Guitar Workshop in Buxton

This is the place to post items relating to Gordon and his music in a general sense, such as his influences, how he composes, which pieces you enjoy most and why etc.

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AndrewD
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Guitar Workshop in Buxton

Postby AndrewD » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:51 pm

September 11th-13th saw Gordon’s inaugural guitar workshop held at the Old Hall Hotel, Buxton. People came from all over: Somerset (me), Kent, Hull and from places not so far afield including Cheshire. Gordon was ably helped by Garry Burnett, a long standing friend and excellent guitarist who knows Gordon’s music as well as anyone.

The event started on the Friday evening with a meet and greet at 5pm in the hotel lounge where we all met Gordon and chatted generally about what we hoped to get out of the weekend. Everyone seemed to gel really well, there were no egos on display and all present seemed to be as keen to learn from each other as anything. Gordon talked a bit about composition as that was something that a few of us had mentioned as a topic about which we hoped to gain some insight. Conversation tickled merrily along until dinner at 7.30pm after which we reconvened in the lounge and some of those present talked a bit about the path that had brought them here and played some pieces. The whole evening felt very relaxed and was a great indicator of how the rest of the weekend would pan out.

The workshop proper started the next morning at 9am. The first thing we all looked at was Heartsong. In particular Gordon went through the strumming pattern and got us all working at that trying to perfect the flick in the double strum which gives the pattern its distinctive sound. After some time working on that people variously split off into smaller groups in the room or by going out into the adjacent bar area to work on other aspects of the song including the fingerpicking sections. After lunch Garry took me and another on one side to look at something more adventurous - first Catwalk Blues and then Country Bluff. My fingers were getting sore by this stage but I kept going and the flexible breakout approach meant that everyone was able to focus on something within their grasp whilst Gordon went around watching and giving advice. Later that afternoon Gordon brought us all back together to look at the harping technique he uses on Nursery Chimes (and which makes guest appearances in other pieces such as Isabella’s Wedding). After some of that it was time to pack up and Gordon set up for an informal concert he was going to give that evening.

Dinner went on a bit longer than anticipated and Gordon (and some of the rest of us!) were pretty tired so the concert was left until the next morning. A few of us chatted in the bar area and played some pieces, but the main topic of discussion was how to keep the momentum of the weekend going once it was all over.

Sunday morning came and after breakfast we assembled for Gordon’s informal concert. The pieces were mainly requests from the floor and he talked through them including the sounds used and any particular techniques. Of course the Dodo’s Dream was a star performance and got a lot of interest, but equally all of the pieces were received by open mouths and jawlines hanging in amazement. The concert went on for longer than planned (not that anyone cared or were timing as we were all having such a good time) and we were surprised when it turned out to be lunch time. After lunch we gathered for a group photograph and began to disperse around 4pm.

For many of the delegates this was the first time they had seen Gordon play up close and personal, and it was an amazing experience. I learned a great deal and met some wonderful people who I am now very pleased to call friends. I will certainly be intent on going to the next event!

I could write reams more, but those of you that know Gordon will be able to imagine much of how it all went. Despite his medical condition his enthusiasm was not dampened and he was completely immersed in the whole experience.

Thanks Gordon - it was well overdue :) but you did it and it was a huge success. My thanks must also go to Garry Burnett for his tireless efforts and help + support to everyone over the weekend.
Last edited by AndrewD on Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Roger USA
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Re: Guitar Workshop in Buxton

Postby Roger USA » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:43 pm

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a full account of the guitar workshop weekend. It's very interesting and sounds like it was an excellent event, in no doubt an enjoyable setting (I have stayed at the Old Hall in Buxton a few times on Derbyshire trips when I lived in England).

Although your comment that Garry took you "and another on one side to look at something more adventurous" than Heartsong, suggests that I might not be ready for a workshop any time soon :oops:

I'm so pleased it was such a success and hopefully the first of many.

Thanks again.

Roger

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Sue
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Re: Guitar Workshop in Buxton

Postby Sue » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:02 pm

Hi all,

I don't want to put anyone off posting here as well, but I am collecting reports from participants for the 1st Oct News, so make sure you read that on the main website News section.

Sue
GG webmaster

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GORDON
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Re: Guitar Workshop in Buxton

Postby GORDON » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:45 pm

Andrew my friend what a superb and detailed account of a special weekend for Hilary and I.

Be well buddy.

G.

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Roger
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Re: Guitar Workshop in Buxton

Postby Roger » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:33 pm

Andrew,

Like Roger USA I think I made the right decision not to attend based on my guitar playing ability, but sounds like a great weekend in every respect my friend - thanks for the posting :D

Roger
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.

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GORDON
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Re: Guitar Workshop in Buxton

Postby GORDON » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:40 pm

Roger wrote:Andrew,

Like Roger USA I think I made the right decision not to attend based on my guitar playing ability, but sounds like a great weekend in every respect my friend - thanks for the posting :D

Roger


Hi Rog.

Nice of you to contact Bill Nelson's website and ask him to send a message...most kind.

THANKYOU.

G.


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