This is a solo guitar tune that uses a variety of techniques, including two-handed tapping, behind-the-nut-bending, and open-string harmonics, to create variations of its main parts. But beyond the guitaristic challenges, there’s also a simple melody that’s fun to whistle. The tune’s middle section, which was inspired by the always amazing playing of guitarist Tim Sparks, changes the timing from 4/4 to 5/4. The piece is written for my lovely wife, Heather. Recorded using a 1994 Taylor 712c guitar, tuned to open D-Minor tuning, a half-step below standard pitch (EbBbEbGbBbEb). Music/TAB is available for this one as well.
From the album “On My Way.”
Teja Gerken: Solo guitar
TEJA GERKEN: Teja Gerken (www.tejagerken.com) is no stranger to fans of contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical, and world music, he is primarily a solo instrumentalist, whose two albums, On My Way, and Postcards, have received widespread acclaim. Teja has been a frequent performer in the Bay Area and beyond for more than 20 years.
Teja's playing reflects his diverse musical interests. While many of his composition employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, others simply rely on his keen sense of melody and movement. Within this framework, Teja has created a repertoire that appeals to fellow guitarists as well as to listening audiences, and while original material is his main focus, he can also be found playing Irish traditionals, the occasional jazz standard, or improvising on themes by classical composers.
Teja has shared the stage with guitar visionaries such as John Renbourn, Alex de Grassi, Peter Finger, and Henry Kaiser, as well as with his mentors, Duck Baker and Peppino D'Agostino. He has been a featured guest at the International Guitar Night, as well as on radio stations such as San Francisco's KALW and KUSF, and Berkeley's KPFA.
Besides performing and recording, Teja writes about music and guitar-related subjects. He was an editor at Acoustic Guitar magazine from 1997 to 2013, frequently contributes to titles including Guitar Player, Premier Guitar, Fretboard Journal, In Tune, Akustik Gitarre (Germany) and Gitarre & Bass (Germany). He recently authored The Taylor Guitar Book, which is due to be published by Backbeat Books in the fall of 2015. Teja is also a co-founder of the online roots-music e-learning website Peghead Nation (www.pegheadnation.com).