Online Guitar Group Here to Stay


Music groups of all shapes and sizes have been moving online, and many believe some kind of online element is here to stay. The Chris Woods Groove Orchestra’s Online Guitar Group has grown into an international community, and he believes his ‘pay what you want’ structure is here to stay too…

Chris Woods of The Chris Woods Groove Orchestra, is no stranger to bringing guitarists together, and he was already making it happen online in 2019. The past five years have seen a wave of community-minded compositions and tours from him, collaborations with the likes of G7th Capo Company and Martin Guitars have helped him reach a far wider audience.

Chris has almost always based these community-minded projects around forming pop-up guitar orchestras, and inviting all abilities to join in. In fact, Before Christmas, the MIA covered an online version of one of these inspirational projects, a collaboration with The G7th Capo Company.

Since lockdown began in the UK Chris formed a ‘pay what you want’ online guitar group. Bringing together guitarists from across the globe for a one-hour zoom session, delving into a new stimulus each week.

‘Its become a really wonderful community. The range of abilities is as diverse as the genres we learn, from Gypsy Jazz to Grunge.’

Chris goes on to say;

‘The ‘pay what you want’ structure has been an integral part of its philosophy’.

‘I think at a time like this acknowledging the different situations people find themselves in is crucial, equally acknowledging that people want the best for each other is really important. ‘Pay what you want ‘ is a model that relies on that. And it works, I think this reflects the variety of financial situations and the genuine sense of goodwill. Ultimately I want everyone to have access to this and I think people taking part feel the same’

Chris hopes that beyond lockdown it will remain a regular fixture.

‘I don’t see why it can’t. In the first few weeks of lockdown I think there was a wide spectrum of levels of understanding of zoom, Skype, and all the other platforms. But I think we are now in a situation where a large proportion of the public has a good grasp of these apps. With that in mind, I think it makes this stuff much more manageable in the long run.’

He believes having a future presence of online music groups is a positive one too.

‘The benefits are huge for everyone. It is easy to forget that before lockdown many people are isolated anyway, and meeting online in a musical community can actually be a game-changer for peoples well being, so it’s seriously positive for everyone’.

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