This week the sun has finally come back to Northern California but I am sorry for those in the MidWest with the big storms that have been rolling through. As we get into St. Patrick’s Day weekend I have been working on a couple traditional Irish tunes but only one made its appearance this week, Down By The Salley Gardens. I started this week’s video with a run through of it, along with the next one I have under construction, The Star Of The County Down. That one has proved more difficult than I thought, mostly with decisions to be made on the key, harmony, and rhythmic feel. I hope to do a few different versions and have part of it early next week.

I talked a bit about some of the obstacles I let enter the equation as I am considering more complicated instrumentals but that is the direction I am leaning toward in the next few weeks. I played a bit of some of the contenders, and also another old Irish tune I like, The Blacksmith. At the end I ran through a pretty abstract version of Windy And Warm, as I noticed how fun my Santa Cruz guitar is to play after its major repair.

The new lessons this week included Take Five, Down By The Salley Gardens, See See Rider by Mississippi John Hurt, and Jimi Hendrix’s Castles Made Of Sand, along with a Student Review for Cavi, who was working on Sleight Of Hand.

I’ve also included a few links down below to interesting stuff I came across this week.

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This update had quite a bit of playing in it, and not too much information. I need to brush up on a couple pieces for a service I am doing tomorrow and ran through quick drafts of what I need in good shape. These included a couple Beatles tunes that might have gotten a little rusty, In My Lifeand Here Comes The Sun (well one was rustier than the other as there was a lot of improv going on at times). I also had to check out a Pete Huttlinger video where he played On Eagle’s Wings-

Every once in a while the powers that be ask for a ‘religious’ tune and this one fits the bill, although I also use Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring as a back up.

This weeks’ new lessons included The Joke by Brandi Carlile, John Coltrane’s Bessie’s Blues, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and a Fly On The Wall with Sandy starting The Longest Time by Billy Joel. A couple of these inspired me to try a solo off the top of my head with similar mixed results to the Beatles’ tunes. One almost worked and the other needs a lot of work. We also released a new Bob Dylan pack along with everything else, Volume 2 from Bob.

I mentioned that I am looking for Irish or Celtic requests in honor of St. Patrick’s Day coming soon, I mentioned a couple that came to my mind but the memory fails me at times nowadays. So if all goes well over the next 7 days (and I don’t forget to get to it) I will return next Friday to check in.

Neil

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After a weekend of traveling, (through some countryside that is flooding badly at the moment – The Russian River in Sonoma County) we are back at TG Central and grinding away with students and arrangements. Today’s update started off with a John Fahey piece that introduced his music to me when I was in high school. The tune I played a bit of was Beverly, a song I threatened to do a lesson on years ago and forgot about, apparently.

Check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H6A6e7fVic

I want to thank the members who managed to get some videos uploaded for review, Eryk and Ken so far but let’s try to keep this ball rolling. I enjoy looking back at some of those old lessons, which I usually need to do to give good feedback on them.

Another theme that came up on the Forum reminded me to give a quick tip on hammer-ons. There was a little discussion that might help but this usually takes a lot of practice so don’t despair.

The other new additions recently included Casey Jones by Mississippi John Hurt, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You by Elvis, Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, Drain You by Nirvana, Max’s version of the Jazz Standard All Of Me, The Wings by Gustavo Santaolalla (whose name I tried to pronounce a few times), and finally the solo arrangement of Eye In The Sky, which I somehow postponed almost five years after promising to get to it with the original lesson. We also added a 5-pack of Heart tunes, which inspired me to take a stab at Silver Wheels as I mentioned it. I evidently need to brush up on that one. 

That was the two week recap as we head into March and Springtime for those of us up over the equator. Can that be the Top Of The World?

Neil

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