At 26 years of age, Enda is already one of the most sought-after and respected guitarists in Galway and indeed Ireland, renowned for his professionalism and enthusiasm for all things guitar and music-related. 

 

Enda has adopted a teaching approach of Inspiration vs. Perspiration. He believes that if you inspire a student to want to play, to want to practice and to love the experience, they will be exponentially better at the instrument. Where other teachers focus only on exercises and scales, he takes a different approach. SEE BELOW FOR ENDA'S BEGINNER'S TO ADVANCED GUITAR TEACHIG METHODOLOGY!

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2002-2005: Enda set up and ran a successful guitar academy, teaching and preparing students for Junior and Leaving Cert Exam practicals. Enda also holds Piano Grades up to Grade 8 from the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

 

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE:

 

2003-2004: No Boundaries - a 3 piece band playing pubs all around the midlands.

2004-2007: The Fuzz Rockets - a 5 piece rock/pop cover band playing clubs and live venues around the country. Did numerous college gigs/balls and school graduations.

2007-present: Sean Slattery and the Connections (original member) - multi award winning wedding and corporate events band gigging up and down the country, including appearances at the Volvo ocean race and different festivals around the country.

2012 - present: guitarist with the Meyrick Jazz Band every Sunday morning.

Enda is a first-call guitarist for a number of bands around the country, again from pop/rock to country to jazz, including Fortune Cookie, Fraggle Rock, Carmel Dempsey Band, Brenda Curtin (solo fiddle - Michael Flately Lord of the Dance, The Bridies), Mairin Fahy (fiddle - Riverdance, Trad on the Prom), Michelle Mulhaire and Eilis Egan (The Bridies, Riverdance, Eamon and Michelle), Marc Roberts (Galway Bay FM, songwriter for Daniel O'Donnell and Eurovision), Declan O'Donoghue (Riverdance, Phil Coulters Celtic Thunder), Karl Clews - Herembe, Jim Higgins - The Stunning/The Saw Doctors, Robert Mizzell, 

Jimmy Buckley, Nicola McGuire(lead vocalist Celtic Woman)

Enda has also toured in Spain and France with a number of Trad groups, and played regualrly with lare ensembles including The Black Magic Big Band.

 

RECORDING EXPERIENCE:

Liam Geddes (the voice of Ireland)Nicola McGuire (one of Ireland's most popular church vocalists), Mike Denver, Sean Slattery. 

 

FURTHER PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE:

Keith McDonald and the Showband Show, Ailbhe Hession, Earthship, Pyramid, Lewd Tunes, Wednesday night Funktion House Band, Audiopilot,The Wilful, Ceomhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, The Black Magic Big Band, Appearances on RTE television with Athlone folk group

 

 

 Enda Dempsey - Guitar 

  • YouTube Classic
Breaking out of the Pentatonic Box
The Larry Carlton Track
Click on the Youtube link to see more from Enda's guitar channel!

ENDA'S GUITAR TEACHING METHODOLOGY FROM BEGINNER'S TO ADVANCED

 

Over the years, Enda has developed a system of guiding a student from beginners level to advanced and beyond, based on their own needs and tastes, and at a pace that suits the student. From the day the student walks in the door, he will endeavour to tailor lessons around music that inspires the student, as well as working with the student to set out goals and targets to be achieved. In addition to this, Enda keeps a detailed file on each student, monitoring their progress from week to week, and taking note of any difficulties they may have with the material. The result is that the lessons are tailored exclusively to each students need, and no student will be left behind.

 

Enda’s learning outcomes are holistic in nature, covering all aspects of music education, from theory and technique to music appreciation and the practical aspects of musicianship.

 

As the student moves from beginners to advanced lessons, they are encouraged at all stages to play with other musicians. At beginners level, this might just be strumming chords with a friend, or playing chords to accompany family members that sing. As they move to intermediate and advanced level, students are encouraged to play with other students of the Galway Music Academy, putting into practice what (s)he has learnt about the role of the instrument in an ensemble. Because the Galway Music Academy is located in the same building as Galway Rehearsal Studios, this is something that is very feasible, and can be conducted through ensemble workshops at the weekend if required. The joy of music comes from playing with other people, and it has been proven in most cases that students who apply what they have learnt in class in an ensemble stiuation, emerge as more rounded musicians.

 

Finally, where possible, Enda endeavours to have class notes prepared in advance of the lesson, to reduce the amount of time wasted writing up notes in class. The following is an example of some learning outcomes and teaching methodologies broken into different levels of ability: 

 

 

BEGINNERS:

 

Learning Outcomes:

 

  • Guitar Basics (How to hold the instrument correctly, basic technique)

  • Role of Guitar as a Rhythm Instrument in music

  • Tuning the Guitar (Standard Tuning)

  • Introduction to the Fretboard (Identifying strings and frets)

  • Basic Open chords (Major, minor, dominant)

  • Basic Strumming Patterns

  • Basic Reading (based on very simple chord charts)

  • Basic AccompanIment A

 

 

Teaching Methodology:

 

Enda builds these learning outcomes around a selection of songs that each student will learn. These songs will either be chosen from the Trinity Curriculum (if applicable) or will be decided on between the student and the tutor, based on the students own music tastes and the level of difficulty contained within the song. Experience has shown that there are always compromises that can be reached between the teacher and the student, as even some songs that are more complicated can be broken down to more accessible ways of playing. Following simple chord charts is a great way to get a student reading at an early stage, which makes it easier to build up this skill as the student progresses. However, listening at an early stage is also encouraged, in order to build up a students ability to play 'by ear'.

 

INTERMEDIATE:

 

Learning Outcomes:

 

  • Introduction to Barre Chords (Building Fretboard Knowledge)

  • Introduction to the CAGED System of constructing chords

  • Introduction to finger picking patterns

  • Introduction to Improvisation

  • Intermediate Theory (to include relative minors, key signatures, time signatures)

  • Basic Jazz Chords (Major Chord Extensions, Minor chord Extensions, Dominant Chord Extensions, Basic Augmented and Diminished Chords)

  • Basic Ear Training (Basic Intervals, Basic Time Signatures)

  • Basic Transcription (Working out the chords to a simple song) 

  • Intermediate Reading (Reading the notes on the treble cleff, phrasing)

  • Basic Minor and Major Pentatonic Scales (As a foundation for lead guitar)

  • Basic Triads (picking out basic chord tones in improvisation)

  • Basic Lead Guitar Techniques (Sliding, Bending Strings, Vibrato, Hammer-ons and pull-offs, Basic picking technique)

  • Introduction to the role of Guitar in different Genres (Rock, Country, Folk & Pop)

  • Building an understanding of the relationship between the guitar and the rhythm section (Groove and Timing)

  • Introduction to Guitar Equipment (to include different guitars, amps and effects)

  • Introduction to Guitar Maintenance (Changing Strings and caring for the instrument)

 

 

Teaching Methodology:

 

Again these lessons are based around the learning of songs, be they from the Trinity syllabus (if applicable) or agreements between the student and tutor. Upon completeing the beginners phase of lessons, the student will be ready to build their fretboard knowledge by learning Barre Chords and the CAGED system of chord construction, which will form the basis for all lead guitar principals and advanced rhythm playing. Students will be encouraged to try and work out chords for simple songs themselves, using techniques taught to them by the tutor.

 

Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales are a great way to introduce a student to the concept of lead guitar playing as they are extremely accessible, and provide a great pathway to the introduction of improvisation. They also help to “open up the fretboard” helping students to identify relationships between notes.  The introduction of basic lead guitar techniques go hand in hand with these pentatonic scales. These techniques include hammer offs and pull ons (legato playing), palm muting, string bending and the application of vibrato.

 

A large part of the intermediate course will deal with “music appreciation”. Over the course of the lessons, the student will be introduced to different players who have influenced different genres - starting with genres and musicians that they enjoy listening to and expanding from there. This will help the student to identify how different players use different techniques to convey the point that they want to get across in their music. For example, there are a number of different types of vibrato, even within a single genre. This vibrato, amongst other things, helps to determine the intensity and “feel” of the music. Another outcome of this teaching methodology is to establish the relationship between the guitar and the rest of the band. For example, is the guitar a supporting instrument or is it leading the ensemble? It is crucial that the student grasps this concept, as it is often the difference between successful and unsuccesful practicing musicians when gigging. The concept of timing and groove is also essential, and is often overlooked at this stage.

 

Finally, students will continue their learning of the practical elements of their craft, for example, the changing of strings, and the different types of strings available for their instrument. They will also be introduced to basic guitar equipment, such as effects pedals and amplifiers.

 

ADVANCED:

 

Learning Outcomes:

 

  • Advanced Ear Training (advanced intervals and time signatures)

  • Advanced Jazz Chords (Altered Chords, Chord Substitutions)

  • Advanced Chord Construction (Alternative Inversions)

  • Introduction to Major Scale and Modes

  • Introduction to Diminished and Augmented Scales

  • Introduction to advanced arpeggios

  • Transcription of Music and how to get the most from this practice

  • Advanced Techniques (To include advanced picking techniques, string skipping, sweep picking, right hand tapping)

  • Advanced Music Appreciation (The history of individual genres, key players, development of the genre)

  • Advanced Improvisation (Using different scales and Arpeggios, making your solos memorable and musical, playing the right part for the song)

  • Advanced Guitar Maintenance

  • Building a guitar rig to suit your playing style and genre

  • Setting up and using a PA system

    • The Business of Music

 

Teaching Methodology:

 

Once again, the student is taught these principals through learning songs as set out by the Trinity Syllabus if they are completing the Trinity Exams.

 

At this stage, if the student is not completing the Trinity Exams, (s)he is encouraged to pick a genre to focus on for a certain period of time. In many cases, this genre will become obvious as they move through beginners and intermediate lessons, and will be dictated by their own personal preferences. Once a genre is picked, the student will be guided through the history of the genre, with the tutor identifying key players within the genre. This will help the student to track the evolution of the music they love, and will set out the roadmap for the techniques and theory that they want to learn. It is often the case that as a student dives deeper into their chosen genre they will identify relationships between different genres. For example, a student that is influenced by rock bands is, at some stage, going to discover Toto, a rock band featuring guitarist Steve Lukather. This discovery will lead them to discover Steely Dan, a very popular rock band, with huge influences from jazz and folk genres. Students are encouraged to learn as many different genres as possible as it contributes to their eventual voice as a musician. By learning them one at a time, they will gain a deep understanding of each genre and the technique and theory associated with it. Because Enda will have been keeping a record of each students progress from the first day they walked through the door, he will be able to prescribe “recommended listening” that the student will find both entertaining and interesting, while learning more about the role of the instrument in the genre they have chosen. At an advanced level, this often sets out the flow of the lesson, as the tutor works with the student in order to help them meet their targets and goals.

 

In addition to this, the student will gain an in depth knowledge of guitar maintentance and the use of guitar equipment as they go through advanced lessons. By educating the student with regards to the huge amount of equipment available, Enda hopes to help them to purchase equipment that suits their needs, rather than relying on overhyped reviews in magazines and online outlets. By showing students how to set up and use a PA system, they will be better able to ensure that they don’t damage their hearing in rehearsal situations, and that they will be better able to communicate with sound engineers in gigging situations.

 

Finally, the student will receive an introduction to the business of music. Once a musician gets out onto the gigging scene, it is imperative that they are able to deal with promoters and venue owners alike in a professional manner. 

© 2019 Galway Music Academy