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Valentine Sunday Concert at Bartow-Pell Mansion

I will be playing some romances, romanzas, capriccios, valses, zambas, chacareras, carnavalitos, and a Beatles set. Plus a dramatic & romantic story-set-vignette from my own piece, Archipelago for Guitar!* Please note: Valentine's day is a Wednesday, and...

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Ordering a Signed Print

Below is an unsigned print of Island Two, Bossa Paraiso. The prints are done at Tribeca Printworks. It's a small, friendly business in downtown Manhattan. I work with them on getting things just right. When correcting colors and levels and adjusting these to the paper...

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Pics from an Exhibition (Music too!)

This concert, put on by Composer's Concordance, happened a while ago (in April), but I wanted to share it with you because now I have some videos! I've included pics of the art show as well, which was very well-recieved. I will add a few more videos of ensemble works...

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Island at the Edge of the Sea

A bit of piano-tickling from Glenn Gould never hurt anyone.... I am trying to keep somewhat mum about the narrative content of the Archipelago story, but it's hard to hide some things if they are in the paintings, which are visible to all. The third island in this...

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Dream Lullaby

Here's the video from my performance of the 8th Island in my Archipelago for Solo Guitar. It was done at the Composer's Concordance 8th Annual Composers Play Composers Marathon. It's a lullaby that takes place in a dream, hence the title, Dream Lullaby. Most of the...

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Performance on May 4, 2017–Island 8 (Dream Lullaby)

I'm honored to be playing at the Composers-Play-Composers marathon this Saturday. The program is from 7 PM to 10 PM. There will be a plethora of great musicians and really cool music! Hope you can make it! I'm second on the program, so come early or at least on time...

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How To Make A Guitar-Powered Boat

First you have to design it. What does it need? Definitely a treble clef or two, a guitar, a guitar player....perhaps a mast made out of an eighth-note? Or....you could try building the mast out of a guitar fretboard instead! And definitely add a sail! Maybe the sail...

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The 997 Siren Islands of Bossa Paraiso

This is the second adventure of our guitar hero, in which he passes through the 997 islands of Bossa Paraiso. He's left his home, the Island of Milonga. He's on his way to the Last Island before he launches his tiny boat into the unknown of the Sea of Song. I wrote a...

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Foundational Skills Free Video 2: Left Hand Leverage

This is a video excerpted from my online technique course, Basic Classical Guitar Mastery. Video Number Two gives you one of the hidden keys to Left Hand leverage and a powerful left hand technique The course is over 40 videos long, It's designed to rebuild and refine...

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Allegro from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Revised 2015 Version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyKOgWtBwsY This Allegro has still been flying off the virtual shelves at $7. This edition features a revised version of the Allegro  that includes a few changes that elegantly eliminate some tricky tempo bottlenecks. (I still include...

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Jay Kauffman Classical Guitar Recital at Bartow-Pell Mansion

Click here for maps and transportation info to the mansion September 20 at 4:30 PM Tickets $20  895 Shore Road Pelham Bay Park Bronx, New York 10464 718.885.1461 [mashshare] The recital takes place in a lovely period room with great acoustics. It fits about 50 people,...

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Rondo from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

This is a full arrangement of the Rondo for advanced players. This is perhaps the most difficult movement to perform on the classical guitar. But it does sound fantastic and is worth the effort needed to learn, memorize---and then work it up to a decent speed. I've...

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Menuet from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

This is a full arrangement of the Menuet, for intermediate to advanced players. This is the easiest movement to transcribe for classical guitar, but I've been careful to create a lively and nuanced arrangement that would be welcome on any concert stage in the hands of...

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Romanze from Eine Kleine Nachmusik

This is a full arrangement of the Romanze, for advanced players. It's quite amenable to the classical guitar...but the third section was a special challenge to transcribe, with it's call/answer figurations between the high and low voices while at the same time...

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Archipelago

I'm exploring an extended group of Islands that have been hidden from Google Maps due to their aural nature. The musical ecology I have found so far in this journey seems to draw its inspiration from many parts of the globe. And yet each island in this hitherto hidden...

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How to Play Classical Guitar without Dysfunctional Tension

——Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor! I’m not a tendinitis expert! If you have lingering pain or some other issue with your hands that really concerns you , and just doesn’t friggin’ go away — see an appropriate professional. ASAP!——Jay   Excess Tension comes from Good...

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Learning Music Theory on the Guitar is Just Crazy

I'm reading a book called Guitar Zero, by Gary Marcus, a cognitive scientist who decided he was going to fulfill his dream of playing guitar at the age of 40, no matter how scary that seemed and no matter how humiliating his previous attempts had been. He's someone...

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Music Theory? Why Should I Care?

I was never much of a music theory whiz. Music theory was required for music majors---lots of music theory---and it always felt like I was cramming a toolkit into my brain that my brain didn't quite see the need for----the tools were for fixing airplane engines and...

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Mini Classical Guitar Lesson: Right Hand Technique

I have been getting some really interesting questions in response to my poll from those who've joined my list recently. Right now I'm in Amish Country for my Kauffman family reunion, driving past quilt shops and horse-and-buggies, but wanted to answer a question or...

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The Yin and Yang of Classical Guitar Mastery

I've been thinking a lot lately about some of my most recent discoveries in guitar playing and teaching. My work with polarities, going deeper into how they effect life in such profound ways has resulted in some breakthroughs in how I teach and in how I approach my...

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Breaking Through The Technical Obsession Barrier

Playing classical guitar is technically demanding. There are a lot of hurdles even if you want to play a relatively simple piece well enough for it to be satisfying.  The tendency for many players—and for many teachers—is to focus on technique, and leave everything...

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Picking (or Picking On) Your Classical Guitar Teacher

What should you look for when considering classical guitar lessons? What should you hope for? What might you have to settle for? Every teacher has something valuable to teach, and no-one is perfect. But here are some possible teaching styles or situations that can...

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The Classical Guitarist With No Bad Habits

Have you heard the legend of the guitarist with no bad habits? It goes like this: "there was this guy, who my friend used to go to school with, a monster guitarist, who'd been taught so well as a child that he never developed any bad habits!" His father showed him...

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The Learning Zone

Here's a little piece for anyone who practices but doesn't seem to improve much. I suggest you take a look at a book called "Talent is Overrated," by Geoff Colvin. The book is not written primarily to musicians but to a general audience of business, organizational and...

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