Guitar Workshop 2015

Buxton Guitar Workshop

Buxton Guitar Workshop
Dates: Sept 11-13th 2015 NOW SOLD OUT

The Old Hall Hotel, The Square, Buxton, Derbyshire, England. SK17 6BD
Tel: +44 (0) 1298 22841


Well, at long last I have decided to run a guitar weekend at the Old Hall Hotel in glorious Buxton over the weekend of the 11th to the 13th of September. My hope is for the weekend to be fun and inspiring not only for the students but for me also. We NEVER stop learning. The weekend is open to players of all levels but my guess is that the more advanced will find it particularly appealing.

Without outlining a strict format for the two full days of teaching, the following is a rough guide to the content of the weekend.

Friday evening will be an informal meet and greet in the cosy lounge of the hotel, where any suggestions from your good selves will be gratefully received. Suggestions such as which GG pieces you would like to see covered over the weekend etc. Saturday and Sunday after breakfast on each day will consist of all things related to Giltrap. The teaching days will terminate at approximately 5pm with breaks for tea coffee and lunch. In no particular order I shall be focusing on the following aspects of my playing.

  1. Looking at my hi-brid technique of pick and little finger.
  2. Looking in detail at each student’s instrument to see if it is set up properly to bring out the best in the instrument and in turn the students playing. There is nothing worse than fighting an instrument that hasn't been set up correctly to bring out the best of the instruments capabilities, this will include advice on string gauges etc.
  3. I shall be explaining my approach to open tunings like the tried and tested DADGAD plus open G which inspired my classic composition HEARTSONG. There are so many tunings that have figured strongly in my career over the years, and I am more than happy to look at specific compositions from my 48 year career. My guess is that HEARTSONG could well be at the top of that list!
  4. Composition obviously figures VERY strongly in all that I do, and I shall try to explain the mysteries of composition and my thought processes behind the things I write and what inspires them. I should also love to hear what pieces my students have written whether they be songs or tunes, and if I can assist in helping them to write more of the same it will of course be my pleasure to do so.
  5. Technique is obviously a major part of any guitarist’s skills. One of the most popular techniques I use is the "harping technique" shown to me many years ago by Martin Taylor and features strongly in the playing of my friend Tommy Emmanuel. I shall be highlighting my hammer on and pull off techniques that feature a lot of open strings, I shall also be looking at the wonders of the partial capo and show how I have used it in pieces like SHINING MORN and EM'S TUNE. There is also my tried and tested left hand stretching and strengthening technique that the more mature players find challenging. Let us also not forget that thorny old subject of "nail care".
  6. Without a doubt THE DODO'S DREAM has proved to be a show stopper over the years and gives me an opportunity to take a broad look at guitar effects and indeed the Loop Station.
  7. For those who have unwanted guitars and wish to convert them to (A) a high strung Nashville guitar or (B) an APPALACHIAN DREAMING guitar then do please bring them along to the weekend to see if it is indeed possible to help create that "fun" APPALACHIAN DREAMING sound!
  8. I shall also be giving advice on stagecraft and live performance, and the best way to engage with an audience along with useful tips about creating a well-paced set list, also tips on recording.
  9. On Saturday evening at approximately 8 pm I shall be giving a concert and would also welcome questions and answers not only during that concert but indeed throughout the weekend, the more questions the better, that way we can all learn something! Don't be afraid of requesting your favourite GG piece or pieces and if my memory allows I shall do my best to play them. It's always interesting to watch me struggle with some long forgotten tune!

As I mentioned earlier this weekend should not only be beneficial to all who followed my career and music but also fun.

I have allocated 12 places and I urge you to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment by missing out on this (for me) historic landmark in my career.

Prices: Tuition only

£250 Pounds Sterling

A non-refundable deposit of £75 is required to secure your place at the workshop.

About the Venue

The Old Hall Hotel in Buxton, positioned directly opposite the famous Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Gardens is reputed to be the oldest hotel in England. The Hotel is steeped in history and built on the site of a natural warm spring, the location of the original Roman Baths. It is situated right in the centre of Buxton, the elegant spa town of the English Peak District and surrounded by a wonderful land of hill, dales and forests. Since the present building was built in 1573, on the site of the earlier Auld Hall, the hotel has continually served intrepid travellers from around the world.

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The New Hall as it was once known was built by the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury; the Countess being the redoubtable ‘Bess of Hardwick’ who built Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth. It has a long history and connections to Mary Queen of Scots who looked forward to her summers at the New Hall and regularly took the waters.

The Old Hall Hotel in Buxton is renowned for its originality of accommodation, all of its unique thirty eight bedrooms are different. Each bedroom has been sympathetically furnished in keeping with the age of our hotel, with all the modern comforts you would expect, including en-suite bathrooms, TV and radio, writing desks, hairdryers, telephones and hospitality trays.

All of the bedrooms are non-smoking and there is a lift to all floors. Dogs and other pets are welcome, and there is free Wi Fi throughout the hotel. The hotel is located within 5 minutes walk of the town centre and 8 minutes walk from the train station.

For guests arriving by car there is public car parking available in front, opposite and down the sides of the hotel. The parking is £3.00 per day for residents to park outside the hotel, the permits are printed from reception on arrival and they need replacing each day.

The halls of the ancient hotel have many tales to tell as do some of the rooms too! They have four poster beds or you can choose to stay in the grandest room, Queen Mary’s Bower, believed to be part of the original apartments where Mary Queen of Scots was under house arrest under Queen Elizabeth 1st’s reign.

For dining options you can choose between the warmth and charm of the Cockerel Wine Bar, which is open all day and still has the ambience of the ancient coaching hotel, or the stylish a la carte restaurant offering traditional and contemporary cuisine from around the world. Food is prepared daily by the hotel chefs using fresh local produce and the wine and beers are hand selected by local wine merchants and breweries.

Many famous people have slept away the nights in its ancient rooms. They say that each room could write a book, with perhaps a few plots of treason, intrigue and maybe the odd ghost story thrown in. If you’re staying here, just before you drop off to sleep tonight, let your mind wander a while, and think of all the wondrous things that have happened at this place for over three thousand years or more.


Participants must book their own accommodation, ideally at the Old Hall Hotel. The hotel has offered us a special rate for the weekend.

How to book:

Please email Sue Holton at to book your place at the workshop before booking accommodation. You will be sent more details about the weekend, how to pay for tuition and the accommodation rates at the hotel.

Once your place at the workshop is confirmed please email Emma at the hotel for bookings and mention Gordon Giltrap Guitar Workshop to get the discounted rate.

Please book early. There are many other B&B’s and hotels in Buxton within walking distance to the workshop if you prefer to stay elsewhere.

T & Cs:

1: A non-refundable deposit of £75 is required to secure your place at the workshop

2: The remaining £175 must be paid to Gordon on arrival

3: This fee only covers tuition, you are responsible for booking and paying for your own travel, accommodation, food, drinks and refreshments etc.

4: In the very unlikely event that we have to cancel the workshop your tuition deposit will be refunded but we are unable to refund any accommodation or travel costs. You should check cancellation policies at your accommodation or consider taking out travel insurance.