Information and Advice

The Weekly Learning Vault: Number 1 2021

December 14 2021

Hello Explorers,
Welcome to The Weekly Learning Vault. I’m Philippa – the Innovations Manager at The
Guitar Social. I’ll be guiding you round the vault this week. As you can see, there are a great
many precious things here – if you look up to the walls and ceiling, and in the iron chests.
Please be careful about where you step and what you touch, as there are some rather
unusual security measures put in place by the deposit protection unit.
This vault is where The Guitar Social team keeps valuable learning gems, so, as you are our
trusted explorers, we thought we would show you round some of the important artefacts
that we are keeping down here.

Elvis Costello interviewed by Conan O’ Brien
This exhibit was discovered and deposited by Thomas. Within it, Elvis Costello discusses his
new book ‘How to Play Guitar and Y’ with the Late Night Show’s longest running host and
guitar fan, Conan O’ Brien. 
This hour-long conversation focuses on the power of three and four chords, and the beauty
that can be found in the simpler corners of music. This is good for all, but especially useful
for anyone that might have found themselves stressing over the F chord or thinking
themselves left behind for not getting all of theory. 
You can listen here:

‘Dead Flowers’ Guitar Lesson
In this YouTube tutorial, David Pots teaches you how to play ‘Dead Flowers’, a song
originally on the 1971 ‘Sticky Fingers’ album by The Rolling Stones. However, the version
taught here has a more guitar-focused sound. It is the acoustic, stripped-back Townes Van
Zandt version which featured in the closing credits of ‘The Big Lebowski’.
You can learn to play it here:

Bowie on Eno on Bowie (not literally)
This gem reveals rare audio interviews from 1977. Bowie and Eno talk about each other,
their working methods and techniques, and give some interesting insights into the

limitations and approaches which spark creativity. These interviews were recorded during
Bowie and Eno’s Berlin years – a time which produced three amazing albums – Low (1977),
Heroes (1977), and Lodger (1979).
You can listen to the recording here:

Brian Eno on How to Beat Creative Block
More gems from Eno. Here, he discusses his Oblique Strategies cards with a BBC interviewer
and explains how they can shake up the creative process, help you work through a mental
block, and stop you going into autopilot and making the same thing again and again.
Check it out here:

That’s all for this week. We’ll come back down here for another explore next Thursday and
look at some more exhibits.

Happy learning,

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Nicola Cortese
Nicola Cortese
I started a course in Jan as a beginner with Thomas and I can already play 5 songs!.. with simple chords :) both Thomas and Fiona are really lovely and they really know how to teach whilst having fun! I'd highly recommend dropping at one of their Thursday's open mic! Tons of fun and talent for free!!!
Jonny Pollard
Jonny Pollard
Very friendly learning environment, was a bit nervous to play with a group having not played socially for many years, but it was super relaxed, and I learnt a lot in the first session. Looking forward to the next session!
Adam J
Adam J
Had a great time tonight! I joined on to the beginners course a couple weeks late, but Fiona was great at running me up to speed before the class. Tom was a great instructor, and managed to get us to cover lots of ground in a short space of time. The group was super freindly and relaxed, and im looking forward to going back next week!
Jakub Špaček
Jakub Špaček
Having played guitar in my past within academic environment I have to say The Guitar Social club opened my eyes with their amazing and vibrant atmosphere with company of great people. Lessons are really fun and easy to follow. Feel really motivate just after few classes and my connection to the instrument greatly improved!
Paula Smith
Paula Smith
Unbelievably great, not kidding.
Marcella Puppini
Marcella Puppini
This exactly what I was hoping it would be. A fun and engaging way of learning a new instrument at a lovely venue, with great people and great teaching. Thoroughly recommended.
Only been going 2 weeks but it's a great environment with good pacing throughout the lessons. The community is quite helpful + open to learn so it's really a great space for anyone wanting to hone their guitar chops!
Kevin S.
Kevin S.
Is it a guitar school? A social events group? A music workshop for all ages and abilities? An open, non-judgemental route to performing? A holiday club that includes jamming on guitars around the campfire? Well–it's all these and more. The Guitar Social is built around founder & lead tutor Thomas (plus TGS Business Director, Fiona, originally one of its earliest students). Patient and passionate, Thomas and his relaxed, friendly temperament get the best from beginners to improvers and beyond. Personally for me, one core strength of The Guitar Social is that Thomas realises what most tutors and courses never do – we can all learn fast and well when we play whole songs together and discover as a group how to make them work. Thomas and TGS guest tutors will always tend to teach music theory for guitar, and focus too on scales, chord voicings, correct rhythm, licks, riffs, parts, soloing etc, but with a tendency to make it about the fun and learning gains when students jam together on great songs instead of staring at a white board and not playing much music. Jamming songs in similar or mixed ability groups helps TGS students become functioning musicians who have built useful real world skills and experience across many sessions similar to how working musicians rehearse and workshop songs. And you will have the opportunity to build live experience too if you wish – solo or with your term group or with others of your choice, in a safe, positive environment, with friendly fellow students as your audience. Never any pressure and just one example of where TGS delivers extra value. They are really worth trying. I haven't even done full justice here to all the different activities they do.
stu smith
stu smith
The coolest club in London!
Colin Taylor
Colin Taylor
I'm back for my second series of the Joy of the Jam. After not playing with others for over 30 years, these sessions are reminding me just how inspiring and enjoyable jamming can be. Thomas leads the sessions with huge enthusiasm and a great deal of humour. The support of his impressive musical knowledge is ever present - but this never gets in the way of our desire just have fun and be playing.

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