Music - Guitars and the RACC

My parents were not what you would call a “musical” family: there were no musical instruments in any of our homes. My mother was brought up with dance as her main artistic interest, later followed by painting (watercolours) There was music in the house, and, when he was allowed to, my father played his fairly large record collection, consisting of popular music from the ’20s ’30s and ’40s – Glen Miller, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Joe Fingers and other classics of the era. With the exception of Ballet Music, there was no classical music at all – no Beethoven, no Mozart, no Strauss for example.

So music for me was something which really started in the ’60s at school, with the musical revolution featuring Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel to name but a few, and like many other kids I rushed out to buy the latest LP from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. To be honest, the main attraction was not so much the music, but the allure of being a top artist or being in a famous band, with all the money and gorgeous girls that fame brought to them.

I never considered myself as having artistic talent, and had no aspirations of becoming a musician or an actor. For 30 years – the ’70s to the ’90s – my focus was on other things – like study and sport – and  business. So I was very much a latecomer to publicly Playing the Guitar, Singing and Acting, Performing and Theatre.

And, being honest, actual performing was a personal challenge: I wanted to experience it and see how and if I could handle the stress and the nerves. It was another way of testing myself, and avoiding the “if only…” 

Guitars and Music

How I started – Guitars Owned

The first guitar I ever owned was dreadful: it was a seven string Russian style guitar, with steel strings and was (I know now) extremely dfficult to play. However, it did not cost me anything and I came by it when I was living in my cottage in Norfolk and still serving at RAF Marham. 

At this point in my life, I had time on my hands, and no-one living nearby to complain, so I decided first to educate myself musically and buy a number of classical LPs featuring the works of the top composers (Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Berlioz etc ) but to be honest, apart from some of the better known symphonies and musical arias, I was not terribly enthuiastic.

So I decided to teach myself how to play the Guitar. I bought a number of books on the subject – “Bert Weedon” for example – and a number of magazines showing “chord” finger positions. I purchased song books which contained the lyrics and guitar chords from some of the artists, bands and songs I was familiar with – which I still have to this day. I also handwrote a lot of the songs with chord changes and breaks, and set up a very basic recording system (one hand-held tape recorder) so I could hear just how bad my singing and playing actually was! 

The second Guitar I bought for £25 was a Kimbara acoustic guitar, with nylon strings, which I still have. This was so much easier to play than the first guitar, although now I know that the “neck” is a little too wide, but with this guitar I started to make some progress – with folk music and Simon and Garfunkel songs suited to the acoustic guitar style.

Once I started working in London – first with Merchant Investors in 1975 – the time for music was more limited, although I did purchase my third guitar – a classic Fender Telecaster electric guitar – for £200 from a colleague Bob Patmore, who was a professional musician. I did not really take advantage of the opportunity to play it – leisure time was more limited and my first wife was not that supportive – and so I sold it after some months, something I now regret very much!

As many amateur musicians are aware, learning to play an instrument and the hours of practice involved to reach any reasonable standard does require both time and – if you are married or with a family – support. Unfortunately, my first and second wives were not that patient or supportive of my musical endeavours: my first wife Rosie had no musical talent and my second wife Michele had the talent, but was a bit of a musical “snob”. To be fair, I was not that good, and since I had other business and sporting interests, it was not until the late ’90s when I was working from home that I began to revisit “music”.

Sometime earlier this century – does that sound weird? – I took the decisive step into the arena of Performing Arts and Music by joining the RACC . One of the courses I enrolled in was a Guitar course Acoustic Guitar Blues and Beyond Workshop run by Andy Walpole  and as a direct result of that course, I added three more guitars to my collection.

My fourth guitar was a  Takamine which is a hybrid guitar, meaning it can be played accoustically or “plugged in” as an electric guitar, and as a steel stringed guitar, was better suited to the different types and styles of music played in Andy’s workshop. If I was performing at an open mic for example, this is my guitar of choice.

The fifth guitar was an inexpensive and basic electrical guitar which was rarely used but I had it in mind to practice with the special effects accessories and foot pedals that made such a difference to the basic sound of an electric guitar.

The sixth guitar was the most expensive at £500, and was an acoustic steel string Martin which I actually found quite difficult to play, and so it spent most of its time in the case! If nothing else, it is an investment…..

The Richmond Adult Community College (RACC) - Courses and Workshops

I became a member of the RACC in approx 2000, and as explained previously, the main reason that I joined was actually to encourage my second wife Michele to resume her interests in singing and acting, and there were a good number of courses available for “mature students” in the College .

The College is situated in Richmond, close to the Town Centre and not far from my favourite tennis club in Old Deer Park, with easy access and with a very large car park.

At the time it was the hub of a huge amount of artistic talent, talent which was provided by both the teachers and some of the “students”, many of whom were very experienced in their particular art. The first course Michele and I joined was an evening Singing Class, and our teacher was the wonderful Deirdre O’Kelly. 

The class included learning the correct techniques for singing, the breathing required, and enunciation. The songbook was classical, and designed to be with piano accompaniment, normally provided by one of the professionals at the College. We were given songs to learn which we then had to sing in front of our fellow class members – a great learning experience and possibly more challenging than the Public Speaking course I had done some years previously.

Deirdre was also running a Musical Theatre course, which combined both acting, singing and some dance, and so I bravely joined that for one season. Our production was “Cabaret”. I remember that my character as the show’s Impressario had one particular number “Money, Money, Money” We all did our best but in my opinion Deirdre deserved a much more talented cast!

There were other Singing Courses and opportunities at the College, notably the Jazz section, which had very able teachers (including Shireen Francis) and students, amongst them my good friend David Day

But the most important Course for me was the Acoustic Guitar Blues and Beyond Workshop run by Andy Walpole.

The 2 hour evening course was held weekly starting at 8 p.m. which helped those of us in the class who were working in “proper jobs”. Andy was a great teacher, very knowledgeable and very patient, and the “Class” had approximately 15 regular attendees, some of whom were themselves immensely talented and professional guitarists and songwriters (for example the very modest and talented songwriter/musician John Carter and also the artist Catherine Paver) – which was a little off-putting for the less accomplished, like myself.

Andy covered just about every style of play, and usually had a particular song to demonstrate the theme or technique which we then tried to emulate – with varying degrees of success. We were also strongly encouraged to perform our own songs, or versions of other established songs in front of the class. Since there was such a good rapport between everybody whatever the level of experience or talent, this was not as terrifying as it could have been, and this was down to Andy’s unique style and character.

I remained a member of workshop for 10 years or so, and genuinely miss the guys and girls and the social life that was part of that scene.

Justin Sandercoe

Another very important influence on my guitar playing was Justin Sandercoe 
Justin is a professional guitarist and teacher, and at the time (2003 +) was living in Chiswick close to my home. Much as I appreciated the Andy Walpole RACC course, I felt that I needed more “one on one” teaching to improve my basic skills.

Justin is a great teacher – very friendly and encouraging – with written courses and songs prepared for learning and practice. I first saw his advertisement through the Internet, and see now he has a very strong “on-line presence” with his own You Tube channel  I wish him all the very best – he certainly helped me – and recommend any aspiring guitarist to “check out” his website 

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