Some of my earliest memories are of watching musicians on TV. As long as I can remember I have always wanted to play the guitar. There is nothing else I have ever wanted to do. After starting school and seeing ‘the big kids’ play the acoustic guitar in the school assembly’s, that was all I could ask my parents for. At the age of seven my mother said that she would buy me a guitar if I could prove that I was serious about learning the guitar. So of course, I said yes! The only catch was that the way I had to prove myself as a serious student was to take recorder lessons for two years, practicing regularly and taking part in school concerts. I remember the frustration of feeling so close to the guitar – after all I was still playing music every day – and somehow so far away. Two years to an impatient child was a long time. I stuck it out and the result of a little determination and desire to finally get my hands on a guitar were dramatic. After school, sometime in September 2000, my Mum took me to the town music shop, and she bought me my first guitar. Ever since holding it for the first time I could barely put it down.
The rest of my life has revolved around playing and learning everything about the guitar, and music, that I can get my hands on. I took advantage of all teachings and experiences throughout high school and this eventually led me to studying for my undergraduate degree at Leeds College of Music. In 2012 I graduated from the Jazz degree and whilst I was there I had the chance to work with some wonderful musicians and be taught by some very inspirational teachers and mentors. Jamie Taylor, Jamil Sheriff, Pete Sklaroff were just some of the people I had the chance to learn from.
Since graduating I have done many things and been all over the world playing music. After staying in Leeds doing freelance gigs and teaching work, I decided to start working on Cruise Ships in the Showband. It was a great chance for me to playing all genres of music, work with many different musicians and of course see different parts of the world. It was a great time and wasn’t long before I was working as the musical director for Holland America Line.
My journey then took me to Vancouver, Canada where I was running a successful music school in North Vancouver. I fell in love with Canada and Vancouver. Music, landscape and people made it a very special time. My love of performing has since brought me back to the UK where I have been playing in a variety of bands, working on Cruise ships and a tour with the YouTube sensation, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox.
In 2017 I decided to return to education. I have been working towards a Master’s Degree in Jazz at the prestigious London institution, Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I have had the opportunity to continue my progression under the tutelage of some of the country’s finest Jazz musicians such as Malcolm Edmonstone, Scott Stroman, Colin Oxely and many more. Since beginning my studies, I will be taking an intermission in the Master’s course as in 2018 I will be touring with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. The tour will be taking me all across the UK and mainland Europe. See my Live shows page for more details.
After learning the Banjo for several shows in the past few years, I have recently been using it more and more. Thanks to Deering Banjos and their artist endorsment, I have been playing their beautiful Eagle II Acoustic/Electric Banjo. It’s a fantastic instrument and adds so much value to my musicianship and technique.
Over the last decade, I have grown to love Hofner guitars. My Jazzica Custom Archtop was my first Jazz guitar and since playing it for the very first time I have been mesmerised by the instrument. The combination of top of the line electronics and world class craftsmanship have made me fall in love with these instruments. After playing the Jazzica Custom for many years, I have recently been playing the Thin President Ivory. The two humbuckers, thin body and thinner strings give me the chance to put my Hofner-influenced signature on all genres of music that I play.
I am excited to see where my journey takes me, as I am constantly striving to further develop my skills as a guitarist, musician and improviser. Feel free to get in contact for any more details, lessons, or just to say hi. Follow me on facebook and Instagram - @mikechisnallmusic or get in contact via email – firstname.lastname@example.org