“The guitar is like an orchestra in miniature.”
Hector Berlioz

FAQs are intended to provide some basic information about Scratch Electric Kernow (SEK). Please get in touch via email if you don’t find the information you’re seeking here.

  • What kind of music do people play in SEK electric guitar orchestra groups?

Our work emphasises a creative approach to group music-making. SEK workshops give young people the chance to create their own music for electric guitar orchestra with guidance from leading professional guitarists and teachers and perform their work in public. SEK workshops draw on a wide range of sources from rock and pop, jazz, improvised music to world and contemporary classical. We’re currently compiling recordings from our previous project (2018-19) which will be available soon on our website and Facebook pages.

  • What level of playing ability is required to join an SEK workshop?

Intermediate level or above usually works best. You don’t need to be able to read standard music notation to create music and play in an SEK electric guitar orchestra but it’s very useful to have a way of recalling what to play once you’ve worked out your part! We can help you figure out the way to do this that suits you best. If you prefer to use notation that’s ok and we’re set up to support this.

  • Do participants need any special equipment?

A guitar and amp is all you need (in some cases host venues may have a supply of amps for use). You don’t need to prepare any special music in advance. Come with an open mind and we’ll help you get started with some creative ‘building blocks’ and help you to progress your work to performance standard.

  • What do participants learn?

In SEK workshops we take a creative approach to making music together. You learn about important music skills such as building your own pieces from scratch, composing, arranging, and orchestration. Working in small groups and teams you can learn how to use musical ‘building blocks’ such as sound patterns, modes and improvising. What’s more, you’ll be able to apply your new and existing skills in a practical context to complement lessons and other formal training (GCSE, A-level, undergraduate music courses etc).

  • What’s the target age range?

SEK is for young people of all ages and particularly aged 10-25 years. The work is most suited to those with a passion for electric guitar and desire to extend their creative skills and musical experience. We work with groups of mixed age and ability and in SEK 2 we want to extend our work further in setting up community groups including young people, adults and especially families.

  • How many players are there in an electric guitar orchestra?

Electric guitar orchestras often start with small groups of 2-5 players getting together and linking up with other enthusiasts in the local area. In Phase 1 of our next project, SEK2 (Autumn 2019) we want to work with guitar teachers and music leaders to set up 10 one-off workshops in 10 new locations across Cornwall to find out if there’s sufficient interest to support a new electric guitar orchestra near you.

  • Where can I find out about setting up an electric guitar orchestra, SEK workshops, showcase concerts etc?

Our website and Facebook page will have information about an electric guitar orchestra group near you soon! If you’re an experienced guitar teacher or music leader you might like to think about setting up a ‘Scratch Electric’ group and connect with other electric guitar orchestra groups in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly through the SEK network. In SEK2 PHASE 1 (Autumn 2019), we’re planning CPD training and one-off taster workshops to help groups get started. In SEK2 Phase 2 (early 2020) we want to extend our existing workshop / showcase programme to include at least 3 new venues in Cornwall.

Please get in touch using our ‘expression of interest’ form HERE  (Deadline 12 July) or email musicotopia@me.com for further info.

© Scratch Electric 2019