Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

Video of the Month: Tom Feldman

Posted by Brian on 1st March 2012 in Guitarists, Technique, The Instrument, Uncategorized, Video of the Month

Video-of-the-MonthGrab a coffee (a large one) and put your feet up. This month’s video is a long one.

In this video, which, admittedly, is a long ad for Tom Feldman’s instructional video series, we get an excellent overview of traditional blues styles. In general, I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but several of my “desert-island” recordings are, in fact, blues albums. And whether you are a fan of the genre or not, much of modern music, and particularly modern guitar playing, owes a debt of gratitude to the blues.

Video of the Month: Trevor Gordon Hall

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

Video-of-the-MonthFebruary’s Video-of-the-Month features Philadelphia guitarist Trevor Gordon Hall. I’m guessing that he goes through a lot of strings…

 

While there are a lot of guitarists who incorporate “parlour tricks” into their playing, Trevor does it very tunefully with this track! Outside the Lines is from Trevor’s latest CD “Entelechy”. It is at least his third CD, but his first with CandyRat Records.

 

Trevor Gordon Hall’s website: www.TrevorGordonHall.com

Trevor Gordon Hall’s YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/user/trevorhallguitar

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: www.ManeliJamal.com

Maneli Jamal’s YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/user/maneli