James Ford: Musician, Music Teacher
HOME James: A musical journey:
The Journey...
From the age of 6 James was inspired by his grand father, an Organist & multi-instrumentalist with a house full of instruments. Clarinet, Piano & Violin became James's instruments & he took private & school lessons
Dave playing mute trumpet with Floozie Soo - summer 2005: Trumpet teacher,  Newburgh, Abernethy, Lindores
Dave in the EASY band around 1978

James learned these instruments because they were there. The first time James chose an instrument, the Trumpet, he was 14 & already learning 3 others. His music teacher understandably refused to allow him to learn it. It would be 15 years later that James bought a trumpet & became hooked. It's now his main instrument.

On taking his grade 5 theory at age 13 he achieved 100%. At the age of 16 he took grade 8 clarinet. He already had grade 3 violin & grade 5 piano.


In his home town of Scarborough, he played violin in the School Orchestra & clarinet in the 40 piece 'EASY' band (Eastern Areas Schools Youth Band). After winning auditions in Manchester for the 'Schools Proms' at the Albert Hall & on TV, the Band took part in second round auditions in Croydon. It was a time of discipline & a masterclass in the art of playing with others. The EASY band was known thoroughout North Yorkshire for it’s disciplined approach to playing, because of it’s visionary leader Tony Turner & it's success. It finally did get to play at the 'School Proms' - though by then, James had left school.

Wilderness Years…

Dave playing Flute with the Herculean Ceilidh Band  1998 Flute lessons,  Newburgh, Abernethy, Lindores

Dave playing Bass with Floozie Soo 2005: Bass tuition,  Newburgh, Abernethy, Lindores

In 1981 James left school - & as a result had to leave the band he loved. James hardly played a note of music for around 10 years. He had to give his treasured wooden clarinet back to the school & couldn’t face going back to his plastic affair. He didn’t consider himself to be a musician during this time. It was something he ‘used to do’....but he didn't stop listening.

Dave playing clarinet with Floozie Soo 2005 Clarinet lessons,  Newburgh, Abernethy, Lindores
James always had a good ear & now liberated from teachers, but with the benefit of the skills they gave him, by playing along by ear to his favourite music, or to whatever came on the radio, he found he was suddenly playing along with top musicians.

Then, for no reason he can remember – except that it was cheap & wooden, James bought a second hand clarinet at the age of 26 & started playing along with music on the radio.

This was a revelation.
Dave playing with Soul Inferno in Summer 2005: Trumpet / Keys lessons,  Newburgh, Abernethy, Lindores
Of-course such a conventional background helped, but James began to see how easy it was to learn a new instrument this way & simply got hooked. In his isolated cottage over the next decade, James’s obsessive hobby was learning new instruments. Dave’s Cottage in Midlothian
Dave playing Tenor Sax with the Herculean Ceilidh Band  1998: Saxophone lessons,  Newburgh, Abernethy, Lindores

He joined several bands over these years & brought the instruments onto the stage as soon as he dared - mainly in the Herculean Ceilidh Band - with whom he played for 9 years.

Many adults have given up along the way, & James loves to re-inspire those who learned something long ago but who now no longer play. It's always amazing what they remember & they are the ones who are the most surprised. James's 10 year absence from music simply heightened the passion when it returned. It's not wasted time.

The EASY band around 1978

Weavers Hall, Bank Close, Newburgh, Fife
KY14 6EG

email: james

mobile: 07970 744986
landline:01337 842434

Dave J Ford peering through  ice sculpture