Open Mic Night Video

Here’s a little video from the last open mic night at the Secret Garden in Alton. I performed a couple of songs I’d written on the guitar.

The first is called Out Here In The Country, which is kind of love a song, until you know what the background to the song is.

I wrote the second one, Don’t Fall For Me, quite a while ago, but I hadn’t performed it in public before. It seemed to be well received… were it not for my off-the-cuff closing comment!


ABRSM and RGT Exam Dates for 2017

Somehow it’s almost April already and the Spring terms is nearly at an end… and I’ve not yet posted the dates for the ABRSM and RGT exams. There are two dates you need to know if you’re looking to enter an exam.

The first is the closing date, which is – surprise, surprise! – the last date you can apply to enter an exam in the current term. The closing dates below are for online entries.

The second is the exams date range. This will let you know the window of dates when the exam is likely to be scheduled for. There are options to request specific weeks and these are usually taken into account.

ABRSM Exam Dates

Closing Date Exam Dates
Spring Term 20 January 6 March – 8 April
Summer Term 12 May 12 June – 15 July
Winter Term 29 September 6 Nov – 9 Dec

ABRSM Exam fees are here

RGT Exam Dates

Closing Date Exam Dates
Spring Term 1 February March / April
Summer Term 1 May June / July
Winter Term 1 October Nov / Dec

RGT Exam fees are here

Nursery Rhymes for Guitar

I would be the first to admit that, when reaching for my guitar, the first thing I think about playing is not a nursery rhyme. That said, here are three good reasons for giving them a shot.

Firstly, most nursery rhymes are generally well known, which means you don’t have to worry too much about working out timings or wondering if you’ve got the right note – you’ll be able to tell, because the chances are you already know the tune.

Secondly, the tunes are fairly simple, which means you’re unlikely to be faced with complicated stretches or jumps – after all, these are songs for children (despite the somewhat gruesome lyrics many of them contains, such as the smashing of Humpty Dumpty, the fracturing of Jack’s skull, the chopper that comes to chop off your head and sex pest George Porgy… to say nothing of Little Miss Muffet’s terrifying spider encounter!)

Thirdly (though not necessarily finally), they can be played on multiple strings, which is a great place for beginners to start working on their left and right hand co-ordination.

Convinced yet?

Of course you are! I’m even feeling like playing a few nursery rhymes myself. And to help us get started, I’ve put together a PDF sheet of six nursery rhymes in TAB which you can download below. Simply click on the link to download. Enjoy!

Nursery Rhymes for Guitar.pdf

Included tunes:

  • Frère Jacques
  • The Grand Old Duke of York
  • Oranges and Lemons
  • London’s Burning
  • London Bridge is Falling Down
  • Ba, Ba, Black Sheep
  • The Grandfather Clock