Where it began
I was born in leafy Surrey and from an early age I was brought up listening to rock music, from Nirvana to Greenday, Linkin Park and Muse, which is probably the reason I am so passionate about music.
My interest in learning to play the guitar was influenced by my childhood friend Jacob, I started taking lessons at Musicland East, in Molesey and from the moment my guitar teacher James taught me how to play Sunshine of Your Love, I was hooked.
Oddly, before this, I never had any intention to actually pick up a guitar! In 2009 on my sisters 8th birthday, she received a classical nylon string guitar and vouchers for guitar lessons at Musicland East. Lucky for me time, she was too shy to take the lessons, so I said I'll take the lessons for her and then teach her what I learn. To the present day, I still haven't given her a lesson yet. Sorry Sis!
Where it took off
My guitar teacher, James, at Musicland East James introduced me to wide range of music styles and genres. However, it was the electrifying sounds of Eric Clapton, The Beatles and AC/DC that sparked my passion to learn more.
Although I picked it up quick, I put the time and effort into practising every day and after only 3 weeks of playing, I performed at a school talent show and loved the feeling of performing in front of others…. I was hooked.
Shortly after, the classical nylon string guitar was soon replaced with my very first electric guitar. This really inspired me to practice even more, as I wanted to sound like Matt Bellamy from Muse and Angus Young from AC/DC.
Where it developed
Much to my neighbours’ despair, I kept on practicing and learning and it was when I turned 13 I got my first Fender guitar, which was a dream of mine. It was a shiny red Fender Modern Player Blacktop Telecaster HH, as James, my Guitar teacher used a telecaster, and I'd grown to really like that style. From this point I started to practice a lot more, and I knew I wanted to take this more seriously.
I learnt as many of my favourite guitar solos, pushing myself to learn the next most difficult thing for me. I went through a phase of learning a lot of Slash, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmore, Jimmy Page, the list goes on, I was obsessed. I was also getting into pedals, but I wasn't happy with my raw sound coming from a solid-state amp, and so then I got my very first tube amp, a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, which I still use today. I loved the sound, and it gave me the tones I've always been after.
Where I started to teach
At age 15, I got myself my first Fender American Stratocaster, as I wanted to sound like Jimi Hendrix (if anyone else could), A Fender American Special Stratocaster HSS.
I also started working Saturdays, behind the counter, at the guitar shop Musicland East, where I sold guitars, strings, and dealt with restringing.
In my spare time, I worked towards successfully achieving my Grade 8 in electric guitar grade. Shortly after I was over the moon when and I was offered a place to teach at Musicland East… I was being paid to play!
Working at Musicland East opened the doors to meeting other musicians which gave me my first paid live performance opportunity… I was being paid more to play! I playing weddings, Birthdays and events from 16 years old, and this gave me a lot of experience in building my confidence and playing with a band. Being paid to do what you love was amazing.
Where the career started
As I was getting more serious with music, I decided to take this further and studied A level music and BTEC Music Tech at Esher College 2016-2018, which opened up new areas of music to me, and also taught me how to record guitar and other instruments.
During this time, I was working on classical guitar with my teacher which improved my sight and sheet music reading, and my college friends who were sax and keyboard players introduced me to jazz. This moment really opened my eyes on what someone can play and gave me new concepts and ideas I could use to add to my past rock and blues back catalogue. I learnt about new scales, chords and changes which weren't always as common in the music I was playing.
After college, I decided to move to Brighton to Study a 3 Year course at BIMM Brighton to further pursue my career path.
Since then, I have been drawn in to Pop, RnB, and Jazz Fusion. As well as studying Gospel players and trying to apply their styles in to the way I play. As my time in Brighton grew longer, I was expanding my network, creating new opportunities to play for artists, function bands, and record sessions.
To the present day, I continue to grow as a musician, and expand my network…. Watch this space.
I'm always trying to learn as much possible, and being as open minded possible to all different genres has helped in my journey in progressing as a musician. This selection of names have been very important, since picking up the guitar, leading to now.
Frontman/Guitarist/Vocalist/Pianist of Muse
Matt Bellamy was one of the reasons why I wanted to pick up the guitar. With innovative guitar parts, creative sounds, in the context of rock, it made me want to be able to do that. Muse were the first band I ever saw live, being at the O2 Arena in October 2012.
Guitarist of Guns'n'Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash
Slash was probably one of the biggest influences on my lead style of guitar playing. I went through a phase of learning as many of his guitar solos that I could discover, as I believe he writes some of the best! This crossed over into my own playing, and he is very important in my progression as a guitarist.
Jason Becker is a guitarist that I only discovered during music university. I heard Altitudes for the first time and thought it was out this world, it was something I never heard before. I wanted to be able to play something like that, bet never could. I dedicated and spent on estimate around 1000 hours in learning the song which then I could finally play that song which I thought I would not have been possible. This had a massive change to my mindset on what can or can't be achieved, and it's more about putting in the time, and being as consistent as possible. What also inspired me was how he went about still creating music, despite having ALS, meaning he could never play guitar again. Making the most out of any situation regardless of what the limitations are.
Guitarist of Pink Floyd
I discovered David Gilmore during my guitar lessons, when my teacher James introduced me to the first guitar solo in comfortably numb. I thought it sounded amazing, which also challenged me at the time. This led me to hearing covers of the ending solo online, opening the door resulting in me learning alot of his famous solos.
Guitarist of Queen
Brian May has been an influence even before picking up the guitar. Hearing songs such as 'we will rock you' which have stuck since early childhood, and that guitar sound is what made the guitar appear as cool to me. Getting this personal autograph from him was a massive deal, and has motivated me to keep working harder.
Guitarist for Justin Bieber/Julesthewulf
When I discovered Julesthewulf, it was during my studies at music university. I loved the use of styles such as Rock, Gospel, Fusion in the musical context of Pop and RnB. His current sound has been a massive influence and he has been important in my development as a guitarist.
Eddie Van Halen
Guitarist of Van Halen
One of my favourite guitarists, listed as one of the greatest. His innovation to playing is what made guitar become even more exciting. I discovered him when I saw a cover of eruption online which went viral. I thought it was the best thing I've ever seen, but I'd never be able to do that. Since then putting in the time, I can play it, but I don't think anywhere near as well as the cover I saw, or the legend himself!
Lead Guitarist of AC/DC
I first discovered AC/DC within my first few weeks of playing, my childhood friend, Jacob introduced me to the song 'Highway to Hell' which he learnt from his guitar lessons at Musicland East. It was such a catchy and fun tune to play, leading me to hearing 'Back in Black'. When I received the album, I loved the lead guitar solos, and are some of the most memorable solos for me. Even seeing AC/DC references and songs being played in the film 'School of Rock' was massively inspiring as a kid. Learning these became a massive part of my development.
As many regard, the best to ever live, he is the guitarist who inspired all. From my early days of discovery, to my massive phase at 13 where I learnt all his top songs, and nearly the whole of axis bold as love album note for note. He was a massive part in my development. This poster was on the wall where I had my very first guitar lesson at Musicland East, which a few years later was given to me, and has been on my wall where I practice at home since.
Guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
I was instantly drawn to John's style, as he had a lot of Jimi Hendrix's elements in his playing, giving me more material to learn. Similarly I had a phase of learning as many songs, live versions and solos possible, wanting to sound like him. This also opened the door to genres such as funk, which I wasn't as familiar with at the time. The stadium arcadium album with Dani California was a massive song in my learning, from all the guitar parts, and the great solo at the end!
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