Day #1 | Saturday 31st July


Classes started after registration and the festival introduction with Phil Castang.

Afternoon – Technique Expander

After registration the Rock Apprentices made themselves comfortable in the classroom and each student took turns to introduce themselves to the class. This years Rock Apprentices are; Thomas and Graham on bass, and Nick, Tom, Giuseppe, and Lewis on guitar.

We began with a short jam, to ascertain the students strengths, weaknesses and key areas for development. We jammed over a G minor rock groove at 70bpm.

We then started working on knowledge of the fret board and learning the notes on the neck using a simple formula and octave shapes to help navigate the fret board.

  • Root 6th & 5th String – 2 strings down, 2 frets up
  • Root 4th & 3rd String – 2 strings down , 3 frets up
Moveable Octave Shape 1

Moveable Octave Shape 1

You can download the octave shapes sheet here: Moveable Octave Shapes

The class then had a choice of Rock Expander special interest classes or band workshops.

The students could choose the following classes:

  • Major Modal Playing for Blues, Rock & Jazz (Jim Clark)
  • Developing Modern Rock Techniques, Licks & Concepts (Martin Goulding)
  • Improvisation using Exotic Ethnic Scales (Tolis)


I was then dropped in at the deep end and asked to cover the vocal class for the final session of the day. We listened to the songs that they will be learning this week, including; Deep Purple’s ‘Black Night’, Radiohead’s ‘Just’ and Rick James ‘Super Freak’.

We talked about prosody, melody direction, scansion, rhythm, studio production and compression, the difference between live vocals and studio vocals, the role of the producer and various other subjects regarding vocal performance.

Kat's Vocal Class

Kat’s Vocal Class

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About Richard Perkins

Richard Perkins is the founder of Bath Guitar School and has worked for the International Guitar Foundation, Brit Awards, Rockschool, B&NES Council, Mid Somerset Festival, Bath Music Plus, and appeared on BBC and ITV television and radio programming as well as being featured in Guitar Techniques, Total Guitar, Venue, Bath Life magazines and the Bath Chronicle newspaper. Richard is a graduate of the Commercial Music degree programme at Bath Spa University and has a HND in Popular Music from Oxford College.
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