November 15, 2013


Cort ›

Richard has been playing guitar since the age of 8, educated at the Guitar Institute in London and specializing in online consultation and World Wide deliveries for 18 years - Each and every one hand finished bespoke to the customers requirement.

Richards reputation for first class playing instruments and dedicated service goes before him - with customers in most Countries around the World.
Richard only sells products he truly believes in - each brand being an Industry benchmark in their price or genre.
Richard is available most hours for consultation which is provided in a personal but comprehensive and professional manner.

Specialist guitar advice for 18 years

I (Richard) have been providing specialist advice for 18 years. My previous business Regent Guitars ran from 1995 to 2008, starting with just 6 guitars and closed selling 8-10 guitars a day with a turnover well in excess of £1,000,000.

So why did it close?

In 2008 I closed Regent Guitars and opened Richards Guitars with a desire to get back to ONLY selling guitars I love, that I have a true passion for – which should also mean a volume that I could handle personally from beginning to end – like my previous business USED to be!

Regent Guitars had left me disillusioned and “too close” to the reality of how most guitars are sold. I didn’t want to be part of the Gibson or Fender “machines”. It just wasn’t me and I believe anyone who is truly passionate about guitars and in my industry will know exactly what I mean.

My reputation now spans Locally, Nationally and Internationally with customers from Leamington to Singapore.

I specialize in a select range of guitar brands—Brands which I believe represent something unique in the market be it value, quality, tonal range or shear beauty. Personally recommended guitars range from £119.

Guitars sold on personal passion, not marketing hype

Heard of Godin, Stonebridge, G&L, Cort, Faith, Gordon Smith & Burny? If you haven’t then you need to have a chat with me before you spend your hard earnt cash on your next guitar.

The brands I stock are 100% personal recommendations – recommendations built on quality, value, beauty and unique stand out features – benchmarks in the Industry.

I am aware that many people do not buy for “quality only” but for image and prestige. If you want a Fender, Ibanez, Shecter, Gibson, Jackson etc. then you are talking to the wrong man entirely (although I do specialize in used examples which will play better than new and won’t lose value on resale) – you can find these products hung on a hundred guitar shop walls around the UK, sold by people who will push all the marketing and hype generated by Global marketing campaigns.

Just remember when you are talking to the next salesman that he probably cares not for you, but for his employer. His job is to sell you what is hung on the wall – not to ensure you get the very best guitar available in the market.

Want to know about real guitars with heart and soul? I am your man. With honesty and integrity central to my philosophy in lfe and business I assure you that you are in safe hands and I will guide you based on your needs and requirements. If I can’t help I will tell you and point you to “a man that can”.

Try guitars in a welcoming environment..

I try and make your stay at Richards as enjoyable as possible, which may include boring you to death about the guitars available, their history/pedigree etc. or it may just be you want to spend some time on your own trying out the guitars available. Either way you should find the shop welcoming and totally unintimidating.

Richards History – From Birth to Now!

I hope this brief insight into my 36 years on this planet will help illustrate how my life has been pretty much dominated by my love of guitars. More importantly for you it should give you some peace of mind that you can ask my advice at any time and be confident that you are dealing with someone with true passion and focus on your best interest.


Born into the World! My mum ran a bed and breakfast business from home whilst my dad was an avid guitarist, playing all his life. Little did I realise how influencial both of these skills would become in my own life. My mothers ability to be self sufficient by ensuring she looked after the interests of her guests – always ensuring they were well looked after – and my dads love for guitar would later become important building blocks for my own business and provide me values to take through life in general.


My parents bought me my first guitar. I was 8 years old and up until this point I had enjoyed a few lessons from my father. Clearly they had noticed my interest and fascination with the guitar and wanted to encourage me. I enjoyed private lessons from local tutors and played a few chords or so in school plays and remember playing the pink panther to a school audience. I don’t think the pink panther is quite in vogue these days but at the time I felt like Jimi Hendrix (not sure whether I even knew who he was!!).


At 20 my University life came to an ubrupt end due to a life threatening illness (Hodgkins Disease). Following many months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, I followed the old stereotype that you always hear and decided to make sure I followed my dreams today – not tomorrow! Off I went to the Guitar Institute to hone my playing skills and theory in order to begin a teaching career. Following a 3 month course I continued to have weekly private lessons in London with Iian Scott (blues) and Shaun Baxter (instrumental rock/jazz) for over year. A 3 hour round trip per lesson from Stratford to London and back!


Advertising in local newspapers I rapidly became fully booked as a local guitar tutor from my parents home near Bidford On Avon. My emphasis was very much on getting people to understand why/how things work IE chord/scale relationships and the theory that makes music what it is. Helping people to really understand what they were playing was so important to me and I am really proud of what I achieved during my teaching years.


Regent Guitars was opened in July 1995! 6 guitars on sale and teaching upstairs to make ends meet. Right from the start I wanted to ensure my customers had their guitars set up to the highest of standards and took on a local technician to set up every single guitar sold. Utilising the internet to raise awareness of my service ethic Regent Guitars grew rapidly and it wasn’t long before our turnover was well in excess of 1 million pounds per annum.


Utilising my knowledge of the industry and my keen interest in business I created an internet based support mechanism to enable enquiries for guitars to be passed onto local business/guitar shops. I was extremely proud of the project which supported indipendent guitar shops in an attempt to counter the negative effect internet trading would have on them in the future. Despite the backing of many suppliers (every one I approached), the personal endorsement from the then head of the MIA (Music Industry Association) and the true ethos of the system it was doomed to fail due to….the shops it was designed to support. It was only when I introduced a system to save indipendent stores that I realised how few of them deserved to be in business in the first place. A sad but true reflection on my industry.


Several years of continued growth, managers coming and going, continual fraud and other staff related issues left me completely drained. Indistry politics, marketing hype and brand “bullying” (IE you will say all our guitars are great or don’t sell them) made me feel like my input and personal passion was being removed/watered down in terms of how my business was perceived both by the public and industry alike. I had suffered several emotional “breakdowns”. I loved guitars, I loved talking about them, demonstrating them, talking to the public but I had come to hate what my business had become. We were selling 8-10 guitars every day but my feelings were that it was more like a production line than a personalised, specialist store. I closed Regent Guitars on March 31 2008 in one final state of depression.

August 2008

With an incredible show of support from the trade, past customers and a mother in law with a sudden interest in guitars (!!) I have been able to assist in the opening of Richards Guitars! Same premises, same number, same guitar tech! I have re-ignited my passion by focusing on what made Regent Guitars so great for the first 10 years. Personal passion, personal recommendations, one to one advice and beautifully setup guitars. I will never deviate from this path as it is what I love. All I want is to put my hand on my heart and know that I am doing the very best I can for every person who asks for my advice. If I can achieve this I will remain more than happy.

February 2010

Saw the launch of the classifieds. A free service enabling people to advertise their guitars for sale. To this date there are nearly 1000 followers on Twitter and adverts rank extremely well via Google. If you want to sell your guitar, this is a great place to start!

June 2010

June 2010 saw Richards Guitars move back to my home town of Stratford Upon Avon. I had been based in Leamington for 15 years so the change was very scary. However, with the business now just 1 mile from my home it was the most natural experience right from the off. I immediately felt at home in Stratford Upon Avon and really proud to offer my services to the “locals” where I was born and bred! In fact, I was born 1 mile down the road and my father lived 100 yards down the road up until his teens – so this really does feel like home. Moving to Stratford also gave me an extra hour of my life back (no more travelling) which of course means one more hour a day available on line via my live help facility!

Lots more to fill in when I have time!


Cort CR Custom

After having never held a guitar in my life until just over a year ago ,I have been searching for all the answers I can get regarding guitars and music .Trying to find the right guitar when there are so many different types is very difficult for someone with little knowledge like myself. Most guitar shops are happy to sell you a guitar and send you on your way , I have been looking for someone to look after MY interests . When I found Richards website I could tell he offered something different , I told him what I was looking for and expressed my concerns as a new player .I asked whether I could justify spending £500 on a guitar ,would I be able to tell the difference , would he be able to set it up to help me ??? He said 'Trust me' , so I took a chance and did just that !! What a great decision that was ,when the Cort Cr custom turned up I took it straight out the box and immediately I felt at home with it .It plays SO WELL and SOUNDS INCREDIBLE !! , I haven't yet had chance to experiment with all the sounds it has to offer ,I guess that will take years !!! I'm more hooked than ever !!! Thanks Richard

Andy K

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Richards Guitars, 5 Tiddington Road, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 7AE. Tel: 01789 263333

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