+44 (0)7870 369 131


Sign up for my newsletter

Sign up here!

Newsletter, August ’18: backing tracks, exam results, review…

Newsletter, August ’18: backing tracks, exam results, review…

In this newsletter:

  • Backing tracks refresh!
  • Exam results
  • Google reviews
  • Northern line disruption: May-September

Backing tracks refresh!

I have updated all of my YouTube backing track videos with easier to read chord charts. I had to edit and resubmit them all, so some of the old links may not work – but they are all still there!

I have added the missing 12 bar blues tracks to my website, so there are now 36 major blues, and 36 minor blues backing tracks on the Backing Tracks page of my website.

You can also download any or all of the tracks from my new Bandcamp channel. There is a link to download each track in the YouTube description, or next to the track on my website. Alternatively you can go straight to Bandcamp and listen there. Tracks are £0.45 each, or £5.00 for an album (12 tracks).

Why use backing tracks? They are used to practice improvisation in the privacy of your own home, so that you can try out new ideas and apply the techniques, theory and improvisation skills that you have been using.

Why so many blues tracks? 12 bar blues is commonly regarded as the simplest chord progression to improvise over. Musicians will often jam on a blues when they play together for the first time, as ‘anyone can play the blues’…

I will be adding a lot more tracks in different styles, using different chord progressions, soon.

Exam results

Once again, all of my pupils passed their exams with merit or distinction! Did I mention that my pupils have a 100% pass rate?

I can guide you through guitar, ukulele or music theory exams, and I’m familiar with the syllabuses for all the main exam boards: ABRSM, Rockschool, Trinity, RGT. I am an RGT registered tutor.

Google reviews

John Abraham’s review of my Skype lessons:

“Pardon the long review but I feel it’s important to be detailed as possible for those out there who were once like me, and hesitant to give Cliff a try.
I decided to pick up the guitar as an adult. I knew that I had 30+ lost years to catch up on, and I wasn’t sure if I could play. It was important for me to find a teacher that would show a personal interest in my growth. I wanted someone that wouldn’t just teach me how to strum and play chords, but to take the time to teach me the precise elements that will guide me towards my goal of being a respectable guitarist.

In my first year I went through three guitar teachers. What I experienced with all three teachers was a disinterested and unorganized approach. Each lesson with these three was nearly identical. They never had any sort of lesson plan, they never recalled the previous lesson and they spent a good amount of each hour wasting my time by talking about unrelated subjects or showing off their soloing. I often left lessons empty handed and confused about what I should practice. After a year of this I felt very frustrated as I didn’t feel like I was progressing.

I decided to look for a Skype teacher. I knew after my first lesson with Cliff that I had found the right teacher. Prior to my lesson he sent me a worksheet to fill out, asking me who my favorite bands were, what would I like to play, and what my goals were. Already he was showing more interest than any of the others. I was amazed at my first lesson. He actually taught for the entire hour, no showing off his abilities or wasting time chatting. I initially felt overwhelmed because I wasn’t used to such a precise, detailed and educational lesson. He hits every small detail and works through everything you do methodically. He’s always correcting and won’t let you play through a mistake without working on correcting it.
Every lesson is precluded by worksheets emailed to me the night before. These are for rhythm, theory and tabs. Every lesson is ended with new worksheets for the weekly homework. After 7 months I have already learned multiple songs with Cliff and a few solos.
I’ve gotten stuck on parts of a song, emailed Cliff my problem and he’s taken the time to record a file of him playing that section slowed down so I can sort it out. I’ve asked him to teach me a song that he didn’t know, and couldn’t find much info on, I’ve asked him to sort out bits of live performances that no tabs exist of. All of this he has done for me enthusiastically.
Cliff makes me feel that I have my own personal guitar teacher that truly cares about the my development. I could not give a higher recommendation, as I feel that Cliff is the best teacher out there.”

If you have had a lesson with me, please leave me a Google review. That would really help me out!

Northern line disruption

The Northern Line disruption is almost at an end!

Due to the Northern line extension, Northern line trains on the Bank branch won’t stop at Kennington until mid-September 2018.

Kennington station will remain open, and trains on the Morden-Charing Cross line will stop at Kennington, but there will be no interchange for the Bank branch at Kennington.

During the non-stopping period, there will be more direct trains to/from Morden via the Charing Cross branch, with one approximately every 10 minutes throughout the day. This means there will be a slightly reduced service on the Bank branch.

If this is your route to Kennington for your lesson with me, I suggest that you get off at Oval (the stop after Kennington). My place is 10 minutes walk from Oval station. It’s a nice walk through Kennington Park in the summer, or you can walk around the park if you prefer.

The other option is to change from the southbound to northbound Northern Line at Oval and get the first Charing Cross train back to Kennington.

See you soon!

Sign up for my email newsletter

Sign up today