Last year Tom and Rick hosted a very popular and successful three day masterclass. At the time I wasn’t able to attend so when I saw that another masterclass was being held on April 16th I jumped at the chance and got myself a ticket!
The masterclass attracted a good turnout, around twenty odd people. We’d travelled from all over, eager to glean some golden nuggets of guitar genius from two class players and, I must say, it was also great to see plenty of Suhr headstocks on show
Jonathon, Tom and Rick greeted us warmly as we got settled and took our seats. We were also provided with pre-prepared handouts and tablature for the upcoming lesson topics.
Tom and Rick kicked things off with a breathtaking jam over the classic ‘Prowling Blues’ jamtrackcentral backing track which whet everyone’s appetite from what was to come.
First topics of the day were technique based with Tom talking about his characteristic approach to legato, using groups of four accents to break out of common three-note-per-string patterns. Tom’s delivery was very relaxed, detailed and informative with points highlighted with live demonstrations over a backing track.
Rick then talked about his approach to tapping four-notes-per-string patterns to create flowing ascending lines. Rick’s easy relaxed manner and detailed description with demonstration showed us how to use the symmetry of scalar patterns to help to visualise the lines in an easier way.
Things then took on a more improvisational approach with Tom and Rick both talking about using limitation ideas to help creativity and phrasing. At this point a brave volunteer, Col, got up to try some of these concepts out to great effect.
Tom and Rick had warned that they wanted us to get up and jam, so this helped ease any nervousness in the room
After a break we got straight back into things by looking at rhythmical and timing ideas to help with phrasing and improvisation.
As with the earlier topics, there was some really great stuff here and once again some of us got up to try out these concepts, jamming over a backing track. I got up to play, which wasn’t as horrifying as I thought it would be . (I was also lucky enough to get to play through Rick’s new Splawn Nitro amp and I must say, what a tone!)
After another couple of hours or so the masterclass was rounded off with Tom and Rick answering some of our questions, in the process imparting even more invaluable information, before jamming together, again dazzling us all with some awesome music.
Then sadly it was all over and time for everyone to head home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and what Tom and Rick had to teach us. There were players of all levels there and we all left with plenty of great stuff to work on.
The class was enlightening, funny, relaxed, and genuinely friendly with the sense that we were all just sitting chatting and jamming, all sharing our common love of the guitar.
Considering the attendees will be receiving additional lesson materials online and the fact we got over 4 hours of tuition time with two World class musicians, the masterclass was terrific value for money.
It was also nice touch that all proceeds from the masterclass will be going to Cloth Cat in Leeds which provides free or low cost music training to people on low incomes.
I’ve seen some talk about Tom and Rick taking their masterclass overseas. I really hope they get the opportunity to do so.
If they do and you have a chance to attend one of these masterclasses, GO!
No, really, GO!
You won’t be disappointed .
A few more pics from the day here.