"Brandon is a talented and dedicated musician with extensive knowledge, skills and experience across a range of musical genres. He is thoughtful, articulate and intelligent, and is able to communicate his teaching methods with clarity. He is well organised and can be relied upon to carry out his teaching duties responsibly and with considerable care and attention to detail."

"Brandon is a consummate professional. He is a gifted musician with the required patience, organisation and sensitivity to work with pupils of any age. I recommend him in the warmest possible terms."


Occasionally someone gets in touch to check if they are suitable for lessons. Everyone is a suitable student. 
I pride myself in adapting to each person I teach, and there are some principles that extend over all styles of guitar or bass. I can help you take your first steps, or push through a barrier that's stopped you progressing. There is no magic fix - you might have to practice a lot of basic technique or work to unlearn some bad habits, but if you really want to be able to play, I can show you how. Get in touch to arrange a first lesson and we will take it from there.

...to advanced
Improvisation, extended techniques, advanced harmony... ...as musicians we are life-long learners. Even when you've been playing for some time, and you know your way around your instrument, there might still be musicians you listen to and think, 'How do they do that?' Or there may be a certain sound that interests you, and you'd like to know which chords and choices of melody create a certain feeling. One of the reasons I studied the ins and outs of so many different genres is because I can't stand the idea of there being a piece of music I don't understand. Some things you hear are idiosyncratic - they fall under the fingers of one artist, but would takes an enormous amount of effort for most people to learn, but there is nothing you hear that should be a mystery, no matter how complicated. If you would like a helping hand to dig deeper into a certain style or technique, or master a certain piece - or even if you just want to head in a different direction - I can help.

If you found your way to my site by Googling composition lessons, then you're in the right place, too. I have a Master's in composition and I've written in many different styles, for various combinations of instruments. The approach here is a bit different, as it will depend on your aims and your background. No matter which style of music you would like to write, there are certain aspects of composition which all composers should be familiar with. No matter where you are with things, it all starts with the first lesson.

My background
I have played guitar and studied music for about as long as I can remember. I've travelled a bit, and lived abroad for a few years, but music has been at the centre of everything, all the way. I have many years experience as a gigging musician, having done session work in styles as diverse as Punk Rock, Scottish Traditional music, and Renaissance recreations for Historic Scotland. I was a self-taught, Hendrix devotee for decades who was slowly enticed by the classical guitar, and ended up jumping in with both feet.

I completed my BMus with First Class Honours as a mature student at Edinburgh Napier University. I returned to Napier for my Master's Degree, with a focus on composing solo guitar and chamber music after a study of flamenco. Now I live, teach, compose, and perform in and around Edinburgh. I am familiar with all styles of technique and interpretation, from Baroque through Classical and Romantic to 20th- and 21st century music, including popular music and rock/alternative. It's all music, and once felt, it can all be understood using the same tools.

I've taught for some time in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and further afield when I lived in France and Denmark. I now offer tuition in guitar—electric, acoustic, classical and bass—and music theory, composition, performance, music analysis, and also in academic skills such as essay writing, project work and research, and applied study skills from Secondary education to Degree level. I have students ranging from age 4 to 74, from 4th year degree students to hobby guitarists. I learned guitar at first by imitating artists like Jimi Hendrix and Metallica, and had students who were interested in learning styles such as these, but as I have broadened my own experience I have taught bass guitar and electric guitar in a wide range of genres. Having studied with Simon Thacker for my Bachelor's, my understanding of technique and interpretation is profound, and I can offer all the benefits of classical training, no matter what your interests are. While studying Instrumental and Vocal Tuition with Bryden Stillie as part of my BMus at Edinburgh Napier University, I received a high distinction in assessment of my teaching abilities and methodology. I have refined my approach since then.

Would you like to learn to play a favourite song? 
Would you like to learn lead guitar, or flamenco, or slap bass? 
Or how to write in the style of a favourite artist? 
What about advanced improvisational skills or compositional techniques to develop your ideas? 
Do you simply want to learn the tools to master your instrument, and discover your preferences along the way? 

You may have a clear idea of what you would like to see in your playing. Maybe there are Trinity/ABRSM graded exams you would like to go for. You might just be curious, enjoy playing guitar, and looking to sharpen up your technique, or you want to write more songs for your band, and you're stuck in a rut. I do not have a set approach. If you want to take your technique to the next level, we will likely achieve that through a mixture of technical work and repertoire. If you want to learn to compose or improvise in a certain style, we will likely go over some theory, analyse some pieces, and build towards your goal, step by step.

Whatever you want to improve about your musicianship, that is what we will work on. And if you change your mind, we'll change our approach. I ask only that you leave each lesson with a genuine understanding of what we just studied, through asking questions when you are unsure. I tend to find the more questions a student asks, the quicker they see the improvements they want. 

Be inquisitive. 
The guitar isn't going to teach itself to you, and music isn't going to unravel on its own. But by deciding how much to work between lessons, you can pick your own rate of progress.


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