On Monday 12th December, singer-songwriter Frank Turner visited ACM Guildford for an exclusive masterclass ahead of his show at G Live that evening.
The class covered Frank’s background in music, his experiences and included advice to the students looking to make music their full-time career.
Running in a Q&A format throughout, students remained completely engaged throughout the inspiring class, and particularly enjoyed the intimate live performance of Frank’s favourite song at the very end – Tom Morgan’s ‘The Outdoor Type’.
During the session, students asked many questions, including how soundchecks work, whether he had any pre-gig rituals and the songwriting process. Frank shared with students his belief that music is more ‘yoga, Facebook and rock ‘n’ roll’ now, and stated that as their setup is very similar for each show, they tend to just run through a couple of tracks they are less familiar with in soundcheck, as he likes to mix it up for each performance. When talking about the writing process, Frank shared that he often ends up with a pile of music and a pile of words, but it’s really magical when the two come together. When asked about how long it takes to write a song, Frank told students that he’s written a track that he was really pleased with in 35 minutes before and another has taken months and he’s still not completely happy with it.
The main message that Frank wanted to get across to the students was for them to try everything because they should never stop learning – he revealed that he’s currently undertaking bluegrass guitar lessons to add a new string to his bow. Other advice Frank shared was to find a way to get people to remember you at shows – he told the audience that when he first started, he got loads of ‘Frank Turner is my new best friend’ badges printed and this really helped people to find him online the next day.
It was clear throughout the class that Frank really enjoyed speaking to the group and the students left having learnt a great deal about songwriting and the music industry.