James Bay is teaching fans how to play his hits on guitar during the lockdown

(Image credit: Future)

Two things you may not be fully aware of concerning James Bay; he used to be a guitar teacher when he was a teen and he's got serious blues chops (opens in new tab). Now he's putting his downtime to use in a positive way on the current COVID-19 lockdown by taking to Instagram Live to give guitar lessons – and the first two are on his biggest hits.

More James Bay

(Image credit: James Sharrock)

Me and my guitar: James Bay and his Epiphone '1966' Century  (opens in new tab)

Bay recently returned from Nashville where he's being cutting a new album (that's reportedly reflecting “obvious Rolling Stones influences”). “I thought [I'd] connect with my fans on there and say hi, and show them that I’m alright and offer something,” he told the Evening Standard (opens in new tab)

“When I was 18, I had a year where I finished school and I wasn’t doing anything else yet - so I taught guitar for a year the best I could,” he says. “I wasn’t a super-efficient teacher, but I was decent.”

And we can say from our experiences filming James (opens in new tab) in the past, he's a natural and engaging talker. He's planning on doing more but for now here's his lessons on the songs Hold Back The River and Let It Go. 

Hold Back The River lesson

Let It Go lesson

Check back for more lessons at James Bay's Instagram (opens in new tab)

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.