James Smith

I think I was 10 years old, when I first found the guitar. I had just come home after a Saturday morning football match when my friend invited me over to his house. I remember watching him pick up his Dads guitar and strum a few chords to ‘Browned eyed girl’. From that moment, my life changed. Football ceased to exist, Guitar was my new passion!

With my cousin’s old Spanish guitar, I started lessons once a week at school, but quickly moved on to private lessons locally.
When Christmas came around I begged for a Les Paul style guitar. I’d watched Slash on YouTube and thought myself “That looks so cool!”

Santa Claus visited and sure enough, there was a Sunburst Les Paul copy, and a huge eardrum bursting 5 watt amp. I remember plugging it in, turning up all the gain, and playing ACDC’s ‘Back in black’. It probably sounded like a fuzzy mess to my family, but to a 10 year old boy, ‘IT SOUNDED AWESOME!’.

I then began taking licks from players such as Joe Bonamassa, Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Gary Moore who I still see as my main influences today. I was infatuated with the Blues/Rock sound, and wanted to recreate all my favorite licks in my bedroom.

With some confidence under my belt, I started to take my show on the road! I began busking in the streets of Chester each weekend. I began saving up and used my earnings to buy better quality musical equipment.­­

Last year I completed my RGT Grade 8 guitar exam and passed with a Distinction.

I am constantly trying to develop my skills and techniques to try and reach my full potential and achieve my ultimate goal, to become a professional guitarist.

I am also trying to promote myself on the internet by building a following on YouTube and Twitter.