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Ian Sloan “The Axe Wielding Officer”

finding guitar phrases

London’s Guitarist Ian Sloan The Axe Wielding Officer takes us back to the reason we started Guitardoor. We cover some Legendary players, yes, but we want to highlight and spotlight the greats who are lesser-known. Lesser known is not “Less”, we view everyone the same. The Human Level is equal. This is how Axe Wielding Officer with the British Transport Police Ian Sloan got into guitar, some of his playing and thoughts in his guitardoor interview. If you would like to do your own get in touch with us.

Not only is he a Great Great player, but he is also very down-to-Earth. Sometimes you have to look a minute to find that. When we reached out to him one of his questions was “Why would you want ME on Guitardoor?”  Well, Kicking Jams, has a Humble nature, and a sense of humor. Ding-Ding! 

Chris had sent a post from a guitar group that wasn’t necessarily a Rant, more a statement that happens more often than it should of someone being super critical of his playing. It is my hope that when all is said and done He who shall remain nameless, realizes HE did us a favor because now we know of Ian. Part two Ian is here and Nameless is not and thirdly. You picked on a POLICE OFFICER! (my inaudible Laughter goes here). Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink, Say no more!

Ian police officer with the British transport police for 30+ years

The Axe Wielding Officer Playing A Gary Moore Style Track With his Strat Video

See More Videos of Ian Sloan Playing Guitar on Facebook.

He is one of the most well-rounded players I’ve seen in a very long time. There is speed and Flurries of notes, balanced with perfect long hold notes and vibrato. He plays as well as any Professional. Knowledgeable and tasteful and has tone for days. I actually at first glance thought he was Andy Powell of “Wishbone Ash”. Then I was wrong. Then I wanted to know exactly who the Hell am I seeing. Then I wanted Chinese food. That’s for another time.

How did you come to the Guitar and what were your inspirations?

Funny story really. I’d always grown up knowing that my uncle Billy was a guitarist although I never played. It should be known that he was my main influence in taking up the guitar, that and the fact that my parents wouldn’t allow me to have a motorbike stating that I couldn’t fall off a guitar and kill myself. This was when I was 15.

 At this point in my life in the late ’70s, I had 2 records to my name, “Waterloo” by Abba and “Substitute” by The Band” Clout “. 

In 1978, a school friend offered me the chance to buy an album his sister hated. I took it home, gave it a listen, and immediately fell in love with the opening chords to “Don’t look back” by Boston. That’s where the Love affair with rock music began and obviously guitars. Boston was the first band I ever saw playing live. Amazing experience. 

Tell us a bit about your Guitars through your time…and how long have you been involved?

I purchased my first guitar at 16 which was an Epiphone 335 copy bought from my local music shop in my hometown of Kings Lynn England. I had lessons for about a year. So I’ve been playing since I was 16 in 1979 so that’s 42 years. 

From then I  bought my first real quality guitar, a 1981 Gibson explorer after falling in love with the shape of it after seeing the video for “Babe” by Styx. After that, I purchased a 3 pickup Gibson Les Paul Custom which I later sold in 1988.

 I was in various bands, went into the studio to do demos 3 times, and apparently, a song I’d written had received interest from a company who wanted it for a compilation album although I heard no more about this.  

In the mid 90’s I purchased a 1973 Flying V from a personal friend who was the lead guitarist in a British rock band called” FM “ fronted by this friend Chris’s brother (highly regarded vocalist and close personal friend of mine) Steve Overland. 


Due to debt incurred in a previous marriage, I was forced to sell all my guitars in 2001.  

My wonderful supportive wife bought me for my 40th a Mid 80’s Tangle Wood Chicago (played on several posts) which is a guitar that has great sentimental value.

Over the years following, I neglected to practice or play in any bands. In 2018 I bought myself a 2010 Gibson V recently christened “LIBERTY” which is what I play most of my posts on.

In May 2020 my uncle, inspiration, and the main reason I took up guitar sadly passed with Covid. I was fortunate enough to be given one of His guitars (the Tele) which I treasure for obvious reasons and I love playing it. I’ve since added a 1994 Stratocaster and a Tangle Wood acoustic, all of which are great guitars. 

Ian Playing A Pink Floyd Style Improvisation on a Cherry Red Gibson 335

What would you say to a person picking up the guitar right now? 

The only advice I feel I could give any aspiring guitarist is never to give up. Work through the hard times because you will come out the other side stronger and better. Play because it’s a passion and enjoy what is a lifelong ride.

Guitar playing for me is a passion and by far the most important element in my opinion is feeling and soul within your notes. Speed, whilst impressive, isn’t an important element to me although I admire people who possess that skill. I feel my best attribute is my vibrato and intonation.

Ian expressed the fact his other inspiration, His Wife, a Charge Nurse, he told me the inspiration isn’t always just the man behind the guitar, It’s Often the Woman behind the man. Lastly another tip of the hat to his Late Uncle. “ Anytime in a playing The white Telecaster that was one of his guitars and was given to me to keep his legacy alive.”

Keep your eyes and ears on Ian Sloan. He’s Playing like a House on Fire and if I put my money down he will just keep getting better. Few know how to Balance the fire with finesse. Few know how to speak through the instrument, making it truly sing. The Axe Wielding Officer Ian Sloan knows how to make it sing.

6 thoughts on “Ian Sloan “The Axe Wielding Officer””

  1. Hola Me llamo Juan Carlos, desde España.
    Conocia a Ian Sloan hace unos dias mediante el facebook y me quede impresionado de ver como tocaba la Guitarra.
    El sonido que tiene en sus improvisaciones, lo bien que entona y la facilidad en hacer pasajes melodicos e inspiradores. Yo solamente tengo un año de practica con la guitarra,pero he empezado a imitarle y asi estoy consiguiendo disfrutar y aprender el sistema de improvisacion. Me agrada mucho ver sus grabaciones.
    Tambien a partir de el, os he conocido a vosotros y asi tambien os seguire he ire viendo vuestras publicaciones.
    Buen trabajo.Un Saludo y Fuerte habrazo para todos.

    (Translated by Google)
    Hello. My name is Juan Carlos, from Spain.
    I met Ian Sloan a few days ago through Facebook and I was impressed to see how he played the guitar.
    The sound he has in his improvisations, how well he sings, and the ease in making melodic and inspiring passages. I only have one year of practice with the guitar, but I have started to imitate him and thus I am getting to enjoy and learn the improvisation system. I really like to see the recordings of him.
    Also from him, I have met you and so I will also follow you and I will see your publications.
    Good work, a greeting and strong words for everyone.

    1. Hi Juan
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am flattered that you find my posts to be of use to you and that you find inspiration from listening to my style of play. All I would say further to that is that make sure you set your sights on playing at a higher level than I do. That is very achievable for you as you start your playing journey. Don’t worry about speed on your playing as that will come in due course but concentrate on making your style of playing say something by putting feel into it. Watch David Gilmour as he is who I mostly follow these days.
      Enjoy your journey ands thank you again for the nice words 🔥 🎸

      1. Ian, you and I have been a part of some of the same Facebook groups for guitarists for a few years now. I always look forward to hearing you play. I share it with my wife and my son who I taught to play too. Keep on rocking man. Thanks for the explanation of the guitars. I’d always wondered the stories behind them. Lastly, thank you Vivienne for supporting this dude rocking out for all of us weekly. We all know how much it means to have that balance in our lives.

        1. Hi Mike
          Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them and enjoy reading them when I post videos. I try to make a point of replying to everyone who takes time out their days to comment. I love playing but wouldn’t be doing so if it hadn’t been for the support I’ve had from Vivienne. She is a special person. Each guitar has a special place in my heart for varying reasons, not least the semi, bought by Vivienne after I’d sold all of mine and then obviously my Tele inherited following my uncles passing from Covid last year.
          I’m so glad you enjoy what I play although I do get heckled by one member of licks n tricks called John McCarns. He’s an ass😂.
          Thanks again and Kindest regards Ian

    1. Hi Greg
      Thanks for your kind comment. I am flattered to be considered better than average by fellow musicians although average is how I see myself. I have a couple of decent elements to my playing but still feel despite those, very limited. I do however strive to improve and where possible maybe inspire people to continue posting when they’re struggling

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