Archive for December, 2011
It’s a little weird to find myself asking things like ‘which Hauser I is that?’, but one of the very cool things about working at GSI is just the sheer amount of crazy guitars I get to see and play and hear played by great players. This year saw some particularly historic guitars come through and land in the hands of players and collectors, and it was very fun to have them here for a minute and get to do videos in many cases. Some of the highlights from this year include: a 1952 Hermann Hauser I, which may well have been the last guitar Hauser ever made. Eva Beneke fell in love with the guitar when she recorded it for us and we are arranging for her to be able to record a CD on it, which we will help her produce; a 1923 Domingo Esteso (that’s in the photo here) that blew us all away; a 1967 Arcangel Fernandez that had belonged to Fred Noad; and actually quite a few beautiful Miguel Rodriguez guitars.
Click the image for more…
Looking back at all of the videos we shot in 2011 it’s impossible not to feel thankful for all the great guitarists, most of whom have become friends (if they weren’t already), who came through GSI this year and lent us their talent to help show off and archive some of the countless amazing guitars that come through the shop. They all have hectic schedules and tons to do, so I want to thank everyone for making the time. I like to think that everyone had a good time playing some new and interesting guitars, but it’s also important to remember that they all put themselves out there playing guitars they weren’t used to, and many of them were extremely accommodating of my schedule, for which I owe them a personal thank-you.
A lot of the players surprised me with music I hadn’t heard before or just particularly beautiful performances, and some of them just plain lived up to my already-high expectations of them.
In no particular order, here are the players who made this blog a really great place to hear guitar music this year and without whom many of us might never have heard some of these guitars (names will link to videos or articles about them on the blog):
Duo Solaris (Scott Wolf and Connie Sheu)
Alma Nova (Almer Imamovic and Jessica Pierce)
Line Forms Hear (Scott Morris, Steve Thachuk and Julian Coryell)
Guitarist Scott Morris stopped by the showroom to record some more lessons based on his book ‘Classical Guitar Complete – From basics To Bach’. In this lesson he covers moveable scale patterns, which are extremely useful for learning to navigate the fretboard, improve your sight reading and for improvisation, of course. Below the video you’ll find the scale patterns themselves in notation and TAB. And look out for part 2 of Scott’s book, which should be coming out in early 2012.
Here’s an update from David Collett on the New maple/spruce Hauser III that will be arriving any day now:
We have a maple and spruce Hermann Hauser III arriving very soon (before the end of the year), and I have some photos of the wood that Hermann and I chose for the guitar. The first pictures are of the raw wood, when selected back in 2008. Then you can see the guitar as I saw it during a visit to Reisbach in January of this year. The final photos were taken recently, upon completion of the guitar, and Hauser kindly forwarded these to us. Of course the criteria in choosing the woods must take into account both sonic properties as well as aesthetics, and Hauser’s wood supply provides ample opportunity for selecting something suitable every time. Interestingly, Hauser dates the label from the moment he starts a guitar, unlike most luthiers who date the guitar upon completion, so this new guitar will have a 2010 label. And the dog with me is Hauser’s dog “Yoshi”.
For the finale of this series of lessons from Adam, here’s his lesson on playing faster scales. He’s playing a negra by Alejandro, which he chose because it sounds great but also because it was one of the funnest guitars to play scales on in the showroom. For more from Adam on scales and technique generally you can check out his website, www.NewLearningVision.com.
Sebastian Stenzel just sent us some photos of the guitar he is about to send us – a gorgeous cedar and ziricote guitar. You’ll notice that the sides are lined with maple, like on the Bernabe ‘Imperial’. The shots of the top are from about about a month and a half ago, and the rest are from this week.
Adam Del Monte will be premiering ‘Paisajes’, his concerto for flamenco guitar and orchestra at the SGI Auditorium at 525 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, 90401 on January 15 at 3:30 pm. This should be really cool, and not the sort of thing you get to see live everyday, so if you’re anywhere near you should try to go. For more info just click here.
Graciliano Perez is a luthier from Cordoba, Spain, whose guitars have been popping up in the hands of more and more great players lately, including Vicente Amigo, who has already bought a couple, including a maple and spruce flamenco. We’re very excited to have two of Graciliano’s guitars arriving sometime in January. I played a couple of Graciliano’s guitars when we met in Spain a few weeks back and I was very impressed.
Graciliano’s guitars are very much in the tradition of Miguel Rodriguez – in fact the two were friends, and Graciliano still uses woods he bought from Rodriguez on some of his guitars. As you’ll see from the photos, Graciliano is wood-obsessed, like all good makers.
Below the photos you can see video of Tomatito (playing his Reyes) and his nephew, Cristy Fernandez, playing a Graciliano guitar, and the other video is of Eduardo Trassierra and his trio, with Eduardo also playing one of Graciliano’s guitars.
Here’s Adam playing an excerpt from the Alegrias on his new CD, ‘Asi Li Siento Yo’ on a new 2011 Felipe Conde FC28 negra. We thought we’d try out recording with backing tracks, the way you might in the studio, so what you’re hearing is the guitar recorded live in the showroom, along with the compás track that was playing in his ear at the time (and then mixed a little in the studio, of course).