Saturday, March 22, 2014


How about some more harp guitar for you weekend listening pleasure! It’s full on spring here in Portland: the camellias, magnolias & many of the cherries are in full bloom, & there have been some glorious days this month. In honor of that: a song named after my adopted home state.

“Oregon” is composed & performed by Stephen Bennett, one of the notable harp guitarists on the contemporary scene, but also just simple an excellent guitar player, no matter how many strings (& guitar necks) he has at his disposal. In fact, the Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association dubbed Bennett “the Jedi master of fingerstyle guitar.”

As is the case with many musicians who focus on instrumental performance, Bennett is not well known to the general public, & that’s a shame as he really is a marvelous performer who can wield considerable technical skills in the service of interpreting both his own compositions & covers—for instance, his 2005 release The Beatles for Acoustic Guitar or his 2012 Cool Tunes for Harp Guitar, which features versions of a diverse array of music—from Gershwin to Satie to themes from classic western films & much more! His website lists close to 30 CDs, as well as dvds, instructional books, & pdf transcriptions of close to 100 songs (including both 6-string & harp guitar transcriptions). Speaking of instructional books—if you’re looking to learn to play the harp guitar, Stephen Bennett does have material that can help you along!

Bennett explains the tuning of his sub-basses for this song in his video. Looking through his transcriptions, it appears that he G A B C D G quite often for the sub basses, & more often than not leaves the 6-string neck in standard tuning.

It’s a beautiful song—beautiful as our early spring Oregon days. Enjoy!

Image of Stephen Bennett links to its source at


  1. Beautiful! I've always loved the sound of the harp guitar. The late Michael Hedges played one and the sound enthralled me. Thanks, John!

  2. Good article and lovely music! Thanks for sharing :)


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