September 2018: Guitar Breaks, Rob Chapman & Waterbear, UK Guitar Show, Laney.

September has thankfully been a very busy month, plus I turned 30! I have met so many new faces over the last few weeks, I feel very lucky to get to call this a ‘job’.

UK GUITAR SHOW:
Today I have just got back from the UK Guitar Show after playing on the D’addario UK booth. I had a lot of fun playing and improvising around my tunes from both my E.Ps. I bumped into some familiar faces and had a great time talking all things life and guitar. Big thank you to D’addario for their hospitality!

Here is a clip of some improvisation from the show: (thank you to Jimmy Owen for the clip!)

 

 

GUITAR BREAKS

A few weeks earlier I was a guest tutor at Guitar Breaks in Brighton. I had the honour of teaching alongside Peter Honoré (also known as Danish Pete on the Anderton’s YT Channel) Pete is a top session player, an outstanding tasty guitarist and lovely dude. We taught throughout the day and headed over to Waterbear to hear a Guitar tone talk from the awesome Bruce Dickinson (head of Waterbear) lots of great words of wisdom. We were treated to some more tone tips from Jimmy Owen. Jimmy is a sublime player with some really beautiful and unique chops, a pleasure to listen to!  I had the pleasure of jamming with these guys and the amazing Blues player Chris Buck, tasty stuff.

 

Guitar breaks is a fantastic way to meet some top players and learn something new. I recommend it to all budding guitarists!

https://www.guitar-breaks.com/

 

ROB CHAPMAN & WATERBEAR

A day or so later I went back into Waterbear to film some video with Rob Chapman who is not only known for his guitar company Chapman guitars, his hit YouTube Channel and his band Dorje, he is also the head of innovation at Waterbear. I spent the day with him, session wizard David Colquhoun (Rick Wakeman, Procol Harum, hands of Brian May in the new Queen Movie!) and Bruce Dickinson, filming a clip for Robs YouTube channel which features us all playing a bit of guitar and talking about our experience with music and the new music institute Waterbear. We also check out one of Davids upside down Guitars, which are mad! Love it. It was an honour to spend the day with these guys and be part of the team putting the Technique & Theory Module together for the BA Honours Course.

If you are interested in learning at Waterbear, you can be a student or you can learn remotely, check out their website here:

https://waterbear.org.uk/

LANEY AMPLIFICATION ARTIST DEAL!

I am pleased to announce that I am working with Laney Amplification as an Artist again. Its a great honour to be back as part of the amazing team! This time I am using the Lionheart series of amps which are super versatile for most gigging and studio situations, plus they work great with my Pedals, especially my Line 6 Helix LT. I am also using the Ironheart series of amps for the Metal side of things. I’m really looking forward to trying out their LFR powered cabinets too! Watch this space!

IBANEZ AZ2204F TAB PRESTIGE DEMO

I recently put together a demo of my new Ibanez AZ2204F TAB over one of my own backing tracks doing a bit of improvisation. I had some great feedback on the clip. Even Rick Graham seemed to dig it which is a huge compliment!

SUMMARY:
And that’s it for September, I wonder what October holds. I have plenty more gigs coming up with Viva Productions and Lloyd Wade later on in the month. Plus I am heading back to Waterbear to film some more video with the guitar team this week. I have a few slots for Skype lessons going over the next two weeks plus early November, so get in now before they all go!

Ibanez UK Artist Deal!

I am pleased to announce that I am now an official Ibanez UK artist using their AZ Prestige range of Guitars. I’ve had a history of using Ibanez since the beginning of my playing career, especially working with their 8 string RG’s in Mask of Judas.

I have been offered an exciting path that I wish to take at this point in my career as a professional guitarist with a company that I have significant history with. It’s nice to be welcomed back by the team! However, my move back to Ibanez certainly hasn’t been an easy choice…

I am massively thankful for the amazing support that I’ve had from Eternal Guitars over the last two years, Dave makes incredible guitars and has been one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’d encourage people to check out what Eternal are doing as they are always pushing the bar higher with their bespoke custom guitars and finishes.

I’ve had this AZ2204F for well over a week now and have completed several decent size gigs and recording sessions on it and I am happy to say that this Guitar is everything you would expect from the Prestige range, especially in terms of playability but with the versatile sound and feel that I haven’t experienced before from Ibanez. I feel that Ibanez have significantly stepped up their game with the Prestige AZ range of Guitars and I am proud to be using them. I am excited to see what the future holds with Ibanez, watch this space…

August 2018: WaterBear Guitar Course, Guitar Breaks, New DVD, Guitar Hour Podcast & TOTAL GUITAR MAGAZINE FEATURE!

Its been a while since I have had TIME to update this website, I have been very busy. Which is a fantastic thing seeing as my job is playing the electric Guitar! As I type this I am in the middle of a Tour with Viva Productions and preparing to guest at a Summer Metal Guitar School in Brighton in association with BIMM.

The last two months have been a mixture of knowing exactly where I am going whilst also having no clue whats next, some big changes are happening and I am excited. Some stuff I can’t talk about just yet, however here I am with some stuff I CAN talk about, and the first thing on that list is…

 

WATERBEAR – Writing a BA Honours Guitar Technique/Theory Course!

 

I’m thrilled to announce that I am writing and teaching the BA Hons Guitar Technical Development Course for WaterBear. Its an honour to be part of this new, fresh and exciting musical venture alongside some of the industry’s finest professional musicians. You can study towards your BA or MA on site or online from anywhere in the world.

Find out more in the video below and see who else is involved on the WaterBear website: https://waterbear.org.uk/

 

 

I was in Total Guitar Magazine last month (Issue 308)

In the latest issue of Total Guitar Magazine I was interviewed about the new Mask of Judas album, my song writing, gear, solo material and thoughts about being a musician. It’s a huge honour to be featured in this publication, especially the same magazine that introduced me to players like Yngwie and Paul Gilbert!

 

The Guitar Hour Podcast!

I recently I had the pleasure of being invited onto latest episode of the Guitar Hour Podcast hosted by the awesome David Beebee and Dan Smith. (Thanks guys! 🍻) As a fan of the show, it was a total honour to be interviewed by them and chat about my career so far as a session guitarist, solo artist, educator and work in the tech metal band Mask of Judas. We also discuss impostor syndrome & some of the varied challenges I have come across with my musical identity! Then we go on to talk about the upcoming new Commercial Music Institution WaterBear. You can listen to this episode (No.36) and all past/future episodes on Spotify.

 

 

New LickLibrary DVD ‘Contemporary Tapping Arpeggios’

 

Its been a little while since I last released a DVD with LickLibrary, however I’m back! My latest downloadable course/DVD purchasable (from LickLibrarys Website)  is online  NOW

In this course I break down my approach to Tapping 7th Arpeggios and Pentatonic Scales on the Guitar using String Skipping. I focus on the various patterns and sequences I use in my Improvisation and Composition. Along with this there are two practice etudes (TAB/Backing Provided) that you can try out for yourself to see how I apply these kind of ideas. See the preview below:

 

 

Guitar Breaks (September – Brighton)

I have been invited by Guitar Breaks to teach alongside the awesome Peter Honoré in Brighton on the 21st September.  More info on this soon, but click the links above to find out more about the awesome Guitar Breaks and some of the incredible guests they have!

 

Whats on next?

Well apart from the above there are a couple of things in the pipeline that I can’t talk about yet…which may or may not happen. And I am feeling inspired to write a new E.P…lets see where that goes!

 

April: Web Lessons, Columns, DVD and Mask of Judas

This month I have been working on some really cool features for Premier Guitar Magazine, filming a new LickLibrary DVD and I released a new download course ‘20 Fresh Legato Licks‘. All in between my regular gigs, Skype lessons and preparing for the MoJ Album release!

20 FRESH LEGATO LICKS

20 Fresh Legato Licks does exactly what it says it does on the can, it features 20 legato licks played over my own backing tracks which are included in the package. You get a 45 minute video lesson breaking down the concepts for each lick, plus Guitar Pro and PDF tab files with extra detailed information on each phrase. I am really happy with how this course has come out, I am getting a lot of great feedback from it. If you want to have a taster from the lesson, here is a lick taken from the course:

MASK OF JUDAS – GEAR GODS AND MORE

The Mask of Judas album release is getting even closer (May 11th!) and I am very excited for the release. We have been getting some awesome reviews and features in various magazines. Keep an eye out on Metal Hammer in the next month or so.  The Metal Musicians website Gear Gods featured my live playthrough performance of the song ‘Alive’ from the upcoming album on their website, you can read the article HERE

You can pre-order the Mask of Judas debut album ‘The Mesmerist’ by clicking ‘HERE’ below!

HERE

TAPPING DVD

Whilst finalising 20 Fresh Legato Licks I was also at LickLibrary Head quarters filming my first DVD in over a year! The subject on this DVD will be my approach to tapping arpeggios. I break down my fretboard visualisation, tapping muting technique, various licks and a few musical examples that demonstrate how I use tapping in my improvisation and composition. The DVD will come with TAB and Backing tracks.

PREMIER GUITAR MAGAZINE

I have just finished putting together a feature on Steve Lukather’s playing and guitar arrangement on the Toto album ‘IV’ for Premier Guitar. I am not sure when it comes out, but I had so much fun putting the lesson together. It is a similar feature to the one I did on Guthrie Govan’s playing on his album Erotic Cakes where I created my own musical examples using approaches I have studied from the album hopefully to convey to the reader how they could approach making similar compositions or stylistic features of the musicians guitar playing.

March 2018: MoJ Album Release/New LickLibrary DVD’s, Skype Lessons and More!

March has been a whirlwind month and April is quickly turning out the same way! I am very happy to be busy. I have been up to all kinds of musical things but the most important bit of news I have is that the new Mask of Judas album ‘The Mesmerist’ will be released on the 11th May 2018. It will be available on many platforms from Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music and much more. We released our Single for the album ‘The Conspirator’ on the 23rd of March and it was premiered by Metal Injection. The single is now available on most online stores. You can see the awesome music video right here!

I am so happy to finally have this album coming out, most people online know my work from my 8 string videos that showcased the more technical/progressive side of my playing. After 5 years in the works, Mask of Judas’s ‘The Mesmerist’ is all of that hard work from me and the amazing band put into one awesome package. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.

Earlier in March I was invited to go back to Chichester College where I had studied music over 10 years ago now. I was invited to play a performance (available on my YouTube) and talk about my career so far to the Music Students. My Lecturer Daf Hughes also interviewed me for their Facebook. I uploaded the interview to YouTube for anyone interested:

It was fun performing to the students, there were some great questions on songwriting, guitar technique and much more. I would love to do more of this kind of thing. Here is a clip of the performance section of the class:

I have also recently hooked up with Blackstar amps, I have been using their Artist 15 amp on the road when doing soul shows with Lloyd Wade. Its a great clean amp that works amazingly with pedals. I am also really impressed with the emulated Line out, I used it in the Chichester College performance video and in the following lessons I did for the Blackstar website which you can find here: 

https://www.blackstaramps.com/uk/potential/lessons  

I did a couple of lessons on some legato lines, you can check out the first one here:

Whilst on the subject of teaching… I am also working on some new DVD’s for LickLibrary, I am currently working on a really detailed and fun course on my approach to tapping technique through arpeggios and making it musical. I can’t wait to go in and film in early April!

I am also back working for Premier Guitar Magazine, I am currently listening to a lot of Steve Lukather and Yngwie Malmsteen for this purpose. More on this soon, I love my job!

On top of all  this I will be gigging away with Lloyd Wade and Viva Productions throughout the year. I love playing these shows, I am also aiming to do more solo performances of my own material and hit the road with Mask of Judas later in the year. I would also like to mention  I have openings for Skype Students, get in touch if you’re interested! I have finished my regular teaching job now, which wasn’t expected however it has opened me up for new opportunities which I am very exited about.

Click Skype below to get in touch about Skype Lessons:

 

February 2018: Viva Tour, Birmingham Guitar Show and Future Events

Viva Tour:

I have just got back from a tour with Viva Productions. I am a Guitarist on 3 of their main shows now, ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Beat Street’, and ‘Freddie’. Whilst I was on tour I was also filling in dates with the amazing Soul Singer/X-Factor Vocal coach Lloyd Wade. I had a great time with some amazing people. I really love being a sideman guitarist, playing for the songs and being part of something big! I get to play so many different styles in these shows, its always exciting.  I will be back on the road with the full tour in April/May time, but in between I will be doing shows with Lloyd and the Viva Freddie tribute.

Birmingham Guitar Show:

I was kindly invited by D’addario Strings to perform at their stand at the Birmingham Guitar Show on Sunday. I had a great time playing some of my tunes from my solo E.P’s. I had a great audience who seemed to stay for the whole demonstration, including Tom Quayle, David Beebee, Dan Smith from the Guitar Hour and my local friend Jess Lewis who did an amazing performance at the same stand after me.

After playing I got to meet a lot of people I had previously only known on Facebook. And they all turned out to be wonderful people and incredible musicians.  I won’t list here, if you are reading this, you know who you are, I appreciate you immensely! After walking around for a bit I ended up having an impromptu jam with Tom Quayle on the classic funky jam ‘The Chicken’ which was really fun!

March:

I have a lot of different things going on in March time, I am doing some recording for the Lloyd Wade Soul Band, filming some new content for Guitar Interactive Magazine, doing a few masterclasses at local colleges, playing some Viva shows, and working on a new LickLibrary DVD that I hope to film in April. There is also stirrings in the Mask of Judas camp, as I write this update the PR campaign for the new album has started, which means the album is just around the corner!

Until then, here is a showreel of some live solos from 2017 and a sneeky clip from the Birmingham Guitar Show:

January 2018: Austria, New Tune, Endorsements, Interviews and More!

A late happy new year 2018 to anyone reading this! I started the year with a bang (well actually a Guitar solo at 12:10am) with the Freddie in Concert show. I think I played about 5 notes or was it 500? Then the next day I got a nasty cold which got the better of me, however despite this, I have been having a great month so far!

St. Antons – Austria Ski Resort Gigs

After recovering from a nasty cold I was off on a plane to St. Antons Austria with my friend Rachel Hawker who is an awesome singer/songwriter, we had a residency for a week playing in a really popular local bar.  It was my first time playing Europe professionally and I really enjoyed it, everyone seems to really appreciate live music and musicians! (I even got to use my E.U adaptor on my Line6 Helix LT pedal) Rachel regularly plays as a solo artist around the E.U however this time she was kind enough to invite me along to play some Guitar. We were joined on stage at times by some locals, regular visitors (Shout out to Adrian for Congo Drums!) Rachel even had a sing off with a famous Dutch singer across the bar! I can’t remember his name… I had a great time, one day I hope to go back and do something similar.  Show Rachel some support via the link below to find out when she is next out doing her thing:

https://www.facebook.com/rachelhawkermusic

New Tune: Office Meeting Area

Here is a fun tune I have been messing around with recently, I decided to upload it to Soundcloud. Let me know what you think. I really enjoyed putting this one together. I have some other 80s/retro inspired projects in line whilst also working on my own solo recording.  And if you want to hear more I now have my two E.P’s on Spotify, Itunes and Amazon!

 

Endorsements, or should I say: the kind people who give me amazing support and make my job possible!

I want to give a big shout out to these companies for helping me do my job! Click the images to be taken to their lovely websites and show them some love.


 

And whilst I am not a Line 6 artist, the Line 6 Helix LT and the Relay G50 has made it possible for me to get my tone right everywhere I go with no issues at all!

 

Nick Johnston and Aaron Marshall Interview now in Guitar Interactive Magazine:

My feature on the future of Instrumental Guitar music is in the latest issue of Guitar Interactive Magazine! I had the pleasure of hanging out and interviewing Nick Johnston and Aaron Marshall. We spoke at length about songwriting, making a career from music and some other deep truths about being a touring solo musician. This is a MUST see feature for any aspiring Guitar player whether you are into Instrumental Guitar or not! Check out the feature by clicking the picture link below:

Continuing…

This year will be the year  the Mask of Judas debut album is released, we are VERY close to releasing the release date. Its all planned. I will be updating again during February, so keep a look out!

I am also hoping to stop by the Birmingham Guitar Show on the 25th of February, so if anyone is there, come and say hello! More info on this soon.

The rest of this month for me is lots of tech runs and rehearsals for this year’s Viva Productions shows followed by a tour through mid February, really looking forward to hitting the road again!

What I am doing this December and what I have done and will be doing!

It’s been a while since I posted here, I have been a very busy with so many exciting projects and playing lots of different shows. Its been great! Aside from some of the things on the following list that I am up to, I am always working on new music, lessons and creating interesting musical content for my Instagram and YouTube. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Dan Holland who has done my recent photos for this website. He is exceptionally skilled at all things photo related. Go check out his work here:

http://danoholland.com/

Brighton Panto:

As I type this I am looking forward to a short holiday before I get back into the swing of things later this month with panto season I will be playing Guitar in Cinderella at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton from the 22nd – 28th of December. You can get your tickets here:
http://www.brightonfamilypanto.com/

Freddie Mercury in Concert:

This New Years Eve in I will be playing with Dave Jerome as Freddie in Minehead at Butlins. I have been playing this show throughout the year and it has been amazing sharing the stage with such great people and musicians. This will be our final show of the year but we will be back!

Mask of Judas – Album Release Getting Close & Focusrite Feature.

I get a lot of questions on Instagram, Youtube and Facebook about if I still play 8 string and what is MoJ doing!? Well I can tell you that the album is drawing closer, we are looking at releasing early-ish next year. Until then, Focusrite published a video of me talking about 8 string guitar composition and tone whilst playing along to a pre-production mix of a track from the album. You can watch that here:
https://youtu.be/8sv4D-ktvHQ

New Columns:

I have just started a new column series for Guitar Interactive Magazine on the art of rhythm guitar. In this series I hope to break down my approach to rhythm playing in many different styles and look at ways of practicing and increasing your rhythmic awareness. The first instalment of this series is in the latest issue of the Magazine, which is free and you can read online here:
https://www.guitarinteractivemagazine.com/

 

My Solo Album:

Earlier this year I released two new short releases. The Earth Completes Another Rotation and Distant Lights. DL is now available to stream on Spotify, Itunes and Amazon as well as my Bandcamp page. I am currently working on a full release with some exceptional musicians helping add to the music and create an amazing sonic picture. Its in the early stages but I am very excited about how this is going to come out! Until then, you can get my previous releases here:
https://sambell.bandcamp.com/

Interviewing Nick Johnston and Aaron Marshall (Intervals)

Last month I interviewed Nick and Aaron about their careers as instrumental guitarists releasing and touring instrumental music. It was a very inspiring interview and will be published in the next issue of Guitar Interactive Magazine…watch this space..

Next Year…

If two new albums next year and more columns aren’t enough to keep me busy, I will be gigging around the UK with the awesome Viva Productions and looking for more opportunities to improve and expand on what I do as a musician, guitarist and human. In early January I do my first European shows in Austria with brilliant singer songwriter Rachel Hawker, its my first time in a colder country and my first time playing outside of the UK! When I come back I will  be helping my band mates in putting the final touches on the Mask of Judas album release plan. Its on its way, I swear!!

Guitar Connoisseur Magazine and Quist:

In other news, keep an eye out on Quist’s youtube channel as we have recently collaborated on one of his amazing jam tracks and keep another eye out on Guitar Connoisseur magazine as they were kind enough to offer me a feature! I recorded a cool improvised solo over one of my tracks from the first E.P…can’t wait for you to hear it.

Gigs, Gigs, more Gigs and an awesome new Guitar!

I am currently recovering from a long couple of weeks of gigs for Viva Production shows Freddie, Beat Street and Soul Town with Lloyd Wade. I also played a show with the awesome Decades of Rock which featured some stunning musicians I have worked with in the past, recently and some never before! I feel so fortunate that at the moment that I get a chance to make a living from playing live music, I am humbled by the amazing musicians I get the honour of working with regularly and I really enjoy playing all manner of different styles of music within these jobs. I really believe its the people you surround yourself regularly with that can influence your direction and development as a musician and as a person. I would say I am more inspired, motivated and challenged by the people I am surrounded with now than ever before. Practising your instrument is important, but playing with people is where the magic happens!

Amongst the Viva Production shows that I am taking part in this month, I have a couple of gigs coming up!Mask of Judas are playing in Bristol, UK on the 24th of June headlining ‘Bristech’ Festival at The Gryphon alongside our friends Core of Io and Taken By The Tide. There are also a whole host of amazing bands on the bill who I haven’t heard of before, but I will be checking out! I also highly encourage you to check out Mask of Judas on Facebook over the next few months as we are slowly getting around to releasing our debut album! https://www.facebook.com/maskofjudas

On the 23rd of June I am playing with Rachel and the Remedies in Worthing UK, follow Rachel here for updates https://www.facebook.com/rachelhawkermusic/  I am also playing a private function with Lloyd Wades Soul Band in Goodwood at some point this month, which is an honour!

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In other news, I have a new Guitar! The AMAZING Eternal Guitars have made this incredible T-Type guitar, this guitar features a compound radius fingerboard, huge frets, Luminlay side dots, 5-way switch for all sorts of cool and usable tones and worn in lacquer on the neck to match the feel of the body. I am fairly new to playing T-style guitars, but I am enjoying it so far! Definitely brings out a different side of me! Videos coming soon! Be sure to check out Eternal Guitars on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/EternalGuitars18815301_1576348719043596_2148145971282859924_o

SOLO ALBUM OUT NOW!

https://sambell.bandcamp.com/

CLICK ARTWORK ABOVE TO BUY

I have released 7 tracks as a solo album. Some people may remember a couple of these tracks being under the same heading as ‘Jacketrock’, now that has just become me and what I do at the moment! I hope you can enjoy this guitar instrumental, low-fi retro vibe album as much as I enjoyed putting it together.