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!

 

The different ways to play the Harmonica

Ways of playing a Harmonica

The harmonica has endured over the years because of its versatility in blues and folk.  Take Dylan and Little Walter, both of them play the harp (harmonica) in very different ways.  Dylan mostly playing what are called ‘straight harp’ meaning using the ‘blow holes’ more than the ‘draw’.

Straight harp means if the song you are playing is in the key of C you would play a harmonica also in that key!  See Bob Dylan playing the Harmonica in ‘Blowing in the Wind’ on YouTube.

Little Walter on the other hand would primarily use the ‘draw notes’.  So if the song was in the key of C the blues harp player would play the harp in the key of ‘F’.  This is because when you play the draw notes in a ‘F’ harp you produce notes that sound bluesy over a blues in C.  Little Walter would also ‘bend’ the notes on his harp too, something particular to playing the blues.  It is a difficult technique to master.  See Little Walter in a YouTube video below ‘drawing’ on his harmonica.  You can really hear the difference!

Types of Harmonicas

There are also two types of harp.  The ‘Diatonic’ and ‘Chromatic’.

The Diatonic or ‘blues harp’ has 10 holes producing just the major scale whereas the Chromatic harmonica has the same but by pressing a button enables the sharp and flats to be played.  Of course by bending notes on a Diatonic these notes can be achieved.

The ‘marine band’ is the warmest sounding harp in my opinion with its wooden comb it can become warped if not played properly but it remains the original and best.

Marine-Band-Harmonica

Marine Band Harmonica

Lee Oskar provides a plastic comb and are ‘brighter’ sounding so it depends on what sound you are after.  Both cost  around £25.

lee-oskar-harmonica

Lee Oskar Harmonica

Lets not forget that the Harmonica is a wonderful instrument!  Small enough to ft in your pocket, but with a sound that is sweet and soulful, bluesy and melodic!

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