Monday, 15 December 2014

Ukulele Grades

Ray and Al are offering a wonderful opportunity to study ukulele grades at Dillington House from 17th to 19th April 2015.
If you can't wait that long or would like to explore some ukulele tips and tricks beforehand, various ukulele workshops as well as one-to-one tuition will be available over the next few weeks in Warminster.

Ukulele Christmas

If you would like some friendly seasonal ukulele playing three morning workshops are on offer. Saturday 20th December from 10-11.30am and also 2 workshops on Christmas Eve (10-11am for children and 11.30am-1pm for adults.

Later Beatles songs

Ray & Al's course for improving guitarists starting January 8th will focus upon later Beatles songs. Course material will include a book of lyrics & chords, backing track CDs and clef & TAB sheets for the "juicy" bits!

Workshops in Warminster

January 2015 sees several workshops and courses on offer. These include:
Guitar Beginners & Refreshers - a 6-week course from January 9th;
Improving Guitarists - a 6-week course from January 8th;
Ukulele Morning Workshops on Saturday 3rd January & Saturday 10th January.

Ukulele friendly Christmas

For those looking for ukulele friendly Christmas carol and song arrangements the AlnRay website has just the thing. Dozens of well known Christmas tunes in treble clef, TAB notation and ukulele friendly chords, all at a bargain price.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

lots of workshops, courses and classes

There is plenty going on in Warminster and at Dillington House in the way of music workshops both before and after New Year.
On 8th January, Ray & Al's next acoustic guitar evening class begins: six weeks of Beatles songs from their later years, with friendly music charts and the usual blend of approachable and informed team teaching, good humour, coffee, tea and biscuits.
There is also an opportunity for those new to guitar to familiarise themselves with this wonderful instrument in a pleasant atmosphere with like-minded people. This is also ideal for lapsed players - someone who has not played for many years who would like to start again and refresh old skills as well as learn new techniques.
For budding ukulele-ists…is that a word!?…there is a series of workshop sessions in December and January.
Dillington House hosts Al & Ray's renowned courses, starting with an intermediate guitar day on 10th January, then another in their celebrated series of acoustic guitar weekends on 23rd January. There is also a ukulele course and another of their most popular 'No Boundaries' band residential courses later in the year.
For more information on these and other events, see the courses page on at

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Registry of Guitar Tutors Conference Seminars

Ray & Al were at London College of Music today delivering seminars for the Registry of Guitar Tutors annual conference.
They were delighted by the energetic and enthusiastic turnout for each of their seminars (on sight reading for advanced players and on aspects of teaching challenging students), as well as encouraged by the very positive attitude of tutors, especially among those fairly new to teaching.
During the event the new ukulele exam syllabus was launched - exciting times for the little four-string instrument and its players and teachers!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Learn your notes: new free downloads

This week there are two new - and free - downloads: easy reference charts.
One shows the notes on a 4-string bass guitar in bass clef, tablature and by note name. The other does the same for standard tuned 6-string guitar.
Ray and Al have been asked for their very clear way of showing this so often that they thought they would simply share these charts.
No excuses now for not knowing your notes! If you do want some strategies for helping you learn them faster and remember them or work them out on the fly, the Know Your Notes book is available as an inexpensive download. This is also good for guitar and bass tutors wanting to pick up teaching tips.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Registry of Guitar Tutors

On September 21st the annual RGT conference sees Ray & Al presenting two seminars again. One is on making the best of challenging students; the other deals with strategies for improving sight reading abilities.
It's always great to see our colleagues there and to meet teachers new to the profession.


Another wonderful "No Boundaries" band course at Dillington this month. Flute, clarinet, violin, harmonica, piano, ukulele, classical guitar and two steel string guitars were the instruments, everyone getting a part to give them a role in the band.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Tips & tricks music & tab

Ray & Al's popular series of short film tutorials covering techniques used in many well known songs has a series of very clear and simple music examples presented in both clef and tab notation.
If you learn the technique, you can play the riff. You get the whole lot in one download for less than the price of a cuppa!

Gypsy jazz licks

Al's practical analysis of "Hot Club" style jazz phrases has proved very popular over the last 20 years and is now available as a download.  It's cheap, cheerful and tuneful!
You will also find it informative as it relates each phrase to a chord type.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Theory week

Al has just completed his 3rd "pick my brains" theory week since they begun last August, culminating as usual in a composition workshop based upon Schoenberg's wonderfully effective Models method. 
This improves ear training, reading and also understanding of music. As ever, all the results were played and sounded really good and full of character.
Next similar event will be in August 2014.
Al & Ray's next evening class course will begin in September 2014.

Recent videos

The 1st part of Al & Ray's tips & tricks tutorials are not up on the site. These cover common techniques found in well-known songs and riffs in no-nonsense way. The first batch includes chromatic bass runs, zero fretting, the minor/major 7 chord etc.
Look out for more tips & tricks videos soon as well as new music downloads to accompany the series.

Schoenberg day couse

Al's Understanding Schoenberg Day at Dillington House attracted a wonderful bunch of participants, whose lively contributions added to the exploration of a fascinating man, great teacher and composer of wonderful music.
There were some surprises perhaps on this "path of wonder" including some of his all too seldom heard late tonal pieces, and insights into other aspects of his character.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tips & Tricks Part 1

Hi Everyone

A couple of new items recently placed on the website at

1. If you want to learn of couple of useful tips and tricks like that Eddie Cochran 'Summer Time Blues' intro - here's how it's done at Tips & Tricks

2. Here's a free download to whet your appetite amongst a great list of others - some cost just a few pence to download Fun Fingerpicking Pieces for improving and intermediate guitar players' Have fun guys and gals

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Black banjo and acoustic cutaway

The GandA music shop in Chinns Court, Warminster has some new stock this week.
Continuing the tradition of stocking interesting and less usual instruments, there is a limited edition black banjo (only 12 available worldwide) and a lovely cutaway acoustic guitar (unusually not an electro model so you get all the acoustic sound you pay for) which would suit fingerpicking players and blues guitarists really well.
Greg runs the shop on Thursdays from 10am until 4pm (also offering restringing and servicing etc) and it operates by appointment for the other 6 days of the week.

New free guitar music downloads

Two really nice tunes from the Renaissance are now available as free downloads, in treble clef as well as TAB (tablature) notation for guitar. Watkin's Ale and Squirrel's Toye make great fingerpicking pieces. For tutors they are superb teaching material too.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

next adult acoustic guitar evening class

Ray and Al are offering another 6 weeks of evening classes for adult acoustic guitar improvers, starting on Thursday 20th March.
2 hours a week, with two tutors; excellent tea, coffee (etc) and biscuits; £150 includes all music materials (clef notation, tablature; chord diagrams); great social atmosphere; friendly and informative tuition.
There is one place left. Contact Ray or Al if interested.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Next at Dillington

Al & Ray are currently talking to Dillington House about new courses - both residential weekends and day courses, including some new flexible deals.
Their next joint course is in July - the ever popular No Boundaries Band 3-day course.
Meantime, Al's Schoenberg day is on 12th April. It's booking up, so contact Dillington if you are interested.