“Why tune the guitar the same way all the time? For security? There’s already been so much written for standard-tuned guitar.”
— Michael Hedges
Playing Michael’s Music
Many guitar players say they’ve learned such and such a Hedges tune with nothing but the tuning. Even something as complex as “Aerial Boundaries.” But when asked questions such as, “So, you got the upstroke with the thumb in measures 45 and 46 while the other two voices are going?”, or, “So, you got the right hand pinky muting on the upstrokes in the bridge on ‘Jitterboogie’?” they’re not quite sure what to say.
Michael’s music is so rich and full of brilliant nuances which are essential to the music’s execution that you’re not likely to get it all without a perfect transcription. And while his live performance videos can help, there’s more going on than you can see. You are likely to pluck out what your ears and hands are ready for, but not necessarily the full depth of what’s really there. As Michael once said about learning to play other people’s music, “…the path to yourself may be through others.”
Resources from Stropes Editions, Ltd.
In the 1990s, John Stropes worked closely with Michael Hedges to create detailed transcriptions of his music – inventing new notations to accommodate his unique style. The resources below have been used by thousands of guitarists to learn Michael’s music.
In the coming months and years, Stropes Editions, Ltd. is planning to release more transcripts of Hedges tunes for Michael’s fans, as well as an instructional video series for specific techniques and songs. Subscribe for updates so you’re among the first to know when they’re available.
Michael Hedges/Rhythm, Sonority, Silence was originally released in 1995. The acclaim it received upon first release established its place as a seminal document that created a new standard for printed music for fingerstyle guitar. The book was re-issued in 2020.
A new tuning database for several artists, including Michael Hedges. Search by title, album or tuning, and use tones to tune up your guitar, right on the page!
Browse transcriptions of Michael’s music by John Stropes. “Because It’s There” “Hot Type” “Ragamuffin” “Ready or Not” “The Happy Couple” and “Two Days Old”