Our Story

More than a place to learn.

The Guitar Social began in 2014 based on the simple idea that playing and learning guitar is more fun if you do it with other people. It had one class, and twelve learners. Since then, it has become something else.

Today The Guitar Social is a place to meet new people. It’s a place to learn new skills. To develop your musical confidence. To try things you have never tried before. It’s the starting point on a great adventure. It’s a community. It’s about making friends. It’s about going places. It’s a class on a rainy Sunday. It’s a jam on boat on a blue ocean. It’s a pint in a pub. It’s a shared pot of coffee at one of our camp retreats

It’s many things to many people, but most of all, it’s the people within it, that make it what it is. 

We can’t wait to have you along for the ride.

Thomas Binns, Founder & Tutor

Thomas is the holder of The Guiness World Record for the World’s Longest Guitar Lesson during which he taught over 250 people over 24 hours (and six minutes) in an art Gallery in Canning Town. He is also the Founder of this sprawling community of Guitar Players, holiday makers and event attendees, The Guitar Social. 

Thomas started teaching aged 16 from his mothers spare room and has since then taught in schools, prisons, on boats, in jungles, on the street and across the world with the intention of bringing musicality to everyone and anyone that has a desire to play. 

He believes in real life musical connection. He also believes that anyone that wants to play guitar can play guitar as evidenced in his charity TGSArts which provides free instruments and tuition to vulnerable adults such as the blind community, refugees and young people suffering with ill mental health.

Since The Guitar Social formed in 2013 he has delivered over 7000 hours of guitar classes to over 2000 people in real life settings offering people from all backgrounds the opportunity to find their musical voice and live their rock and roll guitar dreams. 

In 2020 Thomas will be continuing to deliver music classes and events on and offline as well as opening his first permanent site in East London. He’ll also be donating a further 150 guitars and facilitating tuition to vulnerable adults across London. 

Fiona Pannell, Business manager

Fiona had a career as a senior researcher for some of the largest corporations on planet earth before she opted to divert her attentions upon this small humble rock called The Guitar Social two years ago. For many of our learners Fiona is the first port of call. She’s also been key in scouting out locations for many of our retreats, has been the drive behind our big events and the steam in The Guitar Social’s engine. 

You might call Fiona the glue that holds this house of cards together. 

She’s an open tuning fanatic and acoustic diehard; now in her own band ‘The Rye Whiskeys.  Fiona is only one email, one phone call away and believes in The Guitar Social more than she believes in corporate research, which for this tin pot organisation, has been a blessed, blessed thing. 

Bands formed from The Guitar Social classes and events

The 7,8,9’s

These guys met in a class and have since spread their wings and taken on their own gigs and secured their own Rehersal facility. We remain fans and friends and often provide them with stage time at our events.

The Rogues

Formed from multiple different classes with the initial intention of doing one St Patricks Gig, this band continue to meet and rehearse. They’re lively, fast paced and do high octane Celtic inspired party music. 

The Go Go Burns

Headed up by Marc who attended a number of advanced sessions this band are now securing gigs outside of The Guitar Social Network. 

Odd box Eric

One of The Guitar Social’s first ever students was Eric. Since then he has carved out a solo career, launched his own guitar manufacturing business, set up a band and recently played his first festival.