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Play in a day

Play in a day

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He also worked as a session musician on many early British rock and roll and other records for artists such as Marty Wilde, Tommy Steele, Billy Fury, Adam Faith and Kenny Lynch, and worked as an accompanist to visiting American singers such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Nat King Cole.

We are approaching the anniversary of his death (April 20, 2012) and I have a horrible feeling that we didn’t make enough of Weedon while we still had him. He made regular appearances on television, and a string of solo singles made him the most famous guitarist in the country; he was perfectly placed to take advantage of the birth of rock'n'roll. It was back in the 80s, when I was on holiday with my family at a slightly up-market holiday camp in Suffolk that I got to see Bert Weedon.Initially he learned classical guitar, a grounding he said had equipped him to adapt to a range of musical styles, from jazz to dance music. Slightly Foxed brings back forgotten voices through its Slightly Foxed and Plain Foxed Editions, a series of beautifully produced little pocket hardback reissues of classic memoirs, all of them absorbing and highly individual. Well, in response to Nick's B B King vibrato challenge, I haven't played that particular style since about 1969 when, armed with a Hofner Club 60 (yes, the very same make that Weedon endorsed) complete with a "BLUESKING" logo that I stuck on the raised pickguard after seeing something similar in a photo of B B (I was just a young kid after all), a couple of friends and I would jam on B B King favourites such as "Rock Me Baby" on a Saturday afternoon before heading off to the school disco. He became the first British guitarist to have a solo record in the Hit Parade with "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" in 1959. I don't know if it's still full of the sort of misleading drivel which kept my own playing in the "doldrums" for about 40 years, but the cover picture says enough.

Each selection ends with you playing one of fifteen tunes of varying styles and rhythms, with Bert and his group. Well, I have a couple of LPs signed by Bert himself and of course I too started with 'Play in a Day'. It was a really good book that did indeed have me playing (albeit something wonderfully banal and simple) in a day. Although the video focuses primarily on Dr John, Eric does take a solo and every shot of his LH provides overwhelming evidence that during this performance at least, he somehow managed to shake off the "major influence" that Bert Weedon's teaching had on his LH technique, and play thumb over. Its purpose is to provide a taster, which will enable the learner to progress to a basic standard and then move on.

Perhaps the first simple intelligent 'pop' guitar tutor - without which Jimmy Page, Hank Marvin and many others may have stumbled. I was stunned to discover fairly recently that this is still in publication, though in slightly different guise from the copy I had in October 1963. Bert Weedon's 'Play in a Day' a promise to bring good music back | Back in the day, Bert Weedon taught a whole generation of renowned musicians how to play music. I should also point out that the main benefits, in my experience, of playing thumb over are to be found when playing chords, and in particular what might be loosely termed "jazz" chords, ie extended and altered chords, substitutions and jazz chord progressions in general, many of which are incorporated in blues.

But as for actually learning to play guitar it was 'Stevie's Blues', the flipside of 'Keep on Running'; one of my sister's singles, that got me started properly 12 bar blues stated simply and, if I remember, perfectly . Herbert Maurice William Weedon was born in East London in 1920, the son of a Tube driver, an amateur singer with a collection of hillbilly records.Bert was the master who started many artists on the road to success, my only criticism is that the DVD needs to be remastered as the sound and vision is of poor quality. Play in a Day sold more than a million copies and many a youngster was able to learn to play the guitar as a result. Although I'm an amateur beginner on acoustic guitar, I'm a trained musician and a lot of the DVD content covers things I already know. More than an hour after his show he was still signing autographs and talking with many fans, young and old. Wishing to better myself, I went to medical school and left the other two to play music in pubs etc.

For younger bookworms – and nostalgic older ones too – there’s the Slightly Foxed Cubs series, in which we’ve reissued a number of classic nature and historical novels. Bert Weedon’s expert tuition and straightforward advice will not only help you learn basic skills but also give you the confidence and encouragement to go on to more advanced guitar playing. Bob Shipway… My first guitar tutor book and it felt old fashioned even then… but, as the saying goes, I didn’t judge the book by its cover!The introduction to Play in a Day claims that "this book will enable the reader to play the guitar up to a standard suitable for playing in a jazz, skiffle, or dance combination".

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