The teacher

Working with a great teacher allows you to become the musician you want to be. Players often come to me after using books, videos and online courses, or from learning in group lessons. They have struggled to master techniques or improve as they expected, as they don't receive the support, feedback or dedicated one-to-one development that ensures they make the most of their learning time.

Experience

With over 20 year's teaching experience, I'm well established and have worked hard to create a learning program that gets musicians playing well quickly and be the best they can be. I focus on live technique and skills, using practical theory to generate original creativity and improvisation.

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The plan

I feel that it is important to build a plan with you to help you achieve your own aims. Long term development is balanced with clear short-term goals, so that you feel immediate improvement and play good music straight away whilst building understanding and creativity. Whether you want to play songs, pass grades, or play live with other musicians, our time together is focussed on your individual needs and aspirations. Practice between lessons makes you advance quicker.

I provide extensive practice resources, including software which lets you loop and slow down a phrase, so you can master it, building speed and fluency. Drum software is also provided to help your practicing, as timing is the foundation of music. Outside of lessons, support is just an email away.

Learning in a Live Environment

I work quickly to show instant improvement and introduce skills and theory that you'll use every day. Using drum loop software, keyboards, bass and guitar, we'll create a ‘live band' environment when you learn, so that you can understand and enjoy your contribution and responsibility in a band situation. When you first get your instrument, you dream of playing alongside other players. That's why I provide accompaniment as you lead the track and build confidence in your new abilities.

Guide tracks are created during the lesson to help and encourage your practice. Videos and diagrams help to keep you on track when you play between lessons. We'll record finished pieces so you can monitor your progress. You can access our online Dropbox shared file to see videos and practice guides.

Ear training and learning songs

Hearing a song, then playing it instantly may sound unrealistic. With the right guidance, you'll learn to pitch intervals, recognise chord progressions and understand the construction of a song to learn it after just one listen. Then you can play any song you hear, instead of just learning them one at a time during lessons.

Advanced and professional musicians

Players at any level can feel frustrated and ‘stuck in a rut'. Coaching from an accredited tutor and working live musician means that there are now two heads on your playing, rather than one. New inspiration and a huge wealth of knowledge and experience in a range of genres can open up new ideas and directions that help you quickly advance your skill and improvisation on your instrument, whilst properly understanding it's relationship to other instruments in a band.

Improvisation and original creativity are key to an advanced player. I work with many professional and working bassists and guitarists to explore new avenues in soloing, grooves and songwriting. Priority is given to short term projects such as learning set lists fast, recording work, auditions, and preparing dep / stand-in musicians for live work.

Your chance to play at our live events

We have a unique collaboration with a fortnightly live music event. The family-friendly venue hosts an evening of music from local artists and students on Friday evenings, with full PA and lights. It's a showcase for my students, working together with the house band to perform in front of an audience. You can also join our live events in the summer and Christmas, including an outdoor gig each year.

Get In Touch or call me on 07769 922278

What I teach

Bass

Bass is the foundation of any good band. It provides the link between drums and other instruments and drives the band with a percussive, melodic groove. I work as a professional bassist and enjoy the freedom to stand out in the mix, with innovative bass lines and solos. Teaching 4, 5, 6 and 7 string plus fretless bass, I coach players to be tight, staccato and percussive when grooving and specialise in slap and fast movement through the fretboard for melody. Using drum loops and guitar accompaniment, I'll put you in the heart of the band and encourage you to lay down tight, original grooves and epic runs and solos. We'll push the boundaries of the bass and master it's huge potential.

Guitar

A great guitarist demonstrates a perfect balance of fluent rhythm playing and innovative solos. Development of picking, strumming, chord progressions and riffing make your playing more exciting and original, whilst an understanding of potential shapes and modes can make each solo individual, and beautiful. I specialise in rhythmic funk style, blues and rock genres, with the emphasis on phrasing and shaking-up the standard solo to create a sound that is purely you. All ages and levels taught, including grades.

Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic guitar has so many possibilities. You can fluently connect chord progressions and play a song, or go further and integrate it into an unplugged band or perform on your own. Acoustic was seen by many as the way into playing guitar. Nowadays, acoustic singers are at the cutting edge of solo performance. Singers who play acoustic guitar can use a looper pedal to build an ensemble sound in moments and provide accompaniment for their performance. I was one of the first to use a looper in my playing and have mastered the benefits and properties of the looper. Picking styles, strumming and melody build into a huge range of sounds, so that your acoustic playing is enthralling whether by the camp fire with friends, or at a festival. Specialising in arranging contemporary versions of modern and classic tracks, I aim to capture the detail of the original, whilst allowing the various parts to be represented on one guitar.

Keys and Piano

Whether you wish to play keys in a band or piano at home, my contemporary approach is modern and captures all the detail of a song, with a focus on performance and fluent timing. All ages and levels taught, I work quickly to allow you to enjoy playing good music straight away.

Theory

Understanding theory will encourage you to develop new styles and ideas, especially when improvising, jamming, songwriting and soloing. A basic understanding of theory ensures that you recall and perform songs structures better, whilst exploring theory in detail can totally transform your abilities and creativity on your instrument.

Dep, stand-in and session

I offer a service to bands who need last minute coverage for a missing band member in order to fulfil a gig and protect their relationship with fans, venues and agents. 48 hours and 24 songs is my offering. I have worked as a dep / stand-in for hundreds of bands, integrating and giving 100% to each performance to maintain your reputation.

Set-up, repairs, modifications and discounted instruments & accessories

I can offer guitar and bass repairs, set-ups and modifications, including fret work, wiring, hardware and damage repair. Working with trusted luthiers, we can provide custom jobs, including wood tops and routing for new bridges. My connection to suppliers of instruments and accessories also allows me to source discounted equipment and custom basses and guitars.

Get In Touch or call me on 07769 922278

Where

Based in Saltaire, Bradford BD18, I teach students from Bradford, Keighley, Baildon, Howarth, Bingley and Leeds at my fully equipped studio.

What people say about me

Myles King

Fantastic Teacher, very encouraging and enthusiastic attitude. Great setup with recording tracks for you to work on. All aspects of my playing have got better since starting with Bren, from the basics all the way to advanced solos.

Lee Oman

Bren is an excellent teacher. I had never picked up a bass in my life but with encouragement and great coaching I am now regularly playing live at either jam sessions or band gigs. My lessons are one of the highlights of my week. Can't recommend Bren highly enough.

Sarah Widdup

I started acoustic guitar lessons with Bren just under 4yrs ago. Since then we've worked together on song arrangements, building a set list, incorporating a loop pedal and composing original pieces, ready to launch myself as solo acoustic singer. I'm now gigging in and around West Yorkshire and loving it. Thanks Bren for your hard work and opportunities you've sent my way. Bren's an extremely knowledgeable and skilled musician, always giving 100%. He has an enthusiastic and infectious approach, which you can't help feed off.

Adam Beard

In the time I have been draining Bren of his musical wisdom I have performed live, gone to band auditions, picked up the bass and I can now do things I thought only Eddie Van Halen could do. I trust Bren completely with my musical direction as I believe he knows me better than myself with what I can produce as a musician and not just as a guitarist.

Mick Prior

Bren helped me to prepare for auditions with professional bands. We wrote excellent bass lines and work on original ideas for songs. Very professional and hugely experienced musician. Needless to say, I got the job!

Gail Haigh

Having lessons with Bren has been a great experience for me, not knowing anything about music or the instrument was a challenge. However, with his infinite patience and knowledge, he has taught me to play the acoustic and electric guitar to the point where I can stand up and play with a band. I cannot recommend him highly enough and now consider him to be a great friend too.

Rob Sanderson

Bren's a really great teacher, he'll push you out of your comfort zone and have you learning new tricks and techniques before you know it. His lessons are really fun and I enjoy been able to move to different instruments with him and get an understanding for how it all fits together in a piece of music.

Get In Touch or call me on 07769 922278

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