Bass Guitar Lessons – Student Testimonials
Before coming to Rory, I had been playing the drums for a few years but always thought playing bass looked really cool. I contacted Rory and haven’t looked back! From the get-go he hooked me up with a great starting bass and amp and it was so rewarding when I started to bash out some songs. Had I not had the musical knowledge I got from drumming, Rory would have been a great starting point for learning how to read and write music as well as playing consistently and in time. I’ve now been getting lessons with Rors for about a year and a half and I’m currently working on grade 3. I always look forward going into my lessons and having a chat with Rors as well as learning how to be a consistent and solid bassist.
It’s safe to say if you’re looking for a solid bass tutor and all round good guy, Rory is your man. Thanks bud!
Mike Coomber (17)
My mid life crisis took the form of deciding that I’d rectify the big mistake I made when I gave up learning the bass years ago at the age of 17 on the grounds that I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t sounding like Jack Bruce after a couple of months playing. I considered more orthodox options like growing a pony tail [not enough hair] or buying a Porsche [not enough money] and settled on going back to the bass. Next step was deciding who to take lessons from. I picked up one of Rory’s flyers from Vibes Music and the offer of a free introductory session was enough to tempt me into giving him a call. The rest as they say is history.
Rory’s boundless enthusiasm and patience have meant that I’ve learned far more and progressed further than I ever thought I would. . Rory has a real talent for instilling confidence and the belief that you can do it even when the going gets tough. He’s endlessly encouraging and that’s something I really value as someone who can get quite down on myself when things aren’t going quite right or happening as fast as I want.
I’ve long ago realised I’m never going to be Jack Bruce but you know what – I don’t care. I’m enjoying learning something new and making some music and that’s all down to Rory. I still occasionally feeling like setting my bass on fire when I’ve been listening to a real bass maestro at some gig or other but pretty soon I’m just looking forward to my next lesson.
You want to learn bass? Give Rory a go – you know it makes sense!
Ian Parker (56)
I have been having tuition with Rory for just over 3 months now and throughly enjoy every session. I have never played the bass before and decided to learn when I turned 30. I contacted Rory who was a pleasure to deal with as he was friendly and always quick to return emails or calls.
The first lesson was a free induction lesson, and I knew from then on that I would not be looking for another tutor. Rory’s knowledge and experience makes learning really enjoyable. I don’t take to things quickly but Rory was always patient and is constantly working to get the best out of me. The hour seems to fly past, and I’m always looking forward to the next one.
Rory is always happy to give advice and has a vast knowledge on basses and equipment, knowing where to get the cheapest deal or recommending somebody that can help. I fully recommend trying Rory first if you want to learn the bass, you will not have any regrets.
Joe Burrell (30)
Rory is a fantastic teacher. From the first moment you contact him you get a warm fuzzy feeling that he cares about what you want to learn and how. The teaching environment is perfect; enough space to swing your bass, but also small enough to feel secure and friendly. For the whole lesson, it’s all about you.
His abilities as a musician speak for themselves. As a teacher he uses this to great effect – inspiring without intimidating – and he is so relaxed and natural around a bass that, even handling one for the first time, so are you. He encourages you to reach beyond your comfort zone, but in such a way that you revel in it rather than being discouraged. As a result I have come along faster than I ever thought possible. While Rory has a vast library of excellent teaching material prepared to develop students of any level, what you work on and how is clearly absolutely about you and the kind of bass player you want to be. He is hugely flexible in his teaching style, managing to keep me going whether I’m in Plymouth, Liverpool or Afghanistan; I never believed that a skype lesson could actually work till I tried it.
The icing on the cake is that Rory doesn’t stop being interested in you and your bass at the end of the lesson – he has helped me research and buy various bits of kit, get stuff repaired and serviced, helped me sell old gear, found me a band, recommended albums and gigs and got teachers for my son (Guitar) and daughter (Drums). You couldn’t hope for a better bass teacher. Thanks Rors.
Simon Horne (Age 42)
I was playing bass for about a year or two before starting lessons with Rory and I wasn’t particularly good at all, but from lesson one I didn’t stop improving! Literally every lesson I have had I’ve learn’t something brand new and come away from lessons a more experienced and content bass player. I wouldn’t be the bassist I am today without Rory!
With Rory You don’t just get a bass tutor, you get access to so much more like: rockschool bass grades, connections within the local and national music scenes and amazing musical equipment to name just a few…
Rory is also a great friend of mine and is probably one of the nicest and most enthusiastic people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is one of the driving forces that makes me want to progress to become a better musician.
Contacting Rory for bass lessons was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I would happily recommend Rory to anyone who is learning bass, or wants lessons to improve their skills.
Joe Callaghan (Age 20)
I have played Bass by default for the last 53 years (I knocked around as a “Roadie” for a bunch of mates who formed a “Skiffle Group”, in my early teens. The “Lead Guitarist” left the Group and the Bass Player told me he was going to play Lead, it came as a bit of a shock to me when he handed me his guitar and told me to learn Bass. I have been on an amazing journey ever since).
Not having had a serious music lesson in my life, and picking it up as I went along, It became apparent that each new day was going to be a “Classroom”, how true this turned out to be.
We came from a small Town in the Scottish Borders playing in the local youth club etc however, we were noticed by an enterprising young man from the big city (Carlisle) and the band took off big time. We became the favourite warm up band for most of the big names that came up from the South and soon began to tour in our own right.
I moved on to play in a number of different bands and embraced a wide range of genres but always felt that there was something missing musically. This was, to learn and understand the Rudiments of music, to be able to read music and to put right all the bad habits that I had slipped into over the years
As time marched on I made a promise to myself that I would pursue my wish when I retired and so, after a bit of research, I found Rory…………….then the real learning began.
Firstly I was asked “what did I know”, “what were my influences”, “what did I want from his tutorship”, “what were my long term goals” etc. etc. I admired Rory’s professional attitude from day one and felt this was where I needed to be to improve as a bass player.
Rory took me back to the beginning with finger fitness, learning notation, working on “World Class Basslines” and finally taking Rock School Exams.
My Learning Curve with Rory over the past year has been an amazingly comfortable and enjoyable experience. His knowledge and understanding is unique, making me feel relaxed and giving me the confidence to become a more proficient Bassist. He has also convinced me that you are never too old to learn!
The ambience in his studio is superb, obviously designed to make his students feel at ease, amazing coffee or tea (and Biccies if you want them), a relaxed teaching style, abundant enthusiasm, while offering his students a wealth of advice on equipment and all things musical.
I look forward immensely to my lessons each week and always leave with a sense of achievement. I would class Rory as a friend, a great guy and I would recommend him without any hesitation whatsoever.
Mike Kyle (Age 68)
I took up playing bass in 2014 after years playing guitar and after searching for a good tutor found Rory through a recommendation. I explained to Rory my musical influences and what I already knew (not much) and Rory applied his knowledge to devise a course for me that was tailored to my tastes and needs. We started with finger fitness and worked through notation before introducing me to some of the world class bass lines. Rory is simply a great teacher and a great guy, his advice on gear, equipment and set up is invaluable. He is a patient tutor ensuring that you have solid foundations and understanding before you move on to the next level. I look forward to our lessons greatly (and the coffee) and his knowledge is second to none. If you want to learn Bass then look no further Rory is a friendly expert that I hope to be still learning from in years to come.
Andy Fox (Age 42)
Foxy Rocks Music Ltd
After spending a year or so trying to teach myself bass, I decided I needed something a little more structured and so searched for a tutor. Following a telephone chat with Rory, I realised that his teaching approach would be perfect for me. I was pretty sure that I didn’t simply want to just learn well known bass lines (as great as they are!) but to become a more well-rounded bass player.
By the time I attended my first lesson, Rory had compiled a complete development programme for me taking into account styles of play suited to my musical tastes as well as building the technical skills needed to become a solid bass player. The programme includes long term goals, achieved through carefully selected ‘world class’ basslines, finger fitness exercises and graded exams (if you want to take them, your choice). His teaching style is very relaxed, friendly and supportive. He will push me when I’m able to progress quickly, but will also slow things down if I struggle. He is fond of saying that “nothing is achieved overnight” and that “if it was easy, we’d all be famous bass players”. His teaching room is a comfortable place to learn and students are always greeted with an offer of tea or coffee. He has a jar with an assortment of chocolate biscuit bars to go with the coffee although in my year and a half with Rory I’ve never seen the padlock taken off!!
I would thoroughly recommend Rory to anyone thinking of bass lessons. His wealth of knowledge is simply incredible and you would be hard pushed to meet a friendlier person. Beware! If you see a glint in his eye and a small smile on his face it means that you might think you’ve got away with playing the wrong note but it’s been noted and logged for comment later in the lesson.
Bob Russell (Age 59)
I have always wanted to learn the bass and at the age of 35 I finally got around to doing so. Although I’ve only been practicing for 5 months I have improved so much within this time and am now learning to read music which is something I didn’t expect to be doing at this early stage. I couldn’t of wished for a better tutor. Rory is friendly, encouraging and extremely passionate about the bass instrument itself, the tuition of his pupils and music as a whole.
Clayton Thomas (Age 35)
As we all live in an Internet driven world I typed ‘Bass Guitar Lessons’ in and came up with two people that were local. I live in Wiltshire and they were both in Devon – well almost Cornwall! I sent an email to both sites suggesting I was having a mid-life crisis and wanted to become a rock star! One responded and the other I am still 4 months later waiting for a response. Rors called me and was very enthusiastic and suggested I checked out his website so I duly did. The first picture I saw was clearly taken in the 70′s, perhaps that’s when he bought the jacket and the pose was questionable to say the very least. I was suitably impressed and booked a lesson which included my first free one and the rest as they say is history. In that lesson I purchased more kit than Iron Maiden tour with and if you want to be my roadie please give me a call.
Rors is a great teacher, patient but forceful and notices every time my thumb strays off the pick up! I look forward to my lessons despite the travel and whilst I am disappointed that I am not yet Norman Watt Roy, my progress is quicker than I expected and I am already tackling ‘world class’ bass lines. I am looking forward to the biscuits that have been promised in January but feel that they may come with a hoover to ensure no crumbs are left behind! I am pleased to say that I class Rors as a friend as well as a great bass teacher in a very short time and would not hesitate to recommend him. For those of you that think I am a sycophant, he has paid me £100 to write this!
Gareth Cornell (Age 41)
I’ve played bass and gigged for over thirty years. I went to Rory because I wanted to learn to read and understand music theory in order to improve my playing. I would thoroughly recommend Rory because he is patient and very enthusiastic; he understands the demands of juggling work, etc and trying to fit in serious practice. He is more than just a teacher as he has a wide knowledge of products and it’s great to be able to buy direct from him. Finally since going to Rory, people have commented positively on my playing and have noticed the difference!
Adrian Bower (Age 53)
From the first lesson it was clear that Rory wasn’t just any bass teacher. He is unbelievably enthusiastic and a brilliant teacher. I have learned so much and I have truly enjoyed every moment. When I began, just over a year ago, I couldn’t read music to save my life and I promised Rory he wouldn’t be able to change that. However, within just a couple of lessons I was! There is still a long way to go, but I never believed I would get this far. If you want to learn to play or even just develop he is THE man!
Maia Ridley (Age 17)
Rory is an all round amazing bass guitar teacher, who makes learning the instrument so much fun. He always gets the balance of pushing you to greater heights to your pace, just right. Plus he’s a genuinely nice guy, who wants to see you improve, with boundless enthusiasm. Cheers Rory!
Edward Cann (Age 17)
Brilliant, incredible and so much to learn from the master of all masters of Bass!
Jordan Walters (Age 17)
I was playing bass in bands from age 20 right through to mid-forties, then parenthood took over and I have only recently returned to the fold as a ‘mature’ RWP Bass Tuition student! I have to say, Rory’s attention to detail and correction of all those bad habits have sharpened me up as a player. I have a new fluency and heightened confidence that simply was not evident before – it’s been brought out of me! Currently taking on Bass Grade 3, I am beginning to recognise the note groupings and getting my head around the rhythmical structure of the pieces. Although still using Bass Tab, my long term aim is to sight-read from the page. I can now see light at the end of the tunnel and am excited that this is a tangible personal goal that really could be achieved under Rory’s guidance.
If you think you’re too old to start playing the bass properly – take it from me – you ain’t!
Go see Rory!
Hugh Gascoyne (Age 54)
Where ever you want to go in the bass world, Rory’s got the ticket.
Mark Johnson (Age 37)
I’d dabbled in bass guitar before contacting Rory, but my playing was awful and I had little confidence. Having never had music lessons before, I was slightly apprehensive about starting, I shouldn’t have been, Rory is one of the most friendly, down to earth people I have ever met. Rors instantly makes you feel at home, he always has time to lend advice and help. Take a few lessons ago when Rors took the time to write out the whole of Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ simply because I mentioned it in passing and we both love the song, or the time when we spent ages fixing my bass. It’s only been eight months since I came onboard and I cannot believe how far I’ve progressed, after setting goals in my first lesson, I’ve completed a number and am close to others. I can now play world renowned songs (Pink Floyd’s Money etc.), have developed rhythm and playing styles and grown in confidence. The days of playing like the girl from the School of Rock are far behind me and this all down to Rory’s amazing teaching; breaking stuff down into bite sized chunks that I could manage so that lessons quite literally fly by! Sometimes I’m surprised by the technical jargon that comes out of my mouth in discussions as I’ve never considered myself to be particularly musical, but this only serves as greater testimony to Rors teaching. If you’re considering starting lessons with Rory, don’t hesitate to give it a try, my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!
Alan Dickins (Age 20)
Warwick – ONLINE LESSONS
I had been playing bass for seven years when I contacted Rory. The reason being I spent so much time playing acoustic guitar that I never spent any time practicing the instrument I had always wanted to play.
I called Rory and after only one lesson I was back in touch with my bass playing. What’s awesome is that I had always wanted to be able to play slap bass and always admired good slap players. Rory started me on this straight away and in less than eight 1 hour lessons I was playing stuff I had always assumed was for pro’s, and that’s no exageration.
Its all down to the very careful balance between a friendly and easy going musician and a dedicated and professional teacher.
I have now moved away to Brighton but I am continuing my lessons online.
Don’t give up the bass guys! And don’t take this tuition for granted.
NJ Joslin (Age 25)
Brighton – ONLINE LESSONS
I came back to playing after a long hiatus, and it was with some trepidation as I’d not had proper music lessons since banging out ‘Greensleeves’ on a 3/4 size acoustic six string…about 30 years ago. My worries were unfounded, Rory proved to be as friendly, insightful, and supportive tutor as I could have hoped for. My intention had been simply to give me some structure to learn with, and to erradicate poor technique picked up over the years. What lessons with Rory have given me has been so much more than this: an enthusiast’s love of the bass, a rekindled respect for muscianship, and a whole new palette of techniques and sounds. I genuinely am playing things I thought would be out of my reach, and each lesson Rory is there egging me on, whilst sensitively pointing out flaws and things to work harder on. What impresses me most is that I can turn up for a lesson tired after work and feeling generally a bit demotivated, but I leave the sessions buzzing and enthusiastic. That’s the sort of thing you can’t learn out of a book, and that takes an intuitive and adept teacher to impart. Rory has this stuff – the real finesse of what it is to teach – in spades.
John Stevens (Age 38)
Barnstaple – ONLINE LESSONS
I had wanted to learn the electric bass for a few years but never got around to it. After a bit of research I found Rory. Like everyone else my first lesson was free which gave me chance to get to know Rory and realise not only how passionate he was about playing the bass but also how passionate he is about teaching.
I have been having lessons for about a year now, and I never believed I could have got this far in such a short time. Rory never fails to be encouraging and is always more than willing to help you out if you are stuck with something even outside of your lessons. He is always on hand either by phone or via email.
Before starting my lessons I was only really interested in just being a behind the scenes player who just played at home, but Rory has showed me how good it will be to become a graded player and that maybe it isn’t all that bad being in a band.
I couldn’t recommend Rory enough to anyone, whether you are just starting out or whether you just want to improve on what you already know. Rory is honestly one of the nicest and funniest people I know and always makes you feel more than welcome in every one of your lessons. I can almost guarantee that if you do have lessons with him it is going to be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Lisa Goodhead (Age 24)
After several more years since my last testimonial, I feel I have progressed massively and decided that I wanted to do a degree in the electric bass guitar.
My aim was to study at the Academy of Contemporary Music in guildford, however I had absolutely no musical qualifications to apply with. So straight away Rory and I got to work on the graded syllabus as I was to take a couple of exams. Although I was really pushed for time Rory gave me the usual high standard of help and support including lots of advice to get me to where I needed to be.
My exams turned out to be back to back on the same day and I left feeling not quite as happy as I would have liked. But sure enough the results came through and I passed both with DISTINCTIONS!
Now my next hurdle to jump was the application to the academy, which of course Rors was more than happy to guide me through as I had to write two songs to backing tracks and play two scores of music. Well all I can say here is I truely would have been in trouble without his help. And the result? I start my course in September so I would like to say a massive thank you to Rory, not just for his help with this but for everything over the years and believeing in me 100% all the way. Oh and Rors, you can look out for me in a few years when i’m rich and famous, I won’t have forgotten about you! NICE ONE BUDDY!!
Adam Mason (Age 20)
Rory, thank you so so much for all the support and encouragement you have given to Adam over the years. Your reliability, effort and genuine interest in his progress and development did not falter!
We are delighted that Adam has been accepted for study at The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, I know how he has worked really hard to gain the necessary entrance grades (distinction in both areas), which is also a testimony of your teaching ability and enthusiasm.
Thank you so much once again for all your hard work, very much appreciated!
Mandy Wilson (Adam’s Mum)
I had been dabbling with the electric bass guitar for about 20 years as a second instrument to drums and percussion. I wrongly listened to the advice of guitar players who claimed to be able to teach me the finer points. After a few more years of frustration and feeling that I just wasn’t achieving what I wanted, I decided to seek professional help.
Having seen Rory’s advert in a local music shop I called him and he advised that I go for a free induction session. This I found an encouraging approach from the start, as he sat and listened to my requirements and the direction in which I wished to proceed. I was extremely impressed by his affable and cheerful attitude.
1 week later I started my tuition which was structured around my personal goals. From the word go I was able to see where I was going wrong, and regretting not going to Rory much sooner.
Now 14 months on I have learnt more than I ever did in the previous 20 years and that’s no exaggeration. What is refreshing about Rory is that with his enthusiasm he is able to make you feel like you are his first pupil of the day, even when you are one of the last. He is a genuinely nice chap. My only criticism is that he can never remember how much sugar I take in coffee! I can’t recommend Rory highly enough for would-be bass players of all ages. He is an extremely talented individual who wants to share his methods and ideas.
Thanks again Rors.
Mike Lickfold (Age 48)
Like most teenagers my daughter wanted to learn to play a guitar and she wanted to learn the bass guitar, well after about a year she got bored with it and put it down.
I spent the next six months moving it from one place in the house to another until in the end I decided to sell it, at that point my wife said I should learn to play it – there’s an idea, I thought, how hard can it be!
So that was the start of a journey which I have to say, I never expected to complete, because up until that point I had never picked up or tried to play any musical instrument , so I bought a few books and off I went.
Oh dear I just could not understand any of it, but I could make a noise from the guitar so I thought there might be some hope, so I got myself some lessons, and would you believe it… after six months of lessons I was no further forward and about to give up!
I found myself in Torquay one Saturday morning and sneaked into the music shop where I saw a flyer BASS LESSONS it said first one FREE! so I thought ‘ok lets give it one more shot’.
So it was with a bit of apprehension that I rung Rory and arranged to go down to Plymouth the next Sunday, I can remember thinking on the way down there that I must be mad ‘he won’t want to waste his time with an old bloke like me, surely he wants to teach 14yr olds’, how wrong was I.
At that first lesson I told Rory that I wanted to learn it all and most importantly I wanted to be able to read music… ok he said that’s no problem, at that point I laughed to myself and thought you don’t know me! But I need not have worried, I was in good hands.
That was 18 months ago and in that time I have been on the most incredible journey, I am about to take the Rock School Grade 3 exam, have played in a band to an audience of 150 people, I can read rhythm and have started to read pitch.
I will one day be an accomplished player, and more importantly than that perhaps, is the fact that I get so much enjoyment from it now.
Rory is a fantastic musician but equal to that is his teaching ability he is just a natural, he has patience and will go at your speed but at the same time he will push you, you just don’t realise he is doing it, such is his skill, they say you never forget a good teacher well I will never forget Rory.
If you are committed to learning how to play the bass guitar, no matter what your age is, you would be hard pushed to find a better teacher than Rory anywhere in the South West of England.
And to you Rory a big thank you.
Derek Pettitt (Age 52)
Newton Abbot – ONLINE LESSONS
Rory is a Legend ! Capital L! I had hardly played a note when I first went to see him twelve months ago and I’ve progressed at such a rate that even grooves like ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ have become playable (Try it – it’s hard!) Rory has had to be patient, persistent (in a good way) that I get things right and his encouragement means that I’ve never felt overawed about attempting anything that his lessons have put before me. He’s a great guy, an awesome musician who is full of good advice and the lessons are always fun and constructive. It’s like learning with a pal. You need look no further for a bass guitar tutor – Rory is your man!
Kevin Proctor (Age 48)
Its been 16 months since my son Rory decided that bass lessons were for him, as he’d never shown an interest in playing an instrument before so I of course had my doubts. Well, I am very pleased to say Rory is really enjoying bass lessons and I never have to encourage him to practice!! Rory started from scratch not knowing how to even hold the bass to now playing songs and learning techniques with confidence.
Rory has an interest that helps him relax and express himself, and is looking forward to future lessons.
Mary Willis (Students Parent)
Before I started lessons with Rory I was worried. I was scared he’d be like the overbearing music teachers you see in films; Stern, incredibly strict and humourless. Within the first hour of meeting him, I could without a doubt state that Rory fortunately did not fit this description. Whenever I made a mistake he’d be patient and helpful. Whenever I doubted my own ability he’d remind me how far I’d come and how far I could go. Every time I left a lesson I retained the feeling that if I put in the effort, he’d match it with input and guidance.
Before I started lessons my aspiration was to be in a band. I could have done that after a few lessons with Rory but I would have just been another mediocre bassist! However because of his teaching and wisdom I am going to strive for more. I’ve already learnt far more than I ever expected I would. Rory’s not just shown me how to play the bass guitar but how to get the best out of my chosen instrument.
I couldn’t recommend Rory enough. He is honestly one of the nicest, funniest, most professional people I have ever met. If you do get lessons, it’ll probably be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make (Especially if you like analogies and/or pasties. You’ll find out soon enough)
Matt Thomson (Age 24)
Before I met Rory I was pretty unconfident with my skills as a bass player, from the lessons I have gained so much confidence and enthusiasm in my own playing and have learnt various techniques, theory and different styles. As a teacher he makes you very comfortable and confident with his generous and helpful attitude, this is from his gear and equipment advice to the coach trips to music shows and session player shows which are enjoyable and fun. He has taught me so many styles, techniques and skills with great variety in the lessons. He has also opened my eyes to many, genres, playing skills and other elements of the bass guitar I didn’t know existed!
Due to my new found confidence I have just completed a degree in music performance and now play in three bands, including a band that has been signed and toured Europe.
Thanks to all Rory’s help and support I have achieved many goals and are looking for new ones to conquer, that’s why I travel an hour to my lessons and enjoy every second.
Thank you so much Rory
Alex Binks (Age 22)
Rory is an exceptionally committed and enthusiastic music teacher. He always shows interest in the individual student and makes them feel important and valued, whatever their level of play.
Rory’s method of teaching is methodical and rigorous and his specially devised programme for learning to play the electric bass guitar provides continuity and progress. Throughout the programme, informed by his significant teaching experience, Rory maintains a good balance of developing proper technique, while still keeping playing fun. He continually refers to the individual’s musical tastes whilst also introducing them to other material, which keeps his teaching relevant. Encouraging students to listen to lots of different top-notch bass players and bands, he broadens the student’s musical perspectives and knowledge alongside improving their practical playing skills. This in turn motivates the student as good role-models provide inspiration. It also means that students become more aware of the different possibilities open to bass players and can make informed decisions about the sort of musician they want to be.
Rory always welcomes students to his home with the offer of a drink, whilst his teaching room is a professional and comfortable teaching environment. He makes young people feel they are in a cool and happening place, but always models politeness and good behaviour. He is very helpful and goes the extra mile in providing advice and support for the aspiring bass player, whether it be organising trips to music shows, helping students source and select the best equipment, supporting instrument maintenance, or practical tips to do with being in a band and making it work.
I am very pleased to recommend Rory to anyone who is serious about learning to play the bass guitar. He has a very good way with both children and adults. This very positive recommendation is not given lightly as I am a music teacher myself and rather choosy about who is good enought to teach my 14 year old son!
Claire Fielding (Student’s Parent)
Rory is without a doubt the man to come to if you want to learn all things bass!
I can put the success of my tutoring down to the friendship he has offered as well as being the most effective teacher I have ever had in any sense of the word. His lessons are relaxed but also highly focused and I always leave every lesson feeling a more accomplished musician than when I arrived.
From day one we worked on developing a solid playing technique and the fundimentals of the instrument which are so very important to get right. Before I knew it Rory had turned me into a proficient bass player, arming me with the right skills such as a wide knowledge of playing styles, techniques and theoretical knowledge.
I can honestly say the most important thing Rory has done for me as a teacher is to instill the confidence in myself that anyone needs as a player to thrive.
If there is something you want to achieve with the bass guitar I couldn’t recommend Rory more highly. I have learn’t that he can get the most potential out of anyone that dedicates themself because he will give back 200% every time.
Tom Ottley (Age 20)
Rory’s infectious and boundless enthusiasm, limitless patience, encyclopedic knowledge and never ending encouragement (not to mention all the cups of tea) for the last couple of years that I have been studying with him, are directly responsible for my return to performance for the first time in nearly three decades! Yes, Rory, it’s all your fault!
Adrian Lundstrom (Age 49)
I’ve been with Rory for over 4 years now (how time does fly!) and his wonderful tuition has made me the bass player I am today. One of the main things that raises Rory above most teachers is his amazingly friendly personality. I cannot think of a single lesson that Rory didn’t answer his door with a smile and warming welcome; he doesn’t feel like a teacher, more a friend just trying to help you kick some rhythm on bass.
On the technical side of things, Rory teaches everything to turn a willing student into a well rounded bass player. He makes sure you cover all of the different techniques and styles, learning them in songs that are fun, interesting and challenging. Sometimes it is a bit intimidating listening to Rory play through the song perfectly with ease but Rory is very patient and always willing to give advice and help you to nail that killer song. There have been a few songs we’ve gone through that when I first see him play it I think there is no way I could ever do that, yet with his help I’ll be playing it a few weeks later.
One of the things I have found most useful about going to Rory is the Bass equipment he has for sale. I have bought guitar strings, cleaning liquids, dugain picks and even my latest bass from him (all at a cheaper cost!). I always love going to Rory’s and seeing what amazing Bass guitars he has hanging from his wall and he even trusts me enough to let me try some of them out!
I simply cannot recommend Rory enough. An extremely talented musician and amazing teacher, he is worth every penny for the lessons. If you really want to get the most out of your bass, he is the man to go to. Oh, and the coffee isn’t half bad either!
Callum Alexander (Age 18)
My son Aaron had been playing guitar at a local music club and developed a strong leaning towards the bass. It soon became obvious that he had a flair for this instrument and it was suggested by the music club that he was worth the expense of lessons. I wasn’t impressed with what was on offer via his school and eventually a chat with the guys in Vibes [a music shop in Plymouth] led to Rory…and there it all started.
Rory is one of those people who you meet twice and feel you have known for years. Friendly, enthusistic and (important to me) doesn’t employ a typical teacher/classroom approach. He treats you as an equal, takes time to understand his pupils and tailors the tuition accordingly. Aaron is a typical stroppy 13 year old know all…until he gets to Rory’s…As soon as Aaron starts to get ahead of himself, Rory knocks out a riff leaving Aaron with an open mouthed “I want to do that” look on his face (priceless).
With Rory you aren’t solely getting tuition in playing. This isn’t just a job to him, it is a passion. Any advice on the instrument and ancillary equipment is part of the package (his knowledge is vast; you simply cannot put a price on this). He will help you to get the best deal when buying new and has ready access to many of the consumable items.
As students progress, they upgrade their kit and sell their used kit through Rory (and no he doesn’t take a cut). The money you can save by this service he provides could more than cover the cost of the lessons. If you are new to the instrument it is definitely worth talking to Rory before buying any gear.
Aaron has been with Rory for 12 months and is now playing styles he never knew existed. He can hold his own with most people and is jamming at a local youth club with people up to twice his age (the “he’s young and won’t know much” attitude usually lasts about 5 minutes).
Whether Aaron stands on the Pyramid stage in five years time will be down to luck. After another five years with Rory it certainly won’t be due to lack of ability!
Andy Jacques (Student’s Parent)
I thought I COULD play before I met Rory. Now I know I CAN play thanks to Rory. He is awesome.
Aaron Jacques (Age 13)
I am a 48 year old man who has no previous formal musical training. I had always wanted to try playing the Bass but never truly believed I would achieve that dream. Now I am, and it is thanks to the persuasion of a friend and the good luck to have found a Bass teacher as patient, thorough, capable and friendly as Rory.
I only bought my first Bass January last year, I have practiced on a daily basis but the weekly, then fortnightly lessons from Rory helped put me on the right path. The lessons were very well structured, I should know, as I am a teacher by profession. Rory provides tuition handouts and practice routines all tailored to a logical development in ability and technique.
Rory is supportive and enthusiastic. He has given me help with upgrading my equipment, which became necessary when I joined a band, only 5 months after starting. This led to my first ever live performance on Friday 27th of November supporting the world famous UK Subs at the Hippo.
If you are looking for a professional approach to teaching the Bass, with a friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable teacher I would highly recommend Rory.
Simon Couch (Age 48)
Rory is an amazing teacher and I would definitely recommend him to any one that wants to learn bass. I’ve had music teachers before but none have made me feel as comfortable and confident as Rory has. He has taught me so much already and I’ve only been his student for the past four months. He has opened my eyes to grades, styles, techniques and so many other things. Every time I leave a lesson I feel that I have accomplished so much more. I already feel I am an amazing bass player but I know I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I couldn’t thank Rory enough for the confidence e had given me and the amount he has taught me. I have got so much more to learn and I am so glad that Rory will be the one teaching me. He is truly the most amazing bass player I have ever met and the best teacher I could ever wish to have!! Thanks Rory!!!
Kelly Howells (Age 21)
My son Dan (17) has been learning and developing his love for bass with Rory for the past 3 years. It’s not often as a parent of a teenager that you see them filled with inspiration and passion for a subject following lessons! On numerous occasions on picking up Dan from a bass lesson, he has been enthused about either a new style of playing, an awesome piece of music, a cool new bass player or simply the whole experience. Learning should be fun, but also an encounter that assists develops and shapes the individual – and music studies with Rory really do fashion a future. Gone are the days when I could happily teach Dan a few basic guitar chords and accompany him on a few simple songs, I’ve been left behind – but still jam along happily (if he lets me) with Dan and his mates.
The ‘bass belief’ has impacted on other areas of Dan’s student life, particularly his ‘A’ level product design, where he is currently looking to develop new products to assist his bass playing. Needless to say, Rory is assisting and advising on this project too! I haven’t been paid a penny to eulogise like this about RWP – he simply is the bizz!
Malcolm Wells (Student’s Parent)
Rory – He’s the man! Everything that you want in a single package – encouragement, enthusiasm, a smile, a joke, and, brilliant teacher and musician. 12 months ago I knew next to nothing about a guitar or music, however, 14 lessons later and I’m playing my first full song. All this and coffee too. I’m glad I joined the team, you will too. (But you cannot have my slot for any price).
Kenneth Hardy (Age 61)
I have been taking lessons with Rory now for 2 years, and in that time I have found the lessons to always be focused on improving my technique. I enjoy my lessons with Rory and have found that they have helped me to progress as a player. Rory has always listened to me and then in turn has been able to respond with helpful lessons whether it be to work up to Grade 4 in the graded syllabus exams, work on a certain style of playing for a specific song or prepare an audition piece.
Abi Sinclair (Age 17)
Well where to start…Rory is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met! He takes the time to get to know you and go a bit more than that normal teacher/student thing.
He’s always really encouraging and upbeat, even though he must have a long day! He organizes lessons with your progress in mind so its a personalised lesson plan. Rory constantly keeps an eye on whether it needs to be altered as well I.E. if he thinks you’re doing something well enough to work on it at home he’ll move the lessons onto another part of your playing. I’m just about to start the Bass Grade syllabus with him, but he also delves into genres such as Funk, Reggae, Prog Rock, Metal & he’s good at them all!
He also setups up some really cool trips, like Music Live and other events! They’re always fun and he’s always willing to go round with you or give advice on stuff! Rory’s always there to give advice on gear and equipment, be it amps, pedals or cabs! He also keeps a wicked selection of basses in his teaching Studio!
Andrew Westwood (Age 24)
Rory was recommended to me as ‘probably the best bass teacher in Plymouth.’ ‘Probably’ is an understatement! First off the guy is very musical. Second, he can really play that bass. Third he can do a very special thing that many can’t – he can teach.
His style is relaxed and friendly. The aim of his teaching is to help you achieve your goals, push yourself along and ENJOY what you’re doing. The programme is well thought out and challenging, full of variety and he’ll change stuff to suit you.
On top of all that, I get advice, contacts with other students, contacts with shops, deals on gear and much more. To be honest, I’d pay twice as much for these lessons.
When I started with Rory, I was convinced I couldn’t play at all. He’s helped me discover that I can and that’s a huge gift. Thanks mate.
Roy Williams (Age 53)
I have been student of Rory’s for the past three years, in which time I have enjoyed the good atmosphere and have appreciated all the encouragement he has given me in our lessons together. I find Rory very easy to relate to, being a cheerful and helpful tutor who takes a genuine interest in his students’ progress. Moreover, he is often full of good tips and ideas when it comes to advancing my abilities on the bass, or getting me around any problems or bad habits I might develop that could impair the quality of my playing. At the same time however, he is always happy to tailor his teaching to my required pace, providing essential motivation along the way.
I would not wish to learn with anyone else and I consider these lessons to be one of the highlights of my week.
Victoria Grattidge (Age 34)
Bristol – ONLINE LESSONS
I started playing bass when I was 16 and never took lessons until I came to Uni in Plymouth in 2004. I was really playing funky bass lines like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Incubus, and I thought I was pretty good at playing those styles. However I had never been able to pick up Slap bass despite buying teach yourself books. When I came to Uni I saw Rory ‘s advert in Vibes Music in Plymouth and gave him a ring with the intention of learning Slap bass.
In my first lesson we discussed where I was with my bass playing and what I wanted to get out of lessons. But since I was self taught Rory thought it would be a good idea to go through his program of basics to pick up on any bad habits I had……..and I had a lot. We started with some simple finger fitness exercises designed to enable me to build up my weaker fingers, we also looked at pick technique and about 11 different playing styles. This was all before we even got on to Slap.
At first I thought this seemed like a lot of stuff I wasn’t really interested in, but I quickly began to realise that Rory’s program opened up ways of playing bass that I had never considerd before.
Although in my band we were playing a lot of Punk, Funk and Rock my bass lines were starting to become more diverse and interesting as I drew on the new techniques and styles Rory had taught me. I have now completed tear 1 of Rory’s 3 tear Slap program and will soon be moving on to using scales and then even more playing styles. The thing that really impresses me about Rory’s teaching (apart from the great company and plenty of cups of tea) is the way he makes a program which is both tailored around the student, but also develops any weakness, which like me you may not even realise you had. It also teaches versatility, so now I feel I would be able to play in a Metal, Prog rock or even R&B band, and I can draw on these influences when writing bass lines. Whatever you want to learn, Rory will have a fantastic program to suit you, and you will have a load of laughs along the way.
He is very passionate about playing bass, and about keeping the “WOW”! factor (as he says) in playing. In keeping with this, he organises various outings and events throughout the year, from the Music Live event we attended in Birmingham NEC last year, to the Summer School planned for 2008.
I would advise anyone interested in playing bass to give Rory a call, he is a fantastic teacher and friend. You won’t regret it.
Oh, and I forgot to mention he is an amazing bassist, it’s worth going along to hear him whack out an incredible bass line as casually as I would send a text message.
Peter Riddlestone (Age 23)
Rory is an excellent bass tutor. I travel from Bristol on a regular basis to be taught by the best. He is a very patient and fun teacher, who shares and fuels my enthusiasm for music. I had always wanted to learn to play the bass, and Rory has helped me to realise my potential and progresses my playing to a level I didn’t think I could reach.
Kris Ellis (Age 29)
I first started bass lessons with Rory during May of 2006 and haven’t looked back since. I think that you get everything you need in order to grow as a musician from Rory. The variety of musical styles that are explored is a great aspect, especially for someone like me who previously only focused on one genre, and this can add great new flavours to your playing. Rock, funk, southern, progressive & everything in between. Rory works to your pace as well and really emphasizes the importance of developing a solid, machine like technique, which when perfected will set you up so well for future playing. I can safely say that I wouldn’t even be quarter of the player I am now without Rory.
The lesson’s themselves are always great fun and I look forward to them every week. It’s a comfortable place to be and Rory is very friendly and is really interested in you a player. He wants you to get better and really involves you in every aspect of bass, and music in general.
What I found really great were the lessons where he focused on technology, such as effects pedals, and different bands out there who play music that is different from what I’d normally listen to. So, although the playing comes first, all aspects of the music world are covered. This includes trips to events like Music Live in Birmingham, bass clinics and gigs. Overall it’s the involvement you feel from Rory’s lessons that really makes them worth every penny. I would recommend them to anybody interested in bass, beginner or otherwise, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do.
Oliver Isbell (Age 25)
Just over two years ago I was given a couple of Bass lessons with Rory for Christmas. I had been thinking of taking up bass for years but as often happens I never got round to it.
I didn’t realise at the time but it was the start of a brilliant new experience for me & I have been having lessons with Rory ever since.
I did wonder about being a bit old to start bass, as I was 50 at the time. However Rory has been superb. I have found the lessons to be informative, creative without any pressure & always enjoyable.
Most of my fellow students are younger than me but I have found them to be friendly & good company.
My only problem is Rory’s house must be a bit of a tardis as my hour lesson seems to fly by in minutes.
If anyone were thinking of taking up Bass I would recommend Rory without hesitation. You would be hard pressed to find a better teacher anywhere.
Just one thing…..YOU CAN’T HAVE MY SLOT!
Malcolm Rowe (Age 53)
Cyprus – ONLINE LESSONS
I have been having lessons with Rory for nearly 2 years now, I first found Rory after picking up his leaflet in Mansons guitar shop in Exeter.
After giving him a ring & talking about everything I would learn including the different genres of music & the different playing styles, I knew this was the man I wanted to teach me bass.
As I come from a place 20 minutes from Exeter, it means an hour’s journey to Plymouth. Some people say it’s a long way to travel for a bass lesson but I know I will get to learn as much as I can in those 2 hour sessions (the coffee’s good too).
Daniel Armstrong (Age 22)
I have been having lessons with Rory for around two years and have enjoyed learning a good mix of theory and practical skills.
I find Rory to be a very knowledgeable and patient teacher, he has helped me on my way and was happy to help me choosing my equipment – much appreciated Rory!
Me and my band have just done our first gig at school in front of an audience of 400.
Thanks to Rory I managed to put into effect a number of skills, which helped me in making my first gig a success.
Joe Hesford (Age 14)
I’ve been going to Rory for about 18 months now and the improvement in my playing is amazing. The improvement is much more than the natural progression that comes with time, entire aspects of my playing have changed. For instance, several months (going once a month) we worked on my right hand technique. This is something that every other bass teacher that I have had has neglected but I know that it has made a massive improvement to my playing. I felt that he was helping me so much that I doubled the amount of lessons that I have.
Rory also helped me pick out my new guitar (a fender jazz) and was a great help explaining the choices that I had to make. He did such a good job; I hang the bass on my wall as an ornament. I don’t think that I will buy another bass again.
He is helping me to become a better bassist not just a bass player by exposing me to all different styles and genres of music. This is very important to any musician and this is why I would not recommend anyone else.
Joe Wrennall (Age 17)
Cardiff – ONLINE LESSONS
Rory has been teaching me for just over two years now; I have enjoyed his lessons very much. Not only have I developed my techniques in playing bass, but also I have learnt them in a comfortable relaxed environment. Playing bass has given me self-confidence and a sense of achievement. This would not have been possible without Rory, though professional he is also a friend.
Rory may play like a machine but he has a heart of gold, even though he is cheeky to my mum sometimes
Without Rory I wouldn’t be where I am in my bass techniques today.
Katie Deacon (Age 17)
For 10 years I used to practice both guitar and bass in the privacy of my own home, since I started working with Rory, two and a half years ago, my Bass playing skills have progressed past the next level and beyond. I have played in three very different bands, done many gigs and have stood and played in front of 750 plus people.
The tuition has helped develop my playing ability, confidence, music knowledge and opened my eyes to all types of music.
Rory does not only teach but supports what you do, gives advice and helps out wherever he can.
He has since become a very good friend.
Craig Rodgers (Age 27)
Initially, I started learning bass with a man called Ian who I was taught by for a little while, before I was past on into the hands of his brother Rory. In no time at all I could feel and hear a difference to my playing and technique (no offence Ian). I had lessons from Rory at my school for half an hour a week. This doesn’t sound long or very much but I found that Rory was a very confident, willing and most importantly a patient teacher whose main aim was perfection. His relaxed attitude towards his students combined with his love of teaching created the perfect atmosphere to learn.
After a while, Rory stopped teaching at the school and stuck to home tuition. As he was such an excellent tutor I started attending lessons at his house. There hasn’t been a single occasion where I wasn’t greeted by a smile, and no occasion when I left without one. I have stayed with Rory over the years because he provides outstanding services and tuition. If you require any assistance he will be more than happy to go out of his way to try and lend a hand, whether strings, plectrums or even guitars are needed, or you want to sell an item he will make sure he will give the best service and support your need (he even sorted me a DVD one time).
All in all, outstanding man, as I have said, I have been with him for some years now and I will keep going back, thanks for every thing Rory, couldn’t have done it without you mate!
Adam A. Mason (Age 16)
I have had Rory as my bass tutor for over a year now, and the whole experience has been very enjoyable. Rory has overseen and taught me from being unable to play bass, to being able to achieve my dream of forming my own band and writing and playing my own bass riffs.
He has also been able to provide me with very good contacts amongst music shops allowing me discount on a wide range of items, along with personally sourcing me a bass that I’m going to keep for a lifetime.
Rob Wildman (Age 23)
I have been interested in learning a musical instrument for many years and never really got round to it. Finally, at the age of 32, I decided to take up bass. After a quick trawl through the adverts in Vibes I saw Rory’s flyer and decided to give him a call.
Before contacting Rory I was a little unsure of what to expect. I thought I would be the oldest student he had and was concerned about taking up an instrument so late. My fears were proved unfounded as, after speaking to Rory, I found he had a number of “older” students. We discussed what the tuition would involve and what lesson times were available, Rory even suggested a great starter bass that served me well for two years when I finally traded it in. Rory takes you through everything to do with the bass, from finger fitness to styles and also gets you learning some industry standard songs from very early on. This really keeps your interest up and, along with Rory’s personality, makes for a great atmosphere and a pleasant distraction from my day job. What I also find with Rory is that he has a wide taste in music, he’s not tunnelled into one style which means that you can develop your own style over time. We have had many discussions about bands and what we like and dislike.
The other great thing about Rory is he’s a fantastic sales man. Recently I decided to trade in my old bass for something a little bit more upmarket. Rory managed to sell my bass quickly and even took me around various music stores to find my ideal bass. This was invaluable to me as I was able to get Rory’s professional opinion on the guitars I was looking at.
I would strongly recommend Rory to anyone and of any age.
Martin Buck (Age 34)
About 2 years ago I picked up my brother’s bass after he lost interest in it. 6 months later I had made some progress but wanted to take it further so contacted Rory. Immediately I began improving and 18 months later I have been through different finger techniques, pick technique, all sorts of musical styles, slap techniques, loads of songs and more.
What sets Rory apart from my bass teacher at school is his commitment to the instrument, his thorough teaching of it and his friendly attitude. He also offers more than just tuition in that he gives advice on gear, offers discount on gear, gives advice for my band, organises trips to events such as MusicLive and is always willing to help in any music-related problems.
James Allen (Age 16)
I first picked up a bass guitar approximately 2 years ago, and I literally didn’t know one end from the other let alone anything about the technicalities of music itself. To begin with I tried teaching myself by getting books and dvds but it soon became obvious that I could only go so far using that approach.
Rory was recommended to me through a trusted source, and a year later I am now in my own band with gigs booked for the year ahead.
Lessons are structured to the individual and give you a fundamental grounding in the basics that are vital to build the more advanced techniques upon. Every aspect is covered from how to hold the instrument and knowing where the notes are right through to every style of music and technical ability. Most importantly for me though the lessons are fun and I am always sorry to see them come to an end. I always look forward to my next lesson, as I know that I will learn something new every time.
Rory has an unrivalled passion for music and bass that rubs off on you and always leaves you on a high.
I feel that I have learned so much from these lessons and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface yet which for me is very exciting. At 36 years of age I thought that I was too old to achieve much in the way of technical ability and my only goal when I started was to be able to play something that resembled music and wouldn’t have people reaching for their ear plugs. With Rory’s help I have already far surpassed this and am now setting my goals higher all the time. I would recommend Rory Pearse as a bass tutor to anyone without question.
Peter Gooding (Age 37)
I have been with Rory for over two years. In that time he has taught me a great deal about my instrument of choice. Instead of the boring bits like scales and other exercises Rory throws you in at the deep end with full songs to learn. No pressure though, you learn in your own time, at your own pace. If there’s a song you’d particularly like to learn then you can add that to your wish list and as soon as Rory feels you’re ready he will introduce it into your lesson.
Rory’s knowledge of the instrument and electronic gadgetry that can accompany it is peerless. Not only will Rory teach you how to play but if required he will also teach you how to use the various effects pedals you might buy in the ensuing months.
There is no question in my mind that if I hadn’t gone to Rory as my Bass Guitar teacher I wouldn’t be anywhere near as accomplished as I am.
Andy Proctor (Age 47)