"I was working on Finn MacCools Reel by Pat Kirtley, had the first part down and was working on part 2, when I realized my non-existent practice time would never allow me to keep this under my fingers 2 months after I learned it. It's not a…"
"I, too, started off with a steel string Alvarez, but as my interests grew more towards classical and away from folk, I eventually got a classical guitar. It takes a little adjustment (the steel string neck is probably narrower, so the nylon strings…"
"Man, you hit it on the head. Duck's improv is what really blows me away, all while playing these odd Monk type rhythmic patterns - on the beat, off the beat - just amazing, and like you said, not necessarily just what around the chord he…"
"Wow! I've never seen Duck live. He and Renbourn are my two favorite fingerstyle players. And, as an amateur classical player, I love that Duck plays nylon, especially his cd Spinning Songs. The arrangements are so complex harmonically it's…"
"Looks like fun to play! Your own arrangement I assume? Duck Baker, one of my MOST FAVORITE players on this planet does a great solo version on a nylon guitar on the cd Northern Skies, Southern Blues. I couldn't find him actually PLAYING it on…"
"I have a Taylor and so I'm fond of Elixir lights right now. The high ends are VERY bright, almost too bright, so I've been thinking about switching to D'Addario when I change them. Trouble is, I've had the suckers on for over a…"
"That kid has GOT to play jazz! John Pizzarelli has perfect pitch and it allows him to solo and scat at the same time. It's funny - he'll trade improvised licks with his piano player, and if the guy misses a note in a phrase, he'll go…"
"Thank you all for the advice. I would certainly never attempt it myself after reading all your admonitions, especially since any damage I would do wouldn't be under warranty. I was initially thinking if the finish was even across the top and…"
"Only take this guitar to a licensed Taylor repair center for pickguard removal. I've removed them in the past without damage, but there is a chance of damaging the finish. Make sure that the Taylor center you take it to can refinish your guitar…"
"I don't care for them either. Besides the risk of damage to the top I also expect that the wood color will always have that "shadow" of uneven color showing the pick guard's old location. I'd rather leave it there than have…"
"I'll go with the hydrochloric acid suggestion. If it doesn't work, I can send the bill WHERE ...?
I asked a licensed Taylor repair guy a while back (my neck got warped and I had it replaced) and he wouldn't do it. Neither would my…"
Well, I have to admit, I did question his use of the left-hand thumb in creating a permanent G note on the bass E string when playing Irish melodies. He has very large hands, which many people - including his pupils (and me) - don't have, and it's frankly not possible to do what he does when playing these tunes! He is a very clever, witty and cerebral player. His improvisation is very much along pure melodic lines, unlike me, who depends very much on chord patterns (sigh...). I have to say though, that when I listened to a recording of the concert (we captured it on minidisc), the steel-strung guitars sound much sweeter and clearer than his flamenco nylon model. It's basically (IMHO) not a very good guitar. If you listen to recordings of Charlie Byrd, for example, you'll hear how superb jazz can sound on a good classical guitar. This is not knocking Duck's superb technique or musical ability - just a personal comment on the tonal qualities of his particular instrument.
Hi Richard - thanks for the comment on my version of "Indiana". Duck Baker's version, as you say, is great. I promoted a concert for Duck in April this year and chewed the fat over "Indiana" over supper at my house after the concert. He's a great stylist, and very unusual in his choice of nylon-strung guitar for the jazz stuff he does. He played both my Martin and my Larrivee during the concert - but mainly for Scottish and Irish tunes - the more jazzy stuff was done on nylon.
You may want to think about studying with Scott Kritzer. He has a very affordable online system of teaching called "Phases". http://www.scottkritzer.com/Teaching/
I started supplementing my learning with his phases several years ago and l my playing has improved tremendously -- lots of info about technique for good tone production, legato, etc. He is a master player and teacher - studied with Michael Lorimar (student of Segovia), has played major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, has his degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and also studied under Aaron Shearer.
Several fellow students and I have enjoyed playing at a much higher level because of Scott's instruction. It's online, so it is convenient, and it is very affordable. Each phase he estimates takes about 3 months, but you can take as long as you need.
Thanks for the comments. Last Steam Engine Train is a John Fahey song, and I learned it from Leo Kottke's version. I often learn from tab or DVD's but this one I actually figured out myself, and I added some variations of my own.