Right Hand Exercises for the first Year Guitarist: Marching towards Mastery

This is a right hand exercise using only the right hand thumb and index finger.

It is a little tricky at first as the movement collapses from the top to the bottom (lower) 6th string. In order to keep the exercise within the first year limitation, the thumb plays on the 6th string only.

*Keep in mind that we are working towards the Travis Style of picking and in that vein, you will use both the index and middle fingers on the upper three strings. 

Please take your time with this going slowly and carefully. This will develop your ability to play more complex patterns with independence between the thumb and the index, middle, and ring fingers.

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Acoustic Final Fantasy

An Acoustic Duo Cover

“Town Theme” written by the prodigious Anime composer Nobuo  Uematsu, is a short but alluring piece of music. Consisting of a light texture with a hypnotic rhythmic movement, the melodicism embedded in the sections gives it the staying power it needs for its role in the game, Final Fantasy.


I chose to cover “Town Theme”theme using a acoustic guitar duo format. My obsession with random improvised harmonies was perfectly suited to the music’s construction. Not that the work needed my help mind you, it was just my way of interpreting the “hidden harmonies” one hears when the obsession with music runs deep in your brain.

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Like all great composers Uematsu gets to the techniques that color otherwise plain tonal music. This is where the theme becomes legend. An ordinary composer would struggle to rise to such heights with such a project. Writing of this type can be an exercise in frustration as the limitless creative powers one has are kept at bay due to the reality of keeping the music close to home in terms of listenability and ultimately, commercialism.

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The first few seconds of “Town Theme” are telling. A very clever two-measure introduction opens with an artful C major arpeggio. In the following measure the composer wastes no time and goes for the gold medal with a beautiful second-inversion iv6 chord. The Fm/C substitutes for the dominant (as it’s prone to do)  giving measure 3 the push it needs to move forward like a bright, sunny, and brisk Sunday afternoon drive.

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In measures 9-10, an absolutely perfect cadence is set up to put and end to the first melodic statement. The progression, V I vi V2 bVI I5 V I is nothing short of mesmerizing.

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Is it genius writing? Maybe not being that the role o the theme is to bring one back to the center. But, I would challenge you who are composers to attempt such writing using the obvious restrictions during your process.

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You will come out a better writer as you reach deeper into multi-part writing. Keeping track of all voices and rhythms at your disposal your creative power will grow.

Mark Jeffery Campayno

“Brothers” Full Metal Achemist (Acoustic Guitar Cover)

“Bratja (Brother)” Full Metal Alchemist – Acoustic Guitar Cover from Mark Jeffery Campayno on Vimeo.

“Bratja (Brother)” Full Metal Alchemist – Acoustic Guitar Cover from Mark Jeffery Campayno on Vimeo.

Anime Guitar

This is a nylon-string cover of the beautiful ” Bratja (Brother)” written by Michiru Oshima.

Here is more information about the song that will put things in context:

Brothers (Russian: Братья, Bratja; Japanese: Buraacha) is a song composed by Michiru Oshima for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist. It can be found on the first Fullmetal Alchemist O.S.T.. Other orchestrated versions can be found on Fullmetal Alchemist O.S.T. 3 and the Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa soundtrack.

The song is about the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, and their feeling about the tragic incident that happened at the very beginning of the series. They attempted to resurrect their mother who had died of an illness. However, during the transmutation, Alphonse lost his body while Edward lost his left leg, and, consequently, his right arm.

In the first verse, Edward expresses his grief and regret for pushing his brother into doing the transmutation with him. He blames himself for what happened, admitting that “there is no cure for death”. Alphonse, in the second verse, attempts to console him. He urges Ed to forget whose fault it is, as they both chose the same path, so neither of them is more guilty than the other. In each of the choruses, they sing about how much their mother meant to them, but how their tries to bring her back were in vain. In the final stanza, both brothers question where they should go from where they are now after realizing that it is impossible to bring back that which has been lost.

Another version of the song was recorded in english by Vic Mignogna, the voice actor who played Edward Elric in the series.

Here are the lyrics translated into English:

Bratja (Brother)

Forgive me, younger brother
I am to be blamed
It is impossible to return
that, which has been taken by earth

One that knows the law
would help me find the answer.
I made a terrible mistake,
there is no cure for death.

Dear Mother! So Soft! (soft as in loving)
We loved you so much.
But all our powers
were spent in vain.

I intrigued you
With the perfect hope
To return our family
My brother, the blame is all mine.

Don’t cry, don’t despair, older brother
You are not the only one to blame
We both have one road
Lets bury the blame to the depth (meaning lets forget whos fault it was)

I can’t blame you for anything,
And I hold no hard feelings. (as in Im not mad at you)
Heavy is our cause
The desire to be stronger than all

Dear Mother! So Soft!
We loved you so much.
But all our powers
were spent in vain.

I was intrigued myself
with the wonderful hope
to return our family.
I am the one to blame.

So what do we do now?
How do we correct and forget?
When you can’t return
That, which was been taken by earth.

Here is my acoustic cover of the song:

“From the Mouths of Enlightened Musicians”

The musical world according to a young visionary.

When I set out to put together my weekly radio show with three female musicians I had no idea how it would fly. Well, it flew just fine thank you. The final segment was pKiaya2lanned to be an interview/review of a double-release by the band, Silver and Moonlight. However, and as a great surprise to me, the interview segment blossomed into an exhaustive analysis of music making, improvisation, the inner workings of band live and composition, and a look into the mind of a gifted and artistic young lady…I would dare say a modern, artistic renaissance woman.

 

A little background:

Kiaya Abernathy is a vocalist, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, spectacular visual artist, and a very creative photographer. If that isn’t enough, she’s strong-willed, perceptive, and enlightened. That would all be understandable if she were in her forties, but if you take off a decade aKiayand a have you are closer to the truth.
Kiaya is dedicated to bringing to the masses art in all of its expression. In this interview, she speaks for all of us who struggle to bring forth creative and meaningful music into a world where sameness and commercial gain eclipse meaning and foresight.

 

 

As you listen to Kiaya speak about her band, her father, her ideas, and her hopes for the future, think of the way things could be. The way music would change if her worldview were a reality. If music were set free from the chains of what has to be.

Listen here:

The Interview

 

Check out the 31 song double album release by Silver and Moonlight:

Stars Shining Bright and Loon Call are here:

The Bands Website

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My radio show, The Studio Rocks with Mark Campayno, can be heard every weekend here:

JBRNewSlideThe Studio Rocks w/Mark Campayno

 

 

 

 

The song I didn’t know. Adele strikes again…at least for me.

“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Acoustic Guitar Tutorial and Score

 

Okay, I admit it. I have been annoyed by Adele’s music. Why? Well, it turns out that I’m as susceptible to radio/media overkill as much as anyone. However, On July 25th 2016 at  approximately 2:30 pm I was sitting at a red light about a half mile from the studio.

Adele-adele-31416030-1920-1200Lo and behold I hear this music…this guitar and bass drum. Then, I hear the voice. Instantly, I knew it was her. I’m thinking no not again! But, this was different. This song cut through my musical being like a knife. The songs ends and the light turns green. I rush into the parking lot, into the

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I dial in the song on YouTube and the studio and drop everything.That day, and my opinion of Adele changed. This two-chord guitar gem has taught me another valuable life lesson. Judging based on how you think things are is a tragic mistake. The wonder woman of music has done it again…lest you think you can be this creative with just two chords an acoustic guitar and a drum:) Okay, enough of that.

adele picHere is what I have so far of the guitar and percussion part for the song. I will have it finished tomorrow and will turn this into the finished product. This should suffice for the next 12 hours.

Guitar Score PDF:

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) GTR

Percussion Score PDF:

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) PERC

Here is the YouTube Link for my tutorial:

 

 

“Nylon Fantasy #2”

A Nylon String Guitar Original Work

Prelude

This “classical guitar” work in the new acoustic style is by far my favorite of the ones I’ve written 'Air Guitar' byso far. Both its sound and construction are exactly what I look for in instrumental guitar works. Like anything else that comes as a pleasant surprise, this was one of those sessions where everything came together. I must say however, that I never go into a session with a preconceived idea, well at least not one that is carved in stone. My brain doesn’t work that way even though I can be very conservative and by the book in other areas of performance and study.

 

Methodology

I go in to such sessions randomly trying not to get caught up in the guitarists mindset that can plague your endlessly. The thoughts and schemes such as what key? What scales or chords? Should I go intblockdiagramo an altered tuning or not? Should I play fast or slow? That does nothing more than push your spirit into a one-dimensional force bent on being traditional. Traditional for the sake of tradition. Not to pay homage to it, but to be bound by it.

The Work

I don’t remember consciously doing this but it has a logical rhythmic flow to it. The piece starts out by stating the melody in between a very dense foundation harnomics.gif
of dark arpeggiated chords. I overdubbed some, but not all of the harmonics onto the work as a decorative effect. I, like many non-guitarists, tend to find them aurally attractive and very desirable especially on acoustic guitar.

 

Technique

slurs

The slurred sections were not easy but flowed surprisingly well considering that I had no plan for incorporating them. I’m very happy with how they turned out. It’s my climbing Mount Everest moment as that are fairly athletic. It will take quite a few minutes to pull them back under my fingers in that exact configuration. However, I must take the time to score out the work so as to codify it. In that way, it becomes “official”, solid, unbending. Unless, of course, I go back and change the score.

Angular Thinking

As musicians, we all have areas that are endemic to our playing. I love the angular in music, but to produce it well is not easy. This was one time that it happened without the usual struggle and gnashing of teeth. The fleeting moments of non-compliance with the voices in our heads that would doubt us.The total control one has sought from the beginning of the Screen+Shot+2013-03-07+at+10.01.40+PMjourney. However, I’m sure I’ll go back to the struggle until I can take control of angular and the unexpected in my playing.

 

Thank God for the guitar.

 

-Mark Jeffery Campayno

Guitar tab/score: Justin  Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop This Feeling”.

This is a guitar transcription of Leroy Sanchez’s cover of the Timberlake release. It is an acoustic guitar/vocal performance.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7AH_jj2jg2-NXN2aUgzOTFhOGc