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Since starting ACM’s Diploma guitar course in 2005 and progressing to the Higher Diploma and eventual Degree completion in 2009, ACM Alumnus Sam Whiting has been on a journey of musical discovery and exploration.
Six years after graduating, Sam is still capitalising from the contacts he has made during his time at ACM, currently writing and touring with ACM Alumna (and BBC 2 Play Listed!) Emma Stevens. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, Whiting has embraced the multifaceted music industry, branching out into session work, teaching and building his Jam Track Central profile.
ACM caught up with Sam, for the second time since graduating in 2009, to chat about the musical projects he is currently involved with.
Last time we spoke, you were touring and writing with Emma Stevens. How was that experience, and what else are you up to at the moment?
I’m still having a great time touring with Emma, who’s just released an awesome second album; ‘Waves’, which is available on iTunes & Amazon. Highlights include laying down guitar parts for the album, and recently helping her with a 12 hour gig for Children in Need!
I’ve also just released my first content package for the guys at Jam Track Central, alongside guitarists such as Tom Quayle and the mighty Guthrie Govan, two of my own biggest influences. A massive honour for me!
How did studying at ACM prepare you for a career in the music industry?
I met so many different people at ACM, all involved in the industry in completely different ways. Getting a sense of that diversity prepared me for all sorts of things. After meeting and learning from everyone at ACM, I was able to be involved in projects (and genres of music) that I had never considered before.
What advice do you have for guitarists looking to get into session/tuition work?
That’s a difficult one, as I don’t think there’s any one way to get involved with session work. However, the work that I’ve gotten has always come from contacts I’ve made by collaborating with other musicians as much as possible, many of whom I can trace back to my time at ACM.
Function gigs, teaching, a successful YouTube video helping another artist, it’s amazing what can crop up down the line if you’ve been collaborating. I’d encourage anyone to jam and work with as many people as reasonably possible, without getting stretched too thin of course!
As far as tuition work goes – Private lessons have made up massive part of my workload for several years, and it’s made more and more sense as everybody’s love of t’internet grows, making it easier to advertise and get material/promo out there for people to check out. I’d say it’s a good idea to start small if someone hasn’t taught before, but after that (and if you enjoy it!) it can be an amazingly diverse part of the industry.
What’s next for 2015?
In 2015, I’m really looking forward to more touring and crazy experiences with Emma, and also continuing to work with JTC on more content. Hopefully I’ll be releasing loads of YouTube Videos and announcing new projects over the year, using the equipment that I was threatening to buy last time we spoke!