Etude #6 Work-in-Progress

Currently working on my 6th etude. My goal is to write 10 etudes. I am writing these for a couple of reasons: to make me a better guitarist and to explore the different sounds (extended techniques) you can get from the guitar. For this one I am incorporating tapping. This technique involves “tapping” a right hand finger on the fingerboard to produce a sound which is usually followed by pulling off to an open string or a note with the left hand. Eddie Van Halen made this technique popular in his piece, “Eruption”…

Eddie Van Halen was/is a HUGE influence on me. Pretty sure if EVH had never been born I would have been a recorder player instead of a guitarist.

Here is what I’ve got so far….

You can listen to it here…

I recorded this last night and I worked on the piece some more today so the audio doesn’t quite match up to the score.

Subject change…..

Last weekend I played the South Haven Jazz Festival. My combo was made up of myself and two Lake Michigan College students (where I teach) and my oldest son. It was a blast and the weather was perfect. Here are a few pics from that concert (courtesy of Marissa Hoard)

Change of subject………

Friday was an AMAZING day because it was hot and muggy and I was able to go golfing. Golfing is pretty much my most favorite thing to do ever and I live in Michigan where in late September the weather can not be great so that fact that I went golfing on Friday and it felt like summer was…….let’s just say it was perfect.

Change of subject (last time)….

I’ve not been good lately with listening to the Buckethead pikes. In my book, Buckethead is a genius and I want to check out all of his pikes (all 200+ of them!!). Last week I finished the 44th one. I keep a list of what I have listened to on my phone as well as songs from the pikes that I like a lot and will want to check out again.

That’s all I’ve got for today.

-Rob

Etude 4

I am currently composing 10 etudes for the classical guitar. I am writing them for myself, to become a better guitarist, and I am also composing them for anyone interested in incorporating new techniques in their playing. Extended techniques are a great way to increase the expressive nature of this beautiful instrument.

If you would like to learn more about extended techniques please visit my my extended techniques page.

Currently on 27

Lament VIII (Ending)

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…

I am also through the 16th Pike

-Rob

Misty Waters

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.