I start this video off with an improvisation before playing my arrangement of a theme from Chopin’s second piano sonata. This particular arrangement comes from my second volume of easy arrangements available at my website.
So what do I think about while I improvise? Short answer is…not much. That’s the ideal–just let the music flow. The arrangement is in A minor so I figured I would improvise in A minor before going into the theme. Every now and then I’ll hit an unexpected note and the challenge is to make it fit. For example, around the 2:24ish mark I hit a C-sharp which I wasn’t planning on. The C-sharp would give the feeling of A major which is something I wasn’t looking to do. After I hit the C-sharp I decided to hit it again and then move down chromatically to the E. That’s the decision I made in the second or two after I hit that C-sharp. Little things like this are what I think about while I am improvising.
Here is the ending of my 8th Lament. Last year I composed rough drafts of twelve laments. I am currently going through and expanding them. I am currently through eight of them.
This one uses tapping with the right hand to play the bass part. Tapping is fun and is easier to get a good sound on an electric guitar than a classical. When you tap the bass strings on a classical there is a lot of noise. If you tap on the upper three strings it’s tough to get a loud enough sound. Here is the score for this section…
Tapping is an example of extended techniques. Extended techniques are just techniques to create sound on an instrument in an unorthodox way. I wrote a paper on it back in school. You can find that as well as a couple videos on my website.
Now on to Buckethead….
I ended up going to Cincinnati last week to see my second Buckethead concert in the last month. It was AMAZING. Here are a couple pics…
Ok, so 10 days ago I went and saw Buckethead at the Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I dragged my oldest child along (Andy age 16) so I wouldn’t be alone.
I fully expected to go and see Buckethead along with 50-100 fellow guitar geeks. I was way wrong on that. The place was filled! All different ages, genders, and nationalities. It was amazing and awesome.
He is somebody I have been listening to a lot the last couple of years and is somebody I am convinced is a genius. He is some kinda productive having released over 300 albums.
The first time I ever heard anything about him was when he joined Guns n’ Roses way back in the early 2000s. I remember my brother saying, “what??!! they replaced Slash with somebody who wears a KFC bucket on his head???” Slash is one of the reasons I started playing the guitar. I heard Sweet Child O’ Mine and I was like….I gotta learn that! Anyways…
5 or 6 years ago I started catching some of Buckethead’s videos on Youtube. Slowly I began checking him out more and more. I am currently making my way through his pikes. I started a few days ago and today I finished Pike 6.
If you are interested in learning more about Buckethead I would check these two sites out on Youtube by a couple super fans…
Here is my favorite concert of his that I have found on Youtube…
I’m thinking about seeing Buckethead AGAIN in concert. A week from tonight (05/17/2019) Buckethead is playing in Cincinnati AND my brother lives in Cincinnati. Good enough reason, right? I’m like 80/20 I am going. I’ll probably bring Sam (age 12) with me. I’m sure his teachers won’t mind him missing school for some culture.
This piece is a half composed/half improv piece. The chord progression for the repeating section was composed ahead of time (Am, Em, Gm, Em, E) but the in between sections are improvised–sort of. I wanted to make use of tapping, so, in the score, I wrote, “tapping.” The specific notes weren’t worked out ahead of time. Here is the score I wrote…
What I love about this type of improv is that I am giving it some direction. It’s very easy to improv and kind of meander around without making much sense (which I actually like as well) but in this case I kind of put a frame around the improvisation.