My 1964 Gibson ES 125 Serial #368731
I purchased it new on March 1, 1966
from Ray Lammers Music Store, Cincinnati, Ohio
Takamine Classic Electric Model E-30
Hohner Harmonics Ready to Jam
My Yamaha FGX-413SC
Ever since I was a small child music has been an important part of my life. When the Potter family would get together, there were always guitars, jews harps, violins, banjos, harmonics and other instruments there to liven up the festivities. My Uncle Oscar and Uncle Albert played the guitar and harmonica. They knew enough old times songs to keep us going for a long time. Here is an "Ode to My New Guitar." The "Ode" includes a poem from 1993 about my first guitar.
The Old Standby Hohner Harmonic laying in front of the red case on the Peavey acoustic amplifier directly above was my Uncle Clayton Potter's. It is a Key of E instrument and plays just fine, even after all these years. I am proud that it was passed down to me. The black harmonica is a Hohner Pro Harp. I know of none better; it goes with me everywhere I go. Recently I got a Lee Oscar. It is a dream to play. I also play a Lee Oscar.
I purchased the Gibson ES 125 new, from Lammert's Music Store in Cincinnati, Ohio in the mid 60's. I string it with heavy, flatwound strings. It has ultra low action and is a joy to play. The Takamine sounds great through the little 10W Peavey Acoustic. A Zoom acoustic effects peddle adds real character to the sound. The Zoom's reverb also works great with the Harmonica. The Yamaha FGX-413SC was purchased from Caldwell's Music Store here in Odessa, TX. My wife bought me a VOX DA 15 guitar amp for Christmas 2009. It has awesome tones for a small amp.
Playing Guitar at my In-laws House in Indiana
For Your Listening Pleasure
Here is a web site where you can hear some great Classical Guitar music: Classical Guitar
I had the incomparable opportunity to study Classical Guitar with Mr. Kent Smith at Odessa College, here in Odessa, TX. Mr. Smith taught me from Frederick Noad's Solo Guitar I. This is a wonderful book for building technique and a basic repertory. You can purchase either a cassette or CD of the music in the book. I highly recommend getting the CD. I understand that there is a new CD just available for Volume 2. I have also enjoyed playing the pieces in his Classical Guitar Anthology which has the study pieces Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani,Dionisio Aguado, Matteo Carcassi, Ferdinando Carulli, Giulio Regondi, Franz Schubert and others. The Renaissance Anthology is particularly good, and replete with excellent interpretive notes for John Dowland, Francesco da Milano, Luis Milan, Robert Johnson, Anthony Holborne, Jean Baptiste Besard, Luis de Narvaez, Elias Mertel and others. NOTE: Be sure and follow the links at this site: Frederick Noad
Mel Bay Publications
I began my journey into the world of guitar when I studied under Virgil and Ervin Warren at the Aurora Music Center in Aurora, IN. I always appreciate the fact that my parents enabled me to take lessons under these two premier plectrum guitarists. The method used was the Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method. Mr. Bay sought to elevate the guitar to the level of the piano by developing a comprehensive method of instruction that covered all the keys and the harmonica possibilities of the instrument. His method is still available. Many of us hope that his son, William Bay, will eventually produce a CD program for all seven Grades. Yesterday, 4/30/10, I discovered that Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method has been published in an expanded edition with CDs. Of course, I pulled out my Debit Card and ordered a complete set. Probably the most comprehensive method available today is the one produced by William Bay and Mike Christiansen, Mastering the Guitar. The method is in process of development, but three volumes are already in print. The CD program has some of the best guitar music on the planet. The series covers both pick and fingerstyle. Here is the web site: Mel Bay. Here is a YouTube relating to Mel Bay and his company. Here is my Mel Bay File of materials I have developed to help me master this excellent method.
My friend high school Richard Fletcher and his dad invited me to go with them to Nashville to visit theGrand Old Oprey during my senior year of High School. I enjoyed folk music, but wasn't much into country at the time. I distinctly remember the drive down to Nashville. Richard's dad was a friend of many of the musicians. We set in the back of the old auditorium until the local folk left for home then we moved to the front. I will never forget listening to the likes of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Yes, I was hooked! Richard's dad even introduced me to some of the musicians. My guitar playing friend, Rodger Huron, and I would listen for hours to Foggy Mountain Breakdown and other instrumentals and songs. Texas are fortunate to be able to listen to the best in Bluegrass on the Bill Myrick show on the local college station every Sunday evening. We are saddened that Mr. Myrick passed away on March 12, 2011. A few years back, it was my pleasuure to heard the Triple "L" Bluegrass Band play at the Andews' Bluegrass Festival. Their web site is: wwwe.triplelband.com.
iPhone users will want to purchase The Guitar Toolkit.
For some terrific free Online guitar lessons, visit justinguitar.com
The Ballad Tree: Lots of folk songs and how to play them.
Guitar Press . This is an incredible collections of classical guitar pieces.
My main instruments are guitar and harmonica, but it was the great guitarist and harmonist, Fernando Sor, who observed, "I think I have completely proved that the knowledge of the thirds and sixths is the foundation of the whole fingering in regard to the guitar. I shall not cease exhorting those who would devote themselves to the study of the guitar, to endeavor to acquire a this knowledge. A guitarist, who is a harmonist, will always have an advantage over one who is not. Even a tolerable player on the pianoforte (the first of instruments to produce harmony), has already acquired very useful musical habits in regards to the guitar. A tolerable pianist cannot be a bad guitarist."
(Method for the Spanish Guitar c1840, Fernando Sor). With this in mind, I recommend that all guitarists take up the study of the piano or other keyboard instrument to improve their knowledge of harmony. www.pianolessons.com is a good place to start.
On 2/28/15, I got a nice email from Boris Cohaniuc inviting me to link to his marvelous collection of free classical guitar music: Classical Guitar Library.
We are thankful to Jean-Francois Delcamp for creating what must be the richest collection of classical guitar music on the Internet. Here you will find scores from all the greats along with videos. This is a MUST site. Classical Guitar with Delcamp.
Rob MacKillop has a wonderful website with lots of very fine guitar videos.
My YouTube Favorites
Classical Guitarist John Williams. These were chosen because they allow guitar players to study the Williams' technique.
Julian Bream's video of the Concierto de Aranjuez. I bought this years ago as a VCR series entitled La Guitarra en españa. It was filmed in Spain. The videos of the landscape are breathtaking.
1. Concierto de Aranjuez Part 1
Here is a PhD thesis analyzing some of the concert:
Jim Hall lined up a illustrious group of jazz artists in 1975 for a moving Jazz rendition of Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez: Jim Hall: Guitar, Roland Hanna: Piano, Ron Carter: Bass, Steve Gadd: Drums; Chet Baker, Trumpet, Paul Desmond: Alto Saxaphone. I have listened to this hundreds of times. I predict that if you listen to it once, you will listen to it again and again.
Concierto de Aranjuez: Complete Score I consider this the find of the decade. Guitarist will enjoy playing the guitar part and exploring playing the other instrument parts on the guitar. This is great fun!
Concierto De Aranjuez: Complete Score. Here is another score.
You may get a little idea of what Desmond was doing at Fabio Cozzani.
You will enjoy singing along with this nice vocal rendition: Concierto de Aranjuez: Vocal.
I enjoy this solo Jazz Guitar rendition of El Concerto de Arenjuez.
John Williams - The Profile Incredibly beautiful music coupled with incredibly beautiful scenery, almost an hour of pure joy.
Johnny Smith Jazz Guitar.
2. Moonlight in Vermont with Stan Getz (1955).
Why some of us play classical guitar every day.
Fellow Bach lovers will not want to miss John Feeley's interpretation of Bach' Cello Suite #1 in D. Get free guitar score at www.free-score.com. Equally good is Feeley's arrangement and performance of the Bach Chaconne in Dm. This YouTube offers a Front Row Seat to a Master Class Performance for those of us wanting to master the technique necessary to play this piece with true artistry.Bach Chaconne in D
by Sanel Redzic. I have found this video particularly valuable because of the closeup of both hands.
Chaconne in Dm arrange for guitar by Forbes Henderson: Part 1; Part 2. Very nice because it gives us guitar players a close up of his fingering. His fingering opens wonderful possibilities for using vibrato in the upper register.
Here is Thomas Konigs’ 2005 transcription Chaconne in Dm. The fingerings are excellent for the intermediate level student.
Here is a great find for all Bach Chaconne lovers: YouTube Scrolling Transcription and audio.
Here is an Analysis of the Chaconne in Dm:
I have found the following analysis very helpful: Bach's Chaconne in Dm for solo violin: An application through analysis.
I am thrilled to be able to post this link to Segovia's very own transcription: Segovia's Chaconne. It is notable for the helpful indications of fingers and slurs. Many other fine pieces are available from Dave´s Classical Guitar Site.
These videos teach various parts of the Chaconne. The fingering is a bit different from what I am used to using. I never thought I would ever be able to play the Chaconne, but the sheer beauty of the piece daily draws me to practice section after section. It is one thing to experience the piece with the ear alone, and another - and fricher - to experience it through the tips of the fingers. Opening Chords More of the opening.
The Process of Transcription for Guitar of J. S. Bach Chaconne from Partida II for Violin Without Accompaniment BWV 1004 by Rodolfo J. Betancourt. A very nice transcription with in-depth analysis.
Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" for Guitar. I enjoy watching the player tracking Paul Desmond's saxophone pare on his Peerless Monarch arch top. It is great fun to follow along on my guitar. I have loved Brubeck since high school, and got hear him once live at Indiana University, when I was a student there. Take Five Chord and Solo.
In a letter to Clara Schumann, Brahms wrote, "The Chaconne is the most wonderful, unfathomable piece of music. On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind."
I recommend that all my tutoring students take up a musical instrument because of the positive impact learning to enjoy and play music can have on language processing. Here is an article explaining the research: Musical Training Helps People Process Language More Efficiently.
The famed classical guitarist, Richard Pick, wrote, "It has been generally observed that students who have training in music and playing some music instrument consistently attain higher scholastic achievement than their non-musical peers. This again illustrates the practical values of counseling and encouraging students to study music whatever their ultimate goal may be. Richard Pick's School of Classical Guitar, p. 24.
The Whole Brain Shortcut to Guitar Mastery by Michael J. Lavery
Cord Melody Playing Explained. Enjoy an explanation of melody chord playing and listen to some really fine music.
Ben Bolt explains techniques of playing classical guitar. Mel Bay Anyone Can Play Classical Guitar. It reminds me of my classical guitar instructor, Kent Smith, helping me overcome many bad habits I had acquired trying to teach myself. Thanks, Kent!
How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain by Anita Collins.
A Cappella Singing
Here is a shaped note singing lesson from the Smithsonian Institute: A Shaped Note Singing Lesson.
A Sacred Harp Harmony: A Part-Writing Primer for Shaped Note Harmony (2009) by Robert T. Kelley.
A Beginner’s Guide to Shape-Note Singing: Lisa Grayson
Shape-Note Hymnody as a Source of Material for Modern and Post-Modern Choral Art Music (2014) by David C. Guthrie.
A History of Great Songs of the Church by Forrest M. McCann. I grew up singing from the round-note version of this hymnal.
Fundamentals of Church Music Theory: An elementary study of music theory as it applies to the church (1993, 2009) by James Tackett.
Shape Note. Wikipedia article.
Sacred Harp & Related Shape-Note Resources by Steven L. Sabol. Perhaps the riches source of information on the Sacred Harp.