FINN OLAFSSON • Video of the Month • April 2014 • Playful Springtime

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Video of the Month 2014

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Video of the Month 2014

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• Video of the Month 2014

• January 2014 Video

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• September 2014 Video

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• 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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April 2014

"PLAYFUL SPRINGTIME" - C.F. Martin OM-45 GE 1933 Golden Era

Click here watch to the video on YouTube

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

LINKS:      Buy sheet music / TAB online      Buy "Playful Springtime" on iTunes      Buy "Playful Springtime" on DVD/CD

About the music

Sometimes, when I write a new tune, I'm not really aware of what I'm doing - and that I'm in fact in the process of creating something new.

I think that this was what happened when I worked with this tune in the spring of 2011 on an OM-45 1833 Restricted Custom Shop model I had found in the TFOA shop in Holland. I remember that I wanted to make a somewhat happy uptempo tune with alternating bass and some fast runs.
The reason for this? Well, it should be happy and in uptempo because I needed to cheer up myself - with alternating bass because I hadn't really done that before - and the fast runs because I wanted to challenge myself a little. Anyway, suddenly it was a reality that I had made a new tune which is now entitled "Playful Springtime".

In some ways I think that this tune is a bit different from most of the guitar music I'm usually writing. Having thought about that and wondered about which genre I could call this piece, I contacted a specialist in this area, Friðrikur Ellefsen, guitarist, editor and owner of Danish guitar site "", asking him to "identify" the genre of "Playful Springtime". Friðrikur Ellefsen kindly answered that he "heard some Bert Jansch inspired folk in the beginning of the tune, then, in the middle, something more Irish, and later in the tune something "country/bluegrass'ish." Therefore Friðrikur made the conclusion that the genre could be called "country folk fingerstyle".

I play "Playful Springtime" in the well known guitar tuning of DADGAD. It is one of my absolutely favorite tunings.
I have written a lot of tunes in this tuning - maybe because it's so easy to make the guitar sound well. Furthermore because it's very easy to play. For instance, you only need to use one finger to play an "empty" D chord - a chord with no thirds - which sounds amazingly well. It's so obvious and easy to play in the key of D that I, as far as I remember, when playing in DADGAD only play in the key of D. So this is an advantage as well as a limitation.

It is very likely that "Playful Springtime" will be recorded for my next album "Acoustic Guitar 3" and that it will also be available in tablature and staff notation in the music book following the CD-album. Both are planned to be released in late 2014. If you are very eager to try to play the tune right now I can inform that what's very essential in the A and B parts is the alternating bass D A D A D A on the 4th and 5th strings. You have to practice this, first of all. The bass is more fingerpicking-like in the C and D parts. And then there are these different fast runs which are really great fun to practice.

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About the guitar

C.F. Martin OM-45 GE 1933 Golden Era

I'm playing a 2001 C.F. Martin OM-45 GE 1933 Golden Era in this video. The Martin OM model is very suitable for my style of playing - as it is for many acoustic guitar players around the world. The shape of the guitar makes it very balanced both tonally, physically and visually.

The OM model had its debut in 1930 after the guitarist and banjo player Perry Bechtel had visited the Martin factory. He requested an acoustic guitar with a longer and slimmer neck and with 14 frets to the body instead of only 12, because he wanted to be able to switch easily between banjo and guitar. Bechtel also asked for a small pickguard. Martin took the 12 fret 000 as the bench mark, shortened the body so that the body met the 14th fret, and moved the soundhole and bridge up. Martin also opted for a solid headstock and chose the long scale of 25.4 inches (65.5 cm) which was common on the 12 fretted 000 model at the time.
Bechtel's prototype was called "000-28 Special" just as 11 similar guitars crafted at the end of 1929 were also entitled "000". However, soon afterwards this long-necked and long-scaled model was called an "Orchestra Model" - or just "OM".

It's worth noticing that the 14 fret model called "000" is a short scaled guitar (24.9 inches / 63.25 cm) with exactly the same body as the OM.

According to the publication about C.F. Martin Guitars, "A Technical Reference" by Richard Johnston and Dick Boak (Revised and updated from the original by Mike Longworth), the first OM-45 guitars were listed on Martin's sales lists from 1930-1933. During those four years, 40 OM-45s were sold but Dick Boak has recently explained that one of these was an OM-45 Deluxe for Roy Rodgers and another a Hawaiian OM-45H - meaning that only 38 "normal" OM-45s were sold. Of these 38 only 6 were sold in 1933 (at the price of USD 170). For four decades the OM-45 was then deleted from the lists until 1977 when the OM-45 was reintroduced on special-order basis and again appeared on price lists in 1978 in an Indian Rosewood version (at USD 2.600). It was deleted again from the lists in 1994.

The OM-45 GE Golden Era (Brazilian Rosewood/Adirondack) was added in 1998 as a Special Edition (16 guitars sold) and was listed as OM-45 GE 1933 Golden Era from 1999. From 2000-2005 123 were sold. One of these is the one I play in the video.

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The "Golden Era" term refers to C.F. Martin's Golden Era period which most collectors state is dating back to the production years from 1929-1942. The "Golden Era" line was given vintage appointments such as Brazilian rosewood for GE models higher than Style 28, Adirondack spruce tops with scalloped braces, wider 1 ¾ inches (44,45 mm) modified V neck, wider string spacing at the bridge, golden era snowflake fingerboard inlays - and many other features taken from the 1933 OM-45.

All in all it's a guitar of very high quality with a great balance and an overwhelming richness of overtones. A tune like "Playful Springtime", with all these short and fast notes, doesn't really tell the full story of this guitar's abilities. But I hope, despite this, that you sense the power and energy of this fine instrument.
I do agree with Rudi Bults at The Fellowship of Acoustics in Holland, who often claims that C.F. Martin Guitars for the last two decades or so have been, and still are, in a new "Golden Era" period, while producing very excellent guitars - not least from the Martin Custom Shop.

With reference and thanks to the following publications - warmly recommended:

Martin Guitars - A Technical Reference - by Richard Johnston and Dick Boak (Revised and updated from the original by Mike Longworth) - ISBN 978-1-4234-3982-0

Martin Guitars - A History - by Richard Johnston and Dick Boak (Revised and updated from the original by Mike Longworth) - ISBN 978-0-634-03785-6

Martin Guitars - An illustrated Celebration to America's Premier Guitarmaker" by Jim Washburn & Richard Johnston - ISBN 0-7621-0174-1

Pictures of the guitar courtesy of The Fellowship of Acoustics, The Netherlands.

Buy CDs & DVDs featuring Finn Olafsson online at:

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The C.F. Martin OM-45 GE 1933 Golden Era