The London Guitar Show – Support your local Guitar Luthier, Guitar Shop and Guitar Tutor
Today my valued student Howard and I took a trip to Kempton for ‘The London International Guitar Show’. We were spellbound by the array of instruments with prices ranging from £35 to £299,995.
Why buy a house when you can live in a car with a mint condition 1959 Les Paul?
After several hours shuffling with floors firmly jaw scraped marvelling at the beautiful objects calling to us. It dawned on me to continue supporting local and national small luthier and instrument businesses when buying instruments. Let us continue to enjoy visiting, perusing their wears, guided by their expertise and cherish the real experience of a high-quality musical instrument in our hands. Picture of 1959/1960 Les Paul from ATB guitars https://www.atbguitars.com/
During screen time, I ask myself if the instrument’s design is suitable for my hand size. Only in their physical presence can we judge an instrument’s weight, balance, feel, quality of craftsmanship and of course, sound. The experience of trying different guitars is fascinating, revealing and enjoyable.
The difference is night and day when compared with online guesswork, forums, and influencer recommendations. Don’t take a YouTuber’s word for it.
Just as we ought to be face to face with our local guitar tutors, who can give instant feedback and show the path to faster results than self-teaching will achieve.
In the wake of Brexit, the pandemic, austerity, inflation, and impending recession, as confirmed by the beginning of a bear market, the economy appears bleak and consumer sentiment is low.
The evolving convenience of AI, VR and Amazon means all Music shops and we Guitar Luthiers and Tutors will strive to stay relevant.
What does the future hold for this Guitar?
I overheard from one luthier to another, ’I admire how you keep putting content out there.’ The more positive energy put out into the universe, the more likely some of it may return. Life for small businesses has sped up to the point where unless mindful we reside in a permanent state of inattention.
Interaction, networking, learning and an exchange of ideas are only part of what The Guitar Show had in store. James Bay’s guitarist Luke Bullard spent time with us. He kindly offered an account of how James enjoyed his ascent from studying guitar at BIMM to signing his first record deal. As a former student at ICMP / Guitar Institute / Bass Tech; I saw those who put themselves out there and marketed themselves get ahead. I too had my chance and found myself in ‘the right place, the right time’.
Looking back I may have spent more than my fair share of hours in Music shops on the weekend. Soho is where I had my chance meeting. Were it not for Denmark Street I’d never have taught members of Mystery Jets or secured function work. And in turn gained career experience to share with my students.
Keeping Music alive and getting political.
Footfall on the High Street has progressively fallen. I bought this tambourine in a local closing-down sale as I said goodbye to Albert’s Music Shop 1952 – 2014. In the heyday members of Queen, Status Quo, Brian May, and Phil Collins visited the shop when younger, describing the “lovely experience” of buying records and instruments “It’s a different feeling from just pressing a button to get a download or shopping online it is missed.”
The new era began way before 2014. Napster had begun to kill off physical sales in 2003.
I was overwrought when I heard a friend describe music as ‘disposable’.
A guitar in every home and social media levelled the concept of fame. Now we face our culture diluted further with notions of ‘being different’ now celebrated soon ‘being different’ will only mean to conform. Why we need to support local music business artists and retailers. Simple really: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” For music to live, an axe-wielding youth rebellion must prevail, with something to say, somehow without drowning in the noise of everyone else’s diverse messages.
Exhibitors at the show showed extreme patience while I auditioned Kemper, Line 6 Helix, Strymon, Boutique overdrives, and other recording gear. Thanks to Fredric Effects Fredric.co.uk and Goliath Fx GoliathFx.co.uk
I bumped into Charlie Chandler and will soon pay a visit for him to expertly service my US Telecaster. https://ccgx.co.uk/
For hours we took in the spectacle of quilted maple, tiger flame, wine, tobacco and honey burst, candy apple, Arctic white natural satin and surf green, moonstone, transparent blue, gold top and amber and sunburst.
Growled at by Seymour Duncan, Bare-knuckle, Wilkinson; flummoxed by the options of Humbuckers, Single coil, P90s, radius, neck size, and body shape.
The London Guitar Show was a fantastic experience. At the eleventh hour, Howard prompted what I was after, I headed for the speed merchant stand where Ibanez PRS and ESP awaited.
I soon realized that the ideal Rock Machine at the right price would have to wait another day.
Droves began exiting with new tagged bags slung over shoulders. In awe, entranced we envisioned our next dream guitars. We circled the entire venue several times before recalling the location of the car park. Farewell to The Guitar Show for another year.
Follow the link for The London International Guitar Show details and exhibitors here:
The next show is in Merseyside on the 26th of November…
I provide guitar, singing and bass lessons in Teddington and Online. This week I have a Halloween offer.
Rock out with ghastly grooves this Halloween. Play spooky songs sure to horrify. Book your Free Guitar Singing Bass Assessment now.