Being in a band is incredibly cool and really fun – but it can be difficult to know where to get started. Many famous musicians (such as former ACM student Matt Healy of The 1975) made their names by playing in bands, and millions of people across the world look up to them and wonder how they did it. At ACM, everything we do is designed to help you get where you want to go, no matter what you dream of achieving, so you can move forward with confidence and world-class professional support.
Although finding your first band might seem scary, ACM’s tutors have all been where you are right now – and they’ve also succeeded in achieving significant success as performers, artists, and band members. When you’re first getting started, you could try joining a local music club; signing up to a school band; setting up a YouTube channel and making videos of yourself playing covers or your own original songs; putting posters up on local notice boards; getting involved in school shows and performance opportunities; and persuading your friends and siblings to pick up instruments and help you out. Here at ACM, our Saturday School courses are open to anyone who wants to get a head start on their musical journey and learn everything they need to succeed while having loads of fun and meeting new friends and bandmates along the way – and we offer a range of options suitable for aspiring musicians of all ages and abilities.
If you’re completely new to the guitar – one of the world’s most iconic instruments – our Kickstart Guitar course has you covered! We’ll get you rocking as you learn about everything from how to tune your guitar to basic left- and right-hand technique, using a plectrum, mastering chords and scales, jamming the blues, and even playing some well-known songs. Our Kickstart Guitar classes run on Saturdays for 10 weeks at our Guildford campus, and are open to beginners aged 12+.
Band Skills Foundation
If you have a basic knowledge of guitar, bass, drums or vocals, and want to get started as a performing musician, ACM’s Band Skills Foundation course will help you build your confidence and take your playing to the next level. You’ll learn three or four simple songs, work on basic technical development, be shown all the parts you need to get onstage and have plenty of fun with likeminded players, and perform onstage in a band to the public at the end of term. Band Skills Foundation runs on Saturdays for 10 weeks at our Guildford campus, and is open to anyone aged 12 to 18.
Band Skills Advanced
If you’ve already come to grips with your instrument and want to learn some more advanced performance and technical skills, Band Skills Advanced is the course for you! We’ll help you focus on stagecraft and presentation while tackling more challenging songs – and new songs are chosen for each term, so you can repeat the course and still learn new things. Band Skills Advanced runs for 10 weeks on Saturdays at our Guildford campus, is open to anyone aged 12 to 18, and will also equip you with all the skills and knowledge you’ll need to move on to our Band Academy course.
Band Academy is ACM’s most advanced and comprehensive part-time course for guitarists, bassists, drummers and vocalists, with a strong focus on band performance and musicianship. You’ll join a dedicated group run by a tutor who will help you improve your technical, performance, and communication skills while learning three to five songs with like-minded people and building your confidence – and by the end of Band Academy, you’ll be ready to perform an end-of-term public concert. Along the way, you’ll be given practical real-world advice on areas such as ear training; music theory; overcoming nerves; how to get the best sound from your guitar, amp, or drum kit; developing a great practice routine; and vocal health and good practice. Band Academy runs for three hours each week for 10 weeks at our Guildford campus, is open to anyone aged 14+, and will also provide all the skills and knowledge you’ll need to move on to ACM’s full-time Diploma course.
Get started on the Saturday School course of your choice and find your first band by clicking the “Apply” button below. We can’t wait to meet you!