About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Estudio Brillante

(For 3 years this composition by the Spanish guitarist Francisco Tarrega has consumed a good deal of my time. The following are some of my thoughts and experiences about learning to play it. It's quite late this evening & I would love to complete this, so I must decide to publish it now, or wait until later when I am finished. What the Hell, I post part of it now and go off to bed.)

There is a great piece of music written for guitar by Francisco Tarrega titled Estudio Brillante. I was captivated by that composition the first time I heard it on an LP recording by Christopher Parkening. This was in pre-internet days, the early 1980's, so it wasn't easy tracking down a copy of it. Eventually I aquired five copies of it, each from a different publisher and each with fingering edited by a different person. (I assume all were fingered/edited by guitarists).
At the time my music reading skills were not particularly good, but I could figure my way through the composition. It appeared to be more difficult to master than I thought it would be. Anyhow, I soon realized it was going to take a lot of work and some problem solving to learn to play it. And by problem solving I mean such things as where to play certain passages on the neck. For instance, there are a couple of scale passages that can be approached from more than one vantage point. Which would be the easiest? Which would be the most musical? How does Parkening play these passages? For ultimately I would strive to take Parkenings approach above all others. But that, so far, has been unavailable to me. I wasn't put off by the composition. Sure it seemed difficult, but I blamed that more on my lack of reading skills than a lack of ability. Then one day I came across an article in a guitar publication written by Scott Bach. He called the piece "fiendishly difficult." Oh no! I didn't realize it was THAT tough of a piece to learn & play. Hmm... that gave me pause to think it might be beyond my desire and dedication.
Ayway, time passed and the music was always on my stand. Years went by and I would pick away at it some, read through it from beginning to end, but never really sat down & tried to master the piece.
OK. I go through a long period in which I decide I am a better photographer than guitar player. I do not abandon the guitar for I play every day. However, I do quit "working" at it. I just play every morning for my own pleasure. My repertoire gets extremely rusty. I don't learn any new pieces. I earn my living as a photographer.

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Please leav comments and suggestions about this blog and how I maght improve it. Thanks, Gary Walts