Robert Lunn


Today’s Q and A is a very cool one. It features Robert Lunn, an award-winning guitarist, composer, and arranger. His arrangements and originals have been performed around the world. He is currently a Signature Artist with the sheet music company, Musicnotes. He loves recording and produces a steady stream of videos (teaching and otherwise) on various social media platforms. You can learn more about him at Enjoy!

Bands and Inspiration

Your favourite guitarist?

Difficult to say because it always changes! Slash, Eddie Van Halen, Julian Bream, Buckethead, Andres Segovia, Cenk Erdogan (current favourite), Sergio Altamura, Kazuhito Yamashita.

Who’s the best band/artist you have seen live?

Dolly Parton. This was 6 or 7 years ago, and she put on a great show.

What’s your favourite album? 

Appetite for Destruction by Guns n’ Roses

Favourite song to listen to on a depressing day?

“The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel

Greatest guitar piece ever recorded?

“Recuerdos de la Alhambra”. My favourite version is by Kazuhito Yamashita.


You as a Guitarist

Most difficult thing you’ve ever learned to play on guitar?

“Asturias” by Albeniz. It was the piece that really got me into classical guitar. I started learning it way before I really should have been working on it. I eventually learned it and performed it live.

Who’s your favourite guitarist and/or biggest influence ever?

It would have to be Eddie Van Halen. He got the ball rolling for me. Before I started playing guitar, I would walk down to the local 7/11 and get guitar magazines. A lot of the articles at the time would talk about Eddie Van Halen and his song, “Eruption”. I finally checked out the song, and it blew my mind. I finally saved my pennies and got a guitar. All throughout high school, I tried to imitate Eddie. In college, I started taking classical guitar lessons and got into that. From there I started getting into writing music and so on. Eddie got it started for me. Without his influence, I think my path would have gone a different way.

What’s the first song/riff you ever learned on guitar?

I believe it was the opening of “Crazy Train”. I can’t imagine it went well for me. Haha

Why did you choose to play the guitar?

I don’t know why, other than I just really, really wanted to. I was (and still am) in love with guitars. How they look and sound. Back when I was getting the guitar magazines, I would just stare at the pictures of the different guitars. I was in love. It didn’t matter to me what style of guitar it was, I just loved the way they looked. To me, the guitar is just the coolest instrument.

What’s the first guitar you owned? 

It was a knockoff flying V that I got from Sears. I believe I got the guitar and amp for $100.

Self-taught or formal lessons?

It’s a mix. When I first started playing, I was self-taught. I took four years of classical guitar lessons in college and a few years of jazz guitar lessons.


 Your Music and Gear

What’s your most embarrassing moment on stage?

About 6 months ago, my kids and I played at a large family gathering. We rented a club, and I played electric guitar, my oldest played bass, and my middle child played drums. I sang “Wild Thing” to my mother-in-law. I wasn’t embarrassed, but my kids certainly were!

The best moment of being a performer so far?

Probably that same family gathering. It was fun playing “Superstition” on stage.

Where do you find your inspiration for song ideas?

Watching great guitarists/musicians perform inspires me to want to write music.


Tips and Advice

What does a typical day of your practice routine look like?

I don’t have a practice routine. There are basically three things that I do: guitar, compose/arrange, and edit videos. In a two-hour chunk of time, I might spend the first 20 minutes warming up by improvising/playing pieces. Then I might spend a ½ hour editing a video, followed by 20 minutes of improvising/playing pieces. Then I might compose or arrange for 30 minutes. Then I might play more guitar. I don’t have a set routine, but I do work on a lot of technique when I am improvising. I might focus on a particular arpeggio and play the pattern over and over while I am improvising chords with my left hand. I see myself more as a composer/arranger than as a guitarist. Other than in college, I have never spent hours and hours practising. I might do an hour a day or so of practising.

Tips you’d like to share with other guitarists?

The best tip I can give is to record yourself often. You don’t need expensive recording gear, a phone works just fine. Of course, phones are expensive these days. When I play I can’t commit 100% of my brain to listening to what I am doing because part of my brain is trying to play the guitar. When I listen to the recording, I can focus 100% on listening. I find that when I listen back to the recording, it is always different than what I imagined. When listening to the recording, you might hear that the melody isn’t clear, or you are constantly missing a note, or rhythmic issues, etc. Then I’ll try to correct it and record myself again.

Greatest ever chord?

Any chord Andres Segovia ever played. He could make any chord sound amazing.

Best advice for beginner guitarists?

Play music that you love even if it is too hard at the stage you are in. You can always simplify the music. You can just play the melody or part of the melody. Or a chord or two from the piece. Listen to great musicians. As a beginner (or at any level), being inspired can create the desire to practise.

The best tip or one piece of advice you were ever given as a guitarist?

Follow your own path and don’t try to copy other people. I had a baseball coach tell me that. It certainly works for music. I think in the beginning, it is helpful to copy other guitarists, but eventually, you should strive to be yourself. Play music that you love in the way that gets you excited.

General thoughts on learning guitar for our readers. 

Focus on having fun. Play music that you love. Try to be 100% committed to what you are doing at that particular moment. If you find that your mind begins to wander after playing for 20 minutes, then take a break. Listen to different styles of music that you normally wouldn’t. There is a lot of great music out there around the world. See yourself as a work-in-progress. Keep learning, always striving to be better. All of us who love the guitar are at different points in our journey with the guitar. We can always learn from other people.


Fun Stuff

Song to romance your other half with?

“Is This Love” by Bob Marley.

Which superhero would make the best guitarist?

Spiderman! My personal favourite superhero, but his fingers might be too sticky.

Festival you would most like to play?

I think Coachella could use more classical guitar

Most underrated band ever?

Uaral. A “dark folk/doom metal” metal band from Chile. Lots of great classical guitar in their songs. My personal favourites are “Acidal” and “Lament”.

What’s next for you?

Just keep doing my thing. I love playing, writing, arranging, recording, editing videos, and producing teaching videos.


Thanks to Rob for the Q and A. Loved reading that and his arrangements have inspired me over the years! Do check out his site and countless brilliant arrangements. Leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of this Q and A. 

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