Win a guitar package and raise funds for charity - a new scheme from Jamie Witt to motivate you in Lockdown January.
If you follow Antix Music Network, or have any knowledge of the extensive Yeovil Music Scene, you will know of the awesome talent that is 33 year old Jamie Witt - two time Top 10 Guitarist of the year, guitar teacher, and all round nice guy.
Often in music, timing is absolutely essential, and Jamie has smashed the timing of his latest scheme out the ground and into the neighbours back gardens; in what appears to be the bleakest of January’s, Jamie has come up with yet another charitable venture which not only raises money for an incredible cause, but shines the light on local businesses, with the chance for 3 lucky people to win a brand new guitar each, and full set up. This truly is something for everyone to #GetInvolved with!
This week, we took this opportunity to catch up with Jamie about his new venture, his guitar tuition business, and how he sees the next few months in a potentially post COVID world.
Frazer Mitchell; Jamie - it’s been a while - firstly, let’s start with an easy question; how are you? And how have you been the past 10 months?
Jamie Witt; I've been good really. Obviously we've all been struggling in our own ways but there's a lot of positives I can draw from last year.
FM; Now I want to get straight into your guitar giveaway scheme - first off, what’s it all about? Why are you giving away guitars?
JW; - I was hoping to do something to mark my ten year anniversary - a decade of teaching guitar full time which is a job I absolutely adore. But additionally, for small businesses like mine the Covid pandemic represented a real question mark as to whether I would even have a business once it had blown over. But the ongoing, overwhelming support of my students, the community and my family and friends have seen me through. So this is a way of giving back, and hopefully spreading some positivity at the same time.
FM; So you’ve got 3 brand new guitars including amps to give away. Where did they come from? Do you have any more details on each guitar?
JW; I have an Aria Pro II 615 Tele which is a gorgeous semi-hollow guitar, and a Aria Pro II Fullerton strat which is just stunning. Both of these are serious guitars with loads of features any guitarists would love to have. I picked these both up from Martin at Yeovil Guitars who did me a great deal, as he always does for anyone who shops from him. The Nomination guitar is a genuine Fender Stratocaster from the Player series. It's a truly pro level guitar. I got this from the guys at Waterloo Music who have also thrown in a service and accessory pack too. Both of these shops have supported me hugely over the years and continue to serve the local community amazingly.
FM; To be in with a chance of winning one of these guitar packages, what do you have to do? Is there a certain criteria before you enter?
JW; with the two Arias it's simple. You just need to donate to a charity. It can be one of your choosing or there's a Just Giving link for the Lord's Larder on my page which is a great local charity helping provide food and essential items to people unable to afford it. The Nomination guitar is just that - if you think you know someone who deserves to win that for any reason - for example if they've done something good in the community, supported others in some way, had a positive impact or maybe they've had a tough time of things and are still going - let me know and I'll choose a worthy winner!
FM; It’s got to be said that what you’re doing is exactly what the local music scene needs right now - unity, supporting one another, supporting those businesses we perhaps took for granted before COVID that haven’t been able to operate as usual, and generally a bit of motivation in a musical way. You’re a big believer in the local music scene, and I think everyone reading this understands how tight the Yeovil Music Scene is, how do you see our music scene panning out in the near future?
JW; I don't have any worries beyond the same that musicians are feeling all over the country. I worry for our venues and festivals, so any support we can offer them at this time will be helping to ensure the future of the music scene.
FM; So obviously the last 10 months have been very strange, have you been able to continue your guitar lessons with your students since March?
JW; I have been very fortunate that I've been able to switch over to Skype and Zoom and video call services like that, and I've been very fortunate that my students have been very patient in making that switch.i currently have just over 70 students and the majority have been able to continue in some way which has been great.
FM; 70+ students?! When do you get time to sleep?! In that case, I have to ask, are there any students of yours you think we should be keeping an eye on in the future?
JW; yep - I'm lucky to be teaching a lot of very talented guitarists and I could list a couple dozen here but one to definitely keep an eye on who is working on new music right now is Lauren Helyar. You can find her on Instagram and YouTube.
FM; So even though you’ve still been teaching your 70+ students in the last 10 or so months, the lack of gigs, or the ability to see family and friends, I assume you’ve had a bit more spare time - is there a follow up to your album Only Decades on the way?
JW; yes there is 😉
FM; Oh, how exciting. Perhaps we'll have another catch up when things develop there! But for now, Jamie, thanks a lot for your time, best of luck with your guitar giveaway, and I really hope to see you at a gig as soon as possible!
JW; thank you very much and likewise!
Make sure you follow Jamie Witt, and #GetInvolved with the big guitar giveaway over at his page here.
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network