Trying to sound like the 1980s…

It’s been a long time since I used a chorus pedal. As most guitar players of a certain age will know, the chorus pedal became a bit of a laughing stock after the bloated-ness of the 1980s guitar sound. However, they seem to be making a comeback in some forms, with everyone from Boss to many of the boutique pedal makers, including a chorus pedal of some description in their lineup.

I was lucky enough to obtain an unwanted Boss chorus pedal, donated to me by one of my lovely students. I gave it a blast at a recent rehearsal of my band The Nightwires. It sounded pretty good! Some of the new riffs/songs we have started to record, seem to suit a little bit of chorus here and there. I’m still not 100% convinced though, as I’m not sure the Boss CH1 is the greatest chorus pedal in the world but I’m loathe to splash out, say on one of the new Boss Waza chorus pedals, until I see how much I’ll use the sound. I also don’t really want to start having to build a bigger board either, as I am determined to stick to my Pedaltrain Metro board..


Happy Christmas!

So, as another year of full time teaching comes to an end, I’d like to say a big thank you to the people who make my job so great; my students.

This has been another year of great achievements, be that playing barre chords for the first time, mastering certain scales or just learning to play a favourite song. All successes, no matter how big or small, are equally important to me, just as they are to the individual student. I hope I’ve inspired my students to play for many years to come and in some cases, continue to write their own songs. Hearing a student play a song to me that they have written, after taking my advice on board, is pretty mind blowing!

I look forward to seeing you all again in the new year and also hope to meet many more new students, on the road to guitar playing nirvana!!

I have some limited space available at the moment, so if you are reading this and wanting to book some lessons, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to fit you in.

In other news, I am now on instagram. Please head over to my profile and follow me, but you can also see all my posts, over in the widget to the right of this page.

See you in 2017!

State of the stomp – my latest pedalboard!


Yes I know, I haven’t posted for a bit. Been busy with teaching and the associated preparation. I do still have a few slots available but I’m almost out of the early evening/tea time slots. Let me know if you are looking to book something and I’ll see what I can do.

Here is my latest iteration of my pedalboard, alongside my Fender Stratocaster:


The signal chain is Boss tuner – Xotic EP Booster – Thorpyfx Peacekeeper – TC Electronic Alter Ego Echo

I’ve now done a couple of gigs with this board and I can honestly say that it has set me free! I really enjoy the simplicity of this setup, which leaves me to concentrate on playing and not tap dancing! Of course, things can always change and I must admit, I’m not that keen on the TC Alter Ego Echo. I think it is a great pedal for options, but sound wise, its not a patch on the Strymon El Capistan I sold. Obviously, its a third of the price of the El Capistan. I really do miss that pedal and its tap tempo facility. You never know, I might be using another one again soon 😉

You might notice that the Xotic EP Booster has a rather large foot switch:


This a button cover, made by Custom Pedalboards with the idea being to enlarge the stomp area for the switch, making it easier to find. It really works well on boards where the pedals are close-ish together.

I really love this four pedal setup. Tuner, boost, drive, echo – its all you need!

Friedman Mini Dirty Shirley Demo

So, after a few weeks of having no time whatsoever, I’ve finally got around to finishing the video demo for my recently acquired Friedman Mini Dirty Shirley Head.

I was after another single channel amplifier, which would compliment my Vox inspired Morgan AC20 Deluxe. As great as it was, the Victory V50 Head was just not quite right for me any more, but I wanted something to maintain the possibility, of producing a Marshall type sound. And the Mini Dirty Shirley definitely does that! Think of a 60’s sounding Marshall, but with more gain on tap and the ability to get a great sound, without taking peoples heads off. The 20 watts of the Friedman, is ample for any gig.

I played my first live gig with it a couple of weeks ago, when The Nightwires played at The Deerstock Festival in Nottinghamshire. I got lots of compliments on my sound and the amp worked great, being setup with a crunch sound that I could clean up from the guitar’s volume knob.

At some point, I’d love to be able to set up both the Friedman and my Morgan in stereo; that would be a sound!

In the meantime, enjoy the video…

A busy day of filming…

I’ve been busy today, filming a video demo for my Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini Amplifier. Its a beast…

Rob Chapman Rig Competition Video

Youtube legend, Andertons demo-ist and Dorje guitarist Rob Chapman, has started a competition to celebrate reaching a ridiculous number of Youtube subscribers.

The idea is to write and film a riff, using only frets 1 to 4 on the guitar. Here is my extremely humble entry. I never win owt, so expectations are low, but you lot giving me some views, may show him how popular I am 😉