Sounds of the Guitar…

When I was about to leave for a trip I used to always go back and forth on which guitar to bring. I was torn between ‘if that one breaks it would be a pity’ and ‘maybe this one’s sound isn’t good enough.’ Now I have a travel guitar to take with me on vacation that can be disassembled and taken on a plane as carry-on luggage but is a little smaller than my other guitars. Before even leaving for my trip I start feeling that I won’t be able to be creative on such a small guitar – which is very important to me since I compose most of my pieces while travelling. I downright say goodbye to my full size guitars before leaving and a little bit later I arrive at my destination, assemble my travel guitar and start playing. The sound is a little thin, it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t feel right playing it and the creativity just doesn’t set in. But I keep on playing and with time I start really liking the instrument, almost loving it and I start hearing its unique sound. Usually, I write one to two pieces during a trip and I often think ‘Wow, I can’t wait to play them on my ‘good, full size’ guitar.’ Back home, I play the new songs on one of my ‘good, full size’ guitars and it turns out they don’t sound even a little bit like I remember them sounding on my travel guitar. Sometimes they even sound strange and bad. So I take out my travel guitar at home and play the piece again – now it sounds better, but still not the way it sounded when I played it on my trip. But once I record both guitars using a mic the travel guitar sounds inferior again.
What’s behind this dynamic between me, my travel guitar, my ‘good, full size’ guitars, my mood at home, and my mood on the road? I am still trying to figure that out – once I know more I will let you know (even though I am not so sure that there is a solution).

Over 200,000 Views of „Hypnotic Steel“ on YouTube!


The second guitar video that I ever uploaded on YouTube has recently reached 200,000 views. The video and sound quality aren’t very good since it was recorded almost ten years ago but this was state of the art back then – also because of the data transmission rates. A friend of mine recorded the first few videos because I didn’t have the necessary equipment. Only the relative success of the first videos convinced me to buy a video camera and record the following videos myself.

São Miguel

The theme for this piece came to me on the island of São Miguel, the largest island of the Azores. It is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is very green and lush. This is why the song has a very upbeat and positive vibe to it (at least in my opinion). I have already put the piece down in notes and Tabs, which you can find as a PDF download under the „TABs“ section.

Rain for the Lion

Like many times before, I have spent the early summer months in the south of Crete. The weather was a little unusual since we had more rain than normal. Sheltered from the rain under my terrace roof and with a view of the „lion“, a small mountain (approx. 200 m high) shaped like a lying lion, I started composing this piece. I recorded the video back home in our garden…


 

First TABs with Short Capo…

This time I have taken on the task of notating a piece that is played with partial capo. I have chosen to designate the strings that are shortened only by the capo and played as  open strings with the fret on which the capo is placed. I have highlighted those notations with a grey background in the TABs. Some propose to mark these open strings with a ‘0’. I find this to be the inferior solution! You can find the corresponding video here on YouTube. The TABs can be found in PDF format under the Tab section of my website.

Notes of a composition from 1998…

corse

I finally got around to putting a piece down in notes and tabs that I have been wanting to notate for a while now. I wrote this piece in 1998 but the theme dates back to the 70s when I spent some time on the island of Corsica. It is a composition for the classical guitar in standard tuning but I do play it on the steel string guitar from time to time. You can find the piece here on my YouTube channel. The notes (and tabs) are available for download in PDF format under the Tab section of this site.

TENSION…

This is a piece I have had in my head (and heart) for quite a while and now it wanted to come out. The composition is played in standard tuning and I am not using a capo for this one. It describes the interplay and tension between melancholy and enthusiasm – I hope it manages to convey the feeling…

Jardim Atlantico

I developed the underlying theme of this piece in April while I was in Madeira. It is named after a hotel on the island. In May, I finished composing the song in Crete where I spent a lot of time playing the guitar.

The song is played with a partial capo on the second fret in standard tuning. It is a little more percussive than most of my compositions. After I had a little creative „drought“, the ideas have recently started flowing again. Which means that I will soon have enough material to fill a CD. What exactly is going to happen with this material is still wide open…

Back on the Hill…

Everybody has a personal magical spot that makes them feel calm and content. A hill in southern Crete is such a magical spot for me. After a few years, I once again sat here on several late afternoons with my guitar, playing, developing new ideas, and refining old ones. This hill was where I composed pieces such as „Retsina Hill “ and „Old Couple“. This new song is titled „Back on the Hill“. I have included a few movie snippets this time to give you a general idea of the place.