Stefan Joubert’s Interview with Guitarist and Instructor John Welch:

Stefan Joubert: What motivated you to start learning the guitar?

John Welch: I first picked up the guitar because of Queen. I was and still am a huge fan of the band and Freddie Mercury is an idol. To be honest I wanted to sing like Freddie and thus picked up the guitar to accompany myself while trying to sing like him. Needless to say I failed dismally in this but realised how much fun it was to play guitar instead!

Soon enough homework took a distant second to practising the guitar and I would spend hours trying to figure out what my heroes at the time were doing. I remember spending most of my waking hours either practising or rehearsing with bands or just thinking about the guitar. This is something is still do a lot of… Just thinking of the instrument and music in general.

Stefan Joubert: During your early learning stages, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

John Welch: I never saw difficulties on the guitar as obstacles. I saw it as challenges and puzzles to be overcome. And loved every minute of this!

Stefan Joubert: What advice would you give to someone starting out?

John Welch: Just keep at it. Listen to what your teacher is telling you. Not just hear him and watch him, but listen! He/She has a lot of experience that is not always obvious in words but in the intonation of voice and the way they can say things on the instrument. Sometimes just a little 1-fret slide can open a universe of ideas.

Stefan Joubert: At the moment you are running your own guitar school in Peterborough, can you tell me more about it?