Our Guitar Group ‘We let the music rule!’
‘Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar. Except possibly two,’ said composter Frederic Chopin. We can confirm that eight guitars are even more beautiful than two, according to our volunteer story-catcher Caroline who visited to GCP’s Guitar Group recently.
Caroline was curious to know how group leader Tomas was going to include novices and the more seasoned players in one session. After tuning up the guitars at the start of the session, it soon became clear that you only needed three chords to join in the jamming session.
Newer members to the group could strum the chords gently whilst watching and learning from others. Meanwhile, those with more experience could progress their playing by improvising, freestyling and initiating the occasional solo.
Tomas, pictured, keeps tempo but the leader’s role in the class is very much as part of the ensemble, rather than telling people what to do,
‘We just let the music rule. The class is for people who like music to come together and play together. It’s about communicating between musicians playing together. It’s fascinating to explore the music together.’
As everyone played together, several chords led to a progression from one song to another. New member Cat then chose ‘With or without you’ by U2 and Daniel sang along beautifully whilst experimenting on the electric guitar.
For part of the session, a couple of members worked separately on technique with Edinburgh University student Callum whilst others continued to jam. Paul then led the final piece, ‘Stuck in the Middle with you.’
The sense of collective joy and togetherness in the room was palpable, everyone was smiling.
Allan is an experienced musician and regular attender at the Guitar Group. He loves the social interaction, having been isolated for several years with illness,
‘It keeps me living actually. It has helped rebuild my confidence and it’s great to be sociable and play with other people again.’
Allan’s broad smile by the end of the session where he accompanied the Group on piano was wonderful.
Attending the Guitar Group was also a joy for our story-catcher Caroline,
‘It was a privilege to be part of this musical experience. The atmosphere was very creative, laid back and mellow. Everyone joined in as much or as little as they wanted.’
Welcome Callum and a BIG thank you and good luck to Tomas.
Callum, pictured, will soon be over leadership of the group. He has been a regular for some time now, so the Group is in safe hands.
We would all like to wish Tomas the very best as he moves on to his new career and thank him for the support he has given us as a volunteer.
There would be no Guitar Group if it wasn’t for Tomas. A chance meeting during lockdown led to online one-to-one guitar lessons with Members. Post-pandemic, the Group has gone from strength to strength and is now a popular, creative and dynamic part of the timetable at the Grassmarket Community Project.
The Guitar Group love jamming and if you like jamming too, you don’t need to have a guitar to join them – you can borrow one of ours!
Become a Member
There are lots of opportunities for individuals to participate and join in! Everyone is welcome.
Volunteer with us
We would not be able to deliver the amazing support and services we provide to vulnerable people and social enterprise customers without our fantastic volunteers.
A BIG THANK YOU
The Grassmarket Community Project’s Members Programme relies on the generosity of our customers, funders and donors. Our key funders for this area of our work are Nationwide Community Grants, The Robertson Trust and EVOC/Scottish Government Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund. We thank them for their essential continued support.