Monthly Archives: April 2009

Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 1

Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement – Gypsy Rover TAB and Notation

What a lot of beginner guitarists don’t realise is many of the better guitar players have done is work on arrangements of tunes to help develop their playing and ear.  It’s not just about learning a few solos, playing a few blues or pentatonic scales or wearing the right outfit.  Being able to sit down and play a couple of dozen solo  guitar pieces is a great way to practice and get a musical response from your practice. There’s always a lot of room for variation and improvisation once you get the basic idea of a song .  And if you’re travelling around the world it’s really nice to sit in a boat in a lake a few hundred miles from Kathmandu, look up at the Himalayas and bliss out playing guitar (something I have done).

I’ve decided to write a half a dozen reasonably simple fingerstyle guitar arrangements, this is the first one.  These sort of of arrangements are also very useful for singer / songwriter acoustic guitar players who are wanting to strengthen their playing, they will help create a lot more options to accompany vocal parts and once you can play this sort of guitar it will help you to play a solo gig and play guitar breaks which consist of more that a single note solo.

What I’ve done is taken the old Irish Tune Gypsy Rover and written a basic part and a slight variation.  You might find that the melody is a fraction different to the original tune, I’ve called it up from memory and that’s roughly what I’ve heard in my head ( poet license).

Gypsy Rover Acoustic Guitar

Gypsy Rover Acoustic Guitar

Here is the Printable PDF, which no doubt you will need it Gypsy Rover Acoustic Guitar Arrangement

Here is a midi file of the tune to give you an idea how the tune goes Gypsy Rover Midi

NOTE: Midi files are not real audio recordings, they are data files, so it will lack the tone of a guitar and the human element so essential to music.  But the file size is tiny.

Take the idea and develop it.  I often work on other peoples arrangements, then I close the manuscript once I have an idea where the tune is going and I have an understanding of the underlying chord pattern and melody and other main parts.  By playing other people’s arrangements will give you new fingerings and options which you might not ever have come up with.

Next week I will write another Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar Solo Arrangement

The botom line KEEP IT MUSICAL

Tony Hogan Acoustic Guitar Blogger



Filed under Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar, Performance Tips

Loren – Acoustic Guitar Player Part 3

Here’s Part 3 of my series on Acoustic Guitar Players

Loren is an Australian musician who comes from Western Australia and now  lives on the beauty NSW North Coast. He plays an acoustic  style that falls into the category of Roots these days, to me that means acoustic, not overly commercial with a flavour of folk rock blues reggae and anything else that has an edge to it that has the ooccassioal dreadlock.  I first encountered him when he was playing acoustic gigs in the local area and I was immediately struck by his musicality.  Later I found out he had recorded a number of albums and had quite a following throughout other parts of Australia.

What struck me about Loren was his ability to keep peoples attention in a live situation.  He manages to step in and out of styles and textures like no-one I have ever seen and keep the audience focus.  A lot of musicians, regardless how great they are, seem to exhaust themselves musically after a number of tunes if they are doing solo material.  I could listen to him play for hours and not be tired of what he does, this in itself is quite a statement because even if a good movie goes for anything over an hour and 12 minutes, I’m out of the room.

Loren tours and performs regularly throughout Australia with a band call The Grow Your Owns and has also done a couple of Tours of New Zealand, quite a number of people have heard of him through listening to the JJJ radio station.

Here’s what John Butler

“Loren sweet, gentle voice accompanied by relaxed melodically plucked guitar written by a man with a heart of gold.
I¹ve watched Loren play a few times and am always inspired by how effortless the music is.”


To check out Loren’s site go to Loren and the Grow Your Owns

Here’s Guitar Player Part 2 about Norman Savitt


Filed under Acoustic Guitar, Roots, youtube

Micheal Hedges Youtube – Harp Guitar

I’m surprised how many guitar players there are who have never heard of Michael Hedges, the brilliant innovative guitar player / composer who died in 1997.  Many of the new players such as Andy McKee and all the other acoustic tappers and open tuners were inspired byMichael Hedges.  On this Acoustic Youtube Guitar Video he is playing a harp guitar, as far as I know it is a 1920’s Dyer Harp Guitar, not unlike some of the Larson Brothers instruments.

This tune he is playing a Bach piece called Cello suite in G (Major)

For more Michael Hedges on Harp guitar, check out Because It’s There


Filed under Acoustic Guitar, open tuning, youtube

Pierre Bensusan Youtube Guitar Tutorial

Here is a very interesting Video of an  Acoustic Guitar arrangement of the traditional Irish tune Shi Bhig Shi Mhor in DADGAD tuning, played  by Pierre Bensusan.   This arrangement is an improvisation around the original tune.  The last couple of minutes of the video has a split screen of right and left hand which will enable you to get in close and see what’s going on. Pierre is one of those guitar players that can make something complex sound and look simple.  Pierre Bensusan plays mainly in DADGAD, but a major difference in his playing and many other DADGAD players is that he doesn’t limit his playing to tunes which are strictly DADGAD or tunes in D or D Minor, he treats the tuning as if it were standard tuning.

To check out Pierre Bensusan’s website go to Pierre Bensusan DADGAD Music, I recently attended a concert and a Workshop of Pierre’s, and let me tell you, he’s exceptional !

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Filed under DADGAD, open tuning, youtube

Pierre Bensusan Australian Tour – Stuns Audience with Breathtaking Brilliance

Pierre Bensusan Australia

Pierre Bensusan Australia

Some people had waited twenty five years to see Pierre Bensusan; others had heard a great guitar master was in town, and strangely enough there were those who just happened to turn up to the local venue for a night out.  Regardless what was the driving force of them being there, by the end of the night the audience was in awe and speechless after hearing one of the greatest acoustic guitar performances ever on Australian shores.

Pierre Bensusan walked out on stage and bowed.  He had an Acoustic Guitar made by Irish luthier George Lowden in one hand.  It was tuned down to DADGAD tuning. Not a word was spoken; he sat hunched over his steel string, his head leaning towards the lower guitar bout, as if he was listening to the nuances of the instrument, he then headed into Le Voyage Pour L’Irlande, a song recorded on the album Musiques in 1979.

At the fourth song in the set, Pierre ventured into a vocal improvisation, not unlike the great songwriter Milton Nascimento. As it developed, he added a Brazilian style of accompaniment, the vocal had already mesmerized the audience and the rhythm almost lifted the roof off the building.  Throughout the show he performed a number of tunes from his most recent album Altiplanos, one being a tune where he sang a poem by Victor Hugo. He also did another very sensitive tune called Hymn 11 off the same album.   Amongst a night full of highlights, an outstanding song was the one in dedication to guitar great Michael Hedges, called So Long Michael. He also did another song from the Intuite album called Silent Passenger and some older songs were given new life, such as Nice Feeling off the Solilai album, Agadiraman off Spices and other tunes which long term fans recognize as classics.

Pierre’s has the unique ability to draw a range of tones out of the steel string guitar which generally are  inconsistent with what emerges from that type of instrument, the tones we were hearing are more common to the nylon string guitar.  In the song Intuite, dedicated to Mounir Bachir, it sounded like the Persian instrument the oud.  This sound was achieved by using advanced harmonic techniques and tapping on the upper area of the fretboard on the lower strings.  How he can achieve a nylon string and an oud sound from a steel string guitar can only be a combination of some sort of hidden pact between George Lowden and Pierre that the world does not yet know about.

With the sensitivity of Ralph Towner, the inventiveness of Micheal Hedges,  the complexity of Egberto Gismonti and the confidence of Paco de Lucia, Pierre Bensusan is beyond a doubt the guitar player’s guitar player and is truly one of the greatest innovators of the steel string guitar of our time.

And as a friend said to me later, “now I know it’s for real, there are not three guitarists playing on the recordings, it’s only one.”

As one of the audience who waited twenty five years, I must say, it was worth waiting, and I’ll wait another twenty five if need be.

Tony Hogan

At Soundlounge – Currumbin Gold Coast Queensland Australia


Filed under Acoustic Guitar, Guitar News

Gypsy Guitar Youtube

Regardless of what style of guitar you like, it would be very hard to deny the brilliance and beauty displayed in this Guitar Video on Youtube by Stochelo Rosenberg and Romane.  They have taken aspects of what Django started and built it into their own unique style.  It’s taken from an album called Gipsy Guitar Master. The other musicians are Contrabass: Marc-Michel Le Bévillonand on Accordion: Richard Galliano

I will continue to post about high quality guitar players, those famous and not so famous.  So bookmark this site, or suscribe with the RSS feed.

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Filed under Acoustic Guitar, World Music, youtube