A Collection of Tunes

On this site are a collection of musical things I've played around with over the years. Almost all stem from the fact I started playing the guitar when I was 15 (now over 40 years ago!). I am indepted to Jon Gatland who taught me how to play initially in the behind the stage area during the school play at Barstable School in Basildon. Also to my parents who got me lessons (and paid for them!) with the flamenco guitarist Juan Martin in London when I was 16 or 17. This was a turning point for me, and gave me a good basic technique which is so important - moral here is always get the best teacher you can at the beginning. To this day I still encounter spanish flamenco guitarists who can tell I was taught to play with the right kind of attack by a real pro.

Another music life-changing event for me is when I got to see Paco de Lucia when I was 20 (in 1974) the Bristol Student's Union in a room with about 20 other people and plenty of empty chairs! He had been signed by Island Records and was doing promos at Universities. I sat about 15 feet from him and his brother Ramon (who tragically died recently). The whole experience was completely jaw-dropping and you realised you were watching a genius which nobody else really knew about back then. I concluded I could never play like that, but I could take some of those rhythmic and tonal ideas and do something simple to amuse myself.

Since then I messed around with rock (LFL link here), and played more recently for flamenco dancers (see video page). According to the legendary flamenco guitarist Sabicas you should spend 10 years playing for singers, then 10 years playing for dancers, then you are ready to play solo. I've been working on this schedule backwards - so next I hope to work with some singers in Chicago, which is actually a lot more difficult than it seems, because you always need to follow them!

The links on the left give some idea of the tunes over the years.....

Contact: spswordy at gmail.com