FINN OLAFSSON • Video of the Month • March 2014 • Our House

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Video of the Month 2014

The Sheet Music/TAB PDF Files Online
Hamlet's Castle sheet music / TAB


Video of the Month 2014

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• Video of the Month 2014

• January 2014 Video

• February 2014 Video

• March 2014 Video

• April 2014 Video

• May 2014 Video

• June 2014 Video

• July 2014 Video

• August 2014 Video

• September 2014 Video

• October 2014 Video

• November 2014 Video

• December 2014 Video

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About "Video of the Month 2014" - in general

"Video of the Month 2014" is the headline of a unique activity by Danish composer and guitarist Finn Olafsson.

Every month in 2014 a new "live in the studio" recorded video was uploaded to YouTube featuring Finn Olafsson's acoustic guitar music and acoustic guitar techniques.

In 7 of the 12 videos Finn Olafsson plays brand new tunes which have never been published before while Finn Olafsson plays tunes known from his CD-albums in 5 of the videos.

In two of the videos Finn Olafsson is assisted by his brother Torsten Olafsson on tablas.

We used three cameras: One focusing on Finn Olafsson's left hand, another on the right hand and the third filming the "total" of Finn Olafsson playing the guitar.

The setup was engineered by Kim Ingemann Erichsen, Peak Production ApS, who was also in charge of the editing of the videos.

An exciting and interesting feature for many acoustic guitar fans is that Finn Olafsson plays on different Danish Kehlet Guitars and American C.F. Martin Guitars and David W. Musselwhite guitars from video to video.

In order to give all the guitars that Finn Olafsson plays in the videos equal conditions for optimal sound, a new set of exactly the same brand of phosphor bronze strings was put on on each and every guitar.

The guitars were recorded by sound engineer Ronnie Bille with a pair of DPA 4041 microphones "directly" through an AD stereo converter to a digital recording system.

The audio recordings were edited and mixed by Tobias Folting and Finn Olafsson in Folting Studio engineered by Tobias Folting.

For every video there is an individual, dedicated webpage here on Finn Olafsson's website where you can read in much detail about the background for each of the guitar pieces, the story about each of the guitars he is playing in the videos, the different guitar tunings used and some 'how to play it' advice. The essays are extensively illustrated with photos.

In Spring 2015, a double-DVD set including an audio CD, "The Audio Tracks", with all the 12 videos and some extra specials, was released.

In April 2016 the double DVD/CD set was followed up by a music book including all 12 acoustic guitar pieces presented as sheet music / guitar TAB.

All the music pieces are also available online for purchase and download as separate sheet music / TAB PDF files.

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March 2014

"OUR HOUSE" - Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

The music, the tuning and how to play it

"Our House" is a piece from my album "Acoustic Guitar 2".
The guitar tuning is CGCGBD.
I wrote it back in the beginning of the nineties. The title refers to the song of the same title by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young which was released on their "Déja vu" album: "Our house is a very, very, very fine house, with two cats in the yard". These two lines were relating very close to my own reality when I one day sat outside our house working with the tune. The piece also relates much to my daughter Maria who was at the age of ten at that time.

Some years ago I was invited by German acoustic guitar magazine "Akustik Gitarre" to create a guest workshop for the magazine. I chose to write about "Our House" because I thought that the C tuning was quite unique and would be interesting for the magazine's readers and because the piece also is rather easy to play. Due to the length of the workshop it was brought in two parts: Part 1 which was printed in the magazine and part 2 which was uploaded on the website of Akustik Guitarre.

As a gesture, and in connection with my "Video of the Month 2014" project, Akustik Gitarre has uploaded the "Our House" guest workshop, including the pdf files with the tablature and score, for a limited period on the magazine's website - LINK: Akustik Gitarre.

Below you will find the text of the Akustik Gitarre workshop in English.

Akustik Gitarre "Our House" guest workshop
Part 1 (LINK: Akustik Gitarre)

"Our House" is a piece from my solo album "Acoustic Guitar 2". The tuning is CGCGBD - a tuning which makes it possible to let the open strings ring a lot making the music deep and soft in character. If you have been playing in the G tuning DGDGBD, you will find, that this C tuning is very similar to the G tuning - apart from the fact that - in this tuning - you have the tonic, the tone of the main key, lowest on the 6th string.

The fingerpicking is quite straight and easy - then you can concentrate on your left hand! The piece should sound warm and relaxed. Therefore it is very important that you use the most appropriate left hand fingering. Regarding the right hand you can use your thumb, "p", straight on the three bass strings, "i" for the 3rd, "m" for the the 2nd and "a" for the 1st. In measures 17-20 and 22 you can try to use the shown alternative "i" and "m" fingers. That sounds well - but it is not a must.

There are a few hammerings (1, 5, 22) and a few pull-offs (17, 29). There are also some chords which sound great when they are being strummed with an arpeggio. It is not very important to play the arpeggios exactly as they are written in the notation - but it is important not to strike with an arpeggio on every chord!

This is the A and B parts of the piece. The C and D parts will follow in the next edition of the magazine. The form of the A and B parts is: A (1-8), B1 (9-26), A, B2 (27-34), A, B1 (9-24 + 35-36).

I hope you will enjoy to play "Our House". Have fun!

Finn Olafsson

Akustik Gitarre "Our House" guest workshop
Part 2 (LINK: Akustik Gitarre)

This is the second part of the workshop with Finn Olafsson. The first part contained the A and B parts of "Our House" from "Acoustic Guitar 2". Here is the C and D parts which will make it possible for you to play the piece in it's full length. The tuning is CGCGBD and the fingerpicking is still quite straight. That makes it easier to concentrate on your left hand.

Starting with a C7 chord in a high position it gets really important to use the correct fingering from measure 39-48. Also from 49 to 56 where it is an advantage to use the 1st and 4th fingers when going up the fingerboard in order to let the 3rd string ring all the way. Try in these measures to strike the 2nd as well as the 3rd strings with the "i" finger on your right hand - to make it more punchy.

In measures 57 and 61 you pull-off from the tones G to E while you hammer back again in 59 and 63.

In the D part this C tuning makes it possible to play exactly the same tone on the 1st and the 2nd strings - at the same time. There are only 3 frets between the tones and when using the left hand's 1st and 4th fingers the tones are able to ring very beautifully. Try also to use the right hand's "i" and "m" fingers striking the 2nd and 1st string. The D part is supposed to be played rather softly.

I hope you will also enjoy playing these parts of "Our House". I wish you a good time.

Finn Olafsson

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Photos by Hans Ole Madsen

The Guitar

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature

The idea of designing a Kehlet guitar as a cross between the shape of a Dreadnought and a Kehlet Folk model came to me after having played Martin Dreadnoughts for many years. Combining the advantages of the Dreadnought - its volume, low and top ends - with the advantages of the Kehlet Folk - its middle range, lightness, clearly defined sound, beautiful (i.e. feminine) appearance, and its more comfortable shape - seemed like an interesting thing to explore. The ultimate acoustic guitar, in my mind, would be one that gave you all these advantages in one guitar.

Ole Kehlet and I discussed this and then tried to enlarge the body of the Folk model to the length of the Dreadnought. We made a few corrections and finally arrived at a body with the approximate cubic content of a Dreadnought, but one in which the soft shoulders and the slim waist of the Folk model are predominant features over the heavy, angular lines of the Dreadnought. The enlarged cubic content and the subsequent increased volume lies mainly behind the bridge - in the lower body - which makes it as comfortable to hold as the small Folk model. It also looks very elegant, despite its size.

As I have often admitted, I am a bit of an inlay-freak, and my own personal signature guitars needed a very special design. I already knew what I didn't want: Celtic patterns, snowflakes and diamonds on the fretboard and bridge, the torch or alternate torch on the headplate, tree of life on the fretboard and so on. These are ornaments which are beautiful in the right quantities and combinations - but they are all classic and "holy" C.F. Martin designs and relate and belong, in my world, to C.F. Martin Guitars. Besides, I wanted the ornamentation on my Kehlet signature model to express something Danish because the builder and the guitarist are both Danes. And I wanted a motive taken from Nature, since I spend a lot of time outdoors and is often inspired by Nature when writing music.

I kept returning to the motive of a swan - the Danish national bird. The swan has a proud appearance and gracious movements. It is always a sight to behold. So I approached Marianne Olafsson who is a wonderful painter and told her of my idea to let a swan adorn the top of the headstock. She immediately agreed and added a club rush on the mid-section of the headstock between the strings. Club rushes and swans both have long necks. The club rush stretches upwards, towards the swan, and the swan looks down towards its nest between the rushes.

I also wanted ornamentation on the wings of the bridge, and Marianne and I quickly agreed that rushes would be appropriate here as well, creating a natural counterpoint to the wings of the swan, creating a triangle with the club rush in the middle of the headstock. Marianne then drew the motives very accurately. Ole Kehlet transferred them to the headstock and the bridge. He then milled out the shape, and with abalone, mother of pearl and brass he finished the motives in a piece of beautiful inlay-work of great depth. The ornamentation also includes abalone binding on the body, rosette, fretboard and around the open headstock. The abalone bindings are laid free 1.5 milimeters from the edge, and the overall impression of the guitar is completed by the fact that the bottom edge of the fretboard follows the curve of the soundhole.

The sides and the three-piece back is made of 1957 Brazilian rosewood from the Rio Delta with a light-quilted American sitka top, scalloped braces of European spruce on the top and back, bird's eye maple/ebony bindings, mahogany neck/headstock and fretboard and a headplate and bridge of ebony. The finish is polished high-gloss cellulose lacquer.

The very first proto type of the Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature model was built in 2004 and was made of Indian rosewood with a sitka top. If the model turned out well Ole Kehlet would thereafter build my personal signature guitar in Brazilian rosewood. Well, the proto type turned out to be excellent and the guitar I play on the March 2014 video was delivered to me in 2005. The guitar has opened up more and more during the years and sounds better and better the more I play it.

Photos: Hans Ole Madsen

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Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature, front

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature, back and heel

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature, head

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature, inlay in bridge

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature, bottm

Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature, head


Finn Olafsson with the Kehlet Grand Folk Finn Olafsson Signature

Photos by Hans Ole Madsen