I have been working on several solo jazz arrangements recently, in particular with one of my favourite songs of all time: ‘Georgia On My Mind’. I’ve always loved this melody and have really enjoyed the challenge of bringing all the different lines together into a solo arrangement. It’s still a work in progress so more to come!
I’m very excited to see that my music is now featured on French TV several times a month! The track used is called ‘Uneasy Dreams’ and is part of the soundtrack for ‘Entre Ciel Et Terre: Jordanie’ – currently broadcast on channels such as TV5Monde and Ushuaia TV.
This programme investigates the mysterious Lost City of Petra – a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders Of The World’.
It’s not very straightforward to watch it in this country (although you may find it online), and so I hope my French friends enjoy it! If I find a way, I will make sure to share any clips.
Also look out for any clips from ‘Open Skies’ – A Czech Republic TV show that has picked up the same composition.
PLEASE TURN ON SUBTITLES IF REQUIRED. This is a BSL video that I have created to let Deaf students know that they are welcome in my music lessons. My main teaching areas are guitar, bass and music production and I am currently a level 4 BSL student.
I have been teaching, composing and performing music for over ten years. However, as I am new to teaching Deaf students I am offering the 1st lesson free so students can check that they are happy first (afterwards the fee is £30 per hour or £15 per half hour).
For more details please explore my website and you can contact me via: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I’m very excited to say that I’ve now finished my introductory Blues course!
Designed primarily for students in school year groups 5 – 9, it is also likely to prove useful for instrumental tutors as well as higher ages.
You can buy/download it by clicking HERE.
Download FREE preview files from ‘The Boogie Monster’ here: [media-downloader media_id=”135682013″ texts=”‘The Boogie Monster’ 12 Bar Blues – preview files zipped”]
A fun and rocking course that includes high-quality audio tracks, scores (including guitar and bass tab) and an accompanying power point presentation.
It works through fundamental aspects of the 12 bar Blues and includes 7 practical exercises in the key of E (one of the most common keys in all Blues music). In detail it covers the following:
– Brief History of Blues music
– 12 Bar Blues structure
– Blues ‘groove pattern’
– Blues walking basslines
– Straight and Shuffle rhythms
– Blues ‘turnarounds’
– Call and Response improvisation
– Improvising with the Major pentatonic scale
– Final piece combining all elements above
– Suggestions for how to compose a Blues piece
– 10 professionally recorded Mp3 files including examples and backing tracks
– 7 scores with additional tab for guitarists and bassists
I hope this course is helpful for your lessons and please contact me if you have any questions!
Clip art in ‘The Boogie Monster’ created by:
I am pleased to say that in addition to my normal music production tuition, I now offer training in grades 1-5 of Rockschool Music Production – the world’s first graded syllabus of its kind!
The syllabus is very comprehensive and most importantly enjoyable. It covers a variety of skills and knowledge, from working with virtual instruments and editing samples/loops, to miking up guitars, vocals etc. and mixing and editing audio – all the skills you need to bring your ideas to life! To find out more about the syllabus check out: https://www.rslawards.com/music/music-production
To read more about my music production tuition, rates, times etc., check out the following page of my website: Music Production
After 5-10 years of hiking in Britain and New Zealand and 3-4 years of writing songs about those adventures, I have finally finished my EP ‘On Mt Luxmore’.
All the songs are about some of my favourite places in the world, from ‘Lily Tarn’ (the instrumental of my EP), which is about a spot on Loughrigg Fell, The Lake District to ‘On Mt Luxmore’, which describes the stunning Fiordland in New Zealand.
Some of these songs have sat waiting to be finished for a long time, mainly because inspiration is a fickle thing, but thankfully this summer the ideas have come thick and fast and I recently enjoyed a 12 hour day in the studio – it’s hard to stop sometimes!
I’ve also collaborated with my girlfriend Hannah Watts who provided the flute playing on ‘Lily Tarn’, so with that song expect something a little different than my normal folk/rock sound. In short expect folk, not rock on that one!
Here is a trailer featuring short clips of every track on the EP:
Here is the link to the pre-order:
My work with Roman Fields School student Ryan (who has only just finished GCSEs) is always so exciting – he seems to never stop coming up with new ideas for songs and has already created 4 tracks this term for his demo CD. One of his top influences is the Hard Rock band Avenged Sevenfold, although his music shows inspiration from other styles too including Orchestral/Classical music and a little touch of Jazz!
Although I’ve already shared one of his songs, the other 3 are far too good to stay hidden away. So here are all of his songs so far – enjoy and please share around!
‘Architect of Decay’
‘Dusk til Dawn’
‘Blinded by Reality’
‘Poisoned by Words’
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of my job is teaching at Roman Fields School in Hemel Hempstead. I currently work several times a week there with two very talented students, who both love to turn up their guitars nice and loud and play rock music – always a good thing!
One of these students, Ryan, who is currently taking his GCSEs, has been learning music production with me and has been working on a variety of hard-rock inspired compositions. This week we ‘mixed down’ his latest track and it’s seriously impressive! Please click on this link to have a listen: ‘Blinded By Reality’
Ryan has only been playing for just over 2 years and has already come such a long way in that short amount of time. Check out his solo in the track above (2:24 minutes in) to see what I mean – Steve Vai would be proud!
Please ‘like’ and/or ‘share’ his video and look out for more of his tracks on Youtube soon…
I’ve been playing around with a few song ideas in recent months and last weekend was a big and unexpected dose of inspiration. Fortunately I had time to take advantage of it and so moved into the studio and finished my track ‘On Mt Luxmore’.
It’s a song about a hike I went on in New Zealand that besides being stunningly good looking, came at a pivotal time in my life. It had such a profound and restorative effect on me, that I decided to go on many more similar adventures over the coming years. I hope you enjoy it and for those who are interested here are the lyrics:
‘On Mt Luxmore’
In a hut on the top of the world
I spent some time with my friends
In a lawless and beautiful land
Where history belonged only to the hills
And I’ll never forget the sun setting
Over the mountains of Fiordland
Nor the feeling that I was content
Not four walls but a timeless home
I felt that there was nothing left but the view ahead
Just this, no past to trouble my soul
Stepping above the clouds
Was to leave all memories below
Fresh as the emerald fire
Sweeping over the fellside
The untouched wilderness
Stripped me to my purity
Earlier than I can express
Where I have always been
I felt that there was nothing left but the view ahead
Just this, no past to trouble my soul
The following are some tips on staying motivated in the early stages of learning guitar. It can be a tough instrument, particularly where you’re starting out and so I hope these ideas will inspire and help keep things fun for you!
- Learn easier arrangements of your favourite songs. It can seem like a long road learning to play the songs of your guitar heroes. However there are some great books that carefully adapt classic tracks to be beginner friendly and yet still sound close to the originals. A couple of examples are Trinity’s Rock and Pop series and Hal Leonard’s ‘Graded Guitar Songs’. And no, sadly I’ve not been paid to recommend those books.
- Keep listening to new music. Not only can this renew inspiration, but it also develops your musical ‘ear’ by familiarising you with new forms of harmony, rhythms, styles of playing etc. If you’d like some ideas, here is a totally biased list featuring some of my favourite guitarists: Jeff Beck, Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Guthrie Govan and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
- Improvise. For me this is one of the most expressive and satisfying ways to play the guitar. It’s a bit like being given a palette of paints and a canvas and being told to do what you like – wonderful! It also helps keep things feeling fresh in your practice routine so that you’re not simply going over the same scales, riffs etc. all the time. Even if you only have minimal scale knowledge you can improvise; it is not just for advanced players. There are online guides to improvisation and countless backing tracks on Youtube for you to solo over.
- Set targets and rewards. I owe one of my students thanks for this idea, as he recently told me that he was keen to buy a new guitar but wanted to create a target that he would have to reach first. I think this is a great idea and a good target could be learning to play a certain song. Of course a reward can be as small or as big as you like – from a new plectrum to a new amplifier.
- Play with others. If you’re lucky enough to be learning alongside someone else (as I was when I started), then you can spur each other along and share in your frustrations and successes. If not, there are other options such as jam nights and open mic nights where even if you don’t feel comfortable performing, you can meet other guitarists and share advice, enthusiasm etc.
- Use Apps. A few of my students are using apps to help them with guitar practice at the moment and there seems to be plenty to choose from. A quick search online brought up this list: www.guitarworld.com/25-best-guitar-and-music-apps Having a database of chords, licks, scales, songs etc. on your phone sounds pretty cool to me!
- Keep track of progress. The initial stages of learning guitar can be a challenge and so to keep perspective you could try measuring your progress. This way you can see how you are improving and aren’t as likely to feel ‘stuck in a rut’. One example for this is practising in time to a metronome to see how the speed of your playing is increasing. Another idea from world-famous tutor Justin Sandercoe relates to one of the most common problems for beginners – changing between chords quickly. He calls it ‘one minute changes’ and for this you write down how many times you can change between two chords in one minute. Then when you manage to beat your record you can see for yourself that you are progressing.
tomhunt.co.uk 2015 (c)