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Ben Higgins

Location: Dorset, England, UK
Date of Birth: 26th February 1985
Been playing guitar since: 1995

I first picked up the guitar at the age of 10, learning a few basic chords on a nylon string acoustic. I learned a few simple Irish folk songs which helped me develop my rhythm and ear.

The thing that changed it all was discovering an old Iron Maiden tape in a dusty corner at home. The album was 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'. Never before had I heard music so broodingly atmospheric, yet so anthemic. There was no going back. I had to have an electric guitar ! I eventually did get my hands on a ¾ size, black Washburn and dived into the world of amps and distortion!

A couple of bands followed, each getting closer to the music I so wanted to be playing, until I was in the position of having a few song ideas of my own so I got together a new outfit which I called The Reckoning. I've released 2 albums online called 'Defining Armageddon' and 'Hell Kisses The Earth', both available on Bandcamp.

Late in 2013 I got the idea of recording some instrumental songs just for fun. I started working with a drummer from Italy, Andrea De Carolis. I ended up putting together 8 songs for my debut solo album 'Mr. Badass' which was released via Bandcamp April 12, 2014.

In between recording music I also found time to write a fictional novel called 'The Hammer', featuring a character I created called Frank Blake, who was inspired by The Reckoning song 'Vigilante'. 'The Hammer' is available on Amazon.

Playing and Influences
As much as my favourite rock and metal bands kept fuelling my inspiration, the first guitarist who really turned my head around was Joe Satriani with his Surfing With The Alien album. His playing seemed untouchable... divine, in fact. However, the player who spoke to me the most is Marty Friedman. It's the way he really gets into his guitar and bends and phrases like his hands are both elasticated but also made of iron... the passion of a true master.

I also deeply admire the man who inspired Friedman himself, the incredible Michael Schenker. In recent years it's not just the music that's inspired me.. the words of the late and brilliant Philip Toshio Sudo and his book 'Zen Guitar' should be definite reading material for all musicians.

The brilliant thing about GMC is being able to share not just playing tips and approaches but our philosophy towards playing guitar. The true spirit of being a musician who is open to all learning is something that is ever present at GMC and I look forward to learning as much as teaching.

More: My Youtube Channel, The Reckoning Website, My Bandcamp

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