Preview: Ultimate Classical Guitar Arrangements
My favorite of the "100% mine" arrangements is without a doubt my "Jethro Tull-ization" of the Bach Bourree in E minor. Ian Anderson only did the A section for his version on the Aqualung album - a record I was addicted to for a time in high school - so I decided to do the same treatment to the B section. It came out marvelously, and I play it in D minor with a drop-D tuning, which is the same key as the Tull version. These are all MIDI to AAC (MP4 MPEG audio) versions I did in iTunes using the RealFont 2.1 Nylon Guitar 1 sound font, so the link will open Quicktime or whatever you have as the default for streaming audio in your browser.
Bouree - Jethro Tull
Then, since I have played Classical Gas on and off for over twenty years, I have several different transcriptions of it, and have created a "kitchen sink" version that has all of my favorite ideas from about a half dozen arrangements I've heard. It starts out with the simple ideas and then gets progressively more virtuosic.
Classical Gas - Mason Williams
Next up is my brand, spanking new arrangement of Mood for a Day. I was also a big Yes fan in my youth, so I had learned bits and pieces of this, but never the whole enchilada. The Flamenco sections sound ridiculous in MIDI without the strums articulated, but the rest of it came out very well. Me being the consummate contrapuntist, I did fix one of Mr. Howe's parallel perfect fifths, and I must say the that fix sounds better than the original.
Mood for a Day - Steve Howe
Finally, the finale of my set is an arrangement of Stairway to Heaven that has been developing in my head for over thirty years since it was the very first song I ever learned to play "all the way through" back when I was a teen. Believe it, or not, I had never written this out before today. I've actually had guitarists beg me to write this out for them, but the time just wasn't right until now.
Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page
It was nice to get this finished... on my birthday!