Recently, I’ve been looking at what the Russian guitar can do as an accompaniment instrument rather than a solo instrument. It is a very capable instrument in this regard. It fits thinner textures being a guitar, but the tuning gives you more control of the bass notes than I feel you have with Spanish guitar. I’ve always felt a bit like you get the inversion of the chord that makes it playable, rather than being able to pick the bass note you want. Given, some of this is probably related to skill, I get a feeling that every note is accessible in a position on Russian guitar in a way they’re not on Spanish guitar. This does have a drawback of making Russian guitar more ‘jumpy’ for the left hand, but I found that I quickly got used to it. The comfort with shifting has also carried over when I play Spanish guitar, so I think for anyone who doesn’t want to leave Spanish guitar, a foray into Russian guitar would still be of benefit because you have to approach it in a different way which can help build overall skill.

The last piece I posted was from one of my favorite soundtrack composers, Joe Hiyashi, and a lot of people seemed to enjoy it. So, I figured I’d do another of his pieces while I’m in the mood. This one is Always With Me from Spirited Away. It’s a beautiful and simple song, which makes it a great piece to start with. The accompaniment is built around a straight forward um pah pah kind of waltz which is handled by the guitar. The melody is very lyric and purely diatonic which I play on my (chromatic) harmonica. I didn’t play any of the repeats, so this is the ‘short version’, but I’m quite happy with how it turned out. 

For the recording, I’m trying a little studio app, BandLab, and it worked quite nicely for what I needed it to do. Multitrack recording, easy to add a bit of reverb. So I hope you enjoy.

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