Blues for Change


I wrote ‘Blues for Change’ in response to an incident on May 25, 2020 and subsequent events which highlighted how little we have evolved in the last 60 years! Change has been long overdue. Time for re-education. Time for an end to systemic and social oppression.

  • Guitar: Gibson CS-356
  • Amp: Marshall Vintage Modern 2266C
  • Pedal: Rockett Allan Holdsworth Overdrive/Boost

Classics Rock! New Pete Downes album available


Classics Rock! album coverClassics Rock! – the new album by Pete Downes – which features famous classical themes with classic grooves – will soon be available for digital download through itunes, Amazon and other leading streaming and download services. A short run of CDrs will also be available. Audio samples will be available soon.


Prelude no. 1 in C Major Ave Maria

Based on J.S. Bach’s opening Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier. Part of Gounod’s Ave Maria theme is incorporated. However, improvisation allowed me to keep Bach’s original structure.

Bourrée Shredded

Based on the J.S. Bach’s Bourrée from  Lute suite no BWV996, given a modern rock treatment.

Moonlight Sonata Reggae

Beethoven’s opening movement always suggest to me an undercurrent of 4/4 time cutting across the triplets – as in a reggae feel!

Prelude no. 2 in C minor Disco

Yes! An arrangement inspired by Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean of Bach’s second Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier.

Lacrymosa Blues

From Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, the Lacrymosa suggested to me a classic Blues feel with its 12/8 time signature.

Chopin Chops (Waltz in C# minor)   

I’ve always wanted to play this Chopin tune. However, it’s not a natural guitar piece and its ebbing and flowing tempo meant much experimentation in finding a tempo which rides through all sections. Played with a jazz waltz feel.

Swan Lake Swing

Tchaikovsky’s simple yet beautiful melody given a jazz ballad treatment.

Partita in E Major

Famous as a violin solo piece, this was also present in Bach’s Lute Suites BWV 1006a. . This was from a live video take by PD3 (Pete Downes Trio)  and was previously released on their album Song for Sophia. To check out the video by PD3, Google PD3 Partita.

La Catedral Rock

The first movement from the Augustin Barrios piece as an introspective ballad.

Prelude no 3 in C# Major

The third prelude from Bach’s preludes & fugues. To see the video, Google Pete Downes Prelude 3.


Pete Downes: electric and acoustic guitars
Alex Lofoco:
electric bass
Andy Coe:
double bass
Tim Bruce:
drums and percussion.

Cover: portraits of composers are intentionally cropped to focus on their faces – not the fashion of their period.

Hear the latest PD3 album ‘Song for Sophia’


Song for Sophia PD3 (Pete Downes Trio)

Hear 2 minute sample tracks from the latest recording by PD3.

  1. Ultraviolet
  2. Hold On
  3. Song for Sophia
  4. Cool it Weird
  5. Partita in E BWV 1006
    See video
  6. Ballad for JM
  7. Over the Rainbow
  8. Jaxi Taxi
  9. Neena
  10. Fallen Idols

  • Pete Downes: electric and acoustic guitar
  • Andy Coe: acoustic & electric bass
  • Tim Bruce: Drums & percussion
  • Sophia Downes: vocals on track 3
  • John Tallon Jones: violin on track 6

More info

Guitar lessons during COVID-19 outbreak

Dear guitar students and parents

As you are aware, we are no longer able to do guitar lessons on a face-to-face basis until further notice.
Normally we would be resuming lessons in schools or at my studio after the Easter break. However, as you know this may not be possible. Therefore many schools have recommended the use of ‘Zoom’ for online lessons:
I will be testing this with friends and adult students this week to gain some experience of this method of teaching before offering it to younger students. However, there are some important guidelines we must adhere to as recommended by the Musicians Union:

Live Webcam guitar teaching – safeguarding guidelines

  • An adult should be present or nearby during the lesson.
  • Devices used for the lesson must be in an appropriate shared space such as living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens. (Not bedrooms or bathrooms).
  • Student and teacher must be dressed appropriately, including any family members in the background.
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
  • Ensure that your video background is appropriate.

I will also be available to do additional lessons outside of school term if wanted. These will be invoiced on a lesson-by-lesson basis. If this is of interest please let me know and we can arrange slots from next week (once I have some experience of this method of teaching).
I will endeavour to do some helpful YouTube videos and resources over the next few weeks. If there is anything anyone wants me to cover in particular let me know.

I have a few things on my site already including a free beginners book in PDF format:

And some audio recordings of ABRSM grade material:
(Some pieces are now out of date but I will update these soon)

Audio recordings of RGT/LCM material

Rockschool have authorised the use of video exam submissions. More info here:

Any queries feel free to contact me. More news and updates soon. In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy and I look forward to keeping in touch.

Best regards

Classics Rock! now available on iTunes & Spotify!





The new album by Pete Downes featuring famous classical themes with classic grooves is now available from all leading digital vendors.


[SlideDeck id=’1795′ width=’100%’ height=’360px’]

Song for Sophia PD3 (Pete Downes Trio)

Hear 2 minute sample tracks from the latest recording by PD3.

  1. Ultraviolet
  2. Hold On
  3. Song for Sophia
  4. Cool it Weird
  5. Partita in E BWV 1006
    See video
  6. Ballad for JM
  7. Over the Rainbow
  8. Jaxi Taxi
  9. Neena
  10. Fallen Idols

More info