ACOUSTIC SINGER IN THE UK
Being a musician in 2018 is very different to when I started playing in 2004. There was no proliferation YouTube or Spotify, you went to HMV or FOPP or somewhere similar to actually buy records, and to learn how to play an instrument meant either classes, private tuition, or what the heroes used to call "by-ear".
I made the decision to become an acoustic singer in the UK after first learning electric guitar through tuition. My BFF Jed was getting lessons from a local guy, so (like many aspects of my life) I copied him and went to the same guy. After learning the craft for a year, and playing a large quantity of heavy metal music (which wasn't really my bag), I decided to focus on the music that I liked and flew the coop. By which, I mean I stopped paying the bloke £10 an hour and just used the internet.
Since then, I have not really spent time developing my skills as a guitarist. Sure, you naturally pick up new methods of playing simply be learning and writing new material, but I have not dedicated myself to learning how to shred, for example, because I became more interested in songwriting.
Songwriting as an acoustic singer in the UK is a much less structured process. People write songs in all kinds of different ways. For me, I seem to naturally lean towards melody. If I find the melody striking and catchy, I tend to think there could be something there and pursue it.
Others, I know, spend time on lyrics or chord structures. My acoustic music is far less sophisticated. I tend to keep things simple where possible, and my goal is to write a song which moves me with its tone and atmosphere, rather than anything I am saying specifically.
I have also found that many of my acoustic music on Spotify has taken on deeper meaning later on after I have spent time playing them and showing other people.
For example, the title track of my upcoming album "Building Stampedes" never really meant anything to me during the weeks and months whilst I finessed the track. It was only through the recording process, whereby I listened to it dozens of times, that I realised the song was massively about my dad and his struggle with depression.
Being an acoustic singer in the UK does involve, predictably, a lot of singing in front of people. I personally find it more daunting than when I am in front of a band, as you are more exposed. However, it does mean you get to control the music and the audience (without fear that one of your band mates is pulling faces behind your back).
Few experiences in life are like singing your own songs in front of people, and even less like the feeling when you see someone singing the words back to you.
Head over to my Videos section where you can see me performing some of my original music to live audiences.