Archive for November, 2011


Posted by Brian on 11th November 2011 in General Music, Mildly Off-Topic

PoppyI posted this video last Remembrance Day too. But for me, this song captures what it is that we need to be remembering: everyday people making extraordinary sacrifices.



I have seen you
Full force into bullets
On a beach in France

There is a whole country who won’t forget
Who wonders what was going through your head
Those cruel hours that you spent
On the beach in France

Did the loudness of the guns
Make your feet stick in the mud?
Did you think of the one’s you loved
On the beach in France?

Did you think “who did this to me?”
Or were you thinking about your country
When you went running into bullets
On a beach in France?

Did you scream your lovers name?
Did you sink with fear and shame
Or did you keep running into bullets
On a beach in France?

Do the seashells by the shore
Still echo with the roar
Or is there peace forever more
On a beach in France?

I have seen you
Full force into bullets
On a beach in France

Grace in Small Things – Volume II

Posted by Brian on 9th November 2011 in Grace in Small Things, Journal

1. Students who are accepting the challenge of entering the Sunderland Music Festival.

2. Guitar Night! An all too infrequent gathering of fellow guitarists for the purposes of playing into the wee hours.

3. Pretty much nailing a tune that I’ve been working on for months at Guitar Night.

4. A season of not having to badger my kids to practice piano.

5. This conversation:

Student: [stopping] “That didn’t sound right.”

Teacher: “Even if a note sounds wrong, keep going. Sometimes you have to play the next note to make the first note sound right.”

Student: “So its like life.”


More about Grace In Small Things

Quote, Unquote

Posted by Brian on 7th November 2011 in Musicianship, Picking Hand, Practice, Technique, Uncategorized

“To be a virtuoso, one of the most important things you must have is as close to a perfect sense of rhythm as you can.”

Pepe Romero


“It is very important to work on the tone you have with your right hand [picking hand], to give emotion to a tune… Many guitar players don’t really take care of the right hand, but for me the right hand is producing the music”

Jacques Stotzem

Video of the Month: Maneli Jamal

Posted by Brian on 1st November 2011 in Canadian Guitarists, Fingerstyle Guitar, Uncategorized, Video of the Month

Maneli Jamal is a young fingerstyle virtuoso, who lives in Toronto, Ontario. He recently played a concert at the Foster Memorial here in Uxbridge, and although I missed the concert, I certainly heard the reviews. Everyone I talked to was buzzing about this great young guitarist. So I looked him up, and this is what I found:

From his website:

Born in Iran and raised in Germany, Jamal moved to the States in his adolescence, immigrating to Minnesota before relocating to Austin, Texas until his late teens. At this time, his family was issued a deportation letter by the immigration office, and they were forced to claim refuge in Canada within thirty days of receiving the notice.

Taking literally only what they could fit in their hands, Jamal and his family arrived in Toronto after establishing their lives in Austin. It was at this time that Maneli got an acoustic guitar from his father, which has scarcely left his hands since.

“I carried it on the plane, and everywhere I went, I had it”, Jamal recalls. “For half a year, we only had what we had in our hands, and I had that cheap acoustic guitar in my hands with no case. Going through something like that, as a teenager especially, you need an outlet that can take you away from life and zone you out. That’s what the acoustic guitar did for me.”

Maneli Jamal’s website:

Maneli Jamal’s YouTube channel: