Rolly – Guitarist

13th October 1978 was a dark, cloudy Friday when Rolly was born. The little, quiet and peaceful Hungarian wine-making town has become a much noisier place ever since! As Rolly was growing up there were mainly 2 things he was interested in: football (his dad was a professional football player and his younger brother became a pro football player too) and guitars.

He realised quite early that he is not good enough for a pro football career and his younger brother is much more talented. So there was really one route for him: guitar!

When Rolly was around 8-10, Hungary was still behind the “Iron Curtain”, and rock music was considered the music of “evil western society”. As a lifelong rebel, he knew exactly how to provoke social and political norms. The more aware he became what he shouldn’t do, the more he felt drawn towards the “evil music”.

He went to the local music school where he was told: guitar is too noisy and rock music / rock guitar is part of the “imperialist declining western society” and “you son, should choose a nicer instrument such as trumpet”. So instead of a music school he had to rely on his ears and some illegally sold American / British guitar magazines…

Learning the guitar wasn’t easy, especially because his first guitar was a very cheap and bad quality “electric guitar”, that was Made in USSR. It didn’t have a particularly sound and the health & safety standards weren’t too high either… Perhaps Rolly got an electric shock but he started to progress quite fast and kept picking things up quickly!

He felt it was time, so he asked her Mum to buy him a FENDER STRATOCASTER. One like the real rockstars played on! So little Rolly and his Mum walked into the only musical instrument shop in their little poor town. They quickly realised that a Fender Stratocaster costed more than the salary of the whole family all together… Plus they were told “it’s made in the declining, imperialist, western part of the world”,  a product that you should avoid… So they left a shop with only an outdated Fender Catalogue… Oh boy, was he was devastated leaving that music shop?!  But he kept reading through that Fender catalogue every night! It became his absolute favourite “book”.

Years gone by, he got himself a bit better guitar and kept on learning things on it…

Around the age of 20 he made a brave and risky decision. Hungary wasn’t part of the EU so it was very hard to get a work visa. He however applied for a job in Germany started working there. For the first time in his life he made a decent salary. Can you guess what he spent his first salary on? A white real Fender Stratocaster guitar!!!! That moment was a complete life changer. He got hooked more than ever, and he decided to form or find a band!

He moved back to Budapest where the music scene was a lot better than his little wine making home town. He applied through an advert in a local magazine for a well established band, who was looking for a guitarist. He went to the audition and he played really really badly compared to the other 2 members of the band. They were 10 years older and musically highly educated… Even though Rolly was very bad on the guitar compared to the skills of the other 2 but, they liked him as a person. They saw a bit of talent, and a lot of reliability and hard working skills in him… So they told him: we can take you on board if you take lessons from the best (most famous and infamous) guitar teacher in the country.

Rolly was ultra keen and happy. He made a phone call to “Mr best guitar teacher”. In the first 5 minutes of his first real guitar lesson, the teacher showed a little easy funk rhythm guitar lick (kinda like a James Brown style funky guitar rhythm playing) just to check Rolly’s natural timing. He then asked Rolly to play it back. When Rolly played it back the teacher just said: “Son it’s never too late to sell your guitar. There is a guitar shop at the corner please just walk in and sell your guitar”. Rolly was shocked to the core, but the teacher continued: or go home, practice this lick with a metronome (he still has that old school wooden metronome, and he still practices a lot with it) for a week and come back!

Fortunately Rolly opted for the latter option. He went home and practiced the hell out of that lick. One week later when he went back the teacher said: “Son it’s never too late to sell your guitar. There is a guitar shop at the corner please just walk in and sell your guitar!” Rolly never gives up, so he went home and practised even more…

After a few weeks they started working well together and Rolly learnt fast. They got on well and Rolly had been taking lessons from the most infamous / famous guitar teacher of the country for years…He learned Funk music (that was needed for that band), Blues, Rock and a bit of Jazz. He was introduced to the music of Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Carlos Santana, George Benson and John Scofield. They are still to this day, his biggest influences! These legendary players and Rolly’s band mates taught him how to practice on the guitar every day and how to learn things effectively.

In the meantime the band became successful and could play some great shows including mainstream TV shows, festivals all around the country and also got some opportunities to play some mini tours in Europe. By then, the Iron Curtain fell, Hungary joined the EU so everything became easier for musicians.

One of these European mini tours brought the band to the UK. They played fantastic club gigs all around the country. On one of these gigs a Mansfield / Nottingham based music management saw them and offered them cooperation. So the band moved its base to Mansfield and for 2 years they toured the UK successfully. However later, the band split up and the 2 other members moved back to Hungary while Rolly decided to stay in the UK.

Rolly - Guitarist - Very SantanaRolly moved to Birmingham and started a 3 years Music Production Course at Staffordshire University. He really loved this course and he learned a lot about song writing, studio techniques and leading a band. Even more importantly, he met some great musicians. He formed a band called Rolly’s Syndicate, recorded an original album and played around with the songs. This was the time when he met Amera (singer of Very Santana) and they became really good friends and band mates.


Rolly also became a session guitarist / music producer of a very talented, fantastic singer who was a Hungarian X-Factor finalist and they played some amazing shows together.


This was the time when Rolly launched his online guitar shop / community / Youtube channel etc… that over the years became a very successful business (

One day Rolly and Amera had a discussion in the car on the way back home from a gig about their love of Carlos Santana’s music. As this was one of the biggest influences for Rolly he had this idea about forming a tribute band that delivers Carlos’s music all around the UK.

He however, wanted to do this with a twist. So unlike many tribute bands he never really wanted to copy the original artist exactly, as it’s kinda impossible anyway. But instead, taking the “influence” and combine it with his and his talented band member’s creativity. Rolly wanted to play the songs with the classic Jazz Standard approach. This way, the original songs provide the skeleton, but a lot of unique creative ideas to be added to the already sensational music.

For instance, adding improvisations where the band members can combine their personal talent with Carlos’s masterful music, where the music allows of course. So with these elements, the show always stays fresh as there are surprises every time when someone comes back to see the band.

As you can imagine, it needed a lot of work to build up this idea. Long hours spent in the rehearsal room with the whole band. Even just learning each original song, is quite challenging on each instrument. The songs are musically complex and skilfully played, and it takes a long time to master them as close as possible. Then adding the icing on the cake with each musician’s unique twist, took even more time and practicing.

Another important goal was “MAKING IT REAL”! This means there’s no autotune, no edits, no overdubs, no AI, nothing “artificial”. Real musicians playing live, really good. As analog, vintage and “REAL” as possible just like Santana, the Master himself, and his brilliant musicians, back in the days.  This includes the videos that they produce too. No auto-tune, no overdubs, 100% live – unlike most of the bands!

And hey it’s working! After a year of initial work, the 3 years of touring (and surviving the effect of Covid-19) most of the shows are “sold out”…

In the meantime Rolly’s Guitars have been growing nicely. Rolly’s wife, Niki also joined the business as a guitar luthier. Niki had been helping Rolly setting up, repairing the guitars for many many years so she has learned a lot about them during that time.

And a few years ago everything has changed again in Rolly’s life, but in a good way: Nina was born! She is already a real artist with amazingly strong personality 🙂 So life is beautiful and little Nina, Niki and Rolly touring the UK with Very Santana. And when they are not on the road, they still work with guitars, selling, setting up, and repairing guitars for their beloved family run business: Rolly’s Guitars.