Michael BarylaWelcome to my music blog. Unless you already know me, you’re probably here because you’ve gotten my name at a jam or open mic somewhere in North Carolina.  Thanks for your interest, and I hope you enjoyed whatever it was I was playing that night.


Resources for classical guitar

Here are some great resources for classical guitarists:

Classical Guitar Magazine  – This is the web site for Classical Guitar magazine, published quarterly. The magazine is published by Stringletter Media, who also publishes Acoustic Guitar, Drum, Strings, and Ukulele.  I’m still a fan of print media and subscribe to Classical Guitar, finding it informative, educational, and inspirational.  The site features many  videos that round out the print publication.  Subscribers can download digital versions of the magazine.

This is Classical Guitar –  This is Classical Guitar is an online publication exploring the contemporary classical guitar scene with occasional forays into the past. It is focused on current professional players as well the new generation of young guitarists. It has become an excellent source for free and quality sheet music. There are also reviews and discussions about classical guitar. The editor, Bradford Werner, occasionally writes editorials on his experiences or write-ups on what he’s up to or trying out.

Classical Guitar – I’ve recently discovered this site, managed by Christopher Davis, a  classical guitarist and teacher.  On this blog, you’ll find tons of articles on practicing, performing, interpretation, and guitar technique.

Interested in playing nylon string guitar?

AG_283_largeIf you are interested in playing nylon string guitar, pick up the July 2016 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.   The issue contains several articles that will be of particular interest to steel string players considering  expanding their sonic palette, including tips for playing nylon,  reviews of nylon string guitars, and a list of essential non-classical guitar albums.

If you’ve not been considering a nylon string guitar, listen to some of recommended albums.  You might change your mind once you hear how versatile the instrument is.

It’s a common misconception that a classical guitar is useful only for classical music or flamenco music.  I routinely mix genres when playing my classical guitar, recklessly hopping between classical, bossa nova, jazz, and rock.  I can’t  do that with the same subtlety of expression on a steel string guitar.

For a bit of inspiration, here’s Earl Klugh playing the jazz standard “Once Upon a Summertime” from the 1989 Solo Guitar album, one of recommendations from the Acoustic Guitar staff.


I hear loopers – again and again

Recently I attended an excellent Jesse Cook concert in Charlotte, NC and noticed looping was occasionally being used even though Jesse had a full band. Jesse even explained to the audience what it was and how he was about to use it before one of his songs. I’ve also noticed an increasing use of loopers by local guitarists when they need accompaniment for a solo and no other chordal instrument is available.

Being a bit of a purist, I’ve resisted the urge to experiment, instead sorting out how do chord melodies, which works well for the kinds of songs I perform. But here we have Jesse, swaying me to the electronic side with this improvisation he posted. Enjoy.