As long as I can remember I had always wanted to play the guitar. I remember being in primary school and we had a teacher for music that used to play guitar whilst we sang along. I never wanted to be the person singing, but playing. I finally got my first guitar when I was around 12 and ever since then I have not been parted from the instrument.
I initially loved to play rock and blues learning such songs as Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze and Chuck Berry's Johnny B Goode. After a few years of progressing I began to become jealous of other musicians around who could be given scores and then play what was on them. Unfortunately I had only been taught to use tab. At this point I made the decision that I should take up Classical guitar so I could learn to read music and gain a greater musical foundation. I avidly played classical guitar throughout all of my school years and finally decided that going to music college would be the best thing for me.
I began attending Liverpool Community College in September 2011 and at the time I still wanted to pursue studies of the classical guitar. I remember on my first review with Paul Taft he told me he thought I would end up going down the jazz or jazz fusion route. At the time I thought this was absolutely crazy but it turns out he can tell the future! As now I shall hopefully be attending Leeds College of Music on the Jazz Degree course. Throughout all of my time I have been incredibly inspired by every tutor there; I couldn't thank the college enough for providing me with endless knowledge, support and faith!
I currently play in an alternative rock band called High Violet that has many gigs coming up over the summer playing venues in London, Manchester, Sheffield and wherever else that will have us. I also use my sight reading skills for the various pit work I have done for musicals and other concerts. My aim for the future is to form a Jazz band that I can regularly gig with and share my musical ideas with as many people that will listen!
My current influences have much evolved from the initial likes of Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai and other Rock players to more jazz influenced players. I am currently listening to Jazz artists like Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Jim Hall, Bill Frisell, Kenny Wheeler and many others. I also listen to Fusion artists and acts like The Aristocrats, Allan Holdsworth, Martin Miller and Mike Stern of course! These artists I feel constantly push me to progress much further into the Jazz changes based way of playing.
I personally would like to thank from LCC:
Paul Taft for the endless guidance, inspiration and knowledge.
Steve Rice for always being an excellent player always willing to jam.
Brian Kelly for giving me a great foundation knowledge of Arranging music.
Les Bolger for somebody to look up to and maybe just maybe one day play like.
Tom Sykes for putting on a Gypsy Jazz concert that was one of my inspirations to play jazz.
Kelly Harverty for always willing to talk about music and share experience and knowledge.
Dave Dover for informing me no end about the functioning music business.
Other non LCC:
Paul Costello for being the perfect guitar tutor and mentor throughout my life.
Jeff Guildford of JJ guitars for massively helping my playing and giving me the opportunity to attend the L.A NAMM guitar show annually.
And of course all of my family who don't ever get angry when I’m playing guitar at 3 in the morning and have always supported me and told me I was fantastic even after playing things not entirely well!
Joel Fellick, June 2013