Mauro Giuliani Biography: Mauro Giuliani ( July 27 1781 – May 8 1828 ) was an outstanding Italian guitarist and composer. His life was short but passionately lived, and certainly worthy of a bit of research. Take a look at this site for a fairly detailed account of his life: When Giuliani settled in [...]

Mo Li Hua (茉莉花), which means ‘Jasmine Flower’, is a very popular Chinese folk song. It was created during the Qianlong Emperor period of the Qing Dynasty. There are two versions of the song, the more well know one from Jiangsu Province, and the other from Zhejiang Province. They have different lyrics and a slightly [...]

The Blues Singer Guitarist Big Bill Broonzy (Photo credit: Copyright Terry Cryer; used with permission) The Blues Singer Guitarist Big Bill Broonzy (born William Lee Conley Broonzy) has long been a favourite of mine. His style was very distinctive. He would sometimes use a basic, fundamental guitar accompaniment, occasionally highlighted by stark, single string solos, [...]

Hokum The Technique of Hokum In a general sense, ‘hokum’ was a style of comedic farce, spoken, sung and spoofed, while masked in both risqué innuendo and “tomfoolery”. It is one of the many legacies and techniques of 19th century blackface Minstrelsy. Like so many other elements of the Minstrel Show, stereotypes of racial, ethnic [...]

“Papa” Charlie Jackson Papa Charlie Jackson was a very sophisticated player of the six-string banjo-guitar (six stringed instrument, tuned like a guitar but with a banjo body, that gave it a lighter resonance) and ukulele, who was one of the earliest and most successful of the solo blues singer/instrumentalists (note that blues was considered a [...]

The Oldest Chinese Stringed Zither, and the First of the Four Ancient Chinese Arts Ancient China In ancient China, there were four artistic skills considered to be the trademarks of the ‘literati’ (or ‘Wenren’) who were the scholars of ancient China; the seven stringed zither (qin), the game of go (qi), calligraphy (shu), and painting [...]

Being a musician first and a guitarist second is the answer to an inspired musical life. If you only focus on the guitar, its repertoire and technique, then your musical life is going to be limited, and if you limit yourself, then you can expect times of little or no inspiration. Those ‘dry times’ can [...]