Performance Videos

La Rochelle Blues

Satin Doll

Sunshine Of Your Love

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Well done to Simon, Don, Jeff and Brian!

YouTube Playlist:

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Day #5 | Friday 3rd June | Performance Day

Au Revoir!

Complete Electric Guitarist Holiday - Class of 2011

Complete Electric Guitarist Holiday – Class of 2011

[L-R] Nick, Don, Brian, Richard, Jeff and Simon

Session #3

After a dip in the pool the class rehearsed for the afternoon as temperatures reached to 28°C!

Session #2 – Rehearsals

After our tea break the class rehearsed ‘Satin Doll’; both chord comping and playing the head (main melody).

Session #1 – Q&A

The class fielded questions after going through their warm up exercises.

Qs included:

  • Octaves
  • ‘Thrill Is Gone’ turnarounds
  • Maj/Min/Dom chord voicing
  • Classic rock riffs

Weather Forecast

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Day #4 | Thursday 2nd June | Modern Rock Day

Session #3 – Free Jam

The class gathered after lunch to jam through the tracks for tomorrows student performance. Simon and Richard ran through some of the changes in ‘Stormy Monday Blues’.

Stormy Blues

Session #2 – Style Focus

Today’s style focus is modern rock and the chosen track is ‘Time Is Running Out‘ by Muse, which is found on the bands 2003 album Absolution.

The track demonstrates the technical and stylistic evolution between the classic rock of the 60s and modern rock of the past 20 years.

Time Is Running Out – Muse

Session#1 – Technique Expander

The class completed their physical and technical exercises unprompted this morning. The exercises were extended to string-skipping through the positions of the minor/major pentatonic scale shapes.

Simon asked a question about a construction of Sus chords.

D Sus Chords


  • D Maj – D F# A (R, 3, 5)
  • D Sus2 – D E A (R, 2, 5)
  • D Sus4 – D G A (R, 4, 5)

Weather Forecast

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Day #3 | Wednesday 1st June | Intro to Jazz Day

Today was a half-day with some students visiting La Rochelle after lunch and the others staying on-site and jamming through the material covered in the first three days – Texas blues, classic rock (Sunshine of Your Love) and Jazz (Satin Doll).

Session #2 – Style Focus

The class learnt how to play Duke Ellington’s ‘Satin Doll’, which uses a sequence of ii-V chord movements.

Satin Doll

A) || : Dm7 G7 | % | Em7 A7 | % | Am7 D7 | Abm7 Db7 | CMaj7 | % : ||

B) || : Gm7 C7 | % | FMaj7 | Gm7 C7 | Am7 D7 | % | Dm7 G7 | Em7 A7 : ||

Satin Doll – Joe Pass

Session #1 – Technique Expander

After the class had run through their physical and technical warm up exercises we looked at building chords suitable for jazz standards.

Short hand chord symbols:

  • C Major 7 – CΔ
  • C Dom 7 – C7
  • C Minor 7 – C-7
  • C Minor7b5 – Cø7
  • C Diminished – Co

Jazz Chord Grips

The black dots denote the root of the chord, i.e. C at fret 8 or A at fret 5 of string six.

Weather Forecast

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Day #2 | Tuesday 31st May | Classic Rock Day

Session # 3 – Free Jam

The class jammed through Clapton’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ in this afternoons jam session. We then learnt some top classic rock riffs:

  1. You Really Got Me – The Kinks/Van Halen
  2. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
  3. Fortunate Son – Credence Clearwater Revival
  4. Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
  5. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

Session #2 – Style Focus

The class learnt how to play Eric Clapton’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love‘ as performed by the 60s super group Cream.

The song is based losely on a I, IV, V 12-bar structure in the key of D (D, G, A) with the additional C and G chords added to the chorus section.

Sunshine of Your Love – Eric Clapton

The main riff uses all six notes of the D minor blues scale (D, F, G, G#, A, C – see below) and posed particular challenges with the use of a double stop (playing two notes simultaneously) followed by a single note with a wide and fast vibrato.

Session #1 – Technique Expander

This morning the class worked through their warm up exercises (physical and technical) and were introduced to the minor and major pentatonic scale position system; playing the five positions of the scales in sequential order, building each position from each note of the scale (e.g. A – p1, C – p2, D – p3, E – p4, G – p5) and as a scale drill exercise; playing each position from the same fret on the neck.

Weather Forecast

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Day #1 | Monday 30th May | Blues Day

Session #3 – Free Jam

This afternoons session was a free jam session playing over over the Texas rock style blues track, employing the techniques and soloing concepts learnt in this morning technique expander and style focus session.

The class also played through a BB King style slow blues track in B minor; think ‘The Thrill Is Gone’. This slow blues style used an altered 12-bar sequence (see below) from the standard (I, IV, V) progression.

BB King Style Blues

Session #2 – Style Focus

The class learnt how to play in a Texas rock style blues in the second morning session. The blues track in A was reminiscent of ZZ Top or Joe Satriani’s ‘Big Bad Moon‘ and followed the standard 12-bar structure (A, D, E).

Texas Rock Blues Style

The class fielded questions about scales, riffs, licks and slide soling ideas and techniques.

Session #1 – Technique Expander

Our first session this morning was focused on warm up exercises, both physical and technical. The class were introduced to the ideas and concepts that can revolutionalise a guitar player’s playing with some very basic rules:

  • Thumb in centre of neck
  • Arch fingers
  • Use finger tips
  • Alternate picking (down/up & up/down)
  • Playing with a metronome/drum track

Weather Forecast


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Arrivals Day…

The students arrive today and here are some photos of the splendid  scenery in Bercloux, La Moreau, France. Spot the grape vines that make the local wines and cognac!

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