CL047: Guitarist Chantel McGregor on creative mindmapping, sponge days and Joe Bonamassa

Chantel McGregor is a UK based guitarist and ‘mindmapping’ singer-songwriter, recently named Guitarist of the Year at the British Blues Awards. A female guitar prodigy she studied guitar at Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college’s history to achieve a 100% pass mark, with 18 distinctions and a first class honours. Since then she has built a loyal and growing fanbase with one critic saying “Chantel McGregor deserves to be held up as a messiah of blues-rock and given her own mountain. She doesn’t strum or pick her guitar but almost bends and distorts it, as if she’s channeling the ghost of Hendrix through her fingers”.

In this episode of The Creative Life Podcast Chantel tells us about how her dad encouraged and taught her to play guitar. She also talks about her experiences from doing jam sessions and the artists and songs that inspired her playing. Chantel shares with us her obsession with Stevie Nicks.

“If this is your dream go for it, but you have to be prepared to sacrifice everything to do it. It is hard work.”

– Chantel McGregor

Chantel McGregor ‘creative mindmapping’ Show Notes:

  • Sponge days (7:26)
  • Mindmapping – Tony Buzan (8:19)
  • Creative confidence (14:10)
  • Sacrificing everything for your creative dream (17:14)
  • The advice she received from Joe Bonamassa (24:00)
  • Bonny Raitt’s advice to ‘Be Nice’ (25:05)

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This is The Creative Life, James Taylor’s weekly YouTube show.




As a creativity expert Taylor is a frequent guest speaker at universities and international conferences. He has given keynotes and talks at Apple, Subscription Site Summit in San Francisco, the British Music Show in the UK and at several universities across Europe including University of Dundee in Scotland and University of Macerata in Italy. He is often called upon by media outlets to give his views on trends in creativity and innovation. He has been quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Columbus Dispatch, STV, Business Insider and San Jose Mercury News as well as featured on BBC TV and being the subject of a 30minute program on his life for BBC Radio Scotland. As a host on shows about creativity and innovation he has interviewed legendary investor Maynard Webb (, & board member) and New York Times best-selling writers Chris Guillebeau ($100 Startup), Rolf Potts (Vagabonding), Brand Cooper (The Lean Entrepreneur) and Ryan Holiday (Trust Me I’m Lying). James is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA).

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