Clawhammer Banjo Tutor
- Guide Price£30 per hour
I am an experienced professional banjo player, singer and guitarist. Since graduating from Newcastle University with a first class music degree, I have toured the world performing and teaching with tours of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and throughout Europe. I also have five solo albums alongside my work with the Urban Folk Quartet and in various other line ups. I have also performed on stage or in the studio with the likes of Imelda May, the Levellers, Joss Stone and Seth Lakeman.
I have taught one to one banjo lessons at all levels for over ten years both in person and over skype/zoom which has included being the main banjo tutor for music students at Newcastle and Sheffield universities. I have also run many banjo workshops at folk festivals throughout the world and have also taught at leading American banjo camps. I have just published my first tablature book. Alongside this I have run more general music workshops in schools (both mainstream and special educational needs), at festivals and in mental health wards and care homes.
I tailor my teaching to the individual student and try to make sure the student feels at ease, has fun and makes good progress. I try and create a relaxed environment to try and minimise the anxiety that people can feel about making mistakes and their general progress - learning an instrument is not a competition or a race! In terms of what I teach, I always start by establishing the core clawhammer banjo technique. Once that is established we can start to get stuck into learning some tunes, with new techniques being introduced each time so you build up your repertoire of tricks! I try to teach so the student isn't 'tab dependent' and can learn to pick out and arrange tunes, back up tunes and song, improvise and compose.
I am a clawhammer banjo player but with a slightly unusual background. I grew up listening to Irish and Scottish folk music and heard what I now know to be tenor banjo rather than 5 string banjo but as the only banjo teacher of any kind taught 5-string clawhammer style that's what I ended up with! As a result, my approach to the style is that it can play more or less anything and need not be limited to old-time music (brilliant though that is!). I have tried a range of music on the instrument including Irish and Scottish folk, bluegrass, old-time, Eastern European tunes, Indian folk and classical and into funk, jazz and pop.