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Learn guitar in two weeks? No problems!

PUBLISHED: 13:35 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:03 09 March 2010

VIDEO Simon Talbot is not a man to resist a challenge - so when he read about Richard Deyn's offer to teach the guitar over the internet and bring a novice up to concert standard within weeks, he relished the opportunity.

SIMON Talbot is not a man to resist a challenge - so when he read about Richard Deyn's offer to teach the guitar over the internet and bring a novice up to concert standard within weeks, he relished the opportunity. On Saturday night the 41-year-old from Mornington Avenue in Ipswich performed at the Cork Bar in Felixstowe. This is his story.

WHEN I was fifteen I wanted to play guitar, be in a band and make a glorious noise, all power chords and “riffs”.

My parents, mindful of the potential racket, insisted I first bought an inoffensive acoustic instrument and a “teach yourself” book.

Chapter one advocated spending five hours a day mastering “Michael Row The Boat Ashore” and my musical ambition withered and died.

When I was 30 I bought myself a shiny red electric guitar - this time nothing would stop me.

Trouble was, I was now a busy adult and when I couldn't windmill my way through “Pinball Wizard” in a fortnight it ended up gathering dust in the loft with only my rock n roll dreams for company.

Then I discovered Richard Deyn.

A professional musician for nearly 20 years, Richard says he can teach you to play from novice to band standard in a month - online.

I was sceptical so he challenged me to do it in half the time and taking a firm grip on my plectrum, I accepted.

Richard's Easy Guitar Method is not just about where to put your fingers, it concentrates first on the reasons why you want to play the instrument.

Richard taught me to get into a positive mindset by visualizing myself on stage, rocking an awestruck crowd. By the time we got to thinking about actual chords I already felt like Jimmy Page.

My challenge was to play the Snow Patrol song “You're All I Have” alongside The Picturehouse Big Band and I had two weeks until showtime. Richard e-mailed me the chord sequence as I worked through his online tutorials.

I have one intensive 30-minute practice session a day, and as my fingertips hardened I was delighted to find that they also held down the right strings with increasing accuracy.

Later, I joined my own bandmates in a glamorously dank, concrete rehearsal space in Ipswich.

Shane, Kilbey, Andy and Frisky Pat are all talented musicians who have been playing together for years. They were welcoming, supportive and only took the Mickey out of me a little bit.

I soon realised that playing on your own is one thing, but this was a whole new dynamic. “See you Saturday” beamed Shane after rehearsal and I found to my surprise that I was really looking forward to it.

It was the big night and the Cork in Felixstowe was a heaving mass of tipsy rock fans.

For the first verse I was biting my lip in concentration, by the time we got to the chorus it dawned on me that I was really doing it.

Verse two arrived and I checked out the crowd, feeling like a part of the band. After that it was an absolute joy as I grinned my way through the rest of the song, safe in the knowledge that I knew exactly what I was doing.

Afterwards, rock-fingers aloft I saluted the audience and frankly milked the applause for all it was worth.

The Easy Guitar Method is about expressing yourself and not seeing music as an exclusive club from which you are forever barred.

I spent 25 years wanting to stand on a stage playing the guitar, I've just done it and it felt great.

Anyone fancy forming a band?

RICHARD Deyn was impressed by his pupil's performance.

“He was outstanding. Anyone can learn to play by this method, but he was really exceptional and gave a great performance - that was because he really wanted to do it.

“It's that enthusiasm that is so important,” he said.


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