Cassidy Guitars

From Boy to Man – the Making of a Guitarist

I met Ethan Jr Knox 10 years ago when he walked into my Teaching Studio for his first guitar lesson at the age of 8.

I always remember the excitement I felt the first time I heard an Electric Guitar played by Howard Waller, my first Guitar Teacher, many years ago. That excitement got me hooked on guitars which has become one of my life’s obsessions.

So I make no apology for going a through a routine with all of my new, especially younger, students. This involves sitting them down and getting them orientated to my studio which also houses a full display of most of the Cassidy Guitar Models in various stages of build, explaining how the guitar works, demonstrating a few chords and scales then turning up the gain and going for it until I see their eyes starting to pop out. At that point I stop and explain what I’ve just done and that they are now probably hooked for life on the guitar and that this is going to be essential to motivate them through the hours of practice they have in store for them. It usually works… I remember Ethan in this situation, eyes popping out, looking at me, looking at his Dad and looking at me again totally gobsmacked. Yes I certainly got through to him on that otherwise quiet Saturday morning back in 2009…

Ethan showed early promise , managing to record his rendition of Europa on my old Les Paul at the tender age of 10.

One memorable lesson was 3 years later in 2010 when Ethan displayed a unique talent. He was already lucky to have acquired one of our Bluesville BV351 guitars based on the Classic design of the 1950’s. So when he came in with his Dad for his lesson we agreed to do a blindfold test to see if he could identify which was which for a a selection of 3 guitars – Gibson Les Paul Custom, Bluesville BVB351 and a Japanese Aria Pro II Les Paul. Ethan didn’t waste any time identifying the Gibson that he hadn’t seen for 3 years. He managed to do this not by the weight, how it played or sounded but by the smell!!! A rare talent indeed…

Ethan’s enthusiasm hasn’t faltered ever since as I’ve seen him grow up into a fine young man and talented Guitarist and managed to guide him through all of the RGT / LCM grades ready for his Grade 8 exam this Sunday. I have every confidence he’ll do well and go on to do great things at BIMM Manchester when he starts his BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship – Guitar in September.


Looking back over the years Ethan was always a lively participant in my Junior Group Workshops (a little too lively at times!) and always made a good contribution on what is always a fun day (with Sonny usually taking centre stage!).

Ethan was the only one of my students featured in a Guitar Magazine back in 2014 as “The New Kid on the Block”, when Cassidy Guitars was the “New Kid in the Block” with money to spend on expensive Guitar Magazine Adverts.


He has since acquired a fine collection of rare Cassidy Guitars including an Axeman AX355 TK, a Bluesville BV351, a UK Custom Built LP1 and a UK Custom Built ST1. I say rare because the UK Custom Builds are one offs, the Axeman is the only one in existence with a TK fretboard, and the Bluesville is one of the first 3 made.

His dedication to his craft has now paid off as he will be taking a Cassidy Endorsement off with him to his HE studies at BIMM Manchester.

Great times ahead for Ethan, you’ll hear all about his progress right here – stay tuned!


  1. Mike Prendergast

    Congratulations Ethan and to you also Simon for your dedication to learning and teaching guitar playing to the younger generations. I look forward to the day when I will be able to promote some of these guys at the Forum in Darlington. Hope you enjoy your time at Uni Ethan! ? Mike

    • Simon Cassidy

      Thanks Mike – yes it’s great teaching the kids all the old Classics from the Golden Era. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be booking one of them! Hope you and yours are keeping well. Simon

  2. Mandy walton

    Many thanks to you for all you have done for ethan .Ethan is my grandson I’m so so proud of him and he is so talented.I love hearing him play.And through you he has grown with confidence.

    • Simon Cassidy

      Hello Mandy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes Ethan is turning out to be a fine young man – and he’s not a bad guitarist ether! 😉 He is a credit to you and the rest of his family.

      Glad you enjoy his playing – looking forward to seeing how he develops further at BIMM Manchester.

      All the best,



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