BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007, 12:53 GMT
Free DVD music lessons snapped up
KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall gives a guitar lesson on the free DVD
Free DVDs showing singer KT Tunstall, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree and others giving lessons on how to play their songs have been snapped up by fans.

The 10,000 discs were being given away by Arts Council England, which hopes to encourage youngsters to pursue music.

Due to unprecedented demand, however, the limited edition free DVD offer was oversubscribed in a matter of hours.

Extra copies have been made available, though, and will distributed by lottery to 1,500 names drawn at random.

The offer ties in with the Arts Council's Take It Away scheme, which offers budding musicians loans to buy instruments.

The tutorial DVD contains four beginner-level lessons from Tunstall, Rowntree, Michelle Stoddart from the Magic Numbers and Tim Wanstall from Athlete.


It was produced in conjunction with the Now Play It website, which sells videos of such rock stars as Sir Paul McCartney explaining the chord progressions and techniques used in their songs.

"There's nothing stopping anybody picking up an instrument for the first time, at any age," Tunstall told the BBC News website.

Dave Rowntree (left) explains how to play hit single Coffee and TV
"It's all about giving people a recreational approach. It's a great way to start."

The Scottish singer-songwriter appeared on the BBC's Breakfast programme on Friday to give sports reporter Chris Hollings a crash course in guitar plucking.

Edinburgh-born Tunstall described him as "a model student" who proved "you can teach old dogs new tricks".

"Almost a third of people who have used the Take It Away scheme are complete beginners," said Mary-Alice Stack from Arts Council England.

"So it's great to be able to create a starter pack with Now Play It and some of the biggest names in British music.

"We hope that the partnership will not only help more people buy an instrument, but also give them the support and inspiration they need to take the first steps in learning to play it."

'Extra incentive'

Launched in July, Take It Away allows potential pop stars to apply for an interest free loan of up to 2,000 for any kind of musical instrument.

About 1.5m worth of instruments have been sold through the scheme since it launched in July.

"It's a fantastic idea," said Rowntree. "One of the interesting things is the amount of take-up from people on lower income.

"It's amazing how many musicians are poor. And it's amazing how much instruments cost."

Rock stars show you how to play their hits

KT Tunstall showcases St Andrews
25 Sep 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Tunstall single tops Ivor awards
25 May 06 |  Entertainment
School music lessons 'manifesto'
06 Jul 04 |  Education

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific