Ben is a nine year old lad, and a complete beginner when he started learning the guitar, and we are now working on Rock School Guitar Grade 2.
What Ben is now playing
Ben plays a strat like his hero John Fuschanti and has chosen to do two songs from the Hot Rocks (sister book of the Rock School grades); Fleetwood Mac’s, ‘Albatross’ and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, ‘Californication’. Each song requires learning very different guitar techniques, with finger slide on Albatross and cord strumming and bends on Californication. The Hot Rock books are a great addition to the Rock School Book series, especially for kids, who can play the guitar licks of their heroes.
The future for Ben
Ben will be taking his Grade 2 Rock School Exams after Christmas.
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.
Ryan’s background – where his guitar lessons started
I have been teaching Ryan guitar for nearly four years now and he has improved greatly in that time. When Ryan first started his lessons he was a complete beginner. Since his first guitar lesson Ryan has completed Debut, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, and is now on Grade 4 Rock School Grades.
What Guitar piece I’m currently teaching Ryan
Ryan loves his guitar lessons using the Rock School Grade books as he really enjoys the diversity of the pieces. We are currently working on Dirt Wizard from the Grade 4, a piece that has its roots firmly in 70s rock and a riff that would make Richie Blackmore take notice! Ryan loves the riff and we are working on getting his speed up and playing the power chords in time. We are also writing the solo for the piece which instead of using the standard minor blues pentatonic scale we have thrown in some nice harmonic scales too which sound great.
What’s Next for Ryan and his guitar lessons?
Ryan hopes to take his Rock School guitar Grade 4 exam in the next few months! Good luck Ryan!!!