This book contains the majority of Kurt Hummel’s compositions for solo guitar written between 1995 and 2017. The 56 pieces are notated in standard notation and tablature and fit for advanced players. The book also contains additional information about the individual pieces (story behind the composition, releases…). Some of the compositions are notated to be played with a partial capo. The first part of the book also gives background information about the author and his guitar playing. All texts are in German and English.
The book has 326 Pages (DIN A4), contains 56 compositions (notation and tabs) and a lot of information (with pictures) in English and German.
It took a while before I decided to notate all the guitar compositions – with just a few exceptions – that I had written between 1995 and 2017. First and foremost, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t forget some of the songs altogether after not having played them for a while. Also, I upload most of my songs on YouTube and viewers often ask me for notes or Tabs. I have already published tabs for a few of my pieces on this website. I still am not able to play at sight and still have trouble with standard notation. I put down my songs as tablatures and used a notation software (TablEdit) to transfer them into standard notation. One of the advantages of this method was that I could use the playback function to listen to the notation. Most of the time, what I heard wasn’t what I actually played and wanted to notate and the initial versions required a lot of editing. Most of the songs are accompanied by a few words about the process of their composition, the idea behind them and where they have been released, and in some cases I have also included pictures.
The book contains following compositions: Again No Mail, Albaicín, Amorgos Blues, Back on the Hill, Ballad for my Longing, Baros, Bernas, Bettina‘s, Black Hair and White Belt, Cappuccino, Cha Chou, Chair and Table, Corse, Cursive Reflection II, Davide, December, Dia Sec, Disappeared, Even Wine Didn’t Help, Firence S.M.N., Four Days, Goodbye Woody, Green Fingerdance, Hermigua, Home on the Bench, Hypnotic Steel, I May Come Back, I Miss Nona, Is the Spell Broken, Jardim Atlantico, Korčula, Lucca, Meet You at Odysseas, Music for S., Natural Enemy, Old Couple, Oshogbo, Pina, Portuguese Nightmare, Rain for the Lion, Retsina Hill, Ryder and Gray, São Miguel, Sliema, Song of Winter, Southern Comfort, Talking Fingers, Tension, That’s the Point, Third Coffee, Too Late for Breakfast, Underneath a Giant Redwood, Upwind, Walk or Ride, Waltz by Circumstances.
Sometimes, you discover new visual or social perspectives in places that you have been to many times and that you thought you knew well. This experience inspired the composition of “New Perspectives in Known Places” in autumn 2017. I have already put the piece down in notes and Tabs, which you can find as a PDF download under the „TABs“ section.
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).
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.