Watch the Arioso Breakdown 1 online guitar lesson by Muriel Anderson from Innovations for Acoustic Guitar

I've found a great way to get inspired when writing a new tune. If I can find a song or instrumental that really grabs me in some way, and think, "What are the things about it that make it so cool?" I can often find a way to use those ideas in my own music, without using the actual notes. It really works. Look at your favorite tune from all different angles. Is it the rhythm, the accents, the way the chords lead into each other, the shapes of the melodies, the way one note or chord is held out or bunches of notes grouped together, or the way the phrases build or fade? It can be any of a number of things. Sometimes you can write a tune in a completely different style using melodic or rhythmic concepts from your favorite pieces, and it's bound to be interesting.
The main theme of "Arioso" came from listening to one of Bach's arias. I heard the melody returning time and time again to the same note, and used that idea. Check out how it develops here.
Video 2 works through the new part of "Arioso." When writing a version for guitar and cello, I changed to the minor key so that the cello could really saw away and have space to be emotional. Then I got to like the change so added this part to the solo guitar version. It is included in Mel Bay's collection Anthology of New Classic Guitar Solos and with the cello in New Classics for Guitar and Cello or "Theme for Two Friends." The original version is in the book Muriel Anderson Hometown Live, published by Zen-On, Japan. Anyway, choose your version, and there are recordings and sheet music of the other versions on So it changes a little over time - yup, it was written about love.

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