The Advanced Guitar Academy

New for 2019, I’ve Launched a new way to study the Guitar in Northamptonshire with The Advanced Guitar Academy. 

The Advanced Guitar Academy is a series of guitar courses held in Higham Ferrers (the home of Auden and Gordon Smith Guitars) which have been designed to help aspiring Rock, Blues and Jazz-Fusion guitar players who feel stuck in a rut, to break free from the musical chains that are holding them back.

Why Study At The Advanced Guitar Academy?

  • Structured Learning – You will study an expertly written course that has been designed to equip you with the fretboard knowledge, technique and musicality you need to accomplish your goals. With so many books, DVDs, magazines and online tutorials available, it’s difficult to know where to start. The Advanced Guitar Academy delivers structured learning so that you see progression and results week on week.
  • Social Experience – Finding local guitar players and like-minded Musicians to discuss your passion with or study alongside isn’t easy. At The Advanced Guitar Academy, you will share your favourite hobby with real people, playing music together and learning in a group environment instead of being stuck, staring at a screen. Become part of a community that understands what it means to love the guitar.
  • Expert Small Group Tuition – Receive guidance and coaching from a guitar expert who has studied and played at the highest levels with some of the best players in Europe. Anthony is well versed in group guitar tuition and uses the same ethos as music college, delivering lessons that have a personalised, one-to-one feel even though you are studying in a small group. 
  • Value for Money – Studying at The Advanced Guitar Academy is much cheaper than one-to-one lessons. 
  • Experience Music College Style Learning – If you always wanted to go to music college but couldn’t, The Advanced Guitar Academy makes this experience available to you, and at a fraction of the cost. 
  • Become an Improved Instrumentalist – By studying at The Advanced Guitar Academy you will improve your technical skills so that you can really play the music you’ve always wanted to play. 
  • College Level Made Accessible – Not everybody can go to Music College, there are often barriers that stop us from being able to do what we really want to do. Studying on a course at The Advanced Guitar Academy gives you the maximum value for your money, delivering high end, college level instruction for a fraction of the cost and time of studying elsewhere.

The Advanced Guitar Academy

After studying the guitar for 20 years at the highest levels and with over a decade of guitar teaching experience behind me, I’ve discovered some key areas that many advancing guitar players have trouble with:

  • Technique – A really common problem in all styles of music, not being able to play fast passages or being able to hear what you want to play in your head when improvising, but not having the skills to execute it. 
  • Fretboard Knowledge - Similar to technique, many guitar players have a weakness when it comes to scales, chords and arpeggios. A poor knowledge of your fretboard can damage your music when playing the rhythm and lead parts that you aspire to. Blues players tend to find that playing over the whole neck is challenging or struggle to outline the changes that define the Blues. Jazz players have similar issues, whereas for Rock and Metal players, scales, modes and arpeggios are often overlooked skills. 
  • Musicality - Players of all genres can often copy the licks and riffs of heroes but feel that it just doesn't sound as good when you play.

Alongside these common issues, students can feel isolated when studying material on YouTube and other online resources. There is so much information available online, knowing where to start, what to watch and how to structure your study can be challenging. 

Working with like-minded people in a structured environment can cure that isolation and boost your progression week on week. 

The History behind The Advanced Guitar Academy

I was lucky enough to spend time at ICMP (The Guitar Institute) in London, studying under some of the world’s leading guitar experts:

  • Martin Goulding (Jamtrack Central’s online degree Head Tutor)
  • Charlie Griffiths (Prog Metal band Haken’s lead Guitarist) 
  • Dario Cortese (Larry Carlton, Brett Garsed)
  • Gianluca Corona (Al Di Meola, John Scofield)

I’m often asked about my journey as a musician. When I tell the story of my time at The Institute, students are blown away by tales of studying high octane guitar, all day, every day while being surrounded by like-minded people doing what they love the most. 

Typical responses are ‘’Wow, that sounds amazing, I wish I did that!’’, or ‘’You’re so lucky to have been able to have that experience’’. 

With the challenges that guitar students face being the same time and again, I decided to launch The Advanced Guitar Academy. The intention here is to make what I’ve experienced available to others, giving this opportunity to those who are unable to attend Colleges like The Guitar Institute themselves. 

At the Advanced Guitar Academy, students experience Music College learning locally, studying a condensed version of the now world-famous Guitar Institute ideology. 

Learning at The Advanced Guitar Academy is broken down in to three different genre specific courses; Rock/Metal, Blues and Jazz/Fusion. Theses one hour weekly classes will enable you to learn specific tasks that lead you in to the following weeks lesson before you continue your study away from the class, practicing and learning what you’ve studied. 

Core Concepts Covered


Master your style, from Blues or Rock, to Jazz, having great technique will allow you to play anything!

  • Legato (hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides) – Legato is a broad musical term that means something should be played smoothly. For guitar players this means using a mixture of hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides to get an effect that Joe Satriani describes as sounding like liquid mercury.
  • Alternate Picking – Alternating the direction your pick moves in allows you to play faster than using one type of stroke. Alternate picking also helps your playing stay in time.
  • String Bending and Vibrato – Bending strings and adding vibrato to your notes is vital for adding a professional polish to your playing.
  • Sweep/Economy Picking – Sweeping provides us with an ultra efficient way of playing arpeggios, and economy picking does the same for scalar passages.
  • Tapping – Tapping allows us to extend the range of our legato playing by using fingers from the picking hand to execute notes.
  • String Skipping – Playing through scales sequentially can sometimes sound a bit predictable, string skipping cures this by reordering the notes.
  • Hybrid Picking – Combining pick and fingers opens up a wide range in the fretting hand and also gives you a fresh tonal flavour.

Fretboard Knowledge

There is no point in having a great technical facility but not knowing where your devices are on the Fretboard. It’s only by choosing the right notes that you can make good music. In all three courses you will learn the guitar neck inside and out by using systems and harmonic devices such as:

  • The CAGED System - So called as it is fundamentally based on the shapes of an open C, A, G, E and D chord. The CAGED system is a powerful tool for learning interval relationships, chords, scales and arpeggios all over the neck, and is a very useful way for navigating chord changes when soloing or playing rhythm.
  • The Arpeggiator system - Teaches you how to find different keys in one fretboard area for chords, scales and arpeggios.
  • The Three Notes Per String System – This system lays out scale patterns with three notes played on every string in one position. It’s a very useful system for playing technical passages. Commonly associated with scalar playing, you can also incorporate arpeggios and triads with three notes per string.
  • The Four Notes Per String System – By connecting three notes per string areas together you can also get four notes per string patterns. Used by players like Allan Holdsworth, this system is great for extending the fretboard.
  • Octave Displacement or Scale Chunking – This system provides a great way to cover lots of ground on the neck very quickly.
  • Linear Playing (along the length of strings) – Playing along the length of a single string is a great way to visualise intervallic relationships and also gives runs a very violin like quality.
  • Positional Playing – Positional playing is all about being able to hit lots of different musical devices, such as intervals, triads, pentatonics, arpeggios, scales and playing changes without having to move up and down the fretboard.
  • Combination Playing – Combination playing is ultimate fretboard freedom, being able to play all over the whole neck, and combining all of the other systems so you can go wherever you want and play anything.
  • Triads - Open and close voiced triads.
  • Pentatonic and Blues scales - Five positions relative to CAGED, and how to connect them so you know the scales, full fretboard.
  • Chords and Arpeggios - Major, Minor, Major 7, Dominant 7, Minor 7 and Minor 7 flat 5 chords and arpeggios relative to CAGED and how to hit key changes with them.
  • Modes - The modes of the major scale aligned with CAGED and three notes per string systems.
  • Intervallic studies - including 3rds, 4ths, 5ths and 6ths.

There is no one system that completely teaches the guitar, but by learning several systems and combining them, you can become a complete fretboard master. 

Repertoire and Musical Examples

Alongside your technique and fretboard learnings, to master your instrument you also need to study real musical examples that put these concepts to practice. For each of the three course types you will study the styles of some of the greatest guitarists of all time, such as:

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Jimmy Page
  • Van Halen
  • Rhandy Rhoads
  • Joe Satriani
  • Steve Vai
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Robben Ford
  • Larry Carlton
  • Guthrie Govan
  • Frank Gambale
  • John Petrucci
  • Eric Johnson
  • Allan Holdsworth
  • Jason Becker
  • Richie Kotzen
  • Paul Gilbert
  • Greg Howe
  • Yngwie Malmsteen
  • John Scofield
  • Wes Montgomery
  • George Benson and many, many more!
In order to learn the styles of these players you will study:
  • Rock licks for each of the five CAGED fretboard areas
  • Blues licks for each of the five CAGED areas
  • Major and Minor ii v i licks for Jazz vocabulary
  • Songs
  • Solo studies
  • Implementing these styles in your own improvisation.


Knowledge is power and knowing music theory empowers your playing so that you can make informed decisions about what you want to play, not just hitting notes and hoping for the best. At The Advanced Guitar Academy, you will study concise theory concepts, the theory is not complex, daunting, or overbearing. We learn just the stuff you need, NOT hours of unnecessary study. 

Theoretical concepts include:

  • Interval mapping scales
  • Harmonising scales
  • Creating triad formulae
  • Seventh chords and arpeggio formulae
  • Extension tones
  • Modes of the major scale.

In Essence, by setting up The Advanced Guitar Academy, I’m offering you the opportunity to experience something you thought you might have missed out on. 

My vision for The Advanced Guitar Academy is for you to study on a course that is a creative, inspiring resource, offering expert and progressive guitar tuition delivered in a friendly and casual atmosphere.

By taking your place on one of these exciting new courses, you will gain the confidence, the technique and the knowledge to play the music you’ve always wanted to play.

Book Your Course Assessment and Claim your Free, Signed Copy of My Book “High Intensity Guitar Technique” Now!

It’s important to note that these courses are not for beginner guitarists; they are aimed at students of the guitar who can already play but want to reach the next level. 

Your next step to mastering your guitar, is to attend an initial assessment to make sure that the course is right for you. 

Your Assessment 

The assessment is a very friendly, casual affair that is held at my studio at Gregory Street Studios (formerly Big Noise Rehearsal rooms) in Northampton. During the assessment, you will receive a free, signed copy of my popular book, “High Intensity Guitar Technique” worth £14.99 on Amazon.

You will get the chance to meet me and ask any questions you have regarding the course. You will be asked a few questions about your current ability, for instance, I will be asking you questions about your current Fretboard knowledge. As this is an area we will be aiming to expand during the course, I will need to make sure that the tuition material is tailored to your specific requirements. I will also ask you to demonstrate a few different techniques for me so I can see where your current skill level is, and then you will need to demonstrate a short improvised solo over a Blues, Rock or Jazz-Fusion backing track depending on your choice of course. You will get the chance to listen through the backing track and have a practice before improvising over it.

The assessment is really nothing to worry about; I’m not here to make you feel uneasy about your playing. It’s never easy to play confidently when sitting in front of another guitarist; the goal here is to assess the suitability of the course for you. It also offers an opportunity for Teacher and Student to meet before the course begins.

Places are limited, so act now to secure your slot and claim your free copy of my book worth £14.99 on Amazon. Book your assessment now by requesting an advanced guitar academy assessment at my contact page, and I will contact you directly with your allocated time slot.

If you want to discuss any elements of the course further with myself, get in touch today.

If you think the Advanced Guitar Academy courses sound just what you’ve been looking for but you feel uneasy about studying in groups, don’t worry. I can make The Advanced Guitar Academy courses available to you in a one to one lesson format. If you would like to talk to me about one to one lessons, click here.