Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar

Acoustic Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 3 – Marees Wedding

Here is Part 3 of my Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements.  This is a tune called Maree’s Wedding (Marie’s Wedding), an old Irish tune with the words “Step we gaily on we go etc “.  

I’ve thrown it into the key of E so I’d be able to stay in normal tuning.   What I’ve also done is eliminate all the chords and just imply them, it is only a melody line and a very simple bass part.  When I studied with a guy called Don Andrews about 35 years ago, he would always create arrangements with one or two small things to push the skll level of the guitarist a little further, I have done the same here.  In this tune, I’ve written it in such a way that the player has to move around the fretboard just a little, this sort of adds a little bounce to the tune and forces the player to be foused. if everything was stuck at the same fret, the player is more inclined to go into automatic mode.

To view and or download the printable Acrobat reader version click here Marees_Wedding

EDIT//: Bar 9, 3rd beat move to fret 4

Marees Wedding
Marees Wedding

I’ve added a midi file, a compuer generated music file to give the listener an idea of the tune.  I realize that many players only read TAB, please add expression, personality and your own phrasing Marees Wedding

Click here for Part One of the Acoustic Guitar Arrangements 

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, MUSIC, open tuning, youtube

Acoustic Guitar Tapping Youtube

Here is a very interesting Acoustic Guitar video of a guitar player by the name of Justin King using acoustic guitar tapping techniques.  Justin has an album called Bleu.  To hear samples of Justins music, go to the website at the following address, Justin King

To hear another brilliant contemporary acoustic guitar players go to Acoustic Guitar Player, go to Antoin Dufour

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Roots, youtube

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

Posted in DADGAD, 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 !

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar News

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

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, World Music, youtube

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.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar blog

Norman Savitt – Acoustic Guitar Player Part 2

Norman Savitt    

Norman Savitt

Here’s Part 2 of my posts about Acoustic Guitar Players.  
This one is about Norman Savitt 

To quote from the Balkan Records Site 

“Norman Savitt is a unique acoustic guitarist with a versatility, texture and expression that is distinct and timeless. His debut CD, “Norman Savitt and Friends”, brings Norman together with master musicians Howard Levy, Eugene Friesen, David Amram and Susan Mitchell, in a mix of duo and solo pieces, a “compelling musical mix of happy and meditative tunes, played with enjoyment, imagination and care… full of beautiful sounds and good feelings. ”

Normans guitar playing has a folkish, slight roots sort of feel to it, with a hint every now and then of  the great Celtic players, but it has a refreshing newness about it.  I’m a fan already only after one day. 

Here is Normans MySpace – Norman Savitt

To check out Normans CD  go to Balkan Samba Records 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar

Dan Tharp – Acoustic Guitar Player Part 1

The beauty of the Blog / Web technology that we have at our finger tips now is it gives people like myself  who like people and music the ability to quickly put information out to a broad audience.  Readers of my guitar blog sites would recognise by now that I’m always trying to support players of the acoustic guitar of all standards and genres, to inspire, introduce new players and create much healthier relationships with musicians.

Curently I’m writing a series of about thirty guitar players, which are already quite famous and ell respected in their fields.  BUT I’ve also  decided to do a series of 10 articles on Guitar Players who are passionate about what they do but don’t necessarily aim for the BIG stage.  And as I’ve said many times... Music is About Emotions, and it’s not just about technique or getting a Grammy or recognition by musical peers.

The First Guitar Player who I’m profiling in this series is Dan Tharp from Green Valley Illinois

Dan Tharp Acoustic Guitar Player
Dan Tharp Acoustic Guitar Player

Dan plays nylon and steel string acoustic and uses the occassional digital effect to add texture to enhance his instrumental tunes. His playing is very clean and melodic,  it’s thoughful and what I have noticed is I could sit for ages with his music running and go about my business without my thoughts bcoming cluttered. This is actually very good for someone like myself, because I often find myself in a situation where I have to solve complex Web Development issues for myself and others. To have some music which is both musical from a guitarists point of view and accessible to allow the listener to move in and out, shows the quality of what he is doing.

Dan has also made his music available for Web Developers / Site Designers.

Here is the link to the Dan Tharp Site

And to hear Dan’s Music  Dan Tharp Music

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar blog, youtube

Gordon Giltarp Youtube – Cakewalk Blues

You may or may not be familiar with the  guitarist Gordon Giltrap, but for those of you that have heard of the brilliant Scottish Jazz guitar player Martin Taylor, Gordon has recorded with Martin.  For me that was a surprise because of my memories of Gordon’s album Perilous Journey which came out some years ago.

It looks like Gordon is playing a Flyde Guitar, made popular in the 70’s. His playng at somemoments when he fingerpicks reminds me a little of Bert Jansch. It’s a very live sounding piece.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Concerts, World Music

Pierre Bensusan Australian Tour Schedule

A number of people have had trouble finding out info about the Pierre Bensusan Tour and Workshops

If you love acoustic guitar it would a tragedy to miss Bensusan Live

Pierre Bensusan
Pierre Bensusan

APRIL 2009

GOLD COAST, QLD The Sound Lounge, Currumbin RSL, Currumbin Creek Rd (Gold Coast), 8:30pm, t. 07 55 347 999, Website
SYDNEY – LEICHHART, NSW The Bald Faced Stag, 345 Paramatta Road, Leichhardt, 8pm, t. (02) 9560 7188
DELORAINE (TAS) Masterclass – 3hrs) Little Theatre, Emu Bay Rd, Deloraine, 2.30pm, bookings & inquiries: Tas Regional Arts office ph 03 6426 2344 and Artifakt Gallery, Deloraine (Artifakt tbc)
DELORAINE (TAS) Little Theatre, Emu Bay Rd, Deloraine, 7.30pm, bookings & inquiries: Tas Regional Arts office, t. 03 6426 2344 and Artifakt Gallery, Deloraine (Artifakt tbc)
9-13 CANBERRA National Folk Festival
15 MELBOURNE (VIC) The Toff in Town, Second Floor, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne, 8pm, t. 03 9639 8770
16 CLARENCE PARK (SA) Trinity Sessions, Church of the Trinity 318 Goodwood Road Clarence Park, 7:30pm, t. 0401122256 or 08 82974037, Website
17 PINJARRA (WA) Fairbridge Festival, [Chapel venue 9.10pm]
18 PINJARRA (WA) Fairbridge Festival, [Guitar Heaven 2.10pm] 18 PINJARRA (WA) Fairbridge Festival, [Main Stage 8.50pm] 19 PINJARRA (WA) Fairbridge Festival,[Riverside Stage 1.00pm] 21 CLAREMONT (WA) Guitar workshop, Zenith Music Auditorium, 309 Stirling Highway, Claremont, WA, $30, 4-7pm, info & reservations: t. (08) 9335 1400 –
22 FREMANTLE (WA) Fly By Night Musicians Club, Fremantle Arts Centre, Parry St, Fremantle, 8pm, t. 9430 5976, Website
24 ALBANY (WA) Harboursound Festival, Town Hall, 8pm

Bensusan Site

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, youtube

Phil Keaggy Youtube Legacy

Here is a tune on Yotube Video by the great acoustic fingerstye guitar player Phil Keaggy.  It starts off as a reasonably simple tune but then develops with some rather interesting techniques,  it’s a very nice acoustic piece.  I was recently introduced to this piece by Peter Miller, an Australian Fingerstyle acoustic guitar player who is playing as a support act for Pierre Bensusan in Queensland Australia at the Soundlounge in Currumbin.  Peter’s Website is Peter Miller com

Thanks Peter Miller for introducing us to another great Phil Keaggy tune

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar tips

How to Get Back into Playing Guitar After You Forgot You Had One


Martin 000 Acoustic Guitar
Martin 000 Acoustic Guitar

Over the years I’ve noticed that a lot of guitar players start playing, then they hit points in their life where other things take over and music drops to the background, their guitar that they so passionately treasured just sits in the corner of a room to gather dust.  

I’ll side track a little. I discovered an easy way to get around this happening in the first place, it was something I arrived at due to teaching guitar to a lot of kids over the years.  I had always tried to get the parents to NOT call music practice HOMEWORK.  When people call music development ‘homework’, the kid suddenly sees music as a chore, or maybe even the ENEMY, instead of being the beautiful gift it is which they can carry through their life to express themselves.  So, the underlying thing here is about the thinking; if we can’t see the benefits and only see the work involved we lose sight of why we’re doing something in the first place. 

What I found with kids learning music was it was important to take time out from their music practice.  The ultimate goal, as I see it for a music teacher to do is to get the student to the point when they fall in love with music.  Once this happens it’s easy to teach, until then there’s often a bit of a pull in all directions.  What’s needed is to be able to get the student to be organised enough with their time, that they can comfortably do enough for their music skills to gradually increase and then become a natural part of their life.  

My understanding, which made me rethink a lot of things about playing was when one day, a kid asked me “Do I have to practice in the holidays?”.   My reply was “no, I think it’s good to take a break, this will help your return to music a little fresher, go swimming, ride your bike, fallout of a tree, eat ice cream, break a leg or something crazy, but you’re going to need to set a date to get back into some organised pattern again”.

I’m pretty sure, the reason why a lot of players leave the guitar in the corner and don’t return to it is because they don’t organise their time and don’t have the right resources and inspirational material close at hand, and then it all seems too much  

The best way to reenter music after time of is:

  • Set a return date and stick to it
  • Have plenty of resources around to inspire you
  • Clean the guitar and change the strings, even go a gauge lighter 
  • Play a few simple things to warm yourself up a but, if you try and play things that are a little complex you can end up frustrated 
  • Tell the world to go away, you’re busy because music is important to you

Tony Hogan

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar, youtube

Tommy Emmanuel Youtube Guitar Lesson

You’ll love this.  Tommy Emmanuel a giving an Acoustic Blues Guitar lesson in the key of E,  it’s called Stevie’s Blues, as in Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Please note: Since I first posted this article, unfortunately it has been removed because the original resource was breaching copyright. I was not aware of this when I posted, apologies t the publisher. I have decided to post an electric version of the tune.

The chord which he says he’s not overly sure of the name, I’d call a  C13, however the Root not is not included, it’s implied.  You might also call it an Em11b5 (flat 5) chord.  Regardless of what you’d like to call it, it works, the notes are E, B Flat, D, A, all of which come out of a an E Blues scale.

For more quality material, visit the Homepage of this site or my other Acoustic Guitar Site

Posted in Acoustic Guitar

Jimmy Page and Roy Harper Youtube

Now this IS interesting.  Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and Roy Harper playing Acoustic Guitars out in the country doing Hangman, the tune that Led Zeppelin did and scared the living daylights out of everyone. It’s from around 1984 and they are playing Ovation Adamas guitars. This is of great historical value (already). Roy Harper is a great British musician who inspired Jimmy Page. Remember the Zeppelin tune Hats of to Roy Harper?

Posted in acoustic, MUSIC, youtube

Everlast Youtube – What it’s Like

I first heard this tune by Everlast called What it’s like, a few years back when a guitar stdent I had said he wanted to learn it.  It’s very simple and that in itself is a great lesson in music. The lesson being is that many players over complicate music, why complicate something just to be clever.  I like this tune, it’s a handful of chords, the guitar part is seventy-ish but the vocal line and rhythm is sot of 90’s.   It’s a Dm chord at the beginning, do a bit of ear training and work out the rest. Note the slide up when he plays the middle bit.


Tony Hogan – Guitar Blogger

And check out my other Guitar Blog Site Acoustic Guitar Player

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, hippy guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Bob Dylan Youtube – Mr Tamborine Man

A week or so back I was standing in sa book shop in Byron Bay and this song came on and I was dumb-struck for a few minutes, I couldn’t leave until it was over.  Bob Dylan with his signature harp sound and 12 fret to the body parlor guitar.  I am not sure if it has the same affect on people that never grew up with this song.  It’s beauitiful in itsrawness, what I like is the story telling lyric which pulls you in.   It’s another few chord wonder.


For another great old video check out Led Zeppelin Acoustic

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, youtube

Cold Play Acoustic Youtube – Chris Martin Solo

It’s always very healthy to hear some of the more famous musicians and band members without a band, just a guitar and voice.  It helps the guitar player who is just starting out to put things into perspective and to take away the mystery and hype which builds up due to marketing, production and technology.  Then, when you hear them without the rest of the stuff going on in the music industry, it’s possible to make greater sense of their playing and where you are at as a player.

So here is Chris Martin from Cold Play on youtube video just with an acoustic guitar and voice and minimal sound production.  I love this guys voice and is awsome falsetto. The tune is called Trouble. First time I heard Coldplay some years back, I thought, Oh what have we got here.

Tony Hogan – Worlds Best Guitar Blogs

Posted in Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic Guitar Chords for Duets


Guitar Duet Chords Tab and Notation
Guitar Duet Chords Tab and Notation

Often as an acoustic guitar player you will find yourself in a situation where there is more than one guitar player playing chords.  For me there is nothing more annoying than hearing two or three guitar players playing the same chords at the same time, a little out of sync with each other.  It’s easy to trip over each other if you are not really sharp about your playing.  So what I have decided to do is post a few articles with some common chords  and some alternatives  further up the fretboard for a second player to play.  I’ve started with a number of common major chords.  You will also find these articles useful for if you are doing multi track recording.  Over the years I have played with many other guitar players and have developed very good skills at playing complimentary guitar parts.

To download the printable version click Guitar Chord Duets

Tony Hogan worlds best guitar blogger

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, nylon string, youtube

Paco De Lucia Youtube Flamenco

Here’s a very interesting video of the great flamenco guitar player Paco de Lucia.  The tune is called Solea.  As many would realise, Paco is a very adventurous guitar playr that has explored other areas of music apart from flamenco guitar, he toured extensively with the great jazz rock guitar players John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola.  I was fortunate enough to see the three of those incredible legends live in concert, also on the samne night Steve Morse joined them on stage for a number of tunes.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, open tuning, youtube

Peter Mulvey Youtube Acoustic Guitar

I found this guy Peter Mulvey by accident and I thought it would be nice to share his playing with you.  It’s very thoughtful acoustic guitar and this tune also has some nice harmonics and tapping, so as a fellow guitar player I  totally appreciate what he does . Peter is also a singer songwriter, his site is at PeterMulvey Dot Com

Here is his acoustic fingerstyle video Youtube called Black Rabbit

Posted in nylon string, Social Issues, World Music, youtube

Asa Youtube – Fire on the Mountain

Here’s a very interesting tune by the Nigerian singer that is now making a name for herself in Europe.   Asa was born in France of Nigerian heritage, she returned to Nigeria at two but later returned to France.  Her music is a mix of Reggae, R & B, pop and African.  What separates her out from many of the other singers is her usage of a nylon string for rhythm playing.  Her self titled album is excellent.  This song, Fire on the Mountain is quite a sttement.  I aknowledge to speak up about issues that are important to her and others.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, World Music, youtube

Salif Keita Youtube Mali

This youtube acoustic guitar video is of the great musician Salif Keita from Mali in Africa.  Salif is an albino desecendant of a a great leader of a warrior tribe.  He moved from Mali to other parts of Africa and mixed his music with elements from the Ivory Coast and Senegal.  He became successful after moving to France and had a sensational album called Soro in the 1980’s. His music is generally very percussive and is a mix of electronic as well as traditional. To hear him in this context is quite unique because watching it, you can analyse his style a little better than in the broader context of a band.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Blues Guitar, youtube

Mississipi John Hurt Youtube – Blues

Mississipi John Hurt is a Blues and Country Blues Legend.   The youtube guitar video tune is called You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley.   Notice his alternating bass notes

If you want some very cool country blues guitar scales that work beautiful to improvise over those sort of tunes, see my article  that includes the Guitar TAB and Musical Notation at the following link Country Blues Guitar Scales

Posted in youtube

Ralph Towner Youtube – Icarus

Ralph Towner the guitarist from the band Oregon, the brilliant improvisational quartet, holds a place in the Earths history and the expeditions to the moon.  When the Apollo astronauts travelled to the moon they had a cassette of Ralph Towners music.  They ended up naming two of the Moons craters after his tunes Icarus and Ghost Beads.  Ralph Towner came to the fore in the mid 70’s on the ECM jazz label.  What seperated Ralph Towner out from other players was he played predominatly nylon string guitar and twelve string acoustic.  

The following youtube is a verson of his tune Icarus that he plays with two other guitarists, Slava Grigoryan and Wolfgang Muthspiel. That’s Ralph in the middle.


If you want to hear Ralph at his most beautiful best on a classical guitar, have a listen to The Reluctant Bride

Posted in Acoustic Guitar

J D Souther Youtube

If you ever owned John David Souther’s Black Rose album you’ll understand why I have posted this old youtube video.  The Black Rose album came out in about 1976 and personally I think it is possibly one of the  best albums in that style to be released in that period.  It had songs like Faithless Love, Silver Blue and a classic called Banging My Head Against the Moon.   At some point John David became known as JD, I guess it’s easier to abbreviate it.  🙂   John David Souther also co wrote Her Town Too with James Taylor and he was a member of the incredibly brilliant band called Souther Hillman Furay Band.  Richie Furay is from the band Poco and Chris Hillman was a member of the Byrds with Crosby, McGuinn and  Gene and Michael Clark.  And if you want to hear Gene Clark at his best, look out for him singing Silver Raven.  

Also singing with John David Souther is Matraca Berg

Also of note is the Danny Ferrington custom guitar with the headstock in the shape of Texas.

In his field, this guy is a superstar. And for me his voice is perfect and his approach to vocal harmony is second to none.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Australian Guitarists, youtube

Bernard Fanning Youtube – Watch Over Me

Bernard Fanning is an Australian Singer Songwriter Guitar Player and in his other parallel incarnation is the lead singer of a band called Powderfinger.

This youtube Acoustic Guitar video is of Bernard Fanning performing one of his solo tunes called Watch Over Me.    This is a great ballad to play and sing.  My favourite by Bernard Fanning is Songbird.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, albums

Great Singer Guitarist Albums

It’s almost 2009 so I thought I’d write a short article on my favourite acoustic guitar singer songwriter albums.  The ones that I think are a standout.  Yes there are many others but I love these ones.

Harry Manx - Mantras for Madmen
Harry Manx - Mantras for Madmen

This beautiful album is a mix of blues guitar, slide and Indian music.  Yes that’s right Indian from India ( think Sarees, Samosas and Insence type India).

Harry Manx is a Canadian guitar player who also plays a Mohan Vina.  Think of a guitar that has sort of morphed into a sitar and then you’ll get it.  

Although at times this album has slight Eastern feel, it is NOT New Age floaty music full of synthisisers and two chords going backwards and forwards.  This guy is for real, he has taken the best of East and West and blended it into a very original style that is incredibly beautiful.  He plays very nice slide as well.  

Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Nick Drake - Pink Moon

Nick Drake lest the world far too earl. He was  a British acoustic guitarist, singer songwriter who played a lot of open-tuned guitar tunes.  He had an etherial voice, a bit similar to John Martyn.  And John Martyn recognised the influence that Nick Drake had on his music.  He dedicated the song Solid Air to Nick Drake.  Even today,  more than thirty years after his death, his music still sounds fresh and accessible to a younger audience as well as to those of us that listened to him in the seventies.  You may notice that the outer cover of the CD is different to the original one, but once you pull the CD out of the sleeve, there is a mini version of the original cover.   Ge yourself a copy.

John Martyn - Solid Air
John Martyn - Solid Air

 Speaking of John Martyn,  the Solid Air album set the benchmark in the early seventies, both for John Martyn and other acoustic guitarist songwriters.  It included songs like May You Never, Go Down Easy,  Over the Hill and other tunes which so many players like myself have added to the their acoustic repertoire. 

It’s pretty close to the perfect album and has stood the test of time, John Martyn uses a very rhythmic right hand  percussive strumming pattern at times, not unlike the Brazilian players.  John Martyn is a Scottish singer guitar player. On another album he does a version of the folk song called Spencer the Rover,  he manages to tell a story in a very convincing way.  John Martyn also wrote the song Head and Heart which was covered by America on the Homecoming album.

I’ll cover a few other albums over the next few days.

Tony Hogan

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar blog, youtube

Steve Howe Youtube – Yes Mood For a Day

Anyone who was alive, conscious and listening to music in the early seventies would have been aware of the British band called Yes with Steve Howe on guitar.  Yes were very experimental in their style and were up there at the time with Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Genisis, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake and Palmer, all pushing out the boundaries of rock music.  Steve Howe was and still is a very popular guitar player. Although he wasn’t a classically trained guitar player, he managed to draw from that style.  In Mood for a Day you’ll hear a few Bach quotes (woof woof, sorry but it’s Christmas and as a non drinker it’s my chance at carrying on stupid.)  I was fortunate to see Yes live in about 73 or 74, very memorable concert.

Enjoy this youtbe video of Steve Howe guitar player from Yes.

Acoustic Guitar Player Tony Hogan

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, nylon string, youtube

Tim Sparks Youtube – Acoustic Guitar

Tim Sparks is a great fingerstyle acoustic guitar player.  If you asked me who were the top ten acoustic fingerstyle players that I like, Tim Sparks would be on my list.  I particularly like the album One String Leads to Another.  Tim often ventures of into music of other cultures as well.  The album At the Rebbe’s Table, he applies his brilliant guitar arranging skills to a whole lot of Jewish folk songs.  He can also play very nice blues guitar. On this Acoustic Guitar Youtube, Tim Sparks is playing a nylon string.  The song is called Samiotisa.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, youtube

Antoine Dufour Youtube – Acoustic Guitar

Here’s another great youtube by Canadian guitar player Antoine Dufour.  He has one of the smoothest left hand fretting techniques I’ve seen in a long time.   Great harmonics and artificial harmonics, as well as a sensible taping technique, he keeps it musical.

To hear another Antoine Dufour Youtube click here Antoine Dufour


Tony Hogan Acoustic Guitar Site

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, youtube

Stefan Grossman Youtube Guitar Video

Here’s a great tune by Stefan Grossman’called Bermuda Triangle Exit recorded in 1977, it’s one I learnt about 30 years and still play to this day.  It’s written in the style of Jerry Reed the great guitar player who died earlier this year.  The first section of the tune has a descending bass part that descends one note at a time.  It starts on an E minor, then steps down to the Major 7th  in the bass, then the 7th, and 6th,  similar  to many other tunes like What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life, Masquerade etc.  It is a fantastic tune to play and I often use it to warm up on, and if you sing a couple of tunes in the same key Em, it’s a good one to use as the middle tune in a medley.  You’ll notice he’s capoed up at fret two, this will put the tune into F Sharp minor.  The original arrangement that I had in the seventies was published in a Guitar Player Magazine.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

Japanese Scale for Guitar – Tony Hogan

Guitar Players are always looking for scales with a difference.  Here is a simple Japanese scale that I learnt about thirty five years ago from an Australian jazz guitar player called George Golla.  

With these type of scales it’s what you leave out that counts.  This scale has no third, that means it is neather major or minor.  G Ab C D Eb G.  If you play around with the notes and stack them up you’ll find some simple chords emerge.  If you look closely you’ll see an Ab triad and also an Eb Maj Seventh with no 5th.  There are lots of options if you take time with this and explore it.

Japanese Scale For Guitar
Japanese Scale For Guitar

To Download the Printable Version of the scale click japanese_scale_for_guitar

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, guitar tips, learning guitar

Locrian Mode for Guitar

Locrian Mode for guitar
Locrian Mode for guitar

This Mode / Scale is mode seven of the mode series.  It’s used over a G minor Seventh Flat Five Chord in the key of A flat,  (G-7b5, Gm7b5 and  also called a half diminished scale).  In truth it’s just an A Flat sclae starting on the G note.  By learning it you’ll be able to solo over those G minor flat 5 chords and know to use the D flat instead of the D natural.

To download the free printable pdf version click locrian_mode_g

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar

Phrygian Mode in G

G Phrygian Mode
G Phrygian Mode

Many guitar players like to use the modal system.  This mode is the Phrygian mode, it starts on the 3rd note of the major scale.  The example is G Phrygian, it is in the key of E flat.  

The notes are G Ab Bb C D Eb F G.  It is used over a G minor chord in the key of Eb.

To download the printable version of the two examples in TAB and Music Notation click on the link phrygian_mode_g

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

Harmonic Minor Scale in G

Here is a Harmonic Scale in G.  You’ll notice the Harmonic Minor scales have a slight middle Eastern sound; two reasons, one because it has a minor third instead of a major and two because the gap between the sixth and seventh notes of the scale are one and a half tones apart.  Whereas in most other scales the intervals are usually one or two tones. 

The first version of the Harmonic Minor scale that I have written is moveable up the fretboard, the second one is sourt of sweet sounding because of using the open notes.

To download the printable version click the link harmonic_minor

Harmonic Minor Scale TAB and Music Notation
Harmonic Minor Scale TAB and Music Notation

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

G Dorian Mode – How to Play Guitar


G Dorian Mode
G Dorian Mode

Many guitar players like to use the modal system.  A very sweet sound mode which Carlos Santana seems to use a lot is the Dorian Mode, Mode two of the Major Scales.  The G Dorian mode is built off a F major scale, F G A Bb C D E F G, but it starts on the second note instead of the first e.g. G A Bb C D E F G.

It’s usable over a G Minor scale in the key of F.  Try it against a Gm7, Gm6, Gm9, Gm11.

I have done two simple versions in my Guitar TAB and Music Notation, one is without open notes and the other with open strings.  I love the sound of open strings on acoustic guitar.

To download the printable version click the link g_dorian

Posted in MUSIC, Spritual Music

Worlds Best Spiritual Music Singer Songwriter

Steven Walters  - So Many Blessings  

Steven Walters - So Many Blessings

The Worlds Best Spiritual Music, yeah that’s a big call.

I’m writing this article not as an advertisement, this blog site doesn’t advertise.   A few years back a friend sent me two CD’s by a man called Steven Walters.  Quite frankly I will unashamedly say he is the Worlds Best at what he does.  He is a singer songwriter who plays a Gurian Guitar ( I’ve got one two) , his music is from the same sort of stream as James Taylor etc , great simple guitar and a beautiful voice, it’s very gentle style and the lyrics are Eastern in thought.  But don’t let that get in your way, this guy is sensible, non-preachy and if you let his music wash over you when you listen to it, it can be very uplifting.

One album is called So Many Blessings, in a way very soothing and could be used by people as healing music, for listening when you want the world to feel a bit sweeter or are suffering in some way.  If you click the link you can check out his samples  recommend you listen to the song called Nothing Less than Everything 

His other album is a live one and is called Just This Moment.  It’s live in Santa Fe, and he gets pretty funny at times, I particularly like Jungs Blues.  

I hope Steven does mind me rating his music so highly on the Web, his music is not ego based.  I don’t even know the guy apart from once emailing him to let him know how good his music is.

Tony Hogan


Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar, youtube

Guitar Lesson – Double Stops

This Guitar Lesson, although it is not extremely complex, it could take your playing into new areas if yo don’t already play this sort of thing; and I’ll just about guarantee that you don’t use these type of things in your improvisation.  What I’m talking about here are Double Stops,  basicaly you play two notes at a time.  

Double Stops can sound very musical, are great for improviisation /solos, good for playing a second part behind another guitarist who is playing chords, and also very nice to play sections of songs in solo arrangements.  They fatten up the melody line by having a harmony note and require a little more thought than just running your hands up and down the fretboard playing scale notes.

I accidentally started playing part of the chorus of old song that people sing on New Years Eve called Auld Lang Syne, so  I thought it would be good to use as an example because there is no copyright breach, most people would know it and also there’s a lesson in the fact that you are trying to make something sound musical that you probably would never play.  There is an art in this itself, to turn common melodies into something and make it sound great.  In fact Alex DeGrassi recorded an album of lullabies, and it’s a perfect example of how to arrange for guitar.  Although this is not an example of one, you might like to listen to this Alex Degrassi Youtube Video.

I’ve written the TAB and Notation for this chorus with Double Stops.  Click the link to access the Printable version of Guitar Lesson Double Stops guitar_lesson_double_stops 

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Makers

Build Your Own Acoustic Guitar

William Cumpiano Guitar Maker

Cumpiano Acoustic Guitar
Cumpiano Acoustic Guitar

About 15 years ago I became interested in Guitar Making, at the time I went and did a Guitar Construction Course and in my quest for further information I came upon  a number of books, one that stood out was a boo by William Cumpiano and Jonathon Natelson called Guitarmaking.  It is so thorough I would have to say it has set the benchmark for all others that follow. 

As guitar players, whether we build, repair or just play guitar, it is worth getting an understanding on what makes a good guitar.  Playing scales, learning tunes, recording, giging is all very well but looking under the bonnet is a very healthy thing to do, the instruments you play can make a massive difference to how you play.   Getting a bit of an education in Guitar Construction is highly advisable, especially for when you buy a guitar, regardless of price range, being informed is good, you may very well be playing the wrong or looking for the wrong guitar to suit your needs.  

I recommend that you check out William Cumpiano’s site at

He also has a Newsletter available