Improv Diaries – Music, Phoenix Remix Live and Production Values…. [Case Study – City Academy ]

This week I didn’t do any improv sadly because life, work and everything else in between got inthe way but that does not mean that my life did not involve some sort of improvisation.

At the moment I am really aiming to get my music playing up to a level where I feel confident playing in front of audienecs. I hate posting videos of myself playing instruments on social as I tend to freeze up and panic as I know that a camera is watching me but over the last week or so I have pushed the boundaries of my nervousness and been recording myself and posting them on instastories (apologies to all those that have witnessed them) just to try and get myself out of my comfort zone. I have played the keyboard blind before for a show but the feeling of playing  in front of people still scares the hell out of me so posting videos of me playing is trying to overcome this – although all the videos are with my awful singing. I will never be the most talented gutiarist but I am hoping that learning chords and the odd jingly bit here and there will help me in the new year – we will see.

New Project (5)

Another improv related thing that happened this week was that we announced that w are hosting our first ever live show in January 2020 on the 14th at Hoopla Impro at The Miller ( 96 Snowsfields, London SE1 3SS0 ) The show will play host to some fantastic improv and stand up comedy acts, quizzes and so much more to raise money for Arts4Dementia . I am really looking forward to bringing the show to the stage as I want it to be a place where we can celebrate the talent that is out there in the community.

New Project (1)


The final thing that happened this week was I went to see Marianas Trench at Scala in London – I find these days I am becoming obsessed with watching musicians play to see I am playing their songs correct. I tend to record a lot more now at concerts so I can watch back at a later date to see if I am doing it correctly. Also I love watching this band as they are really focused on putting on a good show and making it creative – for me the last song The Killing Kind showed elements of this as Josh started to become a character and had a stick and everything. It may be a small thing but it is super effective and works really well.

Case Study: City Academy 

Thinking about what I have done this week I feel that City Academy deserved the case study spot, in particular their guitar tutor Richard Burrell. I decided to do a six week course in September to get my guitar playing up to scratch and to feel more confident playing.

From these lessons, it not only made my guitar better it somehow made my keyboard playing more refined as well, which is great. The one thing that I have done since walking away from that course is I have become addicted to watching musicians play their instruments. Since finishing the course I have been to about 4 gigs and each one I have spent time watching the guitarists and they way that they play the neck – which part they focus on – how high they go up the strings, bar chords etc. It is really fun to do and you also realise a lot of musicians use bar chords to make their life easier when they perform live. Here is an example below when I saw Blink-182 do an acoustic set in London last month. You will notice the bar chords that Matt plays for this cover of Post Malone

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