Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop Instructional and Historical DVDs Books and Materials

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El McMeen

Internationally acclaimed acoustic guitarist El McMeen has been listed among the “100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists.”

His artistry has been praised in numerous publications, including the NY Daily News, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and Guitar Player Magazine. El’s music has been hailed by critics as “stirring … unbridled acoustic beauty” and “drop-dead gorgeous” (Guitar Player Magazine) and as a “treasure” (Dirty Linen Magazine).

While he plays in many styles, El’s music focuses on beautiful melodies, and his up-tempo pieces reflect a joyful, toe-tapping pulse. He emphasizes touch, tone, and phrasing. He specializes in rhythmic flexibility and often employs harp-like arpeggios in many different genres of music, Celtic, spiritual, and pop.

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El McMeen Single Song Downloads


A 'Soaling
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

El takes the accompaniment to the great Peter, Paul and Mary rendition of this song, and turns it into a guitar solo, and the result sounds like two or more guitars! It's fun to play, and is a great way to liberate your thumb from your fingers in your fingerpicking!



Amazing Grace
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This iconic Christian song just sings in CGDGAD. It can be played in different ways in different registers, in a very open, evocative and harp-like fashion in this tuning. It has been a showstopper for El in concert over the years, as it reaches the human soul.



Angels We Have Heard on High
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This joyful carol is the opening cut on El's Christmas recording called "The Spirit of Christmas Guitar," and for good reason it is a compelling, harp-like and contemporary arrangement. It exploits the attributes of the "CGAD". It sings, and rings out with cascading notes symbolizing the joy of Christmas.



Away in a Manger
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This lesson shows the beauty of the alternate setting of this song in the lush and accessible "CGAD" guitar tuning (CGDGAD from bass to treble). The melody rings out in a harp-like fashion, with use of the open strings and an arpeggiated approach of playing across the strings, bass to treble. The effect is most evocative.



Away in A Manger
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

This lesson shows the beauty of the primary setting of this song. It is played in the key of C, but in a harp-like fashion, with an arpeggiated approach of playing across the strings, bass to treble.



Be Thou My Vision
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This is one of the oldest and most beautiful hymns in the Christian tradition, derived from the ancient Irish melody "Slane." It is the very first hymn that El arranged in the evocative "CGAD" guitar tuning - CGDGAD bass to treble. Interestingly, it combines a familiar chord progression, G, E minor, C and D, with an ancient feel, creating a most affecting piece of music. With the availability of the open strings in CGAD, the piece just sings. Every guitarist interested in spiritual music should learn this song.



Bring A Torch, Jeannette Isabella
Level: 3
Tuning: DADGAD

El teaches an up-tempo version of this French carol in DADGAD tuning. It is very joyful and jig-like, and fun to play. It also illustrates El's approach of often playing melodies in different registers of the guitar, in the way pianists do.



Carolan's Receipt
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This is one of the lightest and most enjoyable of the harp tunes of the iconic Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). It is very joyful, as Carolan musically conveys his love of the "receipt" (meaning, in this case, "recipe") for his beloved beverage of whiskey. It is very harp-like and delightful to hear and play. The "CGAD' tuning is the perfect canvas on which the tune is painted.



Danny Boy
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This song can be a chestnut, but in El's hands "Danny Boy" takes on a yearning and compelling character, part vocal and part harp-like, with astonishing results. This arrangement elevates something hackneyed and over-done to a very special level, such that, in El's concerts, it has been a showstopper.



Eleanor Plunkett
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This is one of the most compelling of all the harp compositions of the iconic Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). It is in honor of a patroness, who was, tradition has it, the only survivor of an attack on her family's castle. The "CGAD" tuning provides a powerful and evocative palette to present this beautiful tune.



In Christ There Is No East or West
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This iconic hymn has been associated with John Fahey in the world of steel-string guitar, but El teaches the much more common and beloved melody, in the evocative and accessible "CGAD" tuning - CGDGAD from bass to treble. This tuning is easy to learn and is very well adapted to the world of sacred music - hymns, gospel songs, and even contemporary Christian music.



In the Bleak Mid-Winter
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This is simply El's favorite Christmas song of all time. It is gorgeous in the CGDGAD tuning. It has a contemporary feel, with the G, E minor, C and D chord progression, and just sings in CGAD, with the availability of open strings and evocative voicings for the chords. Every guitarist who plays Christmas music (and even those who don't) should have this song in their repertoire.



Jingle Bells
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

This lesson shows how to render Jingle Bells as an effective guitar solo, with an introduction and a rollicking alternating-bass approach that gets the feet tapping. It is in standard tuning.



Lament for Owen Roe O'Neill
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This Irish lament, composed by the iconic Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), illustrates the power of the guitar played in the key of G minor in "CGAD" guitar tuning. The tuning, and El's, harp-like arrangement, brings out the pathos yet beauty of this affecting piece of music.



Not Alone for Mighty Empire
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This is one of El's favorite melodies in the 30+ years he's been arranging guitar music. The tune, called "Hyfrydol" (pronounced "huh-vrod-ul," and meaning "cheerful" in Welsh), has been used in over 14 separate hymns because of its popularity and quality. Interestingly, it contains a familiar chord progression, G, E minor, C and D, yet with some unexpected changes, and a compelling melody for the ages. Every guitarist interested in spiritual music should learn this song.



Silent Night
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This quintessential Christmas song jumps off the strings in the "CGAD" guitar tuning. The melody is presented in a very open, evocative and harp-like fashion, is very accessible, and illustrates the beauty and power of the tuning. When El has played this in Christmas Eve services, the effect has been profound.



The Castle of Dromore
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This beautiful Irish lullaby, sometimes called "October Winds," immediately draws the guitarist and listener into the wonderful world of "CGAD" tuning, in which El has been playing and constantly breaking new ground for 30 years. This tuning allows the song to be played in a very evocative, harp-like manner, with striking and affecting results.



The South Wind
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

One of the most beautiful songs in Irish traditional music, presented in the lush and accessible "CGAD" tuning - CGDGAD, bass to treble. This tuning is easy to learn and will give you a whole new palette of colors for your musical painting. The approach is very harp-like, with lots of open strings and voicings to allow the guitar to ring out.



This Is My Father's World
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This iconic Christian song just sings in the "CGAD" guitar tuning. The melody is presented in a very open, evocative and harp-like fashion in this tuning, and is very accessible.



We Three Kings
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

El's setting of this Christmas song elevates it from the humdrum sing-along chestnut to a high level of drama, mystery and spirituality. He has set it in the key of G minor in the "CGAD" guitar. Moreover, he uses a harp-like approach, arpeggiating across the strings from bass to treble. The result is a ravishing piece of music that should be in the repertoire of every guitarist who plays Christmas music.



We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Level: 3
Tuning: CGDGAD

This lesson goes to town on this popular tune, with single-note treatments and variations evoking the violin and the piano. It illustrates the attributes of the "CGAD" guitar tuning.