“The image of Stephen Bennett embracing his harp guitar is the one that tends to linger. In what is becoming known as the Golden Age of Guitar Luthiery, it’s easy to overlook the fact that this is also the Golden Age of Guitar Playing. With six strings or more, as one of the most original and prolific composers and arrangers for the guitar on the current scene, Stephen Bennett is clearly a part of the latter heritage.”|
– S. Rekas
If you haven’t yet experienced Stephen Bennett’s golden touch, treat yourself now to a few of his performance videos on TrueFireTV and then have a listen to a few samples from Stephen’s classic rock, harp guitar In-A-Gadda-Da-Stephen.
Already “experienced” and ready to go for the gold yourself? Packaged as an interactive video course, Harp Guitar Repertoire features 3 1/2 hours of video performances, measure-by-measure breakdowns, tab, notation and technical insight for seven of Bennett’s original tunes composed specifically for harp guitar: Oregon, Elephant’s Dance, November, Issoudun, The Eye of God, Sea Rose Beach and Tenochtitlan.
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“In this TrueFire course I present seven of my compositions that many people have asked me to teach over the years. I think they will serve you well in expanding your own approach to the instrument. I love these tunes and believe that they really showcase the harp guitar with six additional sub-bass strings beyond the usual six of the guitar. These tunes will make your instrument sing. And if you are playing them particularly well, who knows – maybe you’ll make someone smile or shed a tear that they weren’t expecting to.”
If you’ve never played harp guitar or are just a beginner, Bennett’s Harp Guitar Basics is a better option for getting a grip on the instrument. “My objective with Harp Guitar Basics is to take you through a series of musical arrangements to get you acquainted with my approach to the harp guitar. I start with the assumption that you already have at least some minimal experience playing finger-style on a standard 6-string guitar. But even if you have never played guitar and somehow have wound up with a harp guitar, you will still be served well by the simple arrangements presented in the course.”
The harp guitar dates back a couple of centuries and the instrument has facilitated the composition and performance of an impressive range of classical, parlor and folk music (check out Gregg Minor’s Modern Organology of Historical and Modern Harp Guitars). Today however, an impressive group of world-class acoustic and fingerstyle players have adopted the instrument and given birth to a new generation of contemporary harp guitar music that has sparked great interest from listening audiences the world over.
Stephen Bennett is widely respected as one of the most versatile and original guitarists performing today. With nearly 20 CD recordings to his credit, Bennett is a prolific composer who consistently garners critical praise and audience enthusiasm for his recordings and live performances.
P.S. If you don’t yet own a harp guitar, there are now some very affordable options on the market due to its rising popularity amongst players. Holloway recently introduced a Stephen Bennett model that you can pick up very reasonably.
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