We’d like to introduce you to one of our Strings Club Course Leaders, Martin Budd!

In today’s interview we talk to Martin Budd who has been playing the guitar since he was 13 and has never looked back since – He is one of our guitar course leaders over at our London sites.

Martin talks us through his time with us here at The Strings Club and what he loves most about working with our children.

Where did you study music?

I studied music whilst at school in Bristol, and also through my one-to-one guitar tuition.

Tell us about your musical experience?

I had a great guitar teacher who really encouraged me to learn songs that I wanted to play, even though at times they were very challenging for the level I was currently playing at.

This always made me want to practice them and get better at playing the instrument as the reward would be that I could play my favourite music!

I used to play mainly rock and heavy metal music when I was first playing the guitar but a chance opportunity at school allowed me to become involved with the school jazz and swing band. This really opened up my guitar playing to a whole new world of how to use my instrument and taught me a lot. I’m now just as much a lover of rock and metal music as I am of blues and jazz music.

I’ve played in many bands over the years from many different styles and genres. I’m now currently regularly playing with a rock covers band and an acoustic duo project with a wonderful French singer, playing traditional French music from the 30’s to the 60’s.

I also write and perform my own music with my original project. This is a fusion of the styles I love to play. It uses rock and metal riffs combined with harmony and melody played using keys and sax to create something very unique sounding!

What do you enjoy the most about teaching?

The thing I enjoy the most about teaching is watching a student overcome an obstacle. I can’t remember how many times a student has told me that something they are working on is too hard and that they just can’t do it!

However, when you give someone the right encouragement and steps for achieving their goal, before they know it, they can play the thing they never thought would be possible.

I love to see the satisfaction and enjoyment that this gives my students and the message that it hopefully sends to them, that with the right approach and a little bit of hard work, they can really achieve what they want to.

Your biggest achievement / most enjoyable musical experience so far?

That would probably have to be when I got to play as a part of a jazz band that was going to be supporting a huge children’s choir performing at the Colston Hall in Bristol. It’s the biggest audience of people I’ve ever performed in front of, around 1000 people! It was really great honour to play on that stage and the atmosphere of the evening was fantastic!

Who is your favourite musician and why?

My favourite guitarist is Guthrie Govan. To me, he is a great inspiration because not only is he very technically amazing at playing the guitar, but he also plays it with so much character and feeling. He also manages to blend lots of styles of music very seamlessly into something that really sounds uniquely his own.

How did you start learning your instrument?

I started learning the guitar when I was 13 because all of the music I was listening to at the time had guitar in it and I desperately wanted to be able to play my favourite songs in a band with my friends. That’s exactly what we did and I’ve never looked back since.

Top practice tip for our Strings Club children?

When you get stuck and frustrated with something difficult, remember that someone else has been there before, including your teacher!

Stick with it, slow down what you’re playing, break it up into small bite size pieces.

Give yourself time, sometimes it takes a few days to get the hang of something and you’ll probably get a little bit better at it each day you practice. If you stick at it, before you know it, you’ll be playing it with ease and confidence with a big smile on your face!

Start your child’s musical journey