Category Archives: Guitar

Have you ever wondered?

Have you ever wondered what your pastor does when nobody is in the church building? Besides removing bugs from the carpet in the entryway or cleaning the bathrooms, he may be praying for you, thinking through his sermon notes, or just meditating on some Scripture passage. But there are other times when the quietness of the sanctuary might be broken by him singing or playing music.

My well-used classical guitar was purchased for $25 at an antique store in Columbus, Ohio back in the 1990’s. It isn’t worth much but has accompanied quite a few songs over the past 25 years.

When I have unlocked the church doors and gotten everything ready, I usually take out my guitar and play through the sheet music in my guitar case. If you were to look through the mess of papers in there, you would find a hand written composition of O Holy Night put together by Bonnie St. John. It was written for four of us to play one Christmas in Mentor OH. That was a highlight of that Christmas holiday. Then there are copies of Xie Xie and Coffee Break in Dublin by Per-Olov Kindgren. The former is easy enough for me to play all the way through if nobody is listening. The latter is still waiting to be conquered. Then there is Bach’s beautiful Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. This is one that I have recently started playing. It is difficult but might be doable with some more practice.

There is something about playing music in an empty church auditorium. Nobody is there. It gives me the opportunity to play without anyone hearing any mistakes. I kinda like that. So, if you see the light on in the auditorium when nobody else is around, don’t call the police. It’s probably just me trying to enjoy a few moments of quiet.

Four Hands Guitar Again!

I love the team work of this couple playing the same guitar. Notice the expressions on their faces as they play and the way they switch parts. At one point she is picking for him and vice versa. It makes for a very entertaining presentation.

My Guitar Heroes

One of my favorite music styles is classical guitar. By that I am not necessarily referring to classical music (although I do enjoy some of it) but to the instrument itself. A classical guitar uses nylon strings, has a wider fret board, and is shaped and played differently. There is just something I love about the classical guitar. For a good example of the sound, click on this link to Christopher Parkening’s Simple Gifts and listen to #14: Laudate Dominum.

I must admit that my musical beginnings included a much broader scope than I would currently recommend. For instance, my first guitar was an electric hollow body purchased for $5 at a garage sale. It didn’t work very well as the neck was warped and the bridge was missing. But it worked well enough for strumming around the lunch table at school. I later picked up my current guitar (a 1970 classical made by Wilson) at an antique store in Columbus. After 38 years, it still works fairly well.

Tonight, I came across some nice classical guitar music in video format. The first is a rendition of Bach’s “Air on a G String” played on a Yamaha “silent guitar.” Although it may look a little like me playing the guitar, it really isn’t. (I wish it was!) The second is a repeat of the amazing duo playing Mozart’s “Turkish Rondo” on one guitar. (Incredible!) The third is Angel Romero’s rendition of “Leyenda,” one that I have attempted to learn for the past twenty years with little success. The fourth and final video is just two guys playing a tune called “Jerry’s Breakdown.” (What can I say? It made me smile.)


Updated 4/11/09

Below you will find additional classical guitar videos I’ve come to enjoy.