The Guitar and Bass Group – An Epic Journey

This week’s blog is by the members of the Bridgwater Guitar and Bass Group. The group of new players, rusty players, amateur and semi-professional players has developed into new and supportive community of musicians.

The group was created in the Autumn of 2022 after a successful Clashmob pop-up event in Feb showed there was demand for local guitar and bass players to come together, to dust off instruments they may not have played for a while, to build confidence in their musicianship, and for many to play in front of an audience for the very first time.

The future of the group is developing in exciting ways. This is their story. In the words of one member ‘It is epic!’.

Wayne’s story

John’s story

It has been a real privilege to be the facilitator of Seed Sedgemoor’s Guitar & Bass group. We have a range of ages, skills and experience from across our community and to see participants grow in confidence, and ability whilst sharing their knowledge and making new musical connections and friendships has been amazing. Many in our group had not played with, or in front of others before, where others are semi professional players returning to playing. A year in, seeing these people sharing a stage, taking and owning lead guitar parts or singing live at ClashMob, Front Garden Music Festival and other events, is a joy to behold.

Reconnecting with a musical passion

Alan’s Story

“Back in the 1990’s it was easy to get into a band. I remember talking my way into one because I could drive, and coincidentally played bass. I was in that project 8 years before I left to pursue wider musical avenues. But for some reason – age, location, job and family commitments – 20 years on it is a struggle to make those connections”.

“That first Clashmob was a brilliant show of anarchy – I turned up to practice at the Arts Centre, finding I as one of several bassists but still outnumbered by Guitars. Scott, CEO of seed, asked everyone “Why did you choose to get involved?”.  “It’s a jam. I’ll always come to a jam if I’m Invited.”. Turned out, that sentiment was shared by about 20 of us!”

Jay’s Story

“I first picked up a guitar when I was around 10 years old; I had a few lessons in school and then didn’t pick up another for 16 years or so.

I have had guitars (some would say too many) in the house for over 25 years and couldn’t really play any songs – That all changed thanks to Seed.

Clashmob in 2022 encouraged me to be disciplined and learn a song from end to end (unheard of for me) and play it front of a group of strangers in Bridgwater on a cold February day. I was really nervous but thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted more.

“Playing a 6 song set at the second Clasmmob and the Front Garden Music festival was a great motivator to picking up the guitar every day and practicing!”

The development of a community of players

Alan’s Story Each meeting meant a deeper connection with the group, each problem – portable amps, tuning, song structures, singers – became a shared problem, with easy solutions. We have become a community. Led by facilitator and musician John Diment, the musical connections became a lot deeper as we expanded our repertoire.

The music is only an excuse – a community has formed, and it’s not going away. We have a network of musicians we can call on, links to rehearsal and recording studios, and a wide range of skills to draw on, as well as connections and support not just for music but for community and mental health. Even if people can’t be at meetings or events, they are in the support network and in our hearts at all times.

Jay’s Story “Being a member of the Guitar and Bass group has introduced me to some great musicians, and more importantly some great people. The level of experience ranges from ‘how do I play that chord ?’ to musicians that have performed gigs for many years. Irrespective of the experience level, the encouragement from the group is really positive and has certainly helped me develop as a musician.

Connecting with like minded people has been a key part of Seed for me. I have found the members of the Guitar and Bass Group very supportive both from a mental health, social perspective and a physical guitar-playing perspective. It has certainly encouraged me to play different songs and listen to different music.


Alan’s Story When we opened the Front Garden Music Festival, we did so many firsts – A lot of us had never performed in front of the public before, 3 of us had never sung in public before. Personally, while I had been a gigging bassist, for the first time I was now singing and playing lead guitar, and not being told to turn it down!

For me the pinnacle was playing in front of Arts Council England. Picking up my gear after work, loading the car, rigging a PA and backline in an awkward situation not designed for bands, not being able to soundcheck so just performing with the sound you have and finding the flow– then having to pack down and get it all home, ready to go back to work the next morning.

“Just like the good old days”.

More than the music

Alan: The health aspects of music are well established – physically, emotionally and neurologically. Performing, learning new songs, engaging with others and having a clear purpose are all extremely positive benefits. Not only does this community have shared link in music, but very clear shared link with how it helps our mental health – supporting each other, forming connections, becoming a social network that is already having an extremely positive effect on all of it.

The future

Alan: Now we have had 2 Clashmobs, a pub gig and a festival performance, I look forward to the next event we do. We have formed offshoot collectives and groups, each thankfully devoid of the Ego issues that plague band politics – each group is defined not by how amazing an instrumentalist you are, but by sheer enthusiasm, in true Punk fashion. Each song learned drives the overall skill level of the individual up a notch in a way that bedroom rehearsals can’t.

Jay: A spin-off from the Guitar and Bass group has been the ‘Loud Group’.  A group of us hire a local practice room and turn it up to 11. Sometimes just playing around with noisy/punky songs for the fun of it, and other times having a bit of focused practice.  I am sure that more of these spin-off groups will form giving us the opportunity to play different styles of music with different people – all under the banner and family of the Guitar and Bass Group.

John: Who knows what the next 12 months, and beyond will hold. As Joe Strummer told us “The future is unwritten!”