Imagine being able to show up at a session, receive smiles as you are recognized, and then take your guitar out as you grab a seat at the table eager to join in.
How do you get to that point though? Surely it takes years and years of learning; hour after hour of practice; and on top of that, a lot of guts to take that seat?
How are you supposed to find that time when your life is already busy and, are you supposed to just jump into a random session when you think you might be ready?
These are the questions that might keep you up at night if the only way you see to get there are to try and teach yourself or if you can’t find a teacher. Even with a teacher, you still need to find time to practice, and to do that well, you will need to constantly inspire yourself. There is a very good chance that you will struggle to stay motivated, get frustrated, get disheartened, and maybe never reach your goal of playing Celtic music well.
But in a community, you are surrounded by other people working on goals just like yours. You can lean on them, learn from them, be held accountable by them, and most importantly, be motivated and encouraged by them.
Going it alone is hard. Learning Celtic guitar together will get you your seat at the table much sooner than you think.
My name is Andy Webster. I fell in love with the Celtic scene over 25 years ago and hit the usual hurdles in becoming part of it:
not knowing the rhythms
not knowing what chords to use where
building up the courage to simply take a seat in a session
making myself start to play once I sat down
making myself do it again after making horrendous mistakes.
I was lucky enough to have people in the area that loved the Celtic scene and nurtured me in a way that gave me the chance to develop my skills, try different things out and ask questions when I needed to. I was able to make plenty of mistakes, some private and some public, but eventually, I ended up playing and teaching worldwide. Most importantly, whenever and wherever I found myself around other Celtic musicians, I was able to connect with them through making incredible, beautiful music with them.
Over time, I have realised that I would dearly love more people to experience Celtic music culture and also that so many people, worldwide, want to be a part of it too. The Beating Hearth Community makes it possible for guitarists to learn the skills, develop the habits and gain the drive needed to enter the Celtic scene and enjoy accompanying fiddlers, pipers, singers (you name it) with confidence.
For over 20 years, I have been teaching people how to play DADGAD accompaniment and, just like learning to play, my methods and ability to teach effectively developed over time too.
I have seen how inspired people are when they come together to learn at workshops and festivals, but how that inspiration can easily wane when we return to normal life. This has even been true for students taking private lessons - there have always been times when staying motivated to practice has proven to be incredibly difficult. Those that tried to self teach themselves using online videos, DVDS, or method books struggled even more (and eventually tried private lessons after a while).
With all this in mind, I realised that learning this type of music works so much better when we are able to surround ourselves with other people that inspire us whenever we need to - and that is core to what the Beating Hearth does.
These insights were affirmed when I started looking into a way to host such a community. From Mighty Networks founder, Gina Bianchini, I learned that:
Community is the single best way to build new practices and change habits, which are essential to creating the lives we want.
If you absolutely know that you want Celtic guitar playing in your life, the Beating Hearth Community will give you the accountability and motivation you need to make practicing a regular part of your week.
The Beating Hearth Community surrounds you with fellow Celtic music lovers and expert mentors whose constant connection to you will remove the struggle of trying to learn alone.
The Beating Hearth will build up your playing confidence step by step so that, one day in the near future, you will have no trouble at all taking your guitar out of its case and joining in playing with a bunch of strangers or a player that you greatly admire.
The 4 Week Jigs Made Easy Challenge to gain the skills you need to master playing jigs and the chords of D major. A foundational entryway into the world of Celtic accompanying.
The DADGAD Starter Kit so that you have everything you need to get started clearly laid out and at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Weekly Live Online Sessions which gives you the chance to play session style, make the mistakes you need to, and gain the confidence you need before sitting in the real thing.
Regular Mentor Sessions with expert musicians to coach you as you learn, motivate your practice, increase your understanding of theory, and improve your musical ear.
Scheduled Practice Sessions with other Beating Hearth members as often as you can manage so that practicing becomes a habit and easier to do whilst ensuring quicker progress than you will ever have experienced.
Direct Access to Your Own Remote Mentor to ask the questions you need to ask when you need to ask them and get constructive and helpful feedback.
The Beating Hearth Community to connect with like minded players who inspire each other to continue learning, share knowledge and insights with each other, and share a deep love of Celtic guitar.