30.3.15

Scores for Touch Guitar


I’ve written a lot recently about the touch guitar. I’ve also mentioned Trey Gunn’s score book which, as far as I’m aware, is the only published collection of touch guitar music available. The printed version of the book is a lovely thing, but you can now buy the digital version, which contains extended scores for some of the pieces. If you know the King Crimson tune The ConstruKction of Light and ever wondered what it looked like on paper, this is for you.

The touch guitar is still a new instrument and having this score book is a real boon. Trey Gunn and Gabriel Riccio have put in a lot of hard work to make this a worthwhile resource. It’s also, from a muso pint of view, great fun.

 

You can get the book here.

25.3.15

Back to the Touch Guitar


I have been getting really excited about playing the touch guitar in my bad over the last few months. After owning the thing for many years I began to feel that I was finally using it. Noodling in kitchen recordings is fine but playing with real live musicians is the best.

Then the prospect of gigging came up and things changed. Our first gigs are likely to be small scale support slots with little room to move. As well as this we’ll probably be a little nervous, despite our confidence in the songs we’ve written. So, the sensible thing to do is keep the equipment simple. Having two instruments, which require different amp settings and are tuned differently, seemed to be asking for trouble. I toyed with the idea of playing everything on the touch guitar but that was when I had to admit I‘m just not up to speed enough. So, to make things easier, I re-learnt all my parts on the bass.

That solved the problem as far as the band was concerned but I couldn’t help wanting to find a way to get better at the touch guitar, so that, when the time was right, I could play it with as much confidence as a bass. So I did what I’ve never done with an instrument before. I asked for help.

Markus Reuter, someone who helped me when I was looking at getting my touch guitar many years ago, is arguably one of (if not the) best touch guitarists in the world. He’s also a composer of note, a member of several groups that I admire and the man who redesigned the touch guitar and started the Touch Guitar Circle. I’ve known (in an internetty way) Markus for years and so he seemed like the perfect person to help.

One Skype call with sixty minutes of advice, ideas and tuition later I felt ready to clean the slate and approach this fabulous instrument in a fresh way. I now have a new outlook, a set of exercises and a lot of work to do, and that’s just what I needed.

10.3.15

What's up

It’s been a highly mixed year already. I’ve had two spontaneous breaks away from the nightmares of our house, my musical life is moving up a gear and I survived another birthday.
 
Alongside this my mum has been unwell and has been spending the week in a ‘care unit’. Not an old people’s home, not a hospital. Technically it’s a rehabilitation place, although there doesn’t seem to be much rehab going on, possibly because mum doesn’t need much. By the time you read this she should be home again. That’s a mixed blessing. I imagine she’ll miss the company at the rehab place, but will be glad to be in her own space.
 
There are some things coming up which I hope to write about here though.
 
 
I also owe you, gentle reader, an update on my 50 at 50 list. That’s coming soon. Expect some excuses.