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ACM London was awash with excitement recently when ACM alumnus and Cradle of Filth guitarist, Richard Shaw, came in to speak to our students about his career in the music industry, as part of an exclusive masterclass session.

During the class, Richard revealed that he started playing guitar at the age of 11 and at 18 he made the decision to go to ACM. He said: “I went to ACM in Guildford between 2003 and 2006 and I loved it there. I met so many amazing people who became my lifelong friends. A lot of the tutors I’m still in touch with now. I learned an awful lot. Weirdly enough, a lot of the stuff I’m going to talk about in the masterclass today is sort of funneled through me from my own experience of ACM and of the industry.”

After graduating from the Academy, Richard went on to join leading metal group, Cradle of Filth. He told students he was up against some really talented players for the job and only had three hours to prepare for the audition. He revealed that he was the only one who was on time to submit his piece, and stressed the importance of punctuality to students. After joining the band, Richard said he only had two weeks to learn all the band’s music before going on his first tour.
Richard Shaw ACM LondonWhen asked about guitars, tone and technique, Richard said that guitarists often scoop out the midrange in their sound, when they should actually focus on the middle and treble and roll off the bass to help the sound cut through more. Richard also told students that the neck and body of their guitars should resonate the same note, and showed them how to test this. During the session, Richard shared that it was actually practising funk tunes that made the rhythmic metal style easier for him.

Throughout the class, students asked Richard questions, and top pieces of advice from the masterclass included: listen to the support bands, get to know security, and warm up. One student asked what Richard’s advice to his 18-year-old self would be. His reply was: “To keep on going.”

Our ACM students found the masterclass incredibly inspiring and were thrilled to see such a successful ACM graduate.

We’d like to thank Richard for visiting us here at ACM and presenting an amazing masterclass session to students of his old college. To be the first to see exclusive masterclass content from ACM, subscribe to our YouTube channel now at:

If you’d like to study at ACM and attend masterclass sessions, learning how the music industry operates, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.

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