My life as a musician started at around age 12, when the strings teacher at my school gave a demonstration lecture on all the string instruments he played. I knew what a violin was, the mandolin was a laugh, the banjo was loud, and the double bass was, well….
I started lessons the following week, confused and awed by this massive instrument, but riveted by its sound & feel. I started classical lessons and was roped into pretty much every ensemble at school, being the only bass player there.
A few weeks in, the only rock band in the school asked if I could play bass guitar for them. Having been assured it was ‘exactly the same strings, you just hold it different’, I said yes, and another chapter started to unfold.
My classical lessons took me to grade 8, which I passed with distinction, and after finishing school I started a Music degree at the University of Southampton, where I graduated with 1st class honours, before completing a masters degree in Music Performance. During my time at university I switched my primary focus to jazz, although I carried on being involved with classical ensembles and of course playing bass guitar wherever I could.
Since 2002, I have freelanced as a performer and teacher in Southampton and for a brief spell in London. I currently dep for a number of function bands (through Tailored Entertainment), and regularly play with gypsy jazz outfits such as The Manusa Project & Jonny Hepbir Trio. You can also find me on electric bass with Blue Commotion, as a member of singer-songwriter Nick Tann’s trio, and in the bass section for classical & contemporary concerts organised by the University of Southampton.
My teaching career started in earnest in 2001 when I started my Masters degree, as I was offered the post of bass guitar teacher at the University of Southampton, a position I’ve held since then. I’ve worked for Morley College London and Chichester College as a jazz bass teacher, and work or have worked in a number of schools (inc. The Gregg School, Cantell School, Wyvern College…) and VI Form Colleges (inc. Barton Peveril & Peter Symonds), as well as teaching a large number of private students.
Every student is unique, and I endeavour to provide lessons that reflect that. Although I insists on certain fundamentals (e.g. learning to read notation, playing with correct technique & posture, understanding elements of theory etc.), I make sure everything covered is kept relevant. This means that concepts are only introduced as and when the student is ready for them, and that the music studied is in a style the student is interested in. I move at a pace that’s comfortable for the student, and accommodate all the student’s wishes as well as I can. I have a large reserve of varied resources which I maintain and update constantly, so I can use the most appropriate materials at all times – I don’t just work out of 1 method book and insist my teachings be blindly followed!
I also have plenty of resources and materials for bass guitar players looking to start double bass and learn properly. I have and have had many students requesting this in the past, so I’m well set up for that particular request.
Bottom line is, whatever style(s) you play or want to play, whatever your current level, whatever your desired level, whatever your age, gender, musical background, hair colour, favourite food, I can help set you on the path to achieving your goals!