Archive for July, 2011


Back in March, I posted a feature on Bob Evans and I mentioned that I would be seeing him play live on May 1st. I did, indeed, see him play, and it was a great show. One of the tunes that he played was “Dune”, probably his most famous tune (if a fingerstyle guitarist can have a “famous” tune – maybe “famous-among-guitar-geeks” would be more accurate). He also mentioned that a free transcription was available on his website… So, on May 2nd, I started working on the tune. Now, here it is in late July and I almost have the tune down, except for one bar at the top of page 5, and I’m pretty sure that a few more hours spent with my trusty metronome will have it beaten into submission.

Here is Bob Evans playing “Dune”

Bob Evans – “Dune”

(If the link doesn’t work, you can listen to it here.)


Bob Evans’ Website

Bob Evans’ YouTube Channel

Video of the Month: Ben Kammin

The second video of the month this month is a nice tune called “Sleepytime” played here by Ben Kammin and written by Alex DeGrassi. If you are a decent fingerstyle player and have ever wanted to try DADGAD tuning then this tune is a great place to start. This was the first DADGAD tune that I ever learned and it was from watching another video of Ben playing an excerpt from “Sleepytime” that I was inspired to learn it.

The tune is pretty straightforward, except for the bridge section where you need to get a “four-over-three” feel. Otherwise this tune is all about creating a mood – there are no flashy pyrotechnics – you just need to play cleanly and let the notes ring for as long as possible. Transcriptions are available from Alex DeGrassi’s website.

Ben Kammin is a graduate of the Fingerstyle Guitar program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona where he teaches guitar and does research for UWM.

Ben’s Website:

Ben’s YouTube Channel:

Alex DeGrassi’s website:

The Next Step…

Posted by Brian on 3rd July 2011 in Fingerstyle Guitar, Guitar, Journal, Performing

For the half dozen (or so) of you that read this blog regularly, you know that a little over a year ago, I committed myself to getting out and performing more. Shortly after that, I reported on performing at my first open mic as a solo instrumentalist. Now, I am pleased to report that yesterday, I played my first full set as a solo instrumentalist.

It was at the Stouffville Strawberry Festival. I played a full 50 minute set as part of the York Region Fingerstyle Guitar Association’s “Showcase”. It was… not horrible. It was… fun… fun in the way that I imagine bungy-jumping is fun. I lived, therefore it was fun.

I realized shortly after I was invited to perform that I was going to have to play pretty much every song I knew. I had to go back and dust off a couple of tunes that were all but forgotten to fill out the full fifty minutes. I even learned a new tune. In a new tuning! It meant more practice. It meant more focused practice. All good things.

Now I’m looking forward to next time. Next time I will try to remember that I don’t have to tune by ear when I have a tuner on the ground in front of me. (Sorry for the delay folks – though it did help fill out the set.) Next time I will have more repertoire. And next time, (hopefully) it will be more fun… maybe even fun like a birthday party is fun.

Video of the Month: Your Brain on Music

Posted by Brian on 1st July 2011 in General Music, Music Theory, Video of the Month

In another departure from my usual video of the month, here is a really cool video that demonstrates differences in brain activity between improvising music and playing music from memory:

I first came across this video on Sean Dricoll’s Blog: So Much Sound. Sean’s comments on this video are worth a read.