Written by Walter Bryant
With the decline of “in-person” guitar lessons in our modern day, many guitar teachers are are having to find work elsewhere. Consequently, YouTube (arguably a source of revival for guitar music) has become host to countless music teachers looking to educate yearning musicians. While some seek to teach the basics, others cater to the more advanced spectrum, offering knowledge that could otherwise only be obtained through self-teaching or a specialized school. Nevertheless, these dedicated professors of music technique provide a wealth of new ideas for individuals looking to sharpen their chops. And if you’ve ever ventured through the YouTube fusion and/or rock lesson lists, there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled upon Tom Quayle; a guitar player from the U.K. whose fame and guitar-teaching career continues to grow from the confines of the internet.
Tom Quayle is a well versed jazz-guitar player out of Leed’s in the U.K., known for his super-clean hybrid-picking legato technique and undoubtedly recognizable solo lines. This identifiable style can be attested to his use of “fourths” tuning, which requires tuning the top two strings to C and F instead of B and E; a method also popularly used by guitarist, Stanley Jordan. Tom claims it makes improvisation much easier, allowing for a much more symmetrical view of the fretboard. Tom claims that this tuning, along with insight of his great teachers and fellow peers at the Leeds College of Music, helped him to become the player he is today.
Tom developed very much as a straight-ahead jazz player at first, but when a student of his re-introduced Tom to fusion (i.e. Greg Howe, Brett Garsed), Tom began to venture further into the Jazz-fusion realm on his own. Possessing a refined right-hand technique developed out of practicing slow legato runs in his modern jazz days, Tom has a very unique style with distinguished lines that make his sound easily identifiable. Click on any one of his videos on his YouTube channel, and you’ll realize exactly what we’re raving about. Tom’s super-smooth, yet classic-flavored tone comes from his use of the Wampler Dual Fusion (Tom’s Signature Pedal), often in front of a Port City Pearl 50w Head & 2×12 OS Wave Cab. Tom is using Fibernare guitars as of late, but can be seen using a Suhr Modern in many of his videos in the past. The Suhr guitar is equipped with Suhrs own SSV+ pickup in the bridge and a pair of FL (Fletcher-Landau) single coils in the middle and neck positions. The guitar also features a Basswood body with flame maple top in Transparent Denim and a bolt on 1-piece quarter sawn maple neck with gorgeous abalone inlays.
On the music side of things, although Tom doesn’t have an album yet, he wants to assure everyone that it is in the works. Between his lessons, clinics, and online videos, his music projects have had to take a backseat, but we aren’t complaining. Tom’s improv videos will certainly tide us over for the time being. Best of all, if you’re interested in brushing up on your chops, Tom has a website dedicated to lesson videos, in addition to the one-on-one Skype lessons he offers. He also does a lot of work with licklibrary.com and iguitarmag, releasing various a boatload of informative content. And as if he wasn’t busy enough, Tom often teams up with Rick Graham (fellow-fusion YouTuber) for a number of clinics and workshops in the U.K.. You can also find them in countless videos trading solos over backing tracks. As strikingly different as their playing styles are, a common thread can be seen when you watch these guys tear up the fretboard. Keep a lookout for a “Guitarists To Know” feature on Rick in the near future. But in the meantime, watch the videos we’ve added below to get a feel for how spectacular Tom’s playing is! Also, don’t forget to pay a visit to Tom Quayle’s website for some great lessons!