Russell Smith



Russell has been playing guitar for about 15 years and enjoys being able to take what he has learned in this time and pass it on to his students.

Throughout his time playing guitar, he has had the opportunity to work with a varied collection of artists and industry professionals in both a live and studio environment.

Russell is currently studying a Bsc in Audio Engineering, he completed an HND in Sound Production and an HND in Music Performance at Riverside Music College.

What influenced you to first start learning guitar?

I’ve always been a huge fan of music from a young age and found myself dreaming of being in bands and playing live. Guitar seemed like the coolest instrument so it made the most sense to start there, I started taking lessons when I was around 11 and fell in love with it and found I couldn’t put it down.
Once I was introduced to the blues and legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B King as well as a host of other greats something sort of clicked and I’ve been chasing that vibe ever since.

What kind of music do you like to play?

My go to style is always the blues, I feel it offers so much freedom and expression both as a solo instrumentalist and as part of a band it really for me is the most fun I have playing. I also really enjoy folk music and finger style, I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan and love that expressive acoustic guitar sound and I’ve also done my fair share of playing in punk bands and hammering four chords till I’m blue in the face.
I would say theres definitly something to be learned from all styles and genres and as long as you’re having a go with everything and having fun then you can’t really go wrong.

What are some of your favourite teaching techniques?

I think its super important when teaching for people to have fun while they’re learning and to be enthusiastic about progressing. I’d always encourage exploring different styles and techniques to see what you enjoy and what comes more naturally as well as working on weaker areas of a students playing so they can really get the most out of the lessons and become better all round musicians.

What do you usually cover in your lessons?

I like to cover a range of areas in lessons from basic chords and scales to improvisation and music theory depending on what people are looking to get out of their lessons. I like to gauge where people are at in their current music journey and have conversations and work with them so they can progress and so I’m able to guide them towards new techniques that would benefit them as musicians.

Would you recommend guitar to beginners?

I would recommend guitar to everyone and anyone, it’s a wonderful instrument that has no limits on creativity and can be as simple or as complicated as you would like it to be, you can start a band with four chords or you can get super technical and become an 80’s glam rock virtuoso, its really up to you!

How have you found your experience of teaching at the Riverside Academy?

I love Riverside it’s a great place full of incredibly talented musicians who are all wonderful teachers and super supportive people that want the best for both the teachers and the students. So far i have had a fantastic experience teaching at riverside with my current students and look forward to welcoming more in the future.

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