How it all began

Fundamental Changes in Guitar came about around ten years after I finished studying at The Guitar Institute in London.

While G.I.T. was an excellent school, after studying there and gaining more insight from the wonderful Leeds College of Music, I found that the sheer information overload had caused me to develop an unhealthy attitude to learning the guitar.

At The Guitar Institute, I have been bombarded with so many scales, concepts and theoretical ideas without real context, that I had naturally assumed that I should be including every idea in every bar of music that I played. I didn’t have the stylistic awareness to know about different genres where different ideas would be more appropriate. This was very true in the genre of jazz guitar, which I love.

The pressure I put on myself trying to learn and incorporate every complex idea that I was shown, caused me to have a very bad time learning music, and so I took a year off to concentrate on myself.

I continued my education at Leeds College of Music and under some great tutelage, I discovered that there could be a natural, stepwise process to learning any musical genre, but especially jazz.

Years later, I was intensively teaching guitar kept coming across students who had developed the same problems as me in my early years: trying to grab every advanced concept they could and stuff it into their playing (this is easily done these days with the likes of YouTube etc). I realized it might be helpful to write an organized, step by step guitar to the most important concepts in jazz soloing, that helped the student focus on the essentials. – At the time I was literally finding guitar students who were trying to play tritone substitutions before being able to play a swung 1/8th note.

My first book, Fundamental Changes in Jazz Guitar was simply a project to help some students. Someone mentioned that I should publish it, and the rest is history!

For some reason, people found my book and liked the fact that everything was step-wise and that I included audio to help contextualize the music. Some positive Amazon reviews followed so I thought about what else I could offer. My second book, The CAGED System and 100 Licks for Blues Guitar was an instant Amazon best seller and is now available in two languages. It is normally to be found in the top ten on Amazon even after two years.

Four years and 40 books later, has grown into an extremely popular website with heavy traffic and over 250 free guitar lessons. I try to write a book about every two months and post three new guitar lessons per week. I’ve taken on writers and contributors and we’ve got some exciting plans for the future.

So far we’ve sold more than 350,000 books and the feedback has been great, thank you!

At the heart of it though, it’s just me, my partner in crime, a guitar, a computer and an internet connection. I try to respond to all your emails personally, but every day I wake up to 20+ emails so unfortunately I can’t reply to everyone. Sorry if your question goes unanswered, I’m trying my best.

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