Guitar Notes...

by Kim Kuhn

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For this leg of our musical journey, we’ll visit the guitar.  No, not just the classical kind, but the rock and jazz kind, too.  Maybe the parent and teen can actually learn something together.

First, let’s start with a great rock guitarist, Joe Satriani.  Satriani started playing guitar at 14 when he learned that Jimi Hendrix had died.  He started learning jazz and rock guitar and became not only a musician, but a teacher as well.  Some of his notable students are Steve VaiKirk Hammett of MetallicaDavid Bryson of Counting Crows.  Many of his students have raved about Satriani and his technically demanding way of teaching because of the amazing results.

Some pieces to listen to are: "Satch Boogie", “All Alone” and “Flying in a Blue Dream.”

Second, is a jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan.  Jordan received his BA in digital music composition from Princeton and went on to play with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie.
One of Jordan’s gifts is his touch tapping technique.  Normally, a guitarist needs both hands to pick at the strings and press down on the neck of the guitar.  Jordan, however, uses his touch technique to be able to play the melody and chord at the same time.

Some pieces to listen (and watch on you tube) to are his version of “Stairway to Heaven” and a duet with Chet Atkins in “Sweet Georgia Brown.”
Third, we are going to go to Andres Segovia, a classical guitarist.  Because Segovia was from Spain he started learning the flamenco style of guitar music.  However, he eventually preferred the art music of the 20th century music and was discouraged from his family to learn this new kind of music.  Segovia liked the new kind of music because it was so different than the flamenco style that everyone else around him was playing.

Pieces to listen to are  “Suite Castellana, i. Fandango” by Frederico Moreno Torrobo and “Saraband and Gavotte en Rondeau” by J.S. Bach.

Many people don’t realize that some rock musicians actually like classical music.  Some are even trained in the classical style.  Yngwie Malmsteen is a Swedish rock guitarist that is greatly influenced by Bach and Beethoven and uses some of their music in his guitar riffs.

If you have any suggestions for future articles whether it’s for music or art, just let me know.

- Kim