My Music  Bud Tristano

Bud's official music page, in his own words ...

- A pianist by birth, I was so turned off by the way music was taught in public school and by private teachers, that I gave up by the time I was ten years old. Only after much reflection (and a little music theory) was I able to express why this was so: "Ionian Bias". It's a phrase that I coined in retrospect (years later) - for an approach that may work for most people, but didn't work for me! (If they would have just given me some "snake-charming" scales, I would have been a little shredder ...)

- Re-discovering the Beatles in my teens re-ignited my passion for listening to music, but I was still not sufficiently inspired enough to play a musical instrument. Then, at the age of twenty, I heard an Eric Clapton solo in a new way, and I knew that I had to get to the bottom of what this was all about: it was obviously not Yankee Doodle. It is a deep and profound thing that with one note, someone can cut through everything and completely transform a person. Imagine: someone's playing feeling (not chops, complexity, or cultural propaganda) can inspire another to devote a lifetime of study to music. Yet it would still be three more years before I seriously got started.

- I was lucky enough to acquire a hand-me-down acoustic nylon string guitar. My earliest attempts at playing were a primitive mixture of Flamenco, John Lee Hooker and Clapton. Within half a year I bought my first electric guitar & amp combo and began the long journey of teaching myself rock guitar. Now that I was finally "electric", my new "style" was a crude mixture of Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page. Somehow Page had internalized something about life and music and playing an instrument that was so compelling that I just HAD to get to the bottom of what this was all about. But there was one thing missing - I needed a whammy bar! Three years later, a new Strat fulfilled my requirement and subsequently brought Hendrix and Van Halen into my mix of styles. Also, the guitar style of Frank Zappa, who became my favorite, started creeping in there as well.

- Back when I started, there was no internet, no instructional videos, and no books that would reveal the secrets to this music. Even the private teachers that knew these styles would not share this information. It had to be won painstakingly, by slowing down vinyl records on old funky turntables that had a 16 rpm setting. I eventually applied this method to every kind of music that reached my ears. I had been learning to love ALL music! This would never have been possible without the initial inspiration of rock guitar players. After many years of this self-teaching and jamming with other musicians, I eventually transcended "styles" and have been developing a more free-form approach. Some milestones in this regard were hearing Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and Bela Bartok's Bartok Plays Bartok.


- My earliest home recordings were deeply influenced by nature, and indeed, the guitar music is interwoven with wildlife and nature sounds. Unknowingly, I was developing an idea that Debussy had written about decades earlier: music reflecting that "mysterious accord which exists between nature and the imagination." A compilation of these early works, "Pesunqua", is available for free download.

- My first publicly available CD, a collaboration with New York pianist Connie Crothers, is deeply influenced by Manhattan. This collection, "Primal Elegance" is available through the "New Artists Records" label. In music as in life I am going for the best of both worlds - the country and the city.

- My latest project is a CD with pianist Kazzrie Jaxen, inspired by the Delaware River, formerly known as "Lenapewiattuck", the river of the Lenape, on New Artists Records.

* BT Sampler: BT Sampler 2014 (2.03 MB)

~ Links ~

My latest CD, a duo
with pianist Kazzrie Jaxen,
official site.

* more info

My first CD, a duo
with pianist Connie Crothers,
official site.

* more info

My first home recordings,
with Pennsylvania wildlife,
free download

* bonus tracks

* My favorite guitar solos * My favorite records * Esta página en español

New Review: Primal Elegance


A new review of an album I made with Connie Crothers,
back in 2001. I like this:
Primal Elegance, Reconsidered (2015)

Free Downloads:
(right click, "save target as ...")

* Spring 2017: Spring 2017 (2.38 MB)

* Guitar Sound Collage: For Dime (355 kb)

* Acoustic Guitar Video: Intrigue (Prelude) (2.17 MB)


Original Music Based on Bird Calls

Audio and sheet music by Bud Tristano:

Wood Thrush Theme Scores

Hermit Thrush Theme Score

Classical Music Transcription for Electric Guitar

Audio and sheet music by Bud Tristano:

* My Bach Chaconne Power Tab: Chaconne Page

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Sketch ©2009 Michael Hollander

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