Sam Russell’s journey with music started back when he was at primary school and initially lasted a spectacular 2 months. With a guest teacher coming into the school at lunchtimes on a Monday, Sam started learning on a small 3/4 size acoustic guitar that his grandparents very kindly bought for him. The lessons were a very low quality, but Sam did manage to write his first song, which consisted of playing various open strings in a random order. Unfortunately, it was not a radio friendly song. The teacher eventually quit teaching (hopefully not due to the quality of the songwriting) and the guitar lay dormant for a few years. Fast forwards to being in secondary school and Sam took some drum lessons and bass lessons for a few weeks (there was an opportunity to start learning with some teachers so Sam though, “Why not?” and had a go). While at his grandparents one afternoon, Sam was telling his father about how the lessons were going, who replied “Why are you learning those instruments? Isn’t the lead guitar the cool one?”. And he was right. So guitar lessons it was.
Then started the slow, slow process of learning to play guitar, a second time. This time, Sam’s teacher lasted a lot longer, a few years, giving him a much better grounding in the instrument. Eventually, Sam finished 6th form and attended university, where he joined a heavy metal band and tried to teach himself for a few years. Playing in the heavy metal band across the north of the UK was a lot of fun and left Sam with a desire for more, so when finishing his masters in astrophysics, he attended a music college for a year, after which he left and started teaching. After teaching for a year or two Sam took up studying with a virtuoso teacher called Tom Hess, who took, and continues to take, Sam’s playing to the next level.
Around 2014 Sam heard Prelude from Bach’s 1st cello suite, and wondered if he could play it on guitar. It turns out he could, and he quickly grew an appetite for destruction learning more baroque, putting himself to work on the entire 1st Cello Suite and then the 2nd Suite.