A bit about me
It’s been a fascinating 14 years…
…of studying and practicing both the acoustic and electric guitar and I must admit that I am still as excited as I ever have been about this challenging and wonderful instrument, as well as the fortunate opportunities it has brought me. I have studied the work of many different guitarists over the years however the ones that keep recurring as the biggest influences on my playing and my life are:
John Mayer, John Frusciante, Derek Trucks, Tommy Emmanuel, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Chris Cheney.
As well as teaching for the last 5 years, initially for The Guitar Gym before leaving to teach privately, I have played in numerous bands and recording projects. I still think one of the best things I have ever done as a musician was to start playing covers – now I understand how the Beatles became so damn good at music! When your sole job is to make hundreds of people dance and sing with everything they have got, you learn a lot about how to play your instrument.
At present I am the guitarist for two bands:
Dusk Blooms is a band that was formed 6 years ago dedicated to filling the gaping hole in the current music scene that was once occupied by tasteful riffs, lush guitar layering and loud, punchy drums! We were honoured to have our self-produced record be accepted for mixing by the legendary producer Nick DiDia. The album was recorded mostly at my home teaching studio on a laptop with drums and vocals handled by Yanto Browning. It was mixed by:
Nick DiDia (Incubus, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Powderfinger, RATM, Audiosoave), Cris Stevens (Portishead, Resin Dogs) , Yanto Browning (Art of Sleeping, The Belligerents)
LISTEN HERE on spotify
Tom Thum’s Human Synthesised Band
I play midi guitar in one of the most unique projects I’ve been invited to join. Check out the video below for some of what we have been conjuring up. This song was a version of Montaigne’s single “Because I Love You” which we performed with her at the YouTube Pop-Up studio in Sydney using only human vocal sounds.
Incorporating Technology into Teaching Guitar
Over time I have moved towards incorporating the latest technology in my lessons as I have found it to be such an asset to students. I teach using the Fractal Axe FX, Guitar Pro Tab Software, RiffStation, Apple’s Logic and a suite of mixing plugins. These technologies combined provide you with access to the real deal. You can learn songs exactly as they were played by the guitarist who wrote/recorded them… using the exact same tones… with tabs/sheet music that you can play, slow down and practice to. If we are going to do this, we are going to do it properly!
For intermediate students, my studio’s recording capabilities present a unique opportunity to learn about theory and songwriting in your lessons, while writing and recording your own music. All electric guitar recordings were recorded directly out of the Axe FX- that’s how good it sounds!
One of my favourite things to do is to pass on this passion for guitar and music to anyone who would like to learn. My teaching experience has included instructing:
- complete beginners of all learning types and ages (age 6-70)
- intermediate rock and blues guitarists who know the essentials but feel stuck in a rut and wish to expand their understanding and technique
- technically-advanced players who want to understand and apply music theory to guitar
- learning how to improvise and jam with other musicians
- transcribing by ear songs for students that aren’t easily found in sheet music form
- teaching students themselves how to transcribe by ear
- aural development
- learning how to sing and play at the same time
- songwriting and composition
- performance and preparation for live work
- how to prepare for and record a student’s songs in a fully professional way
“I’ve seen that anyone can learn the guitar and how to play and understand music. There’s easily enough time in a busy, modern life to make good progress provided that you approach learning skills and concepts in the right order and have sufficient motivation to make a small amount of regular practice a priority! If there’s ONE thing I’ve learned from teaching the guitar to over 200 private students, it’s that everyone comes to lessons for their own reasons. One skill that I have identified which sets a guitar teacher apart is the skill of understanding what a student’s reasons for learning are and for adapting the style of lesson to support those reasons and goals. The other is knowing the order in which skills should be learnt.”