Rockschool Grade Books

The Rockschool Grade books are not only a fantastic teaching aid but my students find the songs great to learn. The songs are based on famous songs by the likes of ACDC, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix etc. In each book there are 6 songs in various styles from rock to blues, funk and reggae.

The books all come with backing tracks to play along to and wether you are learning guitar,bass,drums or piano Rockschool has a book for you!

If you wish to take the grade you simply learn 3 of the 6 songs,learn to play a few scales and complete a couple of oral tests and you’re ready to go.

Going from debut grade right up to grade 8 and with the student gaining UCAS points at grade 5 they really are an excellent learning tool for any budding musician!

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Ever wondered how to make money out of music?

Thinking of learning an instrument, wondering what you could do with your music once you get to a good standard?

Then, if like me you are a struggling rock star with more emphasis on the struggling than the rockstar you might want to consider joining a wedding/function band.

As with all jobs there are good and bad points.  Let’s start with the good….

  • The money for a start! Being in a wedding band is fairly well paid compared to playing pub gigs.
  • It can also be a lot of fun playing weddings and parties with your band mates.
  • Our band also gets to play in many nice venues around the country , many of which are set in beautiful grounds.
  • Meeting lots of nice people is another good thing about the job and they are normally in good spirits as it’s either their special day or party time (or both)!

There are a few negatives though.

  • Commitment is essential and you need to be available at weekends and bank holidays as this is when the vast majority of the work is.
  • Band work can also be unpredictable with the summer months being a lot busier than the winter months, where work can be a little scarce. A negative for my band, however great for those who are looking for a band for a wedding or event in the quieter months as many bands offer discounts including my band Superfuzz!
  • Then there is the music itself! You won’t be playing your favourite blues or any zeppelin-esque riffs, instead a lot of it is middle of the road cheese but we try to keep our sets as good as possible for a wedding group.

Overall being in a function band is a lot of fun! We have a lot of laughs and the odd beer and if you are committed and have the necessary skill to turn your hand to lots of different styles of music then it might just be for you!

If you’re looking for a wedding or function band then why not consider my band Superfuzz.

Superfuzz are the best function and wedding band in the country, with years of experience and expertise to get your party going!

 

Jimi Hendrix still the best?

After all these years since Jimi died on September the 18th 1970 at the tender age of 27 he is still widely regarded as the best and one of the most influential guitarists of all time. Given that he has been gone for over 40 years its a testament to the man and his extraordinary playing that he is still held in such high regard.

I suppose to be regarded as one of the true greats in music you need to take music in a new direction, invent a new style as it were. Chuck berry with his country rock guitar playing on classic tracks Johnny B Goode and roll over Beethoven to name a few influenced countless guitarists.  Dylan did it fusing folk and rock, muddy waters in Chicago electrifying his blues with his fantastic band including the legend little Walter. One could argue that Jimmy Page should be included here by distorting his bluesy riffs with zeppelin and creating the early seeds of heavy metal.

Of course Jimi’s technique was flawless, his mastery of his instrument there for all to see. As with most great rock players Hendrix’s roots were deep in the blues. In Red House we hear Jimi’s control of his guitar with his bending, vibrato and tasteful blues licks.

But Hendrix was much more than a great blues player. It was his mix of psychedelic rock riffs fusing with the heavy blues he loved [check out machine gun ] where he  excelled and his genius really showed. From Purple Haze with its unique solo mixing the pentatonic and harmonic minor scales to the wah riff of voodoo child’ his sound was new and innovative. Using Marshall amplification and his white Fender Stratocaster Hendrix used a variety of pedals to create new sounds even using a Leslie speaker usually used for Hammond organs on his wonderful little wing.

Of course great playing is no good without the songs to match and Hendrix was a brilliant songwriter and lyricist often writing lyrics that were poetic and dreamlike.

We will certainly never see the like of Jimi Hendrix again. Check out his version of the star spangled banner live at Woodstock in 1969. with his famous white strat, his Marshall amps on full volume, foot on his wah pedal he creates sounds on the guitar we never knew existed. Hendrix still the greatest? You bet!

Drum Lessons – Grade 2 Student

Kai background – where his drum lessons started

I started teaching Kai drum lessons a couple of years ago and he was a complete beginner.  We started his lessons off with the basics by getting him to play some standard four four bass drum and snare beats which Kai picked up pretty quickly.  Kai was then an eager beaver to get on with his Rock School Grades!   Kai then went on to pass his Rock School Debut and Grade 1 in Drums.

What Drum piece I’m currently teaching Kai

Kai is are currently working on ‘Bleach’ from Grade 2 and ACDC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ which is from the sister book ‘Hot Rocks’.  See AC-DC’s YouTube clip below.

There are some good beats going on here with lots to get your teeth into. Bleach is an up-tempo number with lots of tom tom work which Kai enjoys. When playing You Shook Me Kai thinks he is playing at Wembley stadium and even tries his stick twirling which is funny. After coming back down to earth we do some of the tech exercises which are made of paradiddles and different drum fills and patterns followed by some ear tests which end the book. As I leave he is still practicing AC-DC and no doubt back at Wembley stadium!

What’s Next for Kai and his Drum lessons?

Kai will keep practicing his drum songs including ‘Iron Man’ by Black Sabbath!   We are looking to put Kai in for his Grade 2 drums after Christmas.

Christmas Gift Idea – Private Music Lessons!

Guitar, Bass, Drums or Keyboard Lessons for a Christmas Present

If you live near Rugby, Lutterworth or any of the surrounding villages then why purchase some lessons in guitar, bass, drums or keyboard as a gift for your loved ones!?

Sometimes it can be challenging to know what to buy your loved one for Christmas as they have everything that they may possibly want or need.  Whether you’re looking to buy some lessons for your husband, partner, wife, son, daughter, granddaughter, grandson, mother or father, I can tailor their lessons to their ability or what they would like to learn.

Whether they are in to Rock, Pop or love Metal or any type of music I can teach your loved ones what they would like to learn! The lessons can be either song based or Rock School Lessons!

Contact me for more information about the music lessons I provide by calling me or e-mailing me.  See my ‘Contact Me’ page for more information.

About Me – Your local private music teacher

Hello all,

As you may know, my name is Martin Dennison. I have recently moved to Lilbourne just outside of Rugby.

Myself and my wife have been busy over the last few weeks dropping my guitar, bass, keyboard and drum lesson leaflets! So far we’ve delivered to Lilbourne, Yelvertoft, Catthorpe, Clay Coton, Swinford, Shawell, Clifton Upon Dunsmore, Newton, Kilsby, West Haddon and Crick!  We’ve still got a few more locations to flyer drop such as Brownsover, Churchover, Hillmorton, Elkington and Winwick to name but a few.

My wife has started to create this website for me to try and save our legs and also to tell as many local people (in and around Rugby and Lutterworth area) about the guitar, drums, keyboard and bass lessons that I do!

So you’re probably thinking to yourself how do my lessons work? Well I’ve been teaching private guitar, drums, bass and keyboard lessons for over 10 years. In that time I have found that the key to getting the most out of my pupils is to make the lessons fun!

I do this by teaching my pupils songs that they know and love. Also I teach from the Rock School Grades which are designed to be enjoyable but very informative for all the theory that is needed. When it gets to the point when my pupil becomes a bit uninspired by the grades or a song that I am teaching them I re-asses their needs and either have a break from the grades or the particular song that they are learning and go back to something a bit more light hearted and fun!

If you’ve got any questions about the guitar, bass, drums or keyboard lessons that I teach then don’t hesitate to contact me on 07845 961345