About Tom!!


My name is Tom Lawrence and I am the owner of the little guitar shop in Cheltenham's Suffolk Parade (about 5 min walk from Montpellier).

My year 5 teacher comments card for music read "Tom obviously has no musical talent" Thanks Mr Ellis!!

I first picked up a guitar when I was about 12 years old, starting a life long love and passion for the instrument and music in general. I started as most people do with a black encore strat starter pack, which I got for my birthday or Christmas (can't really remember). It's still knocking around somewhere at my mums but don't think it's worked for a long time now!!

My first teacher attempted to teach me classical guitar. So yes, I turned up with my little strat and he wanted to teach me Beethoven. 25 years on, I don't mind a bit of Beethoven, but as you can imagine 12 years old me with my nirvana top on, wasn't greatly impressed!! So I got a new teacher at school. A little less traditional but he just let me learn the songs I wanted! Great!! The first riff I learnt was '2 Minutes to midnight' That was a bit more my style!!

My First proper guitar was an Ibanez S Series, due to my obsession with Joe Satriani at the time (and the fact I couldn't afford the JS), which I loved, but as I grew, I realised I am not a Floyd Rose fan. No disrespect, just not for me :). I did not long after get another guitar (which I will talk about shortly), so I kinda took to using the Ibanez as an experimentation tool. Playing around with the electrics, changing pickups, making adjustments to see if I could make it a regular player again in spite of the floyd rose! Turns out no! The inexperience in me probably did more harm than good. But it did start me off in understanding how guitars work and how to make them play their best!

So the next guitar I got is very special! 

When I was about 15, my nans partner Frank sadly passed away. I didn't know him all that well as they lived in London, so we'd go up every now and then and when Frank learned that I was playing guitar, we would sit in his music room and have a jam.

I imagine I was the only one who understood his passion for music, because what I got I was not expecting!

This is my 1986 Fender Stratocaster 57' reissue! I have had this guitar over 20 years now and it is still the first guitar I pickup. I have others but this is number 1! If you come to the shop you will normally see it hanging up on the wall next to me, so I can have a play in my spare moments. Always happy for other people to try it to, so please just ask :)

After school I studied Music Technology at GlosCat, which was great because I love making music as a hobby and I got to know a lot of cool people with the same passion. I played in bands for a while and continued a long time after that. Unfortunately after college I had to start being an adult and I fell into the world of car sales!

No one who is visiting this site cares about car sales, so lets fast forward 15 years!!

Stressed and fed up with the world of sales, I had had the idea to start a shop for a while, so I decided I would take the leap. My mindset being, if it doesn't work it's only money and I'd rather have a pop at being in a career that makes me excited and I love! Thankfully so far I can say it has paid off!!

My customers are the best!! I love being part of the Suffolks community, and the Cheltenham music scene is really cool and a lot bigger than people think!! I can't say I didn't get a little lucky with where I have landed at the right time!


If you are a gigging musician, an at home strummer, have a young child who likes to play air guitar as you play music at home, recently retired and looking to learn in your spare time, or just love the beauty of guitars...... pop down and say hi! I think i'm a relatively nice bloke to talk to :)

I look forward to meeting you soon!!