Online Skype lessons

Hey all,

In case you’ve not noticed crazy things are happening in the world right now. So I’ve decided now would be a good time to start offering Skype lessons! I’ve been experimenting with this over the last week (and indeed gave my first lesson this morning), and I can honestly say I think they’re gonna work out really well!

In addition, now that I can teach you anywhere in the world, it’s worth mentioning that we can conduct the lessons in English, French or Spanish, so don’t let language be a barrier!

I’ve made a little promo video to advertise my new expansion into the digital domain. Please get in touch!

A few life changes…

Hi folks, please accept the usual apologies for my incredibly infrequent updating of this blog. It turns out the last time was over a year ago, blimey! Anyway, just a little update to let you know what I’m doing at the moment.

Most importantly, I’m still very busy teaching, although I do still have some free slots so please get in touch for lessons. Other than that, I’ve decided to make a few temporary changes in my musical life recently. Most importantly, I’ve decided to put my band Spires on a temporary hiatus. Whilst this came as a shock to many people it’s actually something I’ve been considering doing for some time. We released our third full length album in late 2018, and after touring it a bit I decided I wanted to finally have the time to work on a few other projects. And this just wasn’t achievable whilst working on Spires related things, as it just seems to sap so much of my time.

So without going into too much detail, I’m working on another project, and will be debuting some of the material during an acoustic set at this summer’s SOS Festival in Radcliffe, 13th July. I’m really looking forward to this one, and have been beavering away comiling material that I’m extremely proud of. I also have another project in the works, which is a collaboration with a visual artist, but I can’t tell you too much about that just yet!

Anyway I hope you’re all well, as I mentioned, I’m still very much here, and still accepting new students, so please get in touch if you want lessons. And maybe I’ll see you at one of my shows in the future!

Bye for now, Paul

What am I up to?

Hi folks, I just thought it was about time I updated you all on what’s going on in my world at the minute. I’m still very busy with the guitar lessons, and this remains my regular job. That’s certainly not set to change any time soon!

I’ve also now finished writing the next album for my band Spires. This will be our fourth release, and we’re hoping to start recording some time in the early Autumn. I’m very pleased with how it’s all shaping up.

We’ll also be back on the live scene later in the year as well, which is good as I definitely miss it when we have a bit of down time!

In terms of non-musical interests, as usual it’s almost impossible to fit everything into the time I’ve got! I’m a bit of a language geek, and am currently learning Spanish and a bit of Greek (not easy!), whilst trying to maintain my French. I’ve also been running a lot over the last few years, and ran the Manchester Marathon earlier this year, as well as various other races. The cycle touring is there as always, I recently came back from 12 days cycling and camping around the far North West coast of Scotland and Isle of Skye.

So that’s pretty much my life at the minute; very busy, but with things I enjoy doing. And its still a privilege to be able to teach guitar all day, I couldn’t really imagine doing anything else. If you’re interested in joining me on this musical journey, just get in touch!

Until next time…

Merry Christmas…any new year’s resolutions?

Hi all, first of sall I’ like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you all got what you wanted, as long as it was a guitar.

January is always a busy time for me, for one main reason…new year’s resolutions! I think learning an instrument (or getting better at one) must be near the top of the list of most common resolutions, which certainly suits me fine!

There’s a good reason for this though, learning an instrument is one of the most rewarding things you can do, whatever age it is. It’s great for stimulating developing brains, as well as preserving brain power for the older generation. It is also a great way to relax, and this makes it particularly rewarding for anyone with a stressful job, or general high levels of stress / anxiety in their lives. Finally, I think it’s particularly rewarding for retired people, or anyone with more time on their hands, as it’s a much better way to pass the time than just watching TV or feeling bored!

Anyway, those wanting lessons should get in quick, as I’m expecting to be very busy in a few weeks time!

See you soon,


How Old is Too Old?

Hi there, and once again sorry for the extended period between blogs. As usual life keeps getting in the way, and last month was taken up by touring with Spires. Anyway, we’re back on track for the time being, so time for another blog. A question I am often asked is whether a student is too old to begin learning guitar. The age of my students ranges from 7 to about 75, so it should be fairly obvious what my thoughts are on this!

Firstly I just want to get a couple of inevitable truths out of the way. There is no denying that as you get older the brain becomes less efficient at picking up new things. Therefore a teenager will generally get to a certain level on guitar faster than someone in their 70s. Secondly, there is also a physical aspect, in the sense that as we get older our fingers aren’t as fast and mobile as they once were.

So, that’s the negatives out of the way. But what about the positives? Well first of all, I’d like to stress how much I’m generalising in the above paragraph. It is not necessarily always true, and with determination I’ve seen grandparents pick things up just as quickly as students a quarter of their age. Also, (and I’d say this is the most important point), just because something may take longer, or feel slightly more difficult, doesn’t mean it can’t, or indeed shouldn’t be done. It most certainly can, and all you need is a bit of perseverance. With enough repetition, anyone can develop the necessary muscle memory (a phrase you may have noticed I use a lot) to move comfortably between chords, or play smoothly through a lead guitar lick. Indeed, some of my most rewarding lessons are when something like this finally ‘clicks’ for an older student.

I should also talk briefly about the benefits of taking guitar lessons (or any instrument) later in life. Firstly, learning guitar can be mentally challenging. There is a fair amount to remember, and then apply. This has the same benefit on the mind as playing chess or doing cryptic crosswords, but with the added benefit of producing something tangible, ie some good music! Remember, the brain is a muscle, so keep it active, and it’ll look after you!

Also, as long as you don’t overdo it (see my previous blog on practicing little and often), it’s physically good for you as well. I’ve known people with arthritis in the hands be told by their doctors that taking up guitar could be a good thing for them. Again, I must stress it’s important to take it lightly, but you may find it actually increases your movement.

So in conclusion, how old is too old? I think you can guess what my answer to that is!