In My Life is one of the most beautiful songs that John Lennon, with undoubtedly a little help from Paul McCartney, wrote in his all too short career. It really signaled the songwriters maturing and evolving. Many years ago I threw together an arrangement that appeared on my album of Beatles melodies but this one is much more true to the spirit of the original. Most likely a lesson will be coming along at TotallyGuitars on this soon.
Our 2015 International Guitar Camp included open mic sessions all four nights. The second night included the Hogan girls in their first public performance as a duo. They played their arrangement of Stevie Nicks’ acoustic masterpiece Landslide.
Our third annual International Guitar Camp was held at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, California, September 2-6, 2015.
Each evening’s open mic started with short sets by some of the teachers at our third International Guitar Camp. Thursday night kicked off with Doug Young, who had been on the staff at all three IGCs. He played a mix of original and cover pieces in a few alternate, and even unusual tunings.
Doug Young offered some workshops this year that focused on alternate tunings and was always on hand for semi-private lessons throughout the camp session.
Dave Nachmanoff joined the IGC staff last year and was a huge addition to everyone’s experience. We were fortunate to have him back this year, between his hectic schedule of traveling with Al Stewart and working on his own solo projects, and on Thursday night we were treated to a short set of him playing some of his original pieces.
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.
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.
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.
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.