Archive for April, 2012

Quote, Unquote.

Posted by Brian on 18th April 2012 in General Music, Quote Unquote

“When I heard those bluegrass harmonies, I just lost my mind. And I also recognized that it was something I could do, which is a wonderful feeling. I thought, that’s how I play guitar, that’s what I do!”

–Gillian Welch, on hearing bluegrass for the first time

Songs You Should Know: Classical Gas

Posted by Brian on 10th April 2012 in Fingerstyle Guitar, Guitar, Journal, Songs You Should Know, Uncategorized

Classical Gas“Classical Gas” by Mason Williams is easily the most popular and successful instrumental guitar tune ever written. Written during a weekend break from his day job as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the tune was released in February 1968 and climbed to the top of the charts, winning three Grammy Awards that year. It has since been performed by countless people and ensembles playing a wide variety of different instruments.

Years ago, my guitar teacher tried to teach me how to play “Classical Gas”, but I was more interested in 3-chord rock at the time. Years later, after hearing Lisa Simpson playing it on an episode of The Simpsons, I decided that it was time to revisit the tune. Its not wildly difficult, but the timing is tricky as it changes time signatures several times throughout the piece.

Here is the original recording:

And here is Tommy Emmanuel’s take on the tune (note the nods to the Ventures and Elton John mid-way through):

And here is the official “Classical Gas” website:  ClassicalGas.com/home.html

And Here is Your Host…

Posted by Brian on 3rd April 2012 in Fingerstyle Guitar, Journal

Acoustic Blend CaféJust a personal plug…

On Sunday May 6th, I will be the guest host of the York Region Fingerstyle Guitar Association monthly Open Mic. We meet at the Cornerhouse Restaurant in Stouffville (6403 Main St.) from 1:30 pm until 5 pm. I will be presenting a short workshop and there will be a feature set by D’Arcy Wickham.

I’m still trying to decide on a topic for the workshop. I’m thinking either “Working with a Metronome” or “Practicing Without Your Guitar”. Thoughts or suggestions?

Video of the Month: Michael Graefe

Posted by Brian on 1st April 2012 in Fingerstyle Guitar, Guitarists, Video of the Month

Video-of-the-MonthI recently got an e-mail from German guitarist Michael Graefe suggesting that I use his tune “Cliffs of Moher” as a Video-of-the-Month. So here it is…

Michael is a self taught guitarist who bought his first guitar as a teenager after hearing a recording of Leo Kottke. He has released four independently produced CDs which are available on iTunes and CDBaby. In addition to being self-taught and producing his own CDs, he also builds his own guitars.

“Cliffs of Moher” will be available on Michael’s next CD.

Michael Graefe’s website (English version): http://www.relaxrecords.de/english/indexgb.htm

Michael Graefe’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/relaxrecords