Sunday, 2 October 2011

Busy Month

September's always that time of year when "things get going again". Al and I both managed some time off, him spending some time in the Schoenberg museum in Austria (researching material for our RGT seminar, more of that anon) and me chilling out at the Newquay Bluegrass festival.

Last Sunday's RGT Conference saw us giving a seminar on attitudes to Aural awareness in guitar teaching. Despite stiff competition from two concurrently-running seminars we had a full house! It was a practical , lively and at times, controversial session, with many perceptive questions and responses from our audience. As a result of our preparation and in response to ideas raised at the Conference we have enough material to expand this as a research project and would welcome suggestions for sources of funding!

Guitar Improvers Evening class restarted on the 22nd with a full house of faces old and new and we were quickly back in the swing of things with some enthusiastic participation. We're hoping to attract some of them to an informal "Sing with your Supper" evening at Jacqueline's restaurant on the 22nd October. Still places available.

Also at Jacquelines, another in the series of singing workshops led by Kate Menhinnick on the 9th October. So you think you can't sing? You might be surprised when Kate proves otherwise!
Still time to find out. As usual, details of all the courses and events available on

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Band day in Warminster and Dillington

Thanks to all who made the band day such a success in Warminster last Saturday! We had Dobro, mandolin, guitar,ukulele etc. For anyone who missed it we'll be repeating something similar at Dillington. Speaking of which, we'll be performing for their Open Day next Sunday. Come along and see what a fantastic venue it is, chat to the friendly staff and get some information on the range of courses.

Our next course, Slide Guitar, is coming up soon; Friday 28th-Sunday 30th October.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Last weekend

Everyone enjoyed the Ukulele Day! It's a really fun and happy-sounding instrument and very easy to play for people with no experience (and an eye-opener for those of us who have!) with one or two finger chords enabling you to accompany songs. It can tackle all sorts of music; have a listen to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain for some interesting takes on things like the Dam-Buster's March for example. Did you know that George Harrison's last album was written almost exclusively using it? Give it a try. Inexpensive and portable and a great holiday instrument.

We played to a packed house at Jacqueline's restaurant last Saturday with some blues (but not on ukulele,although Gill was very tempted, she stuck to bass). A great evening and Mark and Jacqui served up some superb food. Many thanks to them for the opportunity.

This Saturday (20th August) we have an acoustic band workshop at the studio. It's an opportunity for novice players who want to experience playing with others. We'll be tackling accompaniment, soloing and improvisation. Still some spaces left for any guitarists, banjo players, mandolinists, dobro players and did I hear ukulele too? Ring for details, we'd be pleased to hear from you!

Acoustic Guitar Improvers Evening Class

We have one space left for this long-running popular class, starting on Thursday 22nd September. Come and join us at the Warminster studio from 7.30 onwards. Improve your technique learning with other like-minded enthusiasts in a friendly social atmosphere, with tea, coffee and the by now famous biscuit repertoire (a straw poll reveals that 95% of guitarists prefer dark chocolate coated gingers...)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ukulele Day and Live Gig

We're doing a Ukulele day in Warminster for adults on Saturday (13th August). Still places available. Come and escape the gloom with a Uke!

Later on, we're playing a live blues night gig at Jacqueline's Restaurant, also in Warminster. Good food, good company and some music!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Dillington Details

Dillington House have now finalised four courses for us, Here are some details; ring or email us for further details, questions etc. If you want details of the accommodation, fees, or if you want to book, please contact them direct;

Dillington House, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DT. Tel: 01460 258 648

DILLINGTON HOUSE WEEKENDS - following a highly successful 2010 weekend course Al & Ray ran another residential Acoustic Guitar weekend at DILLINGTONat the end of April 2011.
Further courses for 2011 & 2012 are:

October 28th - 30th 2011: SLIDE GUITAR WEEKEND.

January 20th - 22nd 2012: ACOUSTIC BAND ("No Boundaries: lots of rootsy music") WEEKEND.

March 2nd - 4th 2012: ACOUSTIC GUITAR IMPROVERS' WEEKEND - a further in this very successful series.

May 18th - 20th 2012: CREATIVE MUSIC WEEKEND - a chance to learn how to improvise and/or compose.
Please email or telephone for more details.

DILLINGTON HOUSE OPEN DAY- Sunday 4th September 2011. Come along and meet Al & Ray.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Uncle Bob Condrey's posted some more tuition videos on the website!
Take a look!
Well it was a great evening at Westbury Leigh. Thanks to our guest drummer, Leigh for some really tight playing. The band really rocked! Also thanks to all Biss Delta fans who turned up; hope you enjoyed the show!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

We're playing at Westbury Leigh Community Hall this Saturday (11th June) with other original members of Biss Delta, Pete Driscoll and Gill Summers plus a guest drummer, Lee. This will probably be the last time for this musical form! Originally put together to play charity gigs, our early focus was a 'skiffle revival' with local legends John Hilary(guitar, vocals and musical teapot?!) and Pete Ward (tea chest bass). Later incarnations of the band included Ian Grant (drums), Frank Clewett (Guitar, vocals, mandolin, harmonica) and Chris Clewett (percussion).

The band's moved on to play a mixture of blues and country-influenced material which we'll be showcasing on Saturday.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Really busy week for us. With Bob Condrey's help and wizardry with the camera, we completed a lot more video lessons for the Al n Ray website. Soon you'll be able to get a lesson online!

Banjo day in Warminster yesterday, despite several people having to drop out because of illness, was also hugely enjoyable. Thanks to John and Eric for their enthusiasm!

Biss Delta Survival play a rare gig at Westbury Leigh Community Centre this forthcoming Saturday. Details from us or

Monday, 23 May 2011

New Date

Please not we've had to change the date of the Blues Night at Jacqueline's in Warminster. It's now happening on Saturday 13th August.

Dillington again

Dillington guitar improvers was hugely enjoyable in April. Despite luxury accommodation and loads of good food we managed to get some playing done (and continued after the formal teaching sessions in the bar!)

Our thanks to Dillington for hosting the event and to our band of students who all made a really good sound!

We'll be back there in October for a slide guitar weekend (28th-30th) with more courses in the New Year. Contact us for further details!

We've just had feedback about April; 96% for quality of teaching, 100% for what folks felt they achieved!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Latest News

2011 Music workshops, courses and live music:
Saturday 7th May
- Slide guitar day
Saturday 21st May - Grow your own fingerpicking guitar arrangements day
Saturday 4th June - Banjo day
Saturday 11th June - The Biss Delta Survival with Pete Driscoll, Gill Summers, Ray Bradfield, Al Summers & guest at Westbury Leigh Community Centre
Saturday 2nd July - Instrumental tutors’ day
Saturday 9th July - Improve acoustic guitar day
Saturday 16th July - Team teaching day
Saturday 16th July - Blues night at Jacqueline’s – with Ray, Gill & Al
Saturday 6th August - Ukulele morning for 10-16 year-olds [£40 including Uke etc]
Saturday 13th August - Adult Ukulele day [£98 including Uke etc]
Saturday 20th August - Roots band day
Sunday 9th October - Singing day

Welcome to Al & Ray

Hi everyone and welcome to the all new Al & Ray blog. We hope to give you lots of exciting news and events and information about our workshops and specialist guitar lesson days in the forthcoming months of 2011.