Blog: Inside The Institute (Part 1)

For the last few years TG has sponsored a scholarship at The Institute (formerly ICMP and The Guitar Institute), one of the leading contemporary music schools in the country.

Much like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, you can never tell what secretive magic is going on in those hallowed halls, so this year our scholar, Neelesh Vasistha, is using his golden ticket access and blogging about his experiences on the Guitar Higher Diploma course. Take it away Neelesh…

Read Inside The Institute (Part 2)
Read Inside The Institute (Part 3)

An introduction

Hello all. I'm Neelesh, a 20 year-old guitarist from North London. To tell the truth I'd never been academically inclined towards music, subscribing instead to the 'I play from the ear, man!' school of thought. Last year, however, through compulsion to do something solid towards my career choice, I applied for the ICMP guitar scholarship and ended up winning it!

I write to you now in the midst of my course here at The Institute, studying the Superlocrian mode, how to superimpose arpeggios and the like. Whilst studying musically academically is inherently un-rock 'n' roll, it opens up the fretboard in ways utterly unconceivable to myself a year ago.

Last week I went to Kensington, an outrageously affluent part of London, to play a gig with an incredibly gifted artist called Rufio Summers at the Archangel music venue.

Preceding (our already shortened set) was an embarrassing full five minute delay where the sound man had forgotten to un-mute my friend's guitar on the soundboard, and was frantically suggesting genius ideas ('Is the volume turned up?') to him on stage in the middle of a packed -out club gig.

It seems that even buying the soundman a drink beforehand surely can't prevent such a calamity? [It might cause one though! - Ed]

Stick around for the next blog, where I'll be talking about my Guthrie Govan experience, and the trials and tribulations of finding the right producer.

Matthew Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.