Meet The Tutors

Michael Clarke began his teaching career in 1983 after leaving the rock band Tokyo. He soon realised that there was a huge demand for quality guitar and bass tuition which was not being catered for in the area and decided to set up a studio to address this. One of the earlier students Michael taught was Stove, bass player for the critically acclaimed, top 40 band Mansun. This lead to working with other bands and management companies both large and small, preparing them for live tours and studio work. Between teaching sessions, Michael has recorded many original pieces for adverts, films and jingles as well as self penned albums. Michael soon found himself in demand for session work in studios across the UK.

Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke

During 40 plus year playing career, Michael has been involved in a huge range of live performances in venues ranging from arenas to pubs and clubs. In addition to this, Michael worked in Rushworth Music House in the town of Chester as a salesman and setup/repairman for guitars and basses. Michael continues to enjoy all avenues of involvement and looks forward to many more years of tutoring in he studio.

 

 

Local to Connah's Quay, Jazz Elliot is currently continuing his 12 year musical career by teaching at Michael Clarke Studio. The studio took Jazz on due to the massive increase in demand for quality guitar and bass tuition in the area in 2014. Jazz was also taught and trained by Michael since he first picked up the guitar and has since gone on to be part of several recording projects as well as teaching. Over the last 7 years Jazz has been involved in various live performances and studio recordings which have allowed him to become acquainted with both live and studio techniques. Jazz is RGT registered through the studio and has been taking students up to grade 7 with superb results.

Jazz Elliot

Jazz Elliot

Between teaching sessions, Jazz is using the studios recording setup to record and track two of his current band projects. Given his extensive experience with live performing and recording, Michael has used Jazz to assist him with various tuition seminars as well as demonstrations for many guitar and bass brands. Due to the many experiences Jazz enjoyed whilst learning at the studio where he first picked up the guitar, the opportunity to become a full time member of the studio as a teacher has been a huge turning point in his career, as well as enabling him to be a prime example of how the studio can be a pathway to many enjoyable careers.

 

Get you guitar or bass set up like a pro

You would be amazed at the difference a properly set up guitar back make to your playing. Correcting the action and intonation just right can sometimes make it feel like you have a new, more expensive instrument. Click here to find out more.

 

Why learn to play guitar?

Lots of us consider learning to play the guitar, but never quite get around to it. Often we buy a guitar with the best of intentions, only for it to end up sitting ignored in the corner of the room. If you have struggled to get passed this stage, here are some reasons to pick up that guitar again and learn to play it! Here are five great reasons to stop thinking about it and start doing it. Book a free guitar lesson with Mike Clarke Studio today.

 

It's fun!

When you very first pick up a guitar you may feel a bit disappointed and frustrated that you cannot make it sound as good as your favourite musicians. However, you only need to learn a few simple chords to be on your way to being able to play a number of songs. The joy and sense of accomplishment of being able to do this is actually measurable. Research as been done which shows that playing music triggers the brain to release dopamine, which gives us a sense of reward and pleasure.

Impress your friends

In these days of online entertainment and console games, taking the time to learn an instrument is becoming rarer. When your friends boasts of being able to play a Dave Mustaine guitar solo in Guitar Hero, wipe the smile off their faces by plying one on a real guitar.

Reduce stress

It has also been found that playing an instrument can help to fight stress. Picking up your guitar after a hard day at work can help you relax and de-stress. One study even found that test subjects who play music for around one hundred minutes a day showed a significant drop in blood pressure.

Sharpen your mind

It has been established that learning to play the guitar, or any other musical instrument, can improve brain function. This can be especially beneficial to children, and the older generation who wish to guard against mental decline. 

Join a band

The ability to play guitar or bass guitar can lead to opportunities to join a band. Playing with other musicians is a fun thing to do in it's own right, but once you get out and start gigging, even if you never get beyond playing your local town, you will have experiences which you and you friends will reminisce about for a lifetime. If you do wish to join a band, bass players will have an advantage over guitar players as there always seems to be about ten guitarists to every bass player. Learn to play both, and you'll be quids in!

You have nothing to lose

Get in touch with Michael Clarke Studio today and book yourself a lesson. Your first guitar lesson or bass guitar lesson is always FREE, so there is really nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take the first step to having more fun in your life - learn to play the guitar!

 

Michael Clarke Studio Services 

  • Guitar / Bass Lessons - All ages, all abilities
  • Instrument Sales - part exchange welcome 
  • Guitar set ups - get the very best sound and playing action from your guitar - 30 years experience 

 

  • Tone School
  • Live / Studio Sound Engineering Courses
  • Songwriting / Artist development Days
  • Multitrack Recording
  • On Location Recording
  • Mixing / Mastering

 

  • Star for a day Karaoke Experience
  • Custom made jam backing tracks in a variety of styles
  • Publishing / Distribution
  • Guitar backing tracks library for jamming / improvising across a bunch of different genres

 

Reviews

We are extremely proud of the wonderful reviews we receive. Here are just some of them. Read more at the independent reviews site www.freeindex.co.uk.

Rating 5/5 14 Mar 2017
My daughter has been taught by Mike since the age of 6. She thoroughly enjoys every single guitar lesson and looks forward to ithe every week. We have also just recently had her guitar fixed by an associate of the studio after it was knocked over in school. I really can’t recommend Mike and the studio enough. First class!
— Charlotte Pearson, Mold
Rating 5/5 26 Jan 2017
I started lessons at the studio back in November 2016 and i’m delighted I did. Having had lessons by another tutor many years ago and not feeling I was progressing as I wanted I fell out of love with playing.

Since starting at the studio I found it came back immediately. The lessons are so well structured and my tutor, Jazz, helps to make the lessons relaxed but with the right amount encouragement to bring my playing on.
— Mark Morgan, Deeside
Rating 5/5 17 Jan 2017
If you ever find yourself in need of supportive, top quality guitar and bass tuition, Michael Clarke Studio is the place to be. Being a huge music fan for a long time, I wanted to learn in a place which is geared towards people like myself. The tuition is of the highest standard and Mike and Jazz have both helped me with learning my instrument with no stones left unturned....
— River Roberts, Rhyl
Rating 5/5 20 Dec 2016
I’m in my late 50’s and decided to take up a new hobby by learning the guitar. Initially I was self taught using various online websites but after a while I was going nowhere fast. I heard of Mikes teaching skills from a friend and through his friendly constructive tuition my enthusiasm has had a Kickstart and I now feel I am getting somewhere. I would also recommend you ask Mike to have a look at your guitar, he will give you an unbiased view, he has set up my guitar in such away that it is now easier to play and sounds far better.
— Gary Shield, Wrexham
Rating 5/5 - 13 Nov 2015
My grandson Joe age 11 has been having guitar lessons with Mike for just over a year now and loves every minute of it. Mike has proved to be an excellent teacher and seems to know instinctively how to get the best out of his pupils. Hope Joe will be having lessons with Mike for many years to come!
— Geoff Millington Holywell
Rating: 5/5 - 10 Nov 2014
First guitar lesson ever tonight was fun interesting and a little addictive, mike is very easy going (yet instructive), already booked for next week will be having lessons for quite some time.
— Shaun Williams, Llangollen
Rating: 5/5 - 10 Jul 2014
I thought about guitar lessons for 2 years before finding Mike. I’ve now had 5 lessons and I’ve enjoyed every minute of lessons and practicing. Mike’s lessons are informal but so helpful and Mike has the patience of a saint and gives advice and tips to help improve technique. A 5 star rating for a 5 star service.
— Jacqui Cross, Wirral
Rating: 5/5 - 26 Mar 2014
I am a couple of months into having lessons with Mike, and I can honestly say that I have got more out of the last 2 months than I have out of several years of teaching myself and dabbling with on-line lessons. Mike is a talented teacher with a knack of picking up and correcting mistakes which sometimes you don’t even realise that you’re making. He has a great sense of humour too - which he needs with my playing!

I’ve also now had all 3 of my guitars set up by Mike – a Strat, a Les Paul and a Steinberger – and what a difference it has made! All 3 guitars are now easier and more enjoyable to play. A great improvement for a minimal investment – highly recommended!
— John McD, Chester

Follow us on Twitter

You can follow all the latest goings on at Mike Clarke Studio by following us at https://twitter.com/mikeclarke17

Friendly lessons in a relaxed atmosphere

 

Guitar lessons (electric, acoustic and bass guitar) are given in the studio. Rates for a 45 minute lesson (Monday to Friday) are as follows:

Day Tuition (9am - 4pm) - Individual lesson- £22
Evening Tuition (4pm-10pm) - Small group lesson - £14


We teach with humour and in a relaxed an atmosphere, while guaranteeing the fastest results (as long as you have 2 hands he will have you playing in 45 minutes !!!).

RGT (Registry Of Guitar Tutors) registered, 99% pass rate (for all grades). You can find out more about the RGT on their website www.rgt.org and you can read an RGT interview with Mike at www.rgt.org/blog/rgt-guitar-tutor-michael-clarke-interview.

Dont forget, the first lesson is always free!

 

 

Guitar and bass Setup

Is the action on your guitar wrong? (the lower it is, the faster you can play!)
Is your intonation off? (eg, 12th fret octave notes are not in tune when the open string is)?

Have your guitar properly set up by Michael. Setups include (if required)

  • Re-cutting the nut
  • Re-profiling frets
  • Scraping the Fingerboard
  • Truss Rod adjustments
  • Resetting Neck Angle
  • Bridge Re-profiling or resetting
  • Setting Proper Intonation
  • Electrics Checks
  • Full Valet and Restring

Guitar Setup Prices

Acoustic Guitar (from) £45
Electric Guitar (standard or non trem) (from) £35
Electric Guitar (locking trem) (from) £45
Bass Guitar (from) £45

(Prices do not include new strings)

Getting a guitar properly set up will make a perfect and affordable christmas / birthday present!

Learn the secrets from an industry professional

 

Michael Clarke has been in the music industry for over forty years, with experience on stages big and small, and in recording studios far and wide.

Tone School is a 90 minute in depth session for you to tap into this experience and knowledge. Available for Acoustic , Electric and Bass Guitar at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Tone school covers :

General - Sourcing / Buying gear, Maintenance and Best Use of amps, instruments and effects
Live Sound - Issues, Tips, Tricks, Effects, Monitoring
Studio Sound - Preparation, Equipment Needed, Micing Techniques, Amp Modelling.

Sessions take place in the studio, allowing question and answer forums, demonstrations and much more. Please contact us for price and availability. We've priced it SO LOW that places go very quickly, so please get in touch.

 

 

Recording and Engineering Courses are £139 for a one day course. 

 

Studio Engineer

Beginner - Complete novice and wishing to record demos at home

Intermediate - Advanced home recording and entry level pro engineering

Advanced - For the individual who is looking to gain a career in the industry

Live Sound Engineer

Level 1 - Aimed at the performer to improve there stage sound and to the individual who is looking to get started in the industry

Level 2 - Aimed at the individual who knows the basics and wishes to a better understanding of mixing/processing/monitors etc

 

Steve Collins offers an full range of services to audio equipment:

  • Upgrades and restoration to guitars and basses.
  • Amplfiers repairs and modifications.
  • Guitar pedal repairs and modifications.
  • Repairs and modification of any pro audio equipment.

Typically a one week turnaround for minor repair and restoration work. Typical rate of £10 per hour of bench time, plus cost of materials. Contact steven_dc@hotmail.com for further information.

 

My younger years spent tinkering with electronics led to a deeper interest resulting in academic qualification and five years of repair experience. My future aim is to start designing and building custom valve amplifiers.
— Steve Collins

What levels do you teach to?

We teach everyone, from the complete beginner up to and including professional level. Many tutors employed by local education authorities began their tuition here. 


Why do you teach evening classes in groups?

Teaching groups has many advantages. Over 35 years in the studio we have honed our teaching practices, and have found that you get the maximum results in the least amount of time when learning in a group. This is down to the interaction you get in groups of closely matched abilities, and the fun of playing with other students.

Besides these advantages, group learning also allows us to keep the cost of tuition as low as possible. Cost of tuition has not increased for over a decade!
Over the years many bands and friendships have formed through meeting and learning together.


Why is the first lesson free?

The first lesson always has been, and always will be free. This allows us to to assess your ability, the styles you like and give you details of what we can offer you, before you pay a penny.

Many students who are currently having lessons elsewhere come to us to compare the facilities, and see what else may be on offer here. We never try to poach students from other studios. That would be unprofessional, and we simply do not need to.
 


What are your open days?

This has been something we have been doing successfully for many years. A web site or a phone call is no substitute for a visit to the studio and a chat to the tutors to get the full picture of what is on offer here.


Why do I need to pay fees monthly in advance?

As the fees are sorted out once a month, we do not waste any valuable lesson time every week collecting money of everyone in the group. This helps to ensure you get maximum value for money from every session. 

You will be emailed once a month to remind you when a payment is due. Meanwhile you can concentrate on doing what you are there to do, which is to learn!
 


Why is the studio so highly specified?

Just take a look at our website to see all the various services on offer, and that question answers itself. If you need it, we’ve got it!


How have you managed to stay in business for so long?

We put you, the student, at the heart of everything we do. The number of recommendations we receive is humbling and immensely gratifying. We feel that students are a part of the studio, as without you, we would just be talking to ourselves! It is amazing to think that in 2018 we will have been 35 years since we first opened our doors. The tutors are doing something they love, and watching people achieve what they never dreamed they could is massively satisfying.