Monday, April 23, 2007

Mark Hanson Workshop

This past weekend I attended a workshop at The Music Emporium given by Mark Hanson. Mark is an accomplished fingerstyle player who has written a number of instruction books including The Music of Leo Kottke.

The title of the class was "Arranging Beatles for Solo Fingerstyle Guitar" and it was a great lesson. He gave us the tab to three songs; I'm So Happy Just to Dance With You, It's Only Love and Good Night.

The big takeaway from this class for me - apart from the tabs and having him go through the songs talking about how they are played - were Mark's comments about how he approachs these pieces. His theory is that he trys to mimic the phrasing of the vocal, because that's what people hear in their heads (they are so familiar with the songs.) When working out the fingering, he's looking not just for an easy way to play the notes; he's looking for the smoothest way to play it. So it's important to think about where your fingers are coming from; and where they are going to.

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