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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Learn how to riff at the school of rock

A Workington guitarist aims to inspire youngsters at a new rock school set up in West Cumbria.

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TUNE IN: Andrew 'Spud' Sinclair is leading the Rock Project sessions at the High Harrington Community Centre

Andrew Sinclair, known as Spud, first picked up a guitar at the age of 14 and learned his art by listening to records.

He will tutor West Cumbria’s budding rock stars at the Rock Project at High Harrington Community Centre.

Andrew, 46, of Westfield Drive, said: “I was always a musician. I became aware I was when I would listen to the radio with my mum and be able to dissect a song.

“I never had any lessons. I would put a record on my hi-fi. They had remastered mono records to stereo so you were able to hear the rest of the band out of one speaker and the guitar out of another.

“It was very hard to find anyone who taught rock music back then so I taught myself. I can’t read music and learn everything by ear.”

“At school when some kids went off to play football or smoke behind the sheds at break times, I would be in the music room with my friends playing chords and learning new songs.”

At 16 he was playing lead guitar in his first band Spellbinder, who were offered a record contract in 1987 but had to turn it down because they could not afford to fund the recording.

He then joined the folk rock band Horizon in 1989 where he met Steve Harrison, owner of the Rock Project.

He is now part of the band Eden’s Daughter.

The father-of-two was born in Carlisle and moved to Workington in 2004. He worked as a self-employed guitar teacher from 1988 until the Rock Project was formed in 2008.

It holds sessions in Carlisle and Penrith, teaching students guitar, bass and drums.

Andrew added: “Some people have so much talent you can see it straight away.

“Some of my students have gone on to play in bands and support major artists. To see that happen gives you ultimate satisfaction.

“It was always the plan to develop the business and come out this way and I am determined to make this work.

“We don’t have one-to-one lessons because we want to give our pupils confidence to perform.

“Teaching in small groups they are able to feed off each other and inspire each other to progress.”

A date for the first session is yet to be announced. People can find out more at www.therockproject.com

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