Guitar Lessons, Aural Lessons, Ensemble Coaching, Theory Lessons, Jazz Improvisation Lessons, NCEA Music Tutoring
- Qualifications: Bachelor of Musical Arts
- Pricing: $30 per half hour and $60 per hour
- Styles: Jazz, rock, folk, blues, country
- Suitability: Intermediate to advanced
Ben was born and raised in Auckland before his family shifted down to Christchurch when he was around 7 years old. After hearing Jimmy Page’s unaccompanied solo on Heartbreaker on Led Zeppelin II the course of his life was irrevocably altered. When he was 19 he joined his first proper band called The Sundance Kids. The group was a Britpop influenced trio that had one moderately successful song in the form of the catchy From Russia With Love. Shortly after this he joined another group, the confusingly titled Heavy Jones Trio (the band was a four piece), and the band were picked up by BMG records on the strength of a self-funded and self-recorded EP that featured the successful radio single Straight Into Your Arms. Around this time HJT were added to the nation wide tour that the band Zed did in support of their hugely successful album Silencer. In 2002 the band relocated to Auckland and after a slow start finally released their debut record Nobody Town that featured the very successful radio single Staring at the Ocean. During his time in Auckland Ben joined the now infamous psych-pop band The Reduction Agents, first as a bassist and then as a guitarist/keyboardist, and recorded their only album The Dance Reduction Agents. The band played with the likes of The Dead C and Don McGlashan and had a Silver Scroll nominated song with The Pool. Many of the bands songs were included on the soundtrack for the Taika Waititi film Eagle vs. Shark. Towards the end of his time in Auckland he joined another excellent guitar group named Dictaphone Blues and recorded and toured the bands debut album On The Down And In. The band opened shows for Dimmer, Okkervil River and Liam Finn around this time. After relocating back to Christchurch in 2011 his first project was the Arts Festival show Random Acts of God which toured to Nelson and New Plymouth as well as performing in Christchurch. Around this time he also put together Nadia Reid’s first band and they played shows in support of her Letters I Wrote And Never Sent EP. In 2012 and now enrolled at CPIT jazz school to complete his degree in jazz performance, he appeared at the Silver Scrolls with LA Mitchell’s band performing one of the years nominated tunes, Hibernate by Lydia Cole, and also played guitar on Mitchell’s successful radio single Lose The Game. The next year he won the Des Anderson Memorial award for the best first year guitarist at CPIT and began performing shows with his electric trio Warlords of Atlantis. That year the band played shows with The Datsuns and also Auckland garage popsters The Conjurors. In 2014, and now in the final year of his degree, he toured New Zealand with Ivy Rossiter’s band Luckless in support of her Vindication Blues album. He was also part of the house band for the 2014/2015 Court Theatre summer production of One Man, Two Guvnors. The band from this show, The Goldonies, has since gone on to play many more shows of their own and have completed two stints on cruise ships in Australia. Ben has since played in several other theatre bands including the debut season of Luke Di Somma and Dan Bain’s The Invisibles as well as the 2015 end of year NASDA production of Working, the 2016 Christchurch Showbiz production of Mamma Mia and most recently the Court Theatre’s summer 2016 season of Legally Blonde.
Lessons will focus on fundamentals of technique – touch, tone and timing. Students should be serious and committed to their learning objectives. I cater mainly to intermediate to advanced players though beginners are welcome. I’m available to help you prepare for an audition or focus on an upcoming graded performance.