the food of love

‘If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.’ With these words, Count Orsino opens Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  Can love perish without music to sustain it? As a musician it is not hard to buy into that idea. When I am […]

happiness is guitar shaped

It doesnt take a Picasso to draw our attention to the shared attributes of acoustic guitar bodies and those of the human female. The classic Spanish acoustic guitar has a body with an hour glass figure and a hole in the middle. The flat-top version developed in the US is not dissimilar but tends to have slightly more generous […]

Corn Flakes in the house

This evening, myself and my two trusty cohorts will be plying our trade in this action packed cellar bar. They stop serving at 1.00am, which by English standards is l-l-late! I dont think we have ever had a dull evening here. Refreshingly, there are more or less equal parts men and women on the prowl. Its […]

Kayajingo

The songs I write and play are a mix of swing jazz type numbers, rock and roll, country, funk, old style rhythm and blues, soul, blues, folk and so on. Roots music. I like to call it Kayajingo. This is a term coined by the great Neil Thomas which I have taken to heart. For more […]

practice, practice

Today I am climbing aboard my soapbox.  Whatever I have learnt about the guitar is a direct result of time spent practicing. There are no short cuts. You can take lessons, study other guitarists, watch videos and  trawl the internet. All of these pastimes will be instructive and may well  highlight  aspects of guitar playing for you […]

axing for a new dream

I want to buy a new guitar. There is nothing the matter with my Martin. On the contrary it is more fabulous than ever. But for the various live gigs I do, it is not always ideal. It never sounds as good as when it is played purely acoustically, and not many engagements allow for […]

new strings

The instruments need new strings. I have the strings, so there is no excuse. Its one of those tasks that the minute I’ve done it, I wonder why I waited so long. But until I begin, I am filled with dread. Often I wind up waiting till there is something I want to watch on […]

street gig

Yesterday being a sunny, clear-skied morning, we took to the streets. Guitar, bass and saxophone, 2 little rechargeable amplifiers, a microphone and stand were the raw materials. The 3 of us assembled at our chosen spot at 8.30am, in order to claim the pitch. An hour then went by, drinking coffee and talking turkey, while […]

flying solo

As much as I enjoy playing with other musicians, there are drawbacks. With them I am obliged to stick to material they are familiar with. Either that, or in the absence of rehearsal time, with standard, predictable structures….12 bar blues, etc. There is a lot of detail that gets lost when a song is performed on the […]

Finger and Throat Workout

  This morning, after various duties have been discharged, there remains barely 15 minutes to lay hands on the 6 string, before I have to go off for the day.  Scales are put aside and 3 songs are sung from beginning to end. The first has a fingerstyle accompaniment, the next two involve a plectrum, and include a short […]