RICHARD CRAIG - 2013 - PRESENT
I have been having guitar lessons with Craig on a weekly basis for a few years now.
I cannot rate him highly enough as a teacher and a musician. His knowledge and skill are truly incredible.
He is patient and has a great sense of humour. He is thoughtful in how he delivers his lessons and the tasks he sets for practice. I have made steady progress and I derive great joy from playing guitar.
I started out playing a nylon string guitar and explored a some classical and folk guitar, before moving on to electric guitar. Nowadays it is a mixture of AC/DC, Metallica, Lynyrd Skynrd, and Eric Clapton that is keeping me busy.
There is not a style of music that Craig is not entirely comfortable with and confident in teaching.
It has been a great privilege to learn from him.
I have also seen him perform live. Hugely entertaining, thoroughly professional, a real rock star.
ADAM GANDY - 2012 - PRESENT
I was bought a Ukulele by my wife as a Christmas present but did not have a clue how to play it.
I spent around 12 months teaching myself using the internet but felt I had hit a wall and decided to look for a tutor.
I found Craig and after watching his 'While my Guitar Gently Weeps' YouTube video gave him a call.
This turned out to be a great decision as he is an unbelievably talented musician and tutor who has tough me all different styles and techniques on my growing Ukulele Collection. I have been having lessons for nearly 2 years now and he regularly blows my mind with his ukulele wizardry.
I would recommend anyone thinking of taking up ukulele lessons or trying to progress to the next level to give Craig a call.
FRANCIS DUFFY - 2009 - 2020
Craig is absolutely brilliant in many ways!
He's a truly excellent guitar teacher, very supportive, encouraging and engaging. Nothing is too much trouble for him as he takes you through the lessons in a really friendly and relaxed manner.
Craig's musicianship and knowledge is amazing , and he wants only the best for his students. Craig's lessons are full of fun and enjoyment. My guitar playing and study of music has improved so much since I met Craig, and as far as I am concerned he is a top class tutor and individual.
TED SHALE - 2017 - PRESENT
Since my youth I had a guitar languishing in the hidden corners of lofts in various houses I had lived in, always intending to get beyond the three basic chords, but life, work and raising a family always took precedent.
With some trepidation I contacted a tutor that had been recommended and that was Craig. I thought that at the age of seventy I wouldn't be able to make sufficient progress. How Wrong I Was!
With his encouragement and skilfully chosen works I have progressed beyond all recognition, and now I CAN play the guitar. The transformation in my playing is beyond recognition. Craig's enthusiasm and his ability to focus and guide me has continued my development. He carefully structures the lessons to stretch me and at the same time provides me wonderful songs from my youth to learn, amongst other new and interesting music I would never have previously listened to or explored
It’s never to late to start and with a tutor like Craig you will discover talents that you didn’t know you had. A really nice guy and a patient and encouraging tutor, I would certainly highly recommend him.
LEE CAFFEREY - 2016 - PRESENT
Craig Has A Great Technique And Teaching Style With The Ukulele.
I Have Been A Student For Nearly A Year Now And The Lessons Are Never Dull And They Are Styled At Your Particular Level And Style.
He's A Good Laugh And All Round Good Guy, Book Him....Seriously!
JULIE JACKSON - 2014 - PRESENT
A two year anniversary testimonial for Craig Gamble.
Without being too dramatic my life changed in January 2013 when I had my first lesson with Craig.
I had been given a ukulele by my brother in May 2013 and had struggled to learn to play it. I tried tuition videos from the Internet to no avail and to be honest, I had virtually given up because I couldn't progress past basic chords.
My brother then bought me a Banjolele for Christmas 2013 and he had spent a lot of money on the instrument so I felt compelled to look for a tutor.
I contacted Craig just after Christmas and had my first lesson with him at his house in Aigburth.
His first question was what do you want to be able to do with the Banjolele and mentioned George Formby. That caused an explosive reaction from me because I can't stand George Formby. I said I wanted to be like the guy in Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain who does all the twiddly bits. Well two years on I am doing the twiddly bits but unknown to me at the time it's called finger style. I can also read tablature like a pro now...
Craig is brilliant at getting the best out of his students and always gives me more time than an hour because we end up chatting and putting the world to rights. He is so talented, and whatever song you want to learn he will arrange and transcribe a perfect version for you. And best of all is that it's all done with humour. For most of my lessons with Craig all as you can hear is laughing.
I honestly never thought I would become as proficient in playing the ukulele as I am now and there is still so much I want to learn. I have joked with Craig that I will end up paying for his children's university education, but joking aside, I couldn't imagine life without my ukulele and look forward to my lessons with Craig every week. He is so supportive and puts up with my texts when I am going through a bad patch and feel like throwing my ukulele through the window (there have been a few times).
Craig is also very professional and keeps files / notes on where we are up to and what the next steps are. He always has new pieces of music ready and if you don't them, it it's not a problem, he will just bring another piece along.
Thank you Craig for your wonderful sunny persona, your truly professional approach to teaching and the fact that you bring laughter and humour into my home every week. I am a very lucky person that I happen to live in the best city in the world and that the best ukulele tutor happens to live here too. Thanking you from the bottom of my heart for the enrichment that the ukulele and music has brought to my life.
It truly is never too late. I come from a musical family and thought that the music gene had passed me by, but at 56, I have proven that anything is possible if you have the right tutor and some persistence.
LAURA TICKLE - 2007 - 2009
In the two years that I received music lessons from Craig, the wealth of what I learnt pushed my interest from electric guitar, to acoustic, and then finally to classical. During the lessons we initially worked on the basics; chords, technique and learning to read music & tablature, and ended working on pieces of complex classical music. Every lesson Craig would bring new music for me to look over and learn, and pieces from previous weeks would be revised and practiced.
When I started my GCSE in music, Craig helped with the theory and practical; recommending books,
supporting my musical revision, and even helping to compose, perform and record a piece of Flamenco guitar. During the course of the GCSE, my expected grade went from a D to an A, which I eventually achieved, which I accredit purely to Craig, and the things that I learnt during the lessons.
Having originally only taken up guitar lessons to help with my school work, I hadn’t expected an interest in music theory to develop, and I’m certain that I would not be so passionate about music now if it had not been taught to me with such genuine enthusiasm.
One of the most important aspects of the lessons for me was the encouragement that I got from Craig, in regards to getting in involved in school concerts, and other musical performances. Considering that prior to having music lessons I had no confidence in the music that I was playing, and was unable to get involved in concerts, or even work with other musicians, my development has been drastic. Through Craig’s teaching, I gained an understanding, and appreciation of performed music, and as a result gained the confidence to get involved in all school concerts; playing in groups and solo.
Having concluded lessons several years ago now, and having moved on to studying art forms other than music, I can fully appreciate how much of an effect the lessons had on me. Learning the theory and practical aspects of classical guitar has given me an understanding and appreciation of the arts in a way that only music can.
The lessons instilled a love of music, which is just as important to me now as it was when I finished my lessons.
I continue to play classical guitar, and I’m still fascinated by the theoretical side of music, but what I feel is more important, in regards to what I learnt from the lessons with Craig, is that it’s possible to make a career out of the arts, if it’s something that you are passionate about, and are willing to work on.
BASMA KH - 2015 - 2010
When I had my first lesson with Craig, I had never played the guitar before, nor knew anything about it.
He slowly introduced me to the structure of the acoustic guitar, the names of each component, as well as taught me the basic chords. He showed me pieces and techniques that I aspired to be able to play and utilise.
This encouraged me to practice all day, every day.
I improved rapidly and in no time was playing more complex finger picking pieces and difficult chords.
He was always very professional and made me truly love the instrument (particularly because he transcribed any piece/song I wanted for the guitar). He accepted any challenge with open arms!
Additionally, once my playing had improved, Craig advised me which guitar to purchase, which I now cannot travel without. I have no hesitation in recommending Craig as a tutor for any guitarist, both complete beginners, or more established players wishing to diversity their techniques or styles.
JAQUIE MASON - 2013 - 2016
Craig started doing a group ukulele session with my children a few years ago now.
Although Sophie (11) could already play piano, John (7) had no background with music at all.
At first I thought the group sessions would be problematic due to the ages and the different ability levels, but Craig created fun and interesting lessons, tailored to both John and Sophie inclusively. John still loves his 'Sunshine' ukulele and plays often whilst Sophie has continued to excel with her music separately, studying Guitar grades with Craig and joining her school jazz band.
I would reccommened Craig as a tutor for youngsters; he communicates music very well and is very friendly and fun.
DENISE WARREN - 2008 - 2013
Craig tutored my son James for 5 years, from ages 13-18.
In that time, James progressed from a complete beginner (after receiving a spanish guitar for Christmas) to competent electric guitarist in just 6 months (after taking to the lessons well and enjoying practising, we bought him a Electric Guitar for his birthday).
Craig brought an imaginative and tactful approach to James' lessons as, at first, my son's mind would
wander and his concentration wane. Craig made sure that whatever James enjoyed to listen to outside of the lessons (Rock/Indie music mainly) that he would explore that, along with his chords, strumming and basic music theory. After starting secondary school, Craig taught James his Grades, Rockschool Electric Guitar, as well as riffs and advancing technique. James has just recently passed his Grade 6 in Rockschool as well as gaining a Grade 5 in ABRSM's Music Theory exam. He has now taken his studies to The University of Nottingham on a Music BA degree. Craig is an excellent tutor who I would recommend to parents and older students alike.
LINDA MURRAY (KT, USA) - 2007 - 2010
I was looking to advance my Mandolin playing from an intermediate level to an advanced level but struggled to find
a tutor locally. After finding Craig's details online, I emailed him to arrange Skype lessons and he was very accommodating, especially considering the time difference and all.
I was already an experienced musician, having played guitar and banjo for years, but I'd hit a brick wall when learning the mandolin, translating my knowledge on the other instruments (Chords/Strumming) and that was all.
Craig unlocked new exercises and introduced me to new flat-picking bluegrass and folk mandolin pieces and contemporary artists who I have continued to be inspired by. He emailed PDF worksheets, play along videos, audio recordings and notes to me after every session to aid my learning from a far and the fluency of the lessons was essential to my continued development.
My picking dexterity has improved with consistent practice and we Skype fortnightly for lessons without fail, learning new instrumentals and songs at every session. I take these skills and put them to use in my family bluegrass band, The Oregon Travellers.
STAN JAMESON - 2006 - 2010
I am a 62 year old Banjo enthusiast from West Derby.
Craig helped me find my feet on the 5-String Banjo, which had been sitting in a case for over 10 years!
Although I found the instrument a challenge at first, my perseverance with the lessons paid off and I am now on my way to performing some basic tunes and bluegrass standards. Although I'm not the best and don't practice nearly enough, weekly sessions with Craig have helped me to form a routine and his enthusiasm and drive have developed my confidence. Practice makes perfect.
We still meet every Wednesday morning and hope to continue my progress. Stan