Playing Guitar in Beijing, by Nicky Millar


Celtic Owl

Hi there! I’m Nicky. I have been working for Aihua since August 2014. Before coming to Beijing I would have played a few open mikes and such around Belfast but it was rather limited. Coming to Beijing I found that it was possible to see and play live music almost every night of the week!
The venues are the best I’ve ever been to; ranging from hutong craft beer houses to Beijing’s famous Yashaow clothes market and from established rock clubs to a refurbished factory in the middle of the 798 art district. Regarding getting what you need, every possible instrumental need can be catered for, there are entire streets filled with specialist music shops. When arriving here, a guitar was as necessary as water so shopping for one in Beijing, I was like kid in a sweet shop. The music scene is bustling here, every week there are numerous live shows in every genre and western A-list singers/bands in the MasterCard area which is only two miles from Aihua’s main campus. In the school there are some very good musicians so building a band is not difficult. I myself have been playing in an Irish trad group with some other teachers the past couple of months also a few teachers play in a rock band.

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