Hidè’s Official Biography
Hidè Takemoto started playing the electric guitar at 15.
He switched to the classical guitar when he was 19 and was taught by Keigo Fujii, one of the greatest guitarists in Japan. At this time he also began studying composition at Osaka College of Music.
In 1999, Hidè took up a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, under Robert Brightmore, where he studied composition (with Daniel Schroyens and Judith Bingham), counterpoint and orchestration.
After he graduated from the Guildhall School as a Bachelor of Music, with Postgraduate Diplomas in Music Performance and Composition, Hidè’s debut concert was at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, where he premiered his composition “Forest Gates” for solo guitar, and his guitar concerto “Gion”, one of the highlights of his repertoire.
Inspired by his guru, the great virtuoso and composer Keigo Fujii, Hide’s guitar technique can be traced back via José Luis Gonzaléz, Andrés Segovia, Miguel Llobet to the great Francisco Tárrega. Hidè’s wide influences come from classical, rock, Indian and Japanese music, giving him a unique and original style of performance and composition.
and a Bit of a Personal Touch…
Like many other kids, my first instrument was a recorder, but apart from this I had no other musical background.
When I was 15, the first thing I learned to play on the electric guitar was a blues bass line but I didn’t know it was written for the bass guitar… then I learned some pieces by Japanese rock bands including X JAPAN (I liked the lead guitarist, also called Hide). I then started to play other rock bands; Yngwie Malmsteen, Extreme, Dream Theater, and Steve Vai (I even have his signature-model Ibanez JEM electric guitar :-)
I never had a music lesson until few months before the entrance exam for Osaka College of Music in Japan. Embarrassingly, I failed the first time and had to retake it - a string snapped when I was tuning up in front of the examiners. I didn’t know how to put new strings on!
I also didn’t know who Keigo Fujii was, but I was hugely impressed at my first composition lesson at Osaka College of Music. He explained and demonstrated the transposition on the guitar and played Albéniz’s ‘Leyenda (Asturias)’ in E minor (a popular key for the guitar), G minor (the original piano key) and D minor (I believe my mouth was wide open by then). Afterwards, I asked if I could have a private lesson with him and he has been my guru ever since.
Though I thought (and still do) that Keigo is the best guitarist in the world, I decided to come to London in 1999 to further my studies and to see the world’s greatest musicians, teachers and orchestras (I had never seen a real orchestra or opera before).
I still remember those days when things were really tight financially. Because I spent most of my money on going to concerts, I was eating the cheapest available food - muesli with UHT milk (the cheapest you can get), three times a day. It doesn’t sound great but I sometimes have sushi in exchange for playing guitar.
Now I am lucky enough to have been a working musician, doing what I always wanted to do since I was 15.
Thank you for reading this, and few more thank-yous for those who fed me when I was a poor student, I mean; Stuart, Geoff, Norman, Dai, Kris & Maki, Yo & Yuri, Mitsuo, people at Sushi Waka (for sushi, obviously), and my wife, Maiko.