Ingredients for the perfect concert.

You will need:…..

1 concert Guitar (preferably spruce, although cedar can also be nice)

1 music stand

1 footstool (black where possible. Silver is fine but NEVER GREEN)

1 Pencil

1 music score. (try to do your own arrangement)

1 armless chair

1 working radio (tune to radio 4 during your coffee breaks)

1 espresso machine

7 to 8 coffees (add these mainly as seasoning to your own taste.)

First study your score (If you can’t use your own version it is possible to buy ready-made versions but always read the label. Go for a low-fingered option preferably no more than 3% fingering per page of music)

Next mix your study with five portions of practise. (Try to do five portions of practice a day and make them moderate in size, no more than 30 mins each) Add a little day time TV and a coffee.

With your pencil slowly add phrasing and the fingering (in that order. I find if you add the fingering first the result can be lumpy and leave a bad taste in the ears)

Set aside to learn for around 12 months depending on the size of the score.

Now repeat the process with another score. (Some people like to learn a whole batch of dessert pieces that are easy on the ear – this is fine but for a really dazzling performance you need some meat around the bone. Go for a new commission or something that brings together a variety of musical ingredients, not just a pretty melody.)

After about 12 months allow to cool, and perform several play-throughs to friends and family. Season with some revised fingering and prepare for the first performance.

On the day of the concert:

Try not to wake before 10am

Have a hearty chunder – I suggest bacon, eggs(2) sausage(2) beans black pudding and fried bread, washed down with 2 mugs of tea.

Read a paper.

Take a swim (if you are playing in Germany then maybe a sauna)

Arrive in plenty of time (eat a small salad)

Play a few things unrelated to the concert

ENJOY!!!!!!! (perhaps some Spanish cheese for an encore)

Afterwards season with a chicken Tikka masala and a large beer.


  1. You two are really great!
    You did not mention the 4th floor in hotels (salty, sweety and the red curtain)….But maybe next chapter could be ingredients for the perfect festival?
    besos! and bravo for this new web.

    Btw, any problem with green footstool? 😀

  2. Hi Gaëlle
    Great to hear from you. The ‘Custon Hotel’ in LA was the best! The only hotel I’ve ever stayed which had its own sheep, and freaky talking lift. Also the 4th floor vending machine with dried insect snacks – yum! A big thankyou to Martha for that.
    I personally like green footstools. I lost a green footstool in Perth, Australia, and they sent it back to me. Perhaps they don’t like green footstools there either?
    Cheers and thanks for the comment.


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