Home Country Hero Mini Challenge

GREETINGS TONEBUDDIES! 🎶

Our musical journey continues! This month, we’re venturing into a challenge that pays homage to our roots. As each of us possesses a unique musical heritage, what better way to celebrate than by diving deep into the melodies that have shaped our cultures, identities, and histories? Let's embark on the "Home Country Hero Challenge" together and weave a tapestry of diverse soundscapes. 🎸

🌟 THE CHALLENGE: 🌟

We invite you to record and upload a video of yourself performing a piece by a composer from your home country or your heritage. Dive deep into the traditions, styles, and stories that these compositions bring to the fore and enlighten us on how they resonate with your own cultural connection. Feel free to share a composition from another country than your own, if you have something that you deeply connect with!

📹 HOW TO PARTICIPATE: 📹

Record a video of yourself performing your chosen piece from your home country. Upload your video to your preferred platform (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). Share the link to your video in the comments section below. Along with your performance, narrate a short backstory of the composer and the significance of the piece in your culture.

Bonus Points: Share a link to a performance of your chosen piece by a renowned guitarist from your country!

🤝 INTERACT AND ENGAGE: 🤝

Let's travel the world through our strings! Engage with your fellow tonebuddies by leaving comments, offering constructive feedback, and expressing appreciation for their cultural revelations. Let’s connect deeper, not just through music but through our shared human stories.

🏆 REWARD: 🏆

While there's no tangible prize, the reward lies in the bridges we build, the knowledge we share, and the connections we foster with guitarists worldwide. You might just find yourself inspired by a faraway land!

🎶 READY, SET, EXPLORE! 🎶

We're keen to embark on this global musical voyage with you, uncovering hidden gems and rediscovering national treasures. Let's celebrate the diversity and richness that each of our musical heritages brings to the global guitar community.

HAPPY PLUCKING, TONEBUDDIES! 🎉

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  • Brian Katz – School Blues

    When I first saw this mini-challenge, I wasn’t sure what to do, since there is not a long tradition of composition for classical guitar in the United States, and I have played only a small handful of pieces by American composers. When I went to my music scores (books and electronic), I found precious little there, most of it too difficult to learn quickly. But then I found this, and it fits this challenge perfectly.

    I am not sure if Brian Katz is from the United States or Canada, as his website (https://briankatz.com/) only says that he has studied and performed music in both countries. But this little piece is definitely American in its roots. When I first started playing guitar at age 13, I played mostly blues-based rock until I got to college and studied classical. So, not only is this piece very American, it’s also very me, combining my blues background with classical technique.

    The score (attached) did not say to swing the eighth-notes, but it just sounded right to do so. I also embellished the ending a bit!

    • Eric Phillips Cool 😎!

      Like 1
    • Marilyn Blodget Thanks, Marilyn! That should be the middle name of the guy who wrote this.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips  Great tune Eric. I love blues music and this one is quite enjoyable. The satisfaction smile at the end is also priceless.

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Nice - I certainly wasn't expecting the 'big finish'! As far as I know, Brian is Canadian. At any rate, he lives in Toronto. He used to (perhaps still does) teach at York University. I've heard him perform a few times, and have spoken to him on occasion as well. A very nice guy, well versed in a variety of playing styles.

      Like 1
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Love it! Great finish too 😄

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Really nice find, Eric. I think the Betty Boop cartoon dance to Minnie the Moocher would go well with this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M7S2tjZG_A

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Fun!

      Like
    • Eric Phillips nice discovery Eric, you're now back home!

      Like
  • George Gershwin - Somebody Loves Me

    Right after going to bed last night, I remembered that I have a book of Gershwin songs arranged for solo guitar, but I didn't know where it was. I don't remember seeing it for years. Well, early this morning, I went searching through some boxes in my basement, and I found it!

    This song belongs in the category known as the Great American Songbook. The arrangement is by Stan Ayeroff, who I knew nothing about. After looking him up, I have discovered that he is a master arranger of jazz standards, and his arrangements sound great on the classical guitar.

    So, I have three videos to share:

    1. Me playing Somebody Loves Me
    2. Somebody Loves Me performed by Ella Fitzgerald, perhaps the greatest singer ever in this genre
    3. Stan Ayeroff playing his arrangement of When You Wish Upon a Star, a song made famous by Disney (I particularly love what he does at the end)

    Enjoy!

    Like 5
    • Thanks Eric.  I really enjoyed those!

      Eric Phillips 

      Like 1
    • Marilyn Blodget Thank you, Marilyn. Seems like you and I are the only one who know about this thread.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips Our tonebuddies have a lot going on with HVL as well.  All my grandparents emigrated from Norway, and I grew up playing Grieg violin and piano duets with my dad. I’ve never played Grieg arrangements for guitar, but I’m currently looking at several .  They are challenging for me, but they are better than they were. Maybe I’ll record next week.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips  Well now I am speechless. How you can just grab a music book and play like this. This is just fantastic. Bravo 👍

      Like 2
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Very nice! (Is it your own ending sequence again?) These standards just never seem to get 'old'. And they lend themselves remarkably well to the nylon string guitar. John Duarte also made a number of good arrangements of this material. There's a nice video on YT of XueFei Yang playing his version of Jerome Kern's 'Smoke gets in your eyes'.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips such a nice  find again Thanks for sharing, Eric.

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is a really nice arrangement and your playing is superb, Eric. Apparently this collection is no longer available. That's a shame as it is so good!

      Btw, I thought I had a wonderful recording of Dave Van Ronk doing 'When You Wish Upon a Star", but it was actually "Would You Like to Swing on a Star".  Even though it is not related I would give you the link. It is is classic Van Ronk. I think you would really enjoy it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFrS8AB2a4c

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Loved it! I haven't heard of Dave Van Ronk, but I really enjoyed that.

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips He was a major character in the village during the beat generation and a real character. I haven't listened to him in a while but in researching my reply I realized how much I like his music.

      Like 1
      • Lars Kjøller-Hansennull
      • Amateur with too little time and bingeplayer with sore arms and fingers
      • Lars_KjollerHansen
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Jack Stewart ad Dave Van Ronk see the Coen brothers movie Inside Llewyn Daevis, based on book on Dave Van Ronk character.. With your sense of humor I think you will love it

      Like
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Glad you remembered and found the book! I love jazz on the classical guitar. Well played!

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Lars Kjøller-Hansen Thanks for the reminder, Lars. I don't thinkI saw it but I have put it on the my watch list. I also ordered the Mayor of 'MacDougal Street', 

      Like
    • Eric Phillips Wow this is great Eric, thanks for sharing this... Ayeroff is an amazing guitar arranger!

      Like
      • don
      • don.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I really love it, is something that I really kick back and relax with a drink. 

      Like 1
  • Something completely different from here. Annette Kruisbrink is a Dutch guitarist and composer (born in Amsterdam ). I am planning to practice her piece Ahimsa. To get to know her sound and language I tried some pieces from her educational series “ Knock before you enter”

    these 2 pieces I chose are not too complicated, but with a bit melancholic, meditative mood, especially compared to Eric’s nice and groovy sound. Hope you’ll appreciate them anyway.

    after this I’ll try to find something more lively.
     

    Like 5
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