Jam Sessions At Royal Park Pub, Headingley, Leeds, Starting Mon. 25th of June 2018

On Monday the 25th of June 2018 Jam Sessions at Royal Park Pub,  39 Queen’s Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 1NY will start.
Sessions will start at 8.30 pm

The main idea behind the sessions is that people play music with each other. The sessions are open to musicians of any level.
Please bring along small amplification if your instrument needs some form of amplification.

We welcome different kind of instruments, any instrument is welcome!
At the Jam Sessions there will be Bass and Drums which are able to give you a strong backing to any kind of music you would like to play.

The music we can play at the Jam Sessions varies: It can be music people have played before but would like to try out now with different, new musicians.  There is the change to try out new musical ideas on the spot, good for creative musicians who love making up their own parts and compositions.

Here a few keywords, styles of music which may give you a bit of a idea what is possible on the night:  Fusion, Jazz, Alternative Music, Ambient, Electronic Dance, Experimental Music, Electric, Alternative Blues, Traditional Blues and Folk, Americana, Alternative Country, West-Coast Style.

The list of influences and people we like is too big to mention, we draw inspiration from any kind of style, as long as it feels and sounds good,  we are into it!

Key element to the night is to create a good vibe we can all enjoy and be part of.

The Sessions will run every last Monday of the month, please check my facebook for details as I will post them there first!

Hope to meet you soon at one of the Jam Sessions.

Guitar Lesson: Learn To Play Intro Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”

Here the blog article which supports the video.

Song starts  with the Em and D.  Mute the Em, as demonstrated , to give it the sound of the bass and drums from the original recording. The Em is played for a whole bar, then it is D for two beats and again Em for two beats. This whole section is two bars and it repeats once before the harmonica parts kicks in.

Em      D   Em      Em        D   Em

The Harmonica part can be divided into three small phrases.  Here the tab. for all three phrases: Each Chord is being played for Two Beats. First note of the first- and second  Harmonica phrase come start on second beat. The last Harmonica phrase starts on the first beat, similar as the Em chord.

             Em                         C                         D                         G
E          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –       – – – – – – – – – – – –  –
B          – – –  – – – – -3 – – – 1 – – -0 – –    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
G          – – 0 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    – – 2 – – 0 – – – – – – –
D          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – 0 – –
A           – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
E            – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

              Em                          C                        D                           G

E        – – — – – – 3- –  – -0 – – – –           – – -0 – – – – – – – – – –
B         – – – -3 – – – – – – – – – – -3 –         – – – – – – -3- – -0 – –
G        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —       – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
D        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —      – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
A        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –     – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
E          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

               Em                       C                          D                          G
E          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
B          -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 – –    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
G          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    – -2- – -0- – – – – – – – – –
D           – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –   – – – – – – – – – – 0 – – – – –
A            – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — –   – – – – – – – — – – – – — – – –
E             – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — –  – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – –

If you like the video, please subscribe.
There will be more short videos of this kind, keep checking blog and video channel on a regular basis for updates.

Enjoy your playing and hope to see you soon again,


Gear Review: Squier SP-10 10 Watts Practice Amp

For this blog a review article about the Squier SP-10 practice amp. I will briefly mention the history of this amp, the various models which have been around, give you some tips how to dial in  clean- and distorted tones using different guitars,  there will be a short section with ideas how to improve the sound of this amp and I will briefly mention some other, similar amps of this kind.

Squier started to produce the SP-10 around 1997. The amp has been ever since  then included in starter packages including a cable and a DVD.
There is a bigger model of this amp:  The Squier 15, which does have a 8″ speaker, a Master, Gain and Mid control. The SP-10 does have none of this, I will later on mention more about the controls of the amp and how to find your sweet spot for your tone.
Two years before the production of the SP-10 Squier did have a similar line-up of practice amps. They were called the Champ series. The Champ is a well-known classic Fender amp model, and the Squier series tried to replicate those sounds with their non-valve transistor amps.
The line-up included: Champ 15G, and the Champ 15GR (reverb model). Both amps came with a 8″ speaker and are rated at 15 Watts. There were two more models of the same series: Champ 25 GR (reverb model) and the Champ 15B. Both those amps came with a 10″ speaker.
All of these amps came with a Black face panel, just like the SP-10 and Squier 15.

For Who Is This Amp?:
People who start out learning to play the guitar and need a basic amp to amplify their guitar.  Guitar Players who like to experiment with their tone and learn what can be done to alter the basic sound of the amp may also enjoy using this amp.
The early days of Rock ‘N’ Roll is full of guitar players who used all sorts of gizmos to add mojo to their sound.  Ritchie Blackmore used to plug into a small preamp to add more juice to his guitar tone, then there is Jimmy Page who liked to use small amps in the studio to create his unique sounds. Small amps are often easier to manipulate compared to bigger, stage amps

Tips For Tones:
The SP-10 does have three controls:  One for Volume, One for Treble and One for Bass.  There are two Input Sockets at the front, one for Instrument, and the other one is for Headphones. There is a little switch for Distortion on the face of the front panel.
The tone controls on this amp are active: You will  need to open them up a little to get a sound. Because there is no Mid control, Mid can be achieved by cutting down a little with the Bass control. Cutting down any of the tone controls will result in loss of signal, compensate for this by adjusting the Volume control. It will bring back the body,fullness and depth of your sound,.  Check out the included video where I demonstrate this principle.
To find the sweet spot for your guitar you simply hold a chord and adjust the Treble and Bass control to your liking.
This amp is good for giving you the basic sound of your guitar.
The overall, clean sound of the amp does have a grainy character, something a lot of early 60s Brit amps used to have. The amp does not give a great deal of detail to your sound, but it is able to dial in a basic, grainy sound. The character of the  sound is kind of hard and does not have the softness for which some Fender amps are known for.
Pressing the little switch will activate the distortion. The distorted sound is full-on and not subtle, this is partly because the amp lacks a Gain control. Cutting down the Volume control on your guitar will tone down the distortion, Yes I know, old skool approach, but it does work!
The character of the distorted sound is very bright. It is possible to change its sound a little with the tone controls, but not matter what you do, the distorted sound will remain trebly.

Guitars and Which Ones Work Well?:
The amp works well with either Single-coil- or Humbuck equipped guitars.  If  you are using a guitar with high output Pick-ups you may want to back of the volume of your guitar a little to keep the sound clean. Overall it should be fine to achieve usable, pleasant tones from any type of guitar model.

Mods To Improve Sound of Amp:
Adding a external speaker socket for the use of a external speaker will improve the sound of any small amp, the SP-10 is no exception to this rule. Use a 8 Ohm speaker, since the amp needs a 8 Ohm ratted speaker.
Using a bigger, external speaker such as a 12″ will add more body to the sound, it will not change the character of the basic amp tone!
Adding a Line-Out output will also do no harm: It will let you take  the sound of the amp to any bigger amp.  You could, for example,  use the distortion of the SP-10 and connect it to the input of a bigger, clean sounding Valve amp.
Some of you may want to change Capacitors and Resistors: Better quality ones will certainly improve the basic character of this amp.
Last but not least: Adding a Gain control to the amp will let you adjust the amount of distortion you dial in.  You may be able to fit the pot in the place of the Headphone socket.

Similar Small Amps:
The Squier SP-10 is of course not the only one of its kind, the are many, many amps of this seize.  The Stagg 10 GA is of a similar kind, and probably of better sound quality: Its sound is more detailed compared to the Squier SP-10,. The Stagg does have  a Gain control for the distortion, which is a improvement. Furthermore it also included a Mid control, something the Squier lacks!
The Chord CG10 is also a very good amp of this kind. This one is also of a more detailed sound compared to the Squier. Its controls are similar to the ones of the Stagg, including Gain and a control for the MIds.

The Squier SP-10 may not be one of the most refined amps you have ever plugged into, but it certainly is a fine amp to give you that basic guitar tone.
Beginners cannot go wrong with it and even more experienced guitar players may enjoy its basic clean tones.
Its tones are portable which makes it a great partner for when you are moving around!

Hope you enjoy the included video and this article.
Check out other articles on this blog here.  Hope to create more articles in the near future about the SP-10, using it with some other gear and amps.

Hope to see you soon again,

All Acoustic Jam Night at Factory Street Studios in Bradford, Starting on Tue 24th of January 2017

20130829121316eddie smallThere will be an all Acoustic Jam Night at Factory Street Studios in Bradford. The first night will be on Tue 24th of January. The night is mainly for acoustic instruments. It is the intention not to use any amplification or microphones. If your instrument requires amplification, there is the Jam Night on the 10th of January (and every 2nd Tue of the month afterwards).
The night is open to any acoustic instrument and vocalists, experienced and inexperienced musicians who play any style of music such as acoustic Folk, Blues, Ragtime and Jazz. I welcome anyone who loves playing music with other people. The night is an ideal  vehicle for making new friends and finding new musicians who you would like to play with in future.
Factory Street Studios is based in Bradford, Unit 9 Factory Street, BD4 9NW
For more information, check out facebook page for Factory Street Studios or call me on 07796 808633
Looking forward to meet you there.

Guitar Lessons with Eddie de Hamer in Leeds Pudsey Library Starting in January 2017

20131221172508IMG_3938In January 2017 there will be guitar lessons in Pudsey Library, there will be a free taster session for everyone who is interested. The day and time  for free taster session will be confirmed. The lessons will be in group format  but it is possible to voice your interest for One to One lessons. The lessons are open to experienced, intermediate guitar players and complete beginners. Price and options will be discussed during the taster session.
Please bring your guitar along (electric or acoustic) If your guitar needs an amp, please bring a small one with you.
For more information call me on 07796 808633 or call Pudsey Library on: 0113 37 81893
Looking forward to meet you there.

Guitar tutor from Leeds at Jam Night News for Dec. 13th at Factory Street Studios in Bradford

20140222152839IMG_5187Hello there, for this post a short brief about the last Jam Night, which was 29th of Nov. and some ideas for the next one. The next night will be the 13th of Dec. 2016.
The last night, which was the first one, was great: There were two drum kits on each side of the stage, the guitar-and bass amps were positioned in a circle around the stage. This lay-out creates the feel of the night being a rehearsal rather than a performance.
Music was played right from beginning (around 8.00 pm) until the end of the night.  Most of the music being played was based on jams of a handful of chords and short ideas. Various people contributed ideas. At the end of the night some song structures were being played. Overall it was a great vibe and everyone involved enjoyed the ambience.

For the coming night I have a few suggestions, most of these are to avoid very long jams on just one idea.
First of all, and this is for anyone who is not familiar with the idea of what a Jam Night stands for: Jamming is basically playing music with anything which goes: Someone starts and idea and all the other musicians around, jump on the idea and contribute to that idea.
Do you need to be very good at doing such a thing? No, because there is time to explain what goes on, if some people feel left in the dark there is the time and willingness to explain to them what goes on music wise, so anyone has a change to play and be invovled.

The night is not just about creating music on the spot, it can also be about people who know a handful of songs.  They may want to play these with other people, who may not know these songs but will be able to play them fairly quick.

In a nut shell the night is there for anyone, young and old, experienced or beginner, sing-song writers, instrumentalists, vocalists and rappers. The whole idea behind the night is  bringing people together who enjoy playing music together and enjoy the fantastic vibe at Factory Street Studios.

For next night I have a few short song intros you may like to play along with.
All songs can be played in the key of E and it is possible to play these song in a medley kind of fashion (Start one song and then go to next one). The list is: “Purple Haze”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Wild Thing”, “Hey Joe”, “Rebel Rebel”, “7-Nation Army” and  “Come As You Are”.
You can just play the start of these songs for a few times, then progress to the next one. Play with them to see how it feels for you.

Some other songs where we could do a similar thing with are: “Message in a Bottle”, connect it with “All Along the Watch Tower” and finish with “House of the Rising Sun”.

Another one could be: “Brown Sugar” going into the unlikely sound of “Stand Bye Me”.

Now you may say “Why all old songs?” No particular reason, they are some ideas I have had a change to play with over the last few days. All these songs do have a different feel, which means we will create a different sound for each section as we progress through the songs. It is possible to do this with almost any song, it is up to you to introduce whatever song you like to play.

As far as instruments goes: I would welcome any instrument, in particular horn instruments, since we have not had that many. For all instruments which may need amplification such as guitars, basses and keyboards: No need to bring your own amp as full back-line is ready for you to play through. Of course if you like using your own amp it is possible to set it up quickly.

The address of Factory Street Studios is: Factory Street, Unit 9, Bradford, BD4 9NW.
Night will start about 8.00 pm and run until around 11.00/11.30

Any more info, call me on 07796 808633
Hope to meet you there and have a play

Having a Guitar lesson break to attend Jam Night on Tue 29th of Nov. at Factory Street Studios in Bradford

20140104162927IMG_4362On the 29th of Nov there will be a jam night at Factory Street Studios in Bradford. The studio will be open on that night for anyone who is interested in playing music along with other people. The nature of the night is open, any style is possible, all musicians are welcome from singers to harmonica players to keyboard players and drummers.
The idea of the night is to play music along with other people: You may want to play a song you know but now play this song with a full back line of other instruments. You may just want to jam on one particular musical idea, anything goes really.
The night is there for beginners and experienced players.
Factory Street Studios does have a open, friendly nature. Once you have been you may want to come for any other events. You do not have to play, you can just check out the place while you have a drink and a chat.
The night will start around 8.15 pm and will run until 10.00.
Full address of the studio: Factory Street Studios, Unit 9 Factory Street, Bradford, BD4 9NW
For more info call me on 07796 808633

Hope to meet you soon,

Detuning For Beginners during Guitar Lesson in Leeds

20131129174824eddie 3The great thing about the guitar is that you can alter almost anything: You can change parts, strings, fret your strings with a Capo on a particular position of the neck or detune (some) of your strings. For this article a short outline about detuning. For those in the know it is no secret that the guitar can give you very different sounds by simply detuning a few strings. For those of you who are new to this concept let us have a look what is in store for you:
The easiest thing to do is to detune one string: Take your low E and tune it down to a D. Notice how only one string can give you such a different sound!
If you like it, why not detune you high E string as well? Tune it also down to a D, now both E strings are tuned to E, now you are ready for songs in the key of D.
A common thing guitar players in the past used to do is detune all their strings one step down. It will give you (from low to high) Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb and Eb. This tuning will still enable you to play all your regular open chords but their sound will be a little bit lower, also notice the feel of the strings: They will feel a little less tight since they are tuned lower and have less tension.

String Gauge:
String Gauge is the term which is used for the thickness of your strings. Some of you may play with very slinky strings, your high E may be an 0.08. You may like to go up a few gauges with the set of your strings, or maybe change a few strings to a thicker gauge. Thicker strings will give you more power and less twang. Try it to find out what you like.

Hope to see you soon again for more ideas about detuning and other guitar techniques.

Beginners Guitar Lesson in Leeds: Blues Sequence Using Open E, G, A, C and D Chord

20131008132730eddieBlues is not only about playing riffs, improvising and playing solos, it is also about holding the groove together and learn to play in time.
For this lesson you will learn to play a blues sequence using mainly open chords. You will have used all those chords before. For the sound of the sequence you mainly need to play the bass strings of the chords.
The sequence is divided up in two parts: First part contains E, G and A chord. The next part uses the A, C and D chord.
Check the video to see how long you play each chord for.

Once you have the chords underneath your fingertips, and you can play them without any long gaps, check out the next part of the video: Now play the sequence along with the drum machine and bass guitar. Concentrate on your part, make sure you do not get lost and just groove along.

Once you can play comfortably with bass and drums, let us now add another guitar in the mix: This guitar will be playing riffs and harmony-and melody parts. Check out the last part of the video to see what I mean. Play along, and again make sure you can hold the groove together without loosing your place in the sequence.
Have fun and hope to see you next time for more.

Learning to Play Solos by B.B King, Freddie King and Albert King during Leeds music lesson

20140222152839IMG_5187When you want to learn to play a particular style of guitar playing it helps if you listen a lot to that kind of music. It may seem like an obvious remark to make but when it comes to playing blues guitar I cannot stress that enough: There are so many different styles of Blues guitar, and once you will learn about the Minor Pentatonic scale you may feel you are there but watch out: Most of those guitar players may use any of those notes in that scale but you need to listen, learn about phrasing and listen to lots of different forms of blues to see what is behind those notes.

The great three I mentioned before all helped to develop and modernise the idiom of the Urban Chicago style. The Chicago style is closely related to the development of the electric guitar too! Most of the early Blues players used Gibson or Fender electric guitars.

When you listen to B.B, Albert and Freddie you will find that all three have a lot of overlapping ideas, they can all sound so similar to each other but do not be fooled: each of them do have their characteristic styles and trademarks: Freddie’s sound is quite woody, Albert’s sound is quite stingy whereas B.B’s sound is very smooth and almost lazy. These are just general remarks as each of them could sound easily like on of the other.

Listen to other electric blues guitarists as well to see if you can hear any of the B.B, Freddie and Albert influences and sounds. Eric Clapton is an obvious example, you hear him often doing the large bends a la Albert King. Garry Moore could easily sound like any of those three. He recorded with Albert and B.B, he also played with Albert Collins who I left out here, as he was younger than the three Kings.

The three Kings are mentioned so often and out of all B.B was probably the most well-known one. Freddie did play a lot of diverse style of songs, not just the straight forward Blues material, he was also a very good singer.

Try to pick one song of any of the three and copy one solo idea as close as you can. A lot of those ideas can be played over the whole song, that is the beauty of them. The next step is to develop those ideas into your own playing.
Do not just listen to the notes, listen to what kind of emotion is behind them. Blues is about story telling, listen to the lyrics of the song and the emotion which is used to put the message across.
Again I will mention Eric Clapton who learned so well from all of this: In his non-blues music you can still hear the roots and what is behind the music.

Do not just listen to any of those three mentioned above, they are a good starting point if you are new to the blues. Listen to someone like Muddy Waters, who is very different in his phrasing and approach, his style is closer to the country blues style, but equally he is one who helped to modernise and electrify the genre.

Today a lot of guitar players approach the Blues from a Rock style approach. I guess a lot of guitar players love playing with a heavier sound, more dirty that the older guys. The heavier your sound the less subtle is becomes too.  See if you can hear these differences for yourself and learn to appreciate those more primitive approaches from the 1950s. 60s and early 70s.

If you live in the Leeds area and want some help (or inspiration) with your blues guitar playing, give me a call on 07796 808633 to see what I can do for you.

If you like jamming on Blues music, there is a Blues Night every third Tuesday in Bradford at
Factory Street Studios, Unit 9, Factory Street in Bradford, BD4 9 NW, Tel: 01274 682125.  No need to bring amps, just bring guitar, bass or drumsticks and enjoy!