I’ve been working on quite a few albums of late. Putting solos down and finding parts that work for different composers. It’s something I’m loving more and more.
They send me their pieces with an idea on what they want then I get to work and send it back. Of course, I still travel to studios to work for different projects and enjoy being in different studio environments.
“Exciting, dynamic, a true improviser. Mike Walker is a musician who captures your attention and won't let it go. An exceptional guitarist.”
“Mike Walker has it covered.... He's one of my favorite musicians. An incredible guitarist he has all the elements I admire in balance. A great feel, wonderful lines, beautiful harmony, fantastic sound .... everything. He can go in so many directions in an honest and natural way. He's way in there. I love playing with him. He's the real deal. One of the greats!!!!!!”
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When composing, I love the countless pathways one can take to one’s destination. Myriad twists and turns, all reflections of one another, and the puzzle therein, waiting for the curious, to discover.
I like to find a voice for a piece. I like a composition to have secrets. I can get inspiration from nature, from people and from the memories folded into my history.
It’s also interesting to work with composers, to help them realise their goals, by offering suggestions and solutions they might not have thought of. There are so many ways to yield material from a kernel of an idea. Teaching composition too, has helped with my own writing.
Sometimes I work closely in the studio with people, offering suggestions and possible curve balls. I’ve become quite fast at cleaning up a composition, shedding a bar here and there or adding something to create an overall balance that may have been hidden from the view of the composer.
“Simply put, Mike Walker is amazing. His compositions are superb, his playing connects the chain of tradition with unique and original forward thinking and his commitment to music education is both immensely inspirational and hugely valuable. As I'm sure you can tell, I'm a massive fan.”
“One of our greatest musical treasures, Mike Walker is recognised internationally for his soaring, fluid playing. Working with him you come to realise it's like he is made of music; whether he's playing, composing, teaching or hanging out, it just seems to come out in everything he says and does - this is why he fills such a unique place in the community of musicians who revere him so much.”
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Creating "in the moment" compositions and expressing myself through music is one of my greatest pleasures in life.
To this end, I am absolutely passionate about helping fellow musicians open up to their own song. That is, to connect them with what they want to say. This involves listening on a deep level, leaving space to really hear notes and eventually phrases, both melodically and rhythmically, that interact with the music.
I love these workshops for improvisation, and I’ve been doing them for quite a few years now. I like to find ways to open up discussion between the students, especially about the varied reasons that hinder someone from expressing their own voice.
We talk about the safety net of licks and how those licks quickly become stale or the fact they often have limited place in interactive music. I see people opening up more and more as their fear retreats.
During a workshop, I look at why people are playing what they are playing. What I want to address is, are you really connected to what you are playing, or is your approach more lick based?
I also explore the fears one can have when improvising - the deep desire to do it, coupled with the anxiety and the fear of doing it in front of others.
Opening up these conversations and talking about strategies to navigate our way through, whilst removing obstacles that we often put in our own pathway, is beneficial to anyone that would like more freedom in their playing.
These sessions allow you to allow yourself a space that gives your own individual voice a chance to sing its own song.
Any instrument is welcome. I usually do these workshops over an afternoon but I also do weekend workshops with longer days. Classes range from beginner to advanced and anyone, from 7 to 77, is welcome.
“Mike’s workshops are a masterclass in the ability to distil an exhaustive understanding of harmony and the fretboard into the specific concentrated elements needed by the collective attendees to improve, separating out the learning in a way that is immediately understandable, applicable and digestible. Musical alchemy with taste and humour.”
“Mike is a truly unique teacher, not only because he is a world-class musician and composer, but because of his equally remarkable talent as an educator and communicator. In our classes Mike is always able to quickly identify the things that I need to develop and finds practical and effective ways for me to work through them. I leave classes feeling inspired, supported, full of ideas and with a clear plan of action. I have made immense progress under Mike’s tutelage, which is why I travel for eight hours for the privilege of lessons with him.”
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