“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau
I love simplicity. As a songwriter I enjoy working with words, voice and the classical fingerstyle guitar. My motivation is minimalism. Like a painter captures the essence of a landscape in a black and white sketch, I paint the essence of a song with just voice and guitar.
The classical guitar is a warm and expressive instrument. The nylon strings give it a harp-like quality. When played fingerstyle, using the classical techniques, the guitar offers a rich musical tapestry. I’m intrigued by the guitar, exploring its potential as a songwriter’s companion.
Latvia native. New Zealand national. I grew up in Denmark. For years I’ve lived in the USA and Canada. Now I live in New Zealand and Denmark.
A songwriter. A student of the classical guitar. My mission is to explore the classical guitar techniques and apply them to songwriting.
An experienced guitar teacher, I specialize in tuition for children. I teach private Skype lessons, develop teaching methodologies and compose online course for kids and beginners.
I am the author of the Gentle Guitar™ method and founder of gentleguitar.com online tuition services for children. Gentle Guitar™ provides fun & professional guitar lessons for kids ages 5 and up. The tuition is designed to nurture the bond between parent and child and uses music as a toolbox to enhance brain development. Gentle Guitar™ is on a mission to enrich the lives of children with music during their most crucial developing years. Learn more »
What I’m doing now
Gentle Guitar™ was born in New Zealand. During our 5-year course development and testing phase we established 3 private teaching locations around Auckland. Over 100 kids benefited from our in-person private tuition. Today, Gentle Guitar™ is an International online tuition service for kids. 100% tested and proven. I’m on a mission to bring the benefits of early childhood music tuition to families around the world.
Classical Guitar Techniques for Songwriting
Classical guitar is not readily associated with songwriting. Some musicians showcase this powerful instrument in modern music, but not many. The problem is that it’s darn hard to learn. It seems a daunting endeavour with all that initial focus on technique. But since when is anything worthwhile ‘easy’? It’s a rewarding instrument and it’s under-explored as a songwriter’s companion. I’m devoting much of my time lately to exploring this rich instrument.
Recording an Album
Excited by the idea of applying classical guitar techniques to songwriting, I’m deliberately stripping my album off everything but the essential. In my case that’s telling lyrical stories with only vocals and the classical guitar. I’m working to showcase the character of the instrument and explore minimalism in composition and production. I’m hoping that more people will fall in love with classical guitar in modern music!
The Classical Guitar
‘Classical Guitar’ is an instrument (nylon strings, body type) a style of playing the instrument (special fingerstyle techniques) and a repertoire (a collection of music by classical guitar composers). The instrument and the techniques are fun to explore for modern songwriting.
The classical guitar is used in Bossa Nova, Latin and some Flamenco music. (Flamenco players use a slightly modified classical guitar). It can also be heard in pop music, particularly in ballads and slower romantic songs. However, it’s the steel string guitar that enjoys the spotlight among acoustic songwriters. I’m on a mission to explore the potential of the classical guitar for songwriting, and demonstrate that the songwriter has much to gain by enriching his or her repertoire with the classical fingerstyle techniques.