Student Story – Andy Basiola – JTC Guitar

Andy Basiola

Andy Basiola is from Italy and has been playing guitar for 13 years. He took some time out from his studies to tell us a little more about himself, and the reasons he chose to study the JTC Degree with DIME ONLINE.

I started learning guitar around 2003 in my hometown thanks to my dad, a bass player, who really encouraged me to learn an instrument in the first place. He was also the person who got me into rock music, showing me bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. By listening to these great bands I started to get to know all the famous guitar idols such as Jimi Hendrix, Richie Blackmore, Paul Kossof, Gary Moore, and a guy who became my main influence – Randy Rhoads. What I loved about Randy was his exceptional ability to create remarkable melodies and unique riffs with a huge, meaty rock sound, I was instantly in love!

One day, I went to see a friend playing guitar with his band and his playing was so good and had such a rich and warm tone; that it inspired me to start learning the guitar. This guy then became my first guitar teacher, I had lessons with him for a few years and he taught me all the essentials about the instrument.

The big career change for me came in 2009, when, after winning a scholarship to study music in London, I moved to the UK to start a guitar diploma course at a London music college. I will never forget my first year – it meant so much to me and I loved starting a new adventure doing what I loved most!

After graduating in 2010 with a diploma, I formed my own band: Future Shock. I’m still playing with these guys, and with them I recorded 2 albums and played all over the country. During these years in London I also started teaching guitar privately, however little by little I started to think about my future as a musician and realised that in order to bring take this profession to the next level I needed a higher qualification: a degree. It didn’t take long to find DIME ONLINE, which immediately seemed the best solution for me; an online guitar course that gave me the opportunity to study at my own pace, wherever I wanted. I also found it more financially convenient than any other music college.

The thing I like most about DIME ONLINE is the fact that I can manage my time around my studies; for instance I don’t need to physically attend classes or exams. Everything is managed through a Virtual Learning Environment called Canvas. I usually study at home, using only my computer, a small amp and my guitar. DIME ONLINE is also convenient when I need to travel back to Italy.

From the first day I joined DIME ONLINE, I have gained a much clearer idea of what my future as a guitarist will be and the idea of becoming a complete musician. That means not only being able to perform well, but also teaching, demonstrating, and possibly writing for music magazines. Personally, I have found that this type of study fits my lifestyle really well, it allows me to carry on working, performing and playing gigs, while preparing for my degree course. What’s even better is the fact that this is not only a more flexible way of studying, but it’s also extremely motivating. Every week I get constant feedback on my performances by my tutor, and I also get to know new musicians every day.

Studying for a degree with DIME ONLINE means that I’ve also developed an extremely detailed and regular practice routine, something which is vital for me. By having this routine in place, I can make sure I’m practicing constantly to overcome obstacles and become a better player. My current tutor, Jon Bishop, regularly shows me how to improve techniques such as string-bending, rhythm, accuracy and also motivates me a lot throughout the course.

One of the main the challenges that I’ve dealt with since starting my degree, is improvisation; I sometimes struggle to link melodies and phrases while playing, and I often tend to overplay without focusing on the target notes. Since I started my studies with DIME ONLINE, I’ve been working hard in this area and I’m continuously working on my musicality. I have to say it all sounds much better and it’s definitely helping me to develop myself as a musician!

In conclusion, I would certainly recommend DIME ONLINE to anyone who, like me, wants the freedom to study wherever they are, still doing what they love.

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