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About My Videos

Select Article PDF and Downloads for videos that have accompanying articles and files such as PDF scores for downloading.

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New Video!!!

Nowhere" (which is a good place to be!), based on the jazz standard Out of Nowhere. Also a brief lesson at the end about making fast chord changes. This is an up-tempo piece that’s fun to play over the bass backing track.

Brouwer #1

New Video!!!

This is the first of a set of etudes written by Leo Brouwer, Cuban composer and guitarist. It is a powerful piece if only a shortie. I am playing my classical guitar for the first time in a video.

Brouwer #6

New Video!!!

I usually play this Leo Brouwer etude immediately after #1. It is a moody piece that makes good use of open string chords in its unusual but pleasant-sounding chord progressions.


This video is of me playing Barry Galbraith’s Shiny as published in Guitar Comping published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz. Nothing fancy but maybe it will help those who don’t read music to play this piece as there is no tablature along with the published score. Played to a metronome at 72 bpm.

In Your Own Sweet Way

My inspiration for transcribing Wes Montgomery’s performance of "In Your Own Sweet Way" by David Brubeck, and playing it in the companion video, grew out of a period of introspection, a time when I fell in love with this music, which also increased my already high regard for Wes Montgomery’s guitar-playing genius. I felt that I had to learn this song, and so I immersed myself in it. At the same time, I’d been experimenting with three music-engraving software tools: Lilypond, Frescobaldi, and Denemo, all of which I used to create the accompanying score’s PDF and MIDI files.

Article PDF and Downloads: Transcribing: Good or Evil?

Lesson: In Your Own Sweet Way

This is the talking video to the performance above. Because this is my first official guitar-instruction video, I also explain how this site and my videos differ from others found online in being for all guitarists, not focused on one particular style. I also give pointers for learning and playing the piece and using the download PDFs and other files in the article below.

Article PDF and Downloads: Transcribing: Good or Evil?

Introducing Tom Swan and the Ugly Ducklings

Meet the Ugly Ducklings!

Sometimes I miss being in a band — so one day I called up some friends but, when nobody wanted to jam, I began fooling around in my studio and …​ well, you’ll see. Let’s just say that Tom Swan and the Ugly Ducklings kind of just had to happen. I’ve always wanted to do something like this — not too sure what got into Sofari Man though!

I Pine 4 U

I wrote this lively tune about a year ago and, since the Ugly Ducklings were warmed up and ready to play, I decided (we decided?) to lay down this demo. If I have to describe the song I’d say it’s my tongue-in-cheek breakup number — not biographical though! Hope you like it!

I Pine 4U Copyright (c) 2016 by Tom Swan

Manha de Carnival by Luiz Bonfa PART 1

Yeah I know I need a haircut. But I liked the sound of this and I wanted to share. If I was asked to describe the playing style, I’d call it jazzy bossa nova, but that’s just one guitar player’s opinion. From a score in "The Brazilian Masters."

Hot Guitar Warm Ups

Music teachers advise warming up before practicing and performing, but if you do warm up, do you have a plan or do you just wing it? Playing a few licks and scales is not a proper warm up. Over many years, I’ve settled on four short exercises demonstrated in the video (just a minute each) that, together, make a progressive warm up that really works for me. Select the following link for the video’s companion blog post.

Blog and PDF: Hot Guitar Warm Ups

Amazing Grace

A bluesy rendition of this classic gospel song, from an arrangement by Mark Hanson. Recorded in my home studio late one night with nothing better to do than make some music.


The video starts with me freezing cold at an outdoor event, but quickly moves indoors to my warm living room, recorded later on. I merged the audio tracks from the two recordings and was pleased that I needed only to raise and lower the track volumes for the sound to mix nicely.

Classical Guitar Strings

This is a how-to video where I explain my way of tying on classical guitar strings. I learned a traditional method that I wanted to set down in a video, so here it is.

Star of the County Down

What I meant to say when my tongue got tied up was that I would attempt to layer four guitar parts using a looper pedal, playing back the whole thing in a loop and adding on top each new part. The result is a very big one-man-band sound! The song is traditional, but I wrote all of the guitar parts. It’s a lot of fun to play — if I manage to hit the buttons at the right time!