The spotlight this month falls on our very own Webmaster, Myron Edwards – computer whizz, musician, and now author. His book, A Guitarists Guide to Common Chord Progressions,
is out now.1. Tell us about your book and how you came to write it.
The book teaches chord, arpeggio and scale repertoire for guitarists, in the context of the most commonly occurring chord sequences in “Western” music (classical and popular). Along the way, it also provides a good basic grounding in the theory of diatonic harmony. The idea came about when I was teaching guitar and tried to find a book to recommend to my students – in order to save me the trouble of laboriously writing out exercises by hand. To my surprise, I found there was no book currently available which taught basic chord repertoire in a comprehensive and systematic way.2. How much teaching do you do, and what are its upsides and downsides?
It’s been some time since I did any teaching – mainly due to the constraints of working away from home. I hope to do more in the future – for one thing there is no greater incentive to polish up your own knowledge and technique than having to teach it to others. The other upside is hearing the improvement in students’ performance, and feeling that you have contributed something to their achievement. The main downside is that students are for the most part in full time work or education – so lesson times tend to eat into domestic and social life.
3. How did you first become associated with Brightwell, and how long have you lived in this area?
I first got to know Brightwell when I met Veronica (Wood), and moved in 1991. We eventually married in 2008.
4. What job did you think you’d do when you were growing up?
I had no idea – I certainly had no illusions about the possibilities of making a decent living out of music, so I’ve tended to look for work that provides an adequate income and minimal interference with the pursuit of music as a hobby.
5. Who did you most look up to when you were younger?
Frank Zappa – and that hasn’t changed as I’ve got older…6. What was your first job?
Stacking shelves in a cash and carry warehouse in Cardiff.7. Have you stayed working at the same thing all your life, or have there been changes?
Thankfully not – my first “proper” job was at the Welsh Office. From there I joined my parents in the express parcels business, and a couple of years later got into computing, where I’ve been stranded ever since.8. What’s a typical day (if there is such a thing)?
I commute to Birmingham to work on computers for an insurance company – you don’t seriously expect my typical day to be remotely interesting, do you?
9. Do people in the village see you differently from people in other parts of your life?
Well, they rarely see me in a suit and tie – other than that, you’d need to ask them.
10. Where would you like to be in 10 years time?
In 10 years’ time, I should be retired – so I’d hope to be spending a lot more time on music, whether performing, composing or teaching. If the book proves viable, I already have the next four planned, but I guess that’s a pretty big “if”.11. If you were Prime Minister tomorrow, what one thing would you change?
Take VAT off building repairs and put it on new buildings (and not just because of Site B).12. Describe the best and the worst moments in your life so far.
The worst moments are too horrible to contemplate; the best are too numerous to list…
13. Tell us something surprising about yourself.
In the original incarnation of Smear Campaign (long before we reformed for Brightfest), our stage show featured an escapology act – performed by me.
for details of Myron's book