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A few months ago, I gave you a snapshot of the Intellimusica community — explaining that blogs are like beacons that attract like-minded people to one place.

One of my original ideas behind this blog, was that Intellimusica would appeal to smart people looking for better content, or something different than what is readily available for guitarists to play. Needless to say, this idea worked, and I am continually humbled by the interesting people (of wildly diverse backgrounds) that frequent my blog.

They say, if you want to change your life for the better, find better friends. Nothing could be more true! In the case of this blog, I’ve surrounded myself with smart, quality people — and I’m forced to generate smart, quality material.

The same holds true offline as well.  If you want to achieve, surround yourself with achievers.  If you want to lose, surround yourself with losers.

So, in the spirit of this community, I thought I’d give you another glimpse of the company that you and I keep:

Christopher Neel, is an Oklahoma based geologist, guitarist, photographer, and father of two. In addition to commenting on this blog and Facebook, Chris wrote an amazing and introspective review of my EP, Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings on Amazon.

When my traffic is in the doldrums, or when I’m unsure of a particular post, Chris always seems to lend an encouraging comment at the right time.  See what I mean by surrounding yourself with the right people?

If you’re a young person who’s interested in geology (as a surprising number of my readers are), be sure to hit up Chris on Facebook (or even comment on this post). He’s a nice guy, and generous with his advice.

Chan Jayasekera, is an 18-year-old biochemistry student at Royal Holloway, University of London.  In addition to playing guitar and piano, (pay attention ladies) Chan is into tennis, running, swimming, music and film. He also spends his summers doing charity work in the UK and in Sri Lanka.

I’m 36, and my bio is nowhere near as awesome as his!  Does any of us doubt that Chan is going to be successful at whatever he does?

In his free time, Chan uploads his own arrangements (and a couple from this blog as well) to Soundcloud. If you’re on Soundcloud, be sure to stop by and give him a listen and a follow.

(Note: Chan is getting good at creating instrumental arrangements.  If you’d like to be able to do what I (and Chan) do, there’s no other way than to: do your best, record yourself, and document your progress.  Chan is doing this intuitively, and that’s also what I did when I was  14 — with cassette tapes!

Farzam Hassani, is a 23-year-old working musician Tehran, Iran.  Farzam, who has studied computer software engineering — is a drummer by specialty, has his own studio, and credits Intellimusica as his inspiration to play guitar.

Farzam and I are Facebook friends, and one of our first correspondence was Farzam asking me my thoughts on, Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, or any other impressionist composer. Uh…. what?

With my total ignorance of classical music fully exposed, I searched Wikipedia to find out who Satie, and Debussy were, and what an impressionist was.

Some of you might be thinking, I can’t believe he didn’t know that? All I can say is, that’s one of the benefits of having this blog:

Cool guys like Farzam can school me on, who wrote Gymnopedie No.1, from 8,000 miles away — probably saving me from public embarrassment, somewhere down the line. 

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How to Play Prayer for the Living

`Prayer for the Living’ has a different feel (tuned differently?) than the rest of the tracks on the EP. When first hearing this track, my thoughts were metamorphosed to the North American Old West, of the hardships and sacrifices of the individual. The piece seems to `speak’ of the burdens in our lives, but also portrays the innate momentum for survival. This track is a great ending to the EP.— Chris Neel

Not to get metaphysical, but I feel that Prayer for the Living is the best song I’ve written to date — that I didn’t write.

I kind of had this ‘Amazing Grace type of riff’ in my head for a long time, and once I decided to concentrate on it, the entire song wrote it self within about 15 minutes.  I think this is an experience that a lot of musicians, artists, and creators have. You’re almost the conduit for the song, rather than the creator.

The end result is a tender song with simple melody lines, and hopefully devoid of ego. 

Prayer for the Living is tuned one whole step down.  The tuning is as follows from low to high: D G C F A D.  Enjoy, the tab is available below:

Prayer for the Living (Tab)

-To update my last community post.  Daniel Legler is uploading new material to his deviantART page, and Rodolfo Fanti is pursuing music under the name Dean Peter.

Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.

Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.