In a bold departure from my usual video-of-the-month, this month’s video features a new product that is hitting the market today. If even a fraction of the hype is true, this should take the guitar playing market by storm.
As always, I have absolutely no affiliation with the product in question.
November’s Video-of-the-Month features a tune that I have just started working on.
I started guitar lessons a month ago (after not having formal lessons for over 30 years) and this is the second tune that my teacher gave me to work on. It’s a tough one! The thing that I like about this piece is that it is forcing me to use voicings that I would not typically use on my own. It also has some very cool counterpoint (bits that complement the melody and harmony).
Here is Stephen Kenyon playing his interpretation of the tune, which differs from the version that I am learning in the way that he approaches the grace notes.
This month’s Video-of-the-Month is one that gives me hope for my future.
Andres Segovia, who pretty much single-handedly brought the modern guitar out of obscurity and put it centre-stage for classical music lovers all over the world, recorded this tune in his native Spain fairly late in his life. (He died in 1987 at the age of 94.)
While he is certainly not at his best in this video, his lifetime of virtuosity is in full view. As I understand it, he suffered from severe arthritis in his hands by this point in his career, and yet he was still able to keep his audiences enthralled.
I just hope that if I live that long, I’ll still be able to play for my own enjoyment – let alone someone else’s!
Okay, so the extra-videos-of -the-month-during-the-summer thing didn’t work out quite like I’d planned. I was away all of July and August on an extended family road trip and I really thought that I would have more access to the internet than I did.
Anyways, here is September’s video-of-the-month, featuring Dylan Ryche playing “Toronto Sky” from his CD “Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar”.
Dylan is an import to Canada from Melbourne, Australia – currently living in Toronto. One of the benefits of being a bit slow with this particular video-of-the-month is that I can now tell you that Dylan won the 2012 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition last month! Congratulations, Dylan!
As is my custom, I will be doubling up on videos-of-the-month for the summer months, when it is a bit harder to sit in front of a screen writing about playing guitar when I could be outside playing guitar. The second video-of-the-month for July features a young duo from Texas…
Fragile Balance consists of two young guitarists who met in high school two years ago, Nick Cooper and Cruz Lujan. So far, they have released two full length CDs and have shared a stage with the likes of Antoine Dufour and Michael Chapdelaine.
Here they are playing “Elements of Emotion”:
Once again, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these talented young men…
Summer is here, so in keeping with past tradition I will start presenting two videos each month to try to offset my reluctance to sit at my computer writing new posts during the summer weather.
The first video-of-the-month for July features classical guitarist Maja Radovanlija. Following my post about the lack of female guitarists, Maja wrote me a note suggesting that, at least in the classical world, there are more female guitarists than many of us realize. She suggested that it may be that women just aren’t as aggressive at promoting themselves.
Here Maja plays “Lento from Jazz Sonata” by Dusan Bogdanovic:
Originally from Serbia, Maya is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Music.
I have pre-empted my regularly scheduled Video-of-the-Month to pay tribute to one of the great guitarists of all time, Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, who passed away on May 29th at the age of 89.
Having lost his eyesight at an early age, Doc first learned to play the banjo on an instrument that his dad made. He switched to guitar while attending a school for the blind. He went on to become one of the great “flatpickers” of all time.
This video (actually, audio only) is from the Newport Folk Festival, 1963, where Doc caught his first “big break”. Here he plays two of his signature pieces: “Doc’s Guitar” (a.k.a. “Tickling the Strings”) a fingerpicking tune, and “Black Mountain Rag” a flatpicking tune.
Rest in peace, Doc.
(The original Video-of-the-Month for June will appear on June 15th.)
May’s Video-of-the-Month is another German guitarist, Timo Brauwers, who I discovered when Adam Rafferty posted a video link of Timo’s on Facebook. At the time of writing, the English version of Timo’s website did not yet have his biographical information and I don’t read German particularly well, so I can’t tell you much about Timo, other than that I really enjoy his playing.
Here he is playing “Breathe Deeply”:
Incidentally, I recently tried the same model guitar that Timo uses in this video – it may well be my next guitar!
Timo’s website: www.timobrauwers.de (English version – click on German flag at far right of navigation bar for German)
I 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.