A Leighton Buzzard guitar school which is supported by The Prince’s Trust is hoping a new army of musical warriors will take on the challenge of learning to play in 2019.
Rory Price, 27, musician and tutor at The Guitar Ninja, has struck a chord in the community with his new approach to grading, learning and lessons.
Rory, known as Rorz, founded his music business in August, and offers his students the chance to work their way through and collect different coloured guitar straps, which each represent a grade.
The fast fingered ninja pupils will be assessed on knowledge, playing and performance, technique, and their ability to read - and even write - music, as Rorz encourages his pupils to “come out of their bedrooms” and enjoy playing music with others.
He said: “I’ve been teaching for over 12 years but that was mostly part time; I used to be a fully qualified electrical and mechanical multi-skilled engineer.
“After I was made redundant for the third time in two years, I thought, ‘If something I don’t enjoy isn’t safe, why not do something I do enjoy?’
“From there, I came up with the idea of The Guitar Ninja as a brand - I’ve also done Judo, free-running and Parkour. In martial arts you grade through showing ability and pass up through coloured belts. At Guitar Ninja, you start with White guitar strap and work your way up to Black.”
Rorz has already held many successful gradings, and is keen to pass on his musical experience to others, having started playing at a young age.
He said: “I’ve always had an interest in music, I don’t know how or why. When I was seven years old, my sister Naome met her now husband Matthew, who was a guitarist and had a big influence on me.
“Occasionally, when I walked to school, I’d hear this awesome guitar playing from a bedroom across the street - weirdly, the guy playing guitar then met my sister!”
He also fondly remembers his music teacher at Gilbert Inglefield, Mr Clark, and says they had a “mutual respect” for one another’s love for music; Mr Clark enjoyed classical genres while Rorz had a passion for metal.
Now, years later, Rorz is keen to encourage musicians young and old to enjoy playing with friends and wants to grow Leighton Buzzard’s guitar community.
He concluded: “Our mission is to grow a community of guitarists that share knowledge, passion and discoveries with each other.”
The Guitar Ninja - information:
Guitar Ninja class structure - lesson section; group jam and play; improvisation. You can also book private one-to-one lessons.
Prince’s Trust: The youth charity was impressed with Rorz’s passion and he receives monthly visits from a business adviser.
What’s next? The Guitar Ninja brand is having a relaunch event on January 14 which will offer free lessons and jam sessions for children and adults.
Venue: The Duke’s Pub, Leighton Road, Heath and Reach
Times and classes: 4pm - 5pm: Beginners and children
5.30pm - 6.30pm: Beginners and Intermediate
7pm - 8pm: Intermediate and Advanced
8pm - 9pm: Open jam session
Guests can attend as many lessons as they would like. There will also be soft drinks, tea and coffee available.