Tag Archives: relaxing guitar

LIVE 042 • Star Waltz

One day in the fall of 2012, I sat down to record a set of improvised songs with a Taylor dreadnought acoustic guitar. I improvised five original songs and two versions of Amazing Grace. With only one or two false starts, they were mostly first takes. The set was nothing really mind altering, but it had some cool songs with good vibes – so I considered it a success. It’s not the kind of thing I do often – in fact I haven’t done the exercise since, haven’t played any of the original songs again, and don’t consider it the most incredible thing I’ve ever done. Yet somehow it stands out in my mind as a creative milestone, a memorable event. Sometimes it’s important to break out of the mold with such experiments to reach a new frame of mind, a new level. This was the fifth song in the set, “Star Waltz.”

Recorded with a Taylor 310 and a Tascam DR-40 in Louisville, Kentucky, 9/29/12.

LIVE 041 • Magic Sands – Slack Key Guitar

Here is a slack key style tune I wrote a while back while hanging out around Magic Sands beach in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. I originally wrote it on an old nylon string guitar. While I have a recording of this song played on steel string already posted, I wanted to go back and do a recording with my nylon string Taylor as well. There aren’t many songs I like to play on both steel and nylon, but this is one of them for some reason. Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce grand auditorium nylon string) and an Ear Trumpet Labs “Edwina” microphone.

LIVE 040 • Saturday Song

One day in the fall of 2012, I sat down to record a set of improvised songs with a Taylor dreadnought acoustic guitar. I improvised five original songs and two versions of Amazing Grace. With only one or two false starts, they were mostly first takes. The set was nothing really mind altering, but it had some cool songs with good vibes – so I considered it a success. It’s not the kind of thing I do often – in fact I haven’t done the exercise since, haven’t played any of the original songs again, and don’t consider it the most incredible thing I’ve ever done. Yet somehow it stands out in my mind as a creative milestone, a memorable event. Sometimes it’s important to break out of the mold with such experiments to reach a new frame of mind, a new level. This was the third song in the set, which I dubbed “Saturday Song.”

Recorded with a Taylor 310 and a Tascam DR-40 in Louisville, Kentucky, 9/29/12.

LIVE 039 • Henry Street Slack Key

Here is a demo of a song I wrote a while back called Henry Street Slack Key – named for what was then the still developing Henry Street, which runs between Kuakini Highway and Palani Rd in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The street had a lot of places I went to at the time – a healthfood store, a Border’s Books (with a great music selection, in the days when CD’s ruled), Wal-Mart (a place to run into people in small town Kailua-Kona), Safeway, several coffee shops, and a Korean BBQ. This is also one of the few recordings I made with my Larrivee parlor guitar – a rosewood / sitka spruce P-09, which I have since sold. Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Larrivée P-09 Parlor guitar (Rosewood / Sitka Spruce) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM 141 microphones in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, 8/26/07.

You may also like:

Pua Lililehua – Slack Key Guitar

LIVE 037 • Home Abroad – Slide Guitar

From the vaults, here is a slide guitar song I wrote called Home Abroad. I used to play a fair amount of slide guitar, but I don’t play it much anymore. I figured I’d either have to go all in on the slide or not, but couldn’t just dabble with it – so I decided to work on other areas instead. This is a fun leftover from when I dabbled with it though. Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 310ce (Elixir Polyweb 80/20 Bronze) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM 141 microphones in Holualoa, Hawai’i, 3/18/09.

LIVE 019 • Blue Bells (Demo, Open Tuned Electric Guitar)

From the vaults, here is a demo of a tune I wrote some years back called Blue Bells. I think this might be the only recording I have of this song, and although it’s not fully finished there’s something I love about this take that made me want to stop working on it for a while. Sometimes you capture a feeling – for yourself alone even – well enough to leave a song be – to come back to it later, or not at all.

Recorded with a late 90’s Olympic White Jimmie Vaughan Stratocaster and a ’68 Fender Vibro Champ with some sort of Boss delay pedal in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, 6/18/06.

All rights reserved to this song, however students may perform the song in public.

You may also like:

Pua Lililehua – Slack Key Guitar

Magic Sands – Slack Key Guitar

Here Comes the Sun – fingerstyle guitar arrangement

LIVE 017 • Pua Lililehua

Here is a rendition of Pua Lililehua from the vaults. I always enjoyed this song because it is mostly sweet and mellow, but still has a bit of tension that creates a sense of yearning in it. I recorded this while living in an ohana unit with a large, tiled room that I kept mostly empty because I enjoyed the acoustics. (Plus, I don’t own a lot of furniture.) Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 310ce (Elixir Polyweb 80/20 Bronze) and a matched stereo pair of Shure KSM 141 microphones in Holualoa, Hawai’i, 2/27/08.

All rights reserved to this arrangement.

LIVE 016 • Iris

Iris has a lot of harmonics, which creates a light, chimey atmosphere. A thunderstorm rolled in while I was recording and gave some interesting punctuation to the take. I’ll probably try to record another version of this song, but thought the lightness of the song coupled with the thunderstorm left an interesting contrast. Hope you enjoy.

Recorded with a Taylor 412ce LTD (Rosewood/Spruce, Gotoh 510 tuners, strings are Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.

All rights reserved to this song, however students may perform the song in public.

You may also like:

Bron Yr Aur – Jimmy Page Led Zeppelin

Here Comes the Sun fingerstyle guitar arrangement

LIVE 015 • Morning and Night

Morning and Night started out as a fingerpicking study I wrote for one of my students way back when. I added a little to the study to perform it as a slow, relaxing solo piece and it has stayed in my repertoire ever since.
A few years back I decided to write a harmony part for the song, which I almost forgot about until I found a demo take while combing through some old files. I think it’s interesting to hear the song both with and without the harmony. Hope you enjoy both versions.

All rights reserved to this song, however students may perform the song in public.

You may also like:

Bron Yr Aur – Jimmy Page Led Zeppelin – Fingerstyle Guitar

Magic Sands