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Ladye Nothinge’s Toye Puffe was the piece that made me aware of the range of John Renbourn’s styles, which included blues, ragtime, Renaissance, and jazz.

He was about 20 years old when he was experimenting with counterpoint in his compositions and came up with this amazing piece, among many others.

He was the biggest influence in my musical journey and I am feel very honored that we became friends almost 20 years ago. I hope you enjoy my rendition of Ladye Nothinge.

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After a little break in the workshop Muriel Anderson did at Keith Holland Guitars on August 15, 2015, one of the attendees, Gretchen Menn was practicing Leo Brouwer’s Etude #6 and Muriel sat down to listen, then offer some advice on improving it.

Muriel had some suggestions that Gretchen implemented immediately. The video crew was a little late to the party but captured the end of Gretchen’s piece along with all of Muriel’s input.

Gretchen is well known in many rock and metal circles, particularly as part of the band Zepparella. Be sure to check her website gretchenmenn.com. Muriel’s entire 2015 Workshop is available as part of the Target Program at TotallyGuitars.com.


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Part 2 features a couple works in progress, a Spanish-tinged piece tentatively titled The Matador, and a developing theme probably destined to become The Immigrant.


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Learn to Play Guitar Online with Totally Guitars

In early August, 2015 I had the great pleasure of visiting with Muriel Anderson at Oak Beach, near Fire Island in New York. My wife Nani and I spent a couple days with Muriel and our host Bryan Allen sailing, swimming, and all round relaxing. Just before heading back to our temporary digs in Brooklyn we sat down for a little musical discussion.

I didn’t really have a plan as to the direction we might go but we talked about her harp guitar, she played a few songs, went through her upcoming West Coast itinerary, and even compared notes on composing. It was particularly a treat to hear some works in progress.

In Part 1 Muriel played View From Space, featuring arpeggiated harmonics under a gentle melody, along with a new ragtime piece, A Fine Pickle.

Check out Part 2 with Muriel Anderson


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Online Guitar Lessons from TotallyGuitars.com

The recent lesson that Vanessa did on My Immortal reminded me of a video I shot about four years ago with a couple of my teenage students. I had not really had much contact with either of them for a few years until Ryan came by for a visit recently. One of the things we talked about was the time when he and Paris collaborated on this beautiful piece.

I got back in touch with Paris and both kids (well, now young adults) agreed they would like to see the video again and posting it here at TG was fine. I believe they were in ninth grade when we shot this and they are both done with high school now.


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God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

by admin on July 16, 2015

Online Guitar Lessons from Totally Guitars

In early 1965 Brian Wilson stopped touring with the Beach Boys in order to concentrate on writing and recording. The first album from this next phase was Pet Sounds, an album not well received immediately by the public but now considered a historic masterpiece.

God Only Knows is a beautiful collaboration from Brian Wilson and Tony Asher that combined unusual chord inversions and tonal centers (what key was that?), with a tear-jerking vocal from Carl Wilson. This arrangement tries to bring as much as possible of the original parts into a coherent solo guitar piece. It always comes out a little different but here is how it went in July, 2015.


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Cavatina by Stanley Myers

by admin on April 15, 2015

Online Guitar Lessons with Totally Guitars

One of the most recognized classical guitar pieces of the last 50 years, Cavatina started out as a short piano piece by English composer Stanley Myers. In 1970 John Williams encouraged Stanley to stretch it out and they put together an orchestra version with two guitars. It was first recorded for Williams’ 1971 album, Changes, and was used as a theme in the movie The Walking Stick in 1970. The movie The Deer Hunter then used the song as its main theme in 1978, launching the piece into the mainstream. Almost every classical guitar player since then has worked on playing the solo version, mostly as arranged and performed by John Williams.

After unexplainedly neglecting this beautiful piece for all these years, I finally figured I should put together a lesson on it for Totally Guitars. With some assistance and advice from my old friend John Dimick, I took most of John Williams’ fingerings and changed or modified a few for various reasons that I go into in the lesson.

Here is what I really consider a rough draft of Cavatina as I am still exploring fingering options and overall tone and continuity. I have a feeling this will always somewhat be a work in progress, or maybe a work in evolution.

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Venezuelan Waltz #4 – Yacambu by Antonio Lauro

by admin on February 16, 2015

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Completing this series of Waltzes by Antonio Lauro, we have the last of the four. This one is more dissonant and dynamic than the other three, and not as commonly played or heard. I tend to take this slower than most of the versions I have heard as it is easy to lose the beauty and spirit of the melodies when played quickly.

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Continuing our series of classical pieces played on the steel-string guitar, we have the third Venezuelan Waltz by Antonio Lauro. This one is also known as Natalia and is probably the most recorded and well-known.

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Learn to Play Guitar Online with Totally Guitars

For many months I have really been enjoying working on some beautiful pieces, mostly ragtime and classical. I recently had a chance to make some slightly more formal recordings of these favorites.

Here is Antonio Lauro’s Venezuelan Waltz #2, Andreina, a short but fascinating piece.

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