penlogo_a pen_b2


  A Retrospective of Previous Guitar Works (Including Some Vocals and Combos)


Hand-picked by yours truly, these 20 favorite tracks from the past forty-some years are in no particular order except perhaps in progression from guitar solos to vocal accompaniments and emsemble arrangements in the second half. They include mostly cover renditions of other people's music but also several original compositions.

Here's the list:

  1. Anji
  2. Mary, Mary
  3. Strawberry Fields Forever
  4. Pretty Ballerina
  5. Mom & Dad
  6. L'il Red Riding Hood
  7. Makin' Tracks
  8. D-minor Trilogy
  9. G-string Strut
  10. I'm Looking Through You
  11. Trip Trap
  12. Lovesick Blues
  13. Love Street
  14. Connection
  15. Paint It Black
  16. Helplessly Hoping
  17. You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio
  18. Who'll Be The Next In Line
  19. Crunch Time
  20. Interstate Of My Mind

The XX Files - 20 Best of Gary R. Peterson is available as a digital download at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and other outlets and also heard on Spotify and more.

  A Second Album of Acoustic Guitar Solos


I made my first recording, telling jokes, in 1955. I was three years old. Then I got a dime store guitar with a cowboy painted on it and gave up comedy for music. Now, in 2016, I couldn't be happier with the results of my latest effort, another album's worth of acoustic guitar solos: Tonewood.

It was originally going to be Volume Two of my previous album, Amber Burst (see below) but I put even more care into the new arrangements of these stylized musical selections - instrumental renditions (sans lyrics) of mostly familiar pop, rock, jazz, and folk tunes along with two original compositions - plus I used an improved recording setup and a new editing approach. It worked! The project took on a life of its own but I am - and hope that you will also be - highly satisfied with the sound, substance, and overall listenability of this seventeen track program I call Tonewood.

Here's the play list:

  1. Fool On The Hill
  2. Never Going Back Again
  3. Song For My Father
  4. Walk Away Renee
  5. Black Hole Sun
  6. Cuba Rhumba
  7. Day At The Seaside
  8. Sweet Betsy From Pike
  9. Pretty Ballerina
  10. Debbie Anne
  11. Mom & Dad
  12. No Hard Feelings
  13. Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
  14. Jessie / Silver Bell
  15. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
  16. Paint It Black
  17. Trip Trap

Tonewood by Gary R. Peterson is available as a digital download at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and other outlets and also heard on Spotify, Pandora and more.

  A Collection of Acoustic Guitar Solos


Amber Burst is available at
iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and is also heard on Pandora and Spotify

I bought a new guitar - a Gibson J-45 Custom "Amber Burst" - and it inspired me to record some new tunes. Hence the title of this album, a wide-ranging assortment of old pop-tunes and standards, from classical to hillbilly (but mostly 60s pop covers and a couple of originals), each one pared down to a bare-bones instrumental version in a finger-picking style that imparts a sketchy sensibility to these arrangements as I pluck, strum, flail and thump them into shape.

I'd like to get all intellectual on you and do the math behind the major, minor, augmented and diminished chords that comprise the structural relationship between melody and harmony as they dance to their own rhythm and stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain whether by full-blown orchestration or, in this case, simple six-string logic without any mind-distracting lyrics - but I'll let the compositions speak for themselves.

These renditions are way more than just easy-listening wallpaper, but I must say that this program does make great dinner music. And it's even better after a big bowl of, uh...dessert. Yeah, that's it - "dessert" and a pair of headphones!

Here's the menu:

  1. Strawberry Fields Forever
  2. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
  3. Hazy Shade Of Winter
  4. My Sweet Potato
  5. Suzanne
  6. Li'l Red Riding Hood
  7. Happy Together
  8. Bransle Gay
  9. Bourree
  10. Because
  11. Swinging On A Star
  12. Wabash Cannonball
  13. Eastbound Freight Train
  14. Wilson Rag
  15. Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard
  16. Strumstick Blues
  17. Picture Window Rag

Sample: Strawberry Fields Forever

Sample: Happy Together


romanza2.jpg outofnow2.jpg nowheremen2.jpg


I've built a few guitars myself. Here are a couple of them:
Excalibur (left, center) / Captain (right)

guit_maple.jpg width=


Trying to imagine that I was blind, I painted this picture (at right) of the sensations of touch and tones that I experience while playing the guitar; what I "see" inside of my head without any reference to the guitar's outward appearance. Only the area where my two hands touch the guitar fills the picture frame. Beyond that is nothingness without eyesight. The colors here represent sound instead of light, both being functions of wave frequency.

The amorphous shape at left is where the palm of my hand or thumb touches the back of the guitar neck (it's only a coincidence that it looks like a guitar body). The white spots are the fingertips playing an A-minor-6th chord - my favorite. The four flat ovals at top left are where the left-hand fingers wrap around the fret board. The white dot at top right is where my little finger rests on the soundboard for a finger-picking style. The crescents are fingernails (not some kind of lunar event). The strings and frets are obvious; they can be "seen" (anticipated) by touch. The prong at the bottom, just left of center, is the occasional "zinger," the twanging sound of the fingers scraping across the bronze wound bass strings.

The parallels are between light and sound are fascinating but the differences are profound. I use color here as a convenient analogy but a blind person has no concept of color as we know it. Then again, Ray and Stevie (Jose, Doc, Blind Lemon, et al) demonstrate the expanded resources and enhanced musical connections in brains that are free from the demands of visual processing. Those acquired sensibilities are beyond our experience except as enrapt listeners, but I hope that I've provided a reasonable visual model of how music sounds and feels from the inside out.


Read: The Guitar-Playing Brain
An essay by Gary Peterson
Click the link below


Neuroscience & Music

NOTE: If you don't see a YouTube video directly above this sentence,
then tell your browser to allow pop-ups, or else click this link *New Guitar J-45*
to see the video by Peterson.

Click the following link to see other guitar videos by yers truly: Gary Peterson on YouTube


My old-fashioned microphone would like a word with your new-fangled smart phone.

A new 5-song EP!

Phoning It In

The low-key vocal stylings of Gary R. Peterson on four pop songs plus one instrumental from the 60s & 70s:

-Sunny Goodge Street
-You Turn Me On I'm A Radio
-Everybody's Talkin'
-Embryonic Journey
-White Room


Phoning It In

is available for digital download at:

iTunes & Google Play or listen on Spotify


t-man_smx.jpg petehard_smx.jpg As a teen, I worked at my dad's store in Detroit. For lunch I'd walk over to the BBQ joint for soul food and then hang out near the record shop, listening to the street-corner singers fine-tuning their Motown sound a cappella. I only mention this as a backdrop for my latest musical offering to you - my cover version (a full-service Petersonification) of Marvin Gaye's TROUBLE MAN
Available at: iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, etc.

Trip Trap - Gary R. Peterson

See the original manuscript to my
solo guitar composition, Trip Trap.
Hear the finished version on the player above.