16 February 2021

After a couple of lazy weeks I recorded the next installment of Lockdown Lead Guitar today, once again featuring the awesome playing of Wet Wet Wet’s Graeme Duffin, I think this is the third entry in the series to feature my take on his playing.

The song If I Never See You Again was the first single from the ’10’ album released in 1997.

29 January 2021

Since I’m coming up on my 21st (for the second time) I’ve set up a donate page on Facebook to raise some money for the charity Help Musicians.

If you are able and have a Facebook account, I’d ask you click here and donate whatever you can.

It’s thanks to this organisation that I’ve been able to keep the lights (and the amps) on during the pandemic, and I know I’m not the only one.

Thank You.

25 January 2021

I’ve been a little lazy with updating the blog since the new year, but I have continued to make videos for the Lockdown Lead Guitar series and they are live on YouTube.

Last weeks entry in the series was Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ and used an Eggle Iommi artist model guitar from 1995.

Today I decided to go for something a little less energetic, so chose Brian May’s ‘Why Don’t We Try Again’, a song dating back to 1998 and I believe was his last solo single for almost 20 years. Sticking with the idea of using artist signature guitars, I used a Burns Brian May Special that I bought in 2003 (I think).

18 January 2021

2020 is over!!! That’s a good start to 2021 by it’s self, and I’ve added a new video to the Lockdown Lead Guitar collection, this time is a track from David Gilmour’s 2006 Album On An Island.

This is based on the main solo towards the end of the song and is interesting in that it’s changing key every two bars, moving from the E blues scale to the aeolian mode of G minor.

22 December 2020

With tier 4 covid restrictions being imposed on Scotland from December 26th, it would appear the Speedtrap reunion gig scheduled for that day won’t be happening. Hopefully we’ll be back on track for December 2021 where the guitar solos will have twice as many notes.

With this in mind I’ve decided to pluck episode 31 of Lockdown Lead Guitar from the set list.

15 December 2020

All the way back in March we thought the covid pandemic would be resolved within a few months and I thought my YouTube series of guitar solos would be lucky if it reached 10 episodes. Well… Episode 30 was uploaded last week and there has been some progress with a vaccine, fingers crossed 2021 will be better.

This one is based on a student’s request, originally by Billy Idol and covered more recently by HiM – our goal was to add some flavour to the guitar solo.

Episode 31 will be a tad more up to date… well… from this century at least.

3 December 2020

No bitching about the lack of live music today, instead I’m gonna pretend to be happy that we had some snow fall over night, since it’s December I’m only a Die Hard viewing away from agreeing it’s almost Christmas.

Musically I’m keeping myself busy learning new songs that my students have asked about, this week saw me working on an updated version of a Billy Idol track that will make it’s way onto the Lockdown Lead Guitar Playlist next week, but this week I went for something less energetic; The intro to Only When I sleep by The Corrs.

Dating back to 1997, it was only today that I found out the song featured the guitar playing and co-writing skills of John Shanks who has been heavily involved with Bon Jovi for the last decade or so, but seems to have worked with everyone at some stage.

26 November 2020

Another week with no gig news to report, and with out local area moving into tier 4, we’re pretty much locked down again.

Too keep myself sane, relatively speaking, I decided to tackle some Scottish pop from 2007 for this week’s Lockdown Lead Guitar; it’s my take on the solo from Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Too Many People’, originally played by the awesome Graeme Duffin – and his recent solo album is well worth a listen if you’re looking for something less poppy and beautifully executed.

The backing was sequenced in Pro Tools, and all the guitar parts were direct recorded with a Line 6 POD Pro.

18 November 2020

Lockdown Lead Guitar episode #27 is on YouTube, this one was inspired by a student asking about the song, so it felt like a little self indulgent improv was in order.

The original version of the song from JJ Cale dates back to 1975, with the Clapton version appearing 2 years later. The version of the song I know best is from the ‘One More Car One, More Rider’ live album released in 2002. While I like the choice of material on the album, my feeling has always been that Clapton’s playing lacked some of the fire and energy that was apparent in his playing in the late 80s and through the 90s – I’m thinking specifically of the 24 Nights album and the first Crossroads concert at Madison Square Garden where his playing was, in my opinion, outstanding.

Love him or loathe him, and I know people that go both ways, Clapton’s playing has been a massive influence on a generation of guitar players, and that can’t be a bad thing.

10 November 2020

No gig updates to share just at the moment, however there appears to have been some progress on a Covid vaccine, so just maybe thing will start to improve, with that in mind, yesterday I recorded the next installment of Lockdown Lead Guitar

This time I’ve gone right back to the start of the Speedtrap set list from 2002; while it wasn’t the first song we played live (that was Radio Gaga), this was probably the first on we played as a group and is still in the set list when we get together for our annual reunion gig – currently booked for December 26th, but we’re unsure if it’ll actually happen this year.