Express & Star

Striking a chord at The Guitar Show in Birmingham - review

The sound of licks and riffs filled the air at The Guitar Show as it plugged back in for another year at The New Bingley Hall in Birmingham - and this year things really got cranked up to 11.

Image by freestocks-photos from Pixabay

Whatever your bag - metal, blues, rock country, jazz - there was a stand for everyone, where guitarists from beginners to advanced could marvel at the guitars of their dreams.

Aside from the usual Fenders, Gibsons and other traditional favourites there were also some hand-crafted works of art from a variety of boutique companies who were only too happy to chat about the work they are doing and the guitars they had on show. such as Secret Swan who can create a custom guitar to a design of your choice which they promise will also play like a dream.

There was plenty of other gear on show as well, from amps to effects pedals, recording equipment and more. And I have to say everyone was very encouraging of my budding guitar hero daughter - shout out to the Fredric Effects guy who patiently explained what just about every pedal on his stand did despite probably knowing she only had about £3 in her purse. The Pedaltrain, Rotosound, Focusrite, PMT guys and just about everyone else were all just as friendly and helpful.

Thanks to regular quiet times throughout the two days, when everyone had to switch off the amps, you were also given a bit of relief from the constant noise of hundreds of people trying out guitars, which, let's be honest was much-needed.

There were also plenty of masterclasses scheduled throughout the weekend where you could escape the din and go and listen to musicians and industry professionals talk about their work and maybe pick up a few gems of advice. One of the speakers scheduled to make an appearance over the weekend was Grammy winning producer and engineer Mike Exeter, an English sound engineer and record producer who came to prominence via his work with British rock bands Cradle of Filth, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and more.

Then there were others like Sam Bell, who had some interesting points to make about the importance of learning by ear, being in the moment of your playing and not getting too distracted by the perils of social media.

Over on the live stages the likes of Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and Bon Jovi's Phil X were among those due to appear today. Rock on!

The Guitar Show runs until 5pm today (SUNDAY)