Live YouTube Tuesdays show. Facts about improvising on the guitar.
Am I expressing vastness and reflecting this valley´s beauty in my guitar composition?
I travel through the mountains in Northern Spain composing and performing in majestic remote areas connecting with the essence of nature.
Recorded with Panasonic DMC-GX80m, Audio Focusrite Scarlett 22 and A3 zoom.
Played on Flamenco Guitar Camps.
Location: Valley of Lumajo, Leon, Spain, altitude 1850 m
This guitar composition of mine is called Valley of Tranquility.
My music, my guitar improvisation changes when I perform in nature and especially in large open spaces. I suppose that when I play the guitar, when I perform in front of an audience on a stage, I organise my creative output so others can understand what I play and I perform with more boundaries, more limits, following the guidelines of a style as jazz, blues, flamenco, pop, ect.
However, when I play in an open space like this, everything changes. I still feel the pleasure of knowing that others will later hear what I discover as I play, but the manner in which I perform and create changes.
I feel that I can reach out more, I have more to talk about, more to say and I can freely create. What happens in the end is that I can play softer, louder, quicker, slower, change and flow more, it definitely feels better when I have a constant flow of musical ideas.
Whenever I start playing a song on the guitar I have to get into the flow. It feels as if I am looking at a current and I have to jump in at the right spot to flow with it, and not fight it. When I do so, all feels right and the music that I make for then on just flows with what surrounds me.
I am a strong believer that with music we should share with others what we cherish inside of us.
I consider creativity to be the carrier wave of our performance which we have to submit to. As we play we need to adapt to this external wave to keep on flowing. Creativity is the resource that allows us to be inventive to keep on flowing.
You can only be creative and develop your guitar improvisation if you have tools, skills, and knowledge you can use to express that creativity.
Therefore you need to develop skills based upon knowledge and you have to develop those skills in depth so that when you need them they just come to your mind on the go.
At the Creative Guitar Academy I focus on making sure all guitar students in all styles, not only know how to create for example an upper structure triad in all keys and all chords, but also know how to make music with them, compose and express a feeling that is in accord with for example the lyrics of a song.
This takes time and patience but the end result is astounding and very rewarding for all guitar students in their compositions and guitar improvisation.
I think music is the language of the gods, a universal language we all understand in a similar manner.
I believe music only generates love, human compassion, understanding, forgiveness, fairness and all those traits we seek in religion to help us live our daily lives.
But the main difference is that we cannot use music to control others as we can with words.
Drastically. The more I play in these circumstances the smaller I feel and the more I need to play with extreme candor to make sure I can feel as free as I am when I am up in the hills with the clear blue sky and universe as my limit.
I will be staying in Spain for quite a while and since I am living up here in the hills in Northern Leon I will use my time to compose guitar music that reflects the beauty of this local nature and its people.
I am currently finishing a production of a new composition that is joyful and relates to the beauty of people when hope comes into their lives. Human beings can, if they choose to, look at the bright side of life.
The feeling of hope is a catalyst for this to happen. This song talks about hope.I will be playing with local percussionist dancers and musicians.
It is an Ode to hope reflecting upon 2000 years of people that have lived in this valley and prospered from nature and its gifts.
The song and flamenco jazz guitar improvisation is divided in two sections and is centered around the Key of D but with constant modal interchange.
In comparison to standard compositions, these harmonic cadences are of a complex nature where each chord defines its own universe.
This creates a feel of airyness but the composition concludes firmly in the key of D Mixolydian b13.
Once again my need to express the open spaces,the lack of limits, made me tap into a flow of creative ideas where I ended up with these chords and sounds.
In the level 4 course of the Creative Guitar Academy students learn to not think of a chord as a series of notes to strum, but rather a group of notes that create a feel and that define an area of harmonic density that you can play with one or more notes.
In other words, when I think of a chord I think of melodies that fit around it at all times, coloring it with constant movement, to make it spark and vibrant as I do in this song.