Performance Recap: March 2024 First Friday at Arome

I recap my classical guitar performance at Arome in Redmond, Oregon, and talk about what I played and what could have gone better.

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In March, 2024 I had the chance to perform two hours of classical guitar music at Arome in Redmond, Oregon. It was for a First Friday event at the wine bar and kitchen store. I’ve played at Arome a few times and it’s always really fun. This is my first Performance Recap post and I’ll use it to write down some notes about the gig and how it went.

What I Played

I played about 25 pieces of music over two hours (with a ten minute break) that included classical, jazz, and original tunes. For classical pieces, I played:

  • Recuerdos de la Alhambra
  • Carcassi’s Etudes 1, 2, and 7
  • Romance de los Pinos
  • Lagrimas
  • Malaguena
  • Villa Lobos Choro 1
  • Villa Lobos Etude 1
  • Adelita

For jazz tunes, I played:

  • Iris
  • Night Dreamer
  • Stella by Starlight
  • Beatrice
  • Falling Grace
  • Four on Six
  • If You Never Come To Me
  • Misty
  • Blue In Green
  • Wild Flower
  • Wave

I also played nine of my original songs: six classical pieces and three jazz pieces.

Playing With Singer Joy Woodburn

My lovely wife Joy joined me for three songs. We did Besame Mucho in a Latin Jazz style plus two opera songs that I arranged guitar for: Au bord de l’eau (Fauré) and Ständchen (Schubert).

This was the first time we performed these opera songs. I realized during the gig that I should have practiced them more (of course). I was performing them from memory and got tripped up thinking about the form of the music, my technique, how I would play certain difficult parts before they came up, etc.

It took me about a week to arrange the piano scores for guitar. After that, I practiced and we rehearsed them for about a month. But I definitely should have got the parts under my fingers better.

How My Compositions Went

I was so excited to perform my nine compositions. I put them all together in one chunk and started them after just one “warm up song,” which is All Blues and the song I usually start with. However, it would have been better to play at least five more pieces before my tunes.

I was too excited and nervous so my hands were a bit shaky and some of my memorized material went out the window. I started with my hardest piece, which wasn’t a good idea, so when I started messing up my confidence went down for the next couple of pieces, too.

I got back on track a few pieces later. Overall, this was disappointing because I purposely recorded this set to put some videos of my compositions online. I did get a few good songs, but I won’t be putting all of them online.

Carcassi Etude No. 7 op 60

This is one of my favorite pieces to play. I played it toward the end of my second set, so I didn’t have any issues not being warmed up or anything. Below is the video of this piece I took at the event. I think I played with decent tone and projection through most of the piece with a few mistakes. Of course, there’s also a brain fart I had in the B section of the piece.

I’m planning on recording the next set at Arome in May and I’ll route the mic sound directly to my phone to get rid of the conversation noise.

YouTube player

Using the Guitarlift

I used the Guitarlift support for this gig. It was really great and I had no aches in my back after playing, which had happened when I previously used a drum throne and foot stool.

This time, I leaned on the back of the chair and angled the guitar a bit toward me with the Guitarlift. The guitar stayed in place and I felt relaxed in my posture.

(Sidenote: Do you want to keep getting better at classical guitar? Then try out tonebase — and use the code Segovia1893 for 30% off forever after a free trial. I used tonebase to help me get some tricky repertoire up to par and I think it’s the best online classical guitar course.)