April: Board or Bin, Nick Johnston, Instagram, BOSS Pedals, Guitar Breaks!

Time moves so quickly when you’re having fun. Again its been a while since the last update because I’ve been so busy. I understand new visitors to this site might think I am not doing much in between updates, but its quite the opposite (fortunately!) I am always posting updates to my INSTAGRAM  So if it looks quiet here, or there hasn’t appears to be an update, its because I am either in a Studio, On Stage, Lecturing or in a Van/Service Station!

Board or Bin:

Sam Bell and Bruce Dickinson from Board or Bin at Small Pond Studios Brighton

Perhaps one of the MAIN updates I have for you is that i’m part of a new YOUTUBE series in association with Waterbear.  

This series features myself and Waterbear (BIMM, ACM) founder Bruce John Dickinson deciding which pedals of similar times should stay on the Pedalboard of DOOM. Its really fun, there are more episodes to come. Here’s what we have so far:

Episode 5: Phaser/Flanger
https://youtu.be/rBrV_exFcBI 
Episode 4: Graphic Fuzz
https://youtu.be/0rfnex51gUI
Episode 3: Talk Boxes
https://youtu.be/QKiPTLLspEM
Episode 2: Fuzz
https://youtu.be/ujRZkpc92gY
Episode 1: Victory Overdrives
https://youtu.be/_NeI8nuYYZk

 

Nick Johnston Tech Session with Guitar Interactive Magazine:

I had the pleasure of putting together one of Guitar Interactive Magazines latest Tech Sessions in the style of my buddy Nick Johnston. You can check that out for FREE here:

https://www.guitarinteractivemagazine.com/issues/issue-63/tech-sessions/nick-johnston/

BOSS Demo:

I can’t say much, but I went to this amazing place and did some videos for BOSS Pedals, watch this space! I am happy to be using the BOSS GT 1000 for a lot of the session work I’m doing.

 

Guitar Breaks June 2019 with Paul Sayer and Chris Buck

Sam Bell, Chris Buck and Paul Sayer at Guitar Breaks Brighton 2019

Looking forward to teaching for Guitar Breaks in Brighton again this June 20th -23rd alongside the amazing Chris Buck (Total Guitar Magazine Best Guitarist 2017!)  and Paul Sayer (The Temperance Movement!)

You can sign up here! https://www.guitar-breaks.com/

 

In Summary:

That about rounds it up (from memory! I feel like I’ve missed stuff out…I hope not though, and if I have i’m very sorry!) My calendar is filling up this year, I love my job of Music and Guitar.   If its Lecturing at Waterbear teaching my Guitar Course, playing production shows/weddings, making videos with Lick Library, Andertons, Guitar Interactive Magazine, creating music for projects and lessons. As long as I have a Guitar in my hands and I am surrounded by inspiring people, I am happy!

Please be sure to check out my Instagram Page for more current updates.

 

Happy New Year (February Update!)

I’ve been meaning to do update this for a while, but I’ve been so busy (which is good!) so to all of those reading, this is a massively belated Happy New Year (2019!) update. I brought the New Year in with some shows and plenty of loud guitar. I’ve been teaching tons of Skype Students, doing more gigs and rehearsals (with Mask of Judas and Freddie In Concert) Here are some highlights from December into late January, plus some things which are coming up!

Before I get stuck in! I’ll be at the Birmingham Guitar Show on Sunday (24th February) playing at the D’addario booth, I hope to see some of you there!

I’ve also done several new YouTube videos, my channel is slowly growing, you can check out the Channel and New Videos here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/SamBellGuitar

Andertons Music Videos with Danish Pete!

I’ve visited Andertons Music a couple of times over the last two months to film Guitar Demos with the amazing Danish Pete. Its such an honour to go in, film some video, jam and talk Guitars. The Andertons team are truly a bunch of wonderful people. I’ve learnt a lot from jamming with Pete. Check out this video:

 

Waterbear Lecturing:

I’ve been teaching my Guitar Techniques Module Online and on site recently for Waterbear. Its such an awesome environment, the students are creative and motivated.

New Premier Guitar Column:

I’ve got a new lesson column with Premier Guitar Magazine available online now. In this lesson I take a look at how to be creative with basic diatonic Triads from the Major Scale and how to build interesting, syncopated lines from them. Check it out here: CLICK THIS TEXT!

Mask of Judas at Radar Festival!


I’m really excited to announce that my band Mask of Judas are playing RADAR Festival in Guildford, UK alongside some incredible bands including Animals as Leaders, Monuments and Toska. We’ve been on the road recently, completing a weekender in January and tomorrow (As I write this, 8th Feb) we’re in Reading at the Facebar.

We have ALOT More coming up Be sure to check out the Mask of Judas Facebook Page for Future Gigs.

November 2018: Andertons TV, Greg Howe, Scott Henderson & Waterbear

Hello! I have finally got around to posting some updates about some of the shenanigans I’ve been up to in November for those who may find it interesting, its been a busy and productive month! Before I get started I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has been supporting whatever it is that I do, its a huge honour for me! Its often hard to keep this page updated when I am out on the road or finishing up projects, I do however keep my INSTAGRAM updated fairly regularly and my Facebook of course. YouTube is a bit of a different story, but we’ll see how that goes! First up some improvisation!

And whilst we’re at it, here’s some L.E.G.A.T.O.

(You can learn lines like these in my latest tutorial: CLICK)

Andertons TV Gear Demos with Danish Pete!

I had the absolute honour of heading up the road to Andertons Music to shoot some video for their YouTube Channel with the legendary Danish Pete. Pete is an incredibly tasty  player and supreme Gentleman. I spent the day filming various gear demos, there are 3 videos of Pete and I on their YouTube channel (hopefully by the time I post this!) Its quite surreal to be on their set after having followed Andertons TV for so long! I wouldn’t say its my best playing, but I enjoyed letting go and having fun! I would love to go back! Thank you to Pete, Lee and the Andertons Team for having me!

Guitar Interactive Magazine: Greg Howe Interview & Scott Henderson Tech Session

I had the chance to catch up with Guitar Legend Greg Howe for a really inspiring interview for Guitar Interactive Magazine on his recent tour visit to London.  Thanks for your time Greg! This is going to be a killer interview, very inspiring discussion!

In related Fusion news, Guitar Interactive Magazine have also released my recent Scott Henderson Tech Session which you can find in the link below. It features performance video, breakdown video, TAB, Backing Track and write up. Its all free!

https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=773798ae-6d5d-4d8b-962a-5d66814dd4b6

 

Waterbear Online BA Guitar Course:

Look at this Mug.

The Guitar Course at Waterbear is really coming together now, spent time in November recording more content for the online section of the course. It feels unreal to be part of such a prestigious Guitar Team. I also had the pleasure of holding a masterclass for the BA students, some great questions were asked, I played a lot of notes and some really quiet dynamic ones as well just to check people were still listening, and thankfully they were.

 

I am really enjoying the journey Guitar is taking me along for at the moment. Thank you Guitar and thank YOU!

 

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: