MURIEL ANDERSON inaugurates the new concert room at Herb Tanimoto's residence in Cool, up in the Sierra foothills October 22nd. The capacity audience of Herb's friends and neighbors was treated to instrumental solos on both her Paul McGill classical and her Doolin-Elliott harp guitar, plus her original songs and road tales. Herb's friend Dominic and I opened for her. Dominic played a beautiful ukelele he made himself. Herb also attended the gathering pictured below, fourth from right.
MURIEL ANDERSON'S NEUMANN GUITAR MIC aims at "Big Red," my 1976 José Ramirez concert instrument. The soothing "Serenade" by Philip Roshegerprovided a prelude for Muriel's house concert. Photos by Dennis Scott.
I'm not that tall - just on a chair! Just to my right is Ray Zhou, whom I invited to play at my house January 25th for some friends, students and neighbors two days before he had to audition at USC in LA, to be followed shortly by auditioning at the San Francisco Conservatory. He had said he wanted more performing experience before the auditions. The gathering included his family and girlfriend. Everyone was most impressed with Ray. In the tuxedo is classical guitarist and teacher Michael Miller. Michael and I opened up for Ray.
GOT A QUESTION? Maybe there's something guitar-related you've been wondering about. Did you know about the free "Mini-Lessons" on this site? Three dozen articles on a wide variety of subjects. If you don't get your question answered there, don't fret! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Hanson will teach at my studio February 9th prior to his Shingle Springs concert that evening. The first of two workshops will be "Fingerstyle Blues Guitar Solos." Mark will lay the groundwork for fingerstyle blues, showing you common backup patterns that build into solo fingerstyle pieces. Tablature of several blues solos will be included. Mark is a gifted teacher, and will help you understand and use the entire guitar neck. You can see him play some of these solos on YouTube by searching "Mark Hanson Acoustic Guitarist." All levels welcome.
Workshop 2 is "Clapton arranged for Fingerstyle Solo Guitar." Using several tunes from Eric Clapton, Mark will discuss his process of developing a rich, playable solo guitar arrangement for intermediate level players. He will teach his arrangements of "Wonderful Tonight," "Strange Brew" and "If I Could Change the World." TAB included. Email me for details and to reserve seats.
The performance calendar fills up around the holidays, and I and my flute and guitar duet partner Francesca Anderson played both here and in the Bay Area. There is hardly a better combination of two instruments than these. The repertoire we play ranges from straight classical to South American to pop, and of course, in December we did plenty of Christmas music. Give a call at (916) 294-0400 to book us.
My composition, February 4th, was selected from among 435 entries for inclusion in ERM Media's Masterworks for the New Era CD Series. February 4th is fairly programmatic, with short sections titled "Morning," "Walking Outdoors," "Daydream," "Work," "Homecoming," and "A Kiss." Dedicated to Robert Burns, a main teacher of mine now living with Parkinson’s , it evokes a bit of difficulty rising and facing the day when the body is aging. He lives by the Pacific Ocean, and I imagine walking outdoors after coffee improves the spirits. A daydream ensues, but work calls, which flies by. The shift from work to coming home draws the piece straight toward the loving arms of his wife. In composing February 4th I drew on influences ranging from Phillip Glass to ‘60s “be-ins” to flamenco to my latest musical whims – ultimately a celebration of my friend and mentor.
WINTER 2008 FEATURED MINI-LESSON:
S - T - R - E - T - C - H - I - N - G
Have you ever seen a track star run a race in street clothes? How about running a race without stretching? Of course not. But how often do we launch into strenuous playing cold? Way too much. And what about pro and advanced amateur guitarists that have to quit because of tendonitis or other hand and arm problems? What we do with our hands is actually highly athletic, if not aerobic, so let's wise up to that and treat our hands and arms as the indispensable tools they are and make them last. Stretching and gently warming up the hands before working them, plus relaxation and a good sitting position make for a more enjoyable playing experience and longevity in one's musical life.MORE MINI-LESSONS
The man in the blue shirt here is my next-door neighbor and friend, Ken Rolff. He and his family were celebrating his birthday at the same time as our little house concert, so they moved the party over to our place.
Showing RayZhou and me how we should dress if we're performing is Michael Miller.
PICK UP YOUR GUITAR
If you pick up a guitar and it says, "Take me, I'm yours," then that's the one for you."
Don't miss the South Bay Guitar Society's 4th Annual Solo and Ensemble Festival March 28-30th at San Jose State University. I will adjudicate performances and present a special clinic on Expressive Playing. Other presenters include Babak Falsafi, Bob Johnson, Rick Vandivier, Guy Cantwell, Jim Forderer, Bill Coulter, Brian Moran, Patrick Francis, Jerry Snyder and Andres Faz. Concert performers include Ricardo Cobo, Matt Grasso, Babak Falsafi and Mesut Ozgen. Cobo will give a masterclass. This is a high quality, low cost festival - and local!! Click into the site for details.