Day #3 | Sussex Rocks 2013 with Richard Perkins

sussex-rocks-2013-logoWell that is it for this special 3-day half-term Sussex Rocks course at CMP Studios in Eastbourne.

Day 3 began at the unsightly hour of 8am at the Winter Garden Floral Hall with an 8:20am sound check for the performances at 2:40pm and 3:30pm.


After the sound check students reconvened at CMP Studios for a final rehearsal session. Bands finalised their set lists and running orders before heading back to Winter Garden for the afternoon performances.


Congratulations to Chantalle, Amber, Callum, Red, T-J, Harry, Luca, Sam, Lawrence, Alex, Frank for putting on a fantastic all-round performance. Well done!

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Sussex Rocks 2013 with Richard Perkins | Day 2

sussex-rocks-2013-logoStudents returned for Day 2 of Sussex Rocks and the group split into their instrumental classes for the daily technique expander sessions.

The guitarists resumed their caterpillar exercises; working with patterns in 4-note groupings per string along with a click track (quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes at 60bpm).

The guitarists then learned to play all the guitar parts for ‘Wishing Well’ (Free) to perform later in the afternoon band performance session.

Song structure: “Wishing Well”  by Free
Intro (Main riff)
Verse 1
Chorus 1
Interlude (Main riff)
Verse 2
Chorus 2
Interlude (Main riff)
Outro (Main riff)


After lunch students were put into new bands; Sussex Rocks encourages its participants to work with as many musicians as possible to expose students to the widest possible range of musical styles and genres. The bands then descended to the practice rooms to begin rehearsing songs for the performance session.

The performance session is designed to give students a chance to showcase their songs, be it work-in-progress or completed song. Each band has approx. 5-mins to perform their chosen song and the class and instructors give critical feedback on their performance.

Songs performed in today’s session included:
Wishing Well‘ by Free
Smoke on the Water‘ by Deep Purple
Paranoid‘ by Black Sabbath
Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson

Intro Riff: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

Billie Jean featured as a single on Michael Jackson’s mega-selling 1982 album ‘Thriller’. The song was written by Jackson about a real-life encounter with a groupie. I have arranged the string and bass parts for electric guitar – have fun!


Side Note
riffstation-logo-250I have been trialling Riffstation ( during Sussex Rocks 2013 and would encourage anyone to download the generous 30-day free trial from the website. The software allows you to change pitch, tempo, add click track, beat match, analyses and identifies chords and has a great sweeping EQ so you can remove guitar and vocal parts to create your very own backing tracks.

Sussex Rocks 2013 with Richard Perkins | Day 1

sussex-rocks-2013-logoSussex Rocks kicked off with 19 budding rock stars looking to further their skills during the week-long Monsters of Rock Summer Camp in Eastbourne under the expert tutelage of head tutor, Richard Perkins!

After an induction session and short introduction to Sussex Rocks the students split into their instrumental groups. The guitarists took part in a technique expander session working on exercises to develop strong hand coordination and synchronisation, dexterity, endurance and stamina.

During the late-morning session the guitarist group learned a selection of classic rock riffs, including; “Wishing Well” by Free, “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper, and “I Love Rock N Roll” by Joan Jett.

Intro Riff: “Wishing Well” by Free

Recorded in 1972, ‘Wishing Well’ became one of Free’s most successful singles and features a monstrous opening riff in the key of E that is built the E minor pentatonic scale.


An important part of Sussex Rocks success is our emphasis on encouraging youngsters to work together; learning to support each other through-out the week, and watching their confidence grow as they each enjoy playing with other musicians, many for the very first time.

After lunch the Sussex rockers split into five bands and headed to the rehearsal rooms to begin the afternoon band workshops. Songs heard through-out the building were: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana,”Enter Sandman” by Metallica, and “Don’t Believe A Word” by Thin Lizzy.


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Sussex Rocks 2013

Whether you want to play for fun or for your future career, our Monsters of Rock Summer School is the place to be in July-August 2013.

We offer five days of music making with our exceptional tutors, packed with workshops and activities to challenge and inspire all. You should be prepared to work hard and play hard in order to take your music to the next level, and get the most out of our course.

Students do not need any formal musical qualifications to join us. We only ask that you are familiar with your instrument, have been playing for at least a year, and have knowledge of the basics.

Students will be in small classes with specialist tutors. There will be time throughout the week to develop your technical skills as well as your performance skills. There will be lots of performance opportunities throughout the week, including jam sessions, band rehearsals, and a show at the end of the week for your friends and family, which is the highlight of a hard, fun packed week.

Our aim is for you to: Improve your technique and musicianship, Develop your performance skills, Network with other local musicians, and if you want to, learn to write and perform songs.

Some of our offered workshops are:

  • Building powerful rhythm parts and constructing effective solos
  • Exploring power chords, open position chords and other ‘clever’ chord voicings
  • Focusing lead guitar technique on pentatonic tricks and blues scale lick
  • Improving improvisation and vibrato
  • Special interest classes, such as alternate picking and hybrid pentatonics
  • Recognising song structure, forms, and key changes
  • Introduction to fusion
  • Guitar effects

The course will run from Monday 29th July 2013 until Friday 2nd August 2013, 10:00 until 16:00 each day. All students are fully supervised from arrival until they leave each day. Cost: £150.00 (5-day course).

Sussex Rocks is located at:

Willingdon Community School
Broad Road
Lower Willingdon Nr. Eastbourne
East Sussex
BN20 9QX

We Are:

  • A 10 minute walk from Polegate Station
  • Easily accessible by Car, Bus and Train from all surrounding areas

Please visit for more information