“Slap” Harmonics

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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 – How to Produce Them Successfully!

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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 Teaches & Performs in Santa Barbara in August!

This summer Mark performs and teaches in Santa Barbara at the second annual Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration (SBAIC.com). The event occurs August 25-27, 2017. 2016’s luthier showcase was great fun, full of beautiful instrument displays, workshops, and hotshot concerts. Mark concertizes on Saturday night with Peghead Nation’s Teja Gerken and Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s Doug Young. Mark’s “Travis Picking from the Ground Up” workshop takes place Sunday at 1:15 p.m. Info & Tickets. Other concerts during the weekend include hotshots Michael Chapdelaine, Richard Smith, Kinloch Nelson, Tony McManus, Sean McGowan, and Tim Sparks. Also, this year Tommy Emmanuel gives a benefit concert on 7-22-2017. For […]

Mark Teaches Two Workshops at Gryphon in Palo Alto

WORKSHOP #1 (To register, call Gryphon at 650-493-2131) 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Introduction to Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar! Gryphon’s old friend Mark Hanson – longtime Gryphon instructor, Grammy winner, Frets editor, and author of “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar” – will introduce you to the beautiful world of Hawaiian slack key guitar. The essence of slack key is fingerpicking in alternate tunings. In this workshop Mark will concentrate on two tunings: “Taro Patch” (Open-G) and “C-Wahine” (C G D G B E, low to high). You’ll learn the necessary fingerpicking patterns (alternating bass), the common chord shapes, parallel-sixth […]

Mark Gives Two Fingerstyle Guitar Workshops in Seattle

Mark visits one of his favorite places – the Dusty Strings store in the Fremont District of Seattle – on Saturday, April 29, for fingerstyle guitar workshops from 10:30-12:30 and 1:30-3:30. Each workshop is $40.00. You’ll have plenty of material to take home with you afterward! To register, please call the store at (206) 634-1662. Topics: #1) Beg/Int Fingerpicking – Mark’s new approach to Travis Picking – play it in one minute! Play it even better after two hours with Mark! #2) Int/Adv Fingerpicking – Improve your mechanics (smoothness, tone), and learn to play with heart (interpretation and understanding). Plus Mark will […]