By: Adam Rafferty
I played jazz for many years professionally, and in 2007 got the idea of solo guitar into my head. My approach on acoustic is more like a jazz arranger than a country finger-picker. I try to use the guitar in a harp-like way to make it sound more like a piano played with a pedal, so notes ring over each other and the bass groove is happening simultaneously.
Introduction to Stevie Wonder:
He was always part of the soundtrack of my life. I can’t remember not hearing his music on the radio and MTV when it first appeared. When I decided to take the plunge into acoustic solo — I wanted to cover great music. Stevie has it all…melody, bass lines, harmony, blues and the groove. Also great lyrics — but as an instrumentalist I can’t bring that across 🙂
Favorite Stevie Wonder Songs:
I have many Stevie Wonder songs that I love — but here are some that I have arranged and play.
“Superstition” — this was my first Youtube hit. It’s almost at 2 million views
“Isn’t She Lovely” — 890,600 views
Many guitarists have covered my arrangements of these.
“I Wish” (a really tricky one)
“My Cherie Amour”
“You Are the Sunshine Of My Life”
I even have 2 DVD’s with video lessons and sheet music so that other guitarists can learn my arrangements note for note. (Also available as digital download)
The Stevie Wonder Lasting Impact:
Stevie Wonder is one of our great musical geniuses and composers. His stuff is brilliant, melodically, harmonically and rhythmically. For me his music is like “vitamins” — it nourishes, inspires and influences me every time I listen.
For more information visit: AdamRafferty.com
~Feature in collaboration with/produced by: Jeff Gorra
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