Here is a my relatively easy fingerstyle arrangement of the main theme of J.S. Bach’s beautiful melody “Sheep May Safely Graze.” It is set in the key of G, standard tuning. To play it in the original key of B-flat, capo it at III. One challenging “stretch” fingering occurs in measure 3: an F#dim chord over a droning G in the bass. (You can think of this as a D7 chord with G in the bass.) Finger the sixth string in that passage with your ring finger, and the fourth-fret note with your little finger. SheepMaySafelyGrazeMainTheme
The day after Thanksgiving Mark returns to the Holloran Winery in the Willamette Valley’s lovely rolling hills for three hours of guitar solos in the tasting room. Come enjoy Bill’s great wines (Tempranillo is a specialty) and listen to me play my decades-long list of guitar solos.
Mark, Teja, and Doug will play acoustic fingerstyle guitar solos, duos and trios over the course of the evening. Great music, and great fun!
Ace fingerstyle guitarists Mark Hanson, Teja Gerken and Pete Madsen entertain at Timbre Folk & Baroque in Berkeley, California.
Understanding “Tri-tone Substitution” Note: This article references my bluesy rave-up fingerstyle arrangement of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” A video of me playing it in Santa Barbara in August, 2017, has been posted here on YouTube: The actual music starts at about 0:35. Perhaps you have come across the term “Tri-tone substitution” in your studies, and had a hard time understanding it. Here’s an easy way to understand tri-tone substitutions: Think of them simply as dominant-seventh chords resolving down a half step – F7, instead of B7, going to E, for example. Most of you use B7 to resolve […]
Mark & Greta Concertize in Canby, Oregon Mark and Greta bring their lively and fun guitars/uke/vocals show to the Canby Public Library a few miles south of Portland. Free to the public. Info: (503) 266-3394.
Tip From Mark – ‘Slap’ Harmonics I had a question from a client recently about making harmonics sound properly. In particular, he asked about picking-hand ‘slap’ harmonics in my arrangement of “Moonshadow” in Travis Pick the Hits! I will discuss technique using that example. If you need more information about playing harmonics successfully, I’ve written an extensive article that you can read here. At measure 60 in “Moonshadow” (shown below), I barre the four treble strings at the 2nd fret, an Amajor chord. This must happen quickly, as I have just fretted two individual strings with fingertips, and pulled off […]
Guitar Harmonics – Make Them Chime! I occasionally receive questions from clients about harmonics on the guitar: what they are and how to produce them. Guitar players love harmonics for their high-pitched ringing tone (Hawaiian slack key players call them “chimes”), and for the fact they allow a note (or more) to sustain as the fretting hand moves laterally on the guitar neck – not possible when you have to sustain a fretted a note. High-pitched guitar harmonics occur when a player creates a ‘nodal point’ (a non-vibrating ‘dead’ spot) on a vibrating string. Nodal points occur at the mathematical dividing points on […]
Mark visits his own stomping grounds again for two guitar workshops at Gryphon Stringed Instruments, 211 Lambert in Palo Alto. #1) 10:30-12:30; A New Approach To Travis Picking, for Beginning to Intermediate fingerpickers. Learn this ubiquitous style from the ground up. Mark will have you picking beautifully in no time. All new material! #2) 1:30-3:30; Intermediate to advanced fingerpicking. Mark will teach you the techniques to improve your playing and interpretation. He will also teach his stunning versions of “Don’t Know Why” (Love Songs CD) and “You Don’t Know Me” (Author’s Notes CD). $40 each, $75 for both. To reserve […]