30 fingers + 3 guitars = wow in Troy

Fingerstyle guitar event at Mayflower

By CC Hutten

Photo: Guitarist David Youngman will perform at Mayflower Artc Center as part of Six Strings x 3

On Saturday, Oct. 18, the Mayflower Arts Center will host Six Strings x 3, showcasing an intimate, acoustic performance by three passionate fingerstyle guitarists: Mark Bayer, Chris Weiss and David Youngman.

There is not a single, solid definition of fingerstyle guitar. According to Alan Fark, the editor of Minor 7th, an acoustic guitarist review magazine, it can encompass any genre. Playing fingerstyle is essentially playing the sounds of an entire band – foundation, lead, melody, rhythm and beat – with a single instrument, the guitar.

It all came together when Fark attended a fingerstyle competition in Indiana. He was impressed by the talent and decided he was going to bring it to the Dayton area. In his search for a venue, he found the Mayflower Arts Center in Troy to be a perfect fit because of its connection to the community.

“Troy has a vibrant arts community and has an extremely welcoming atmosphere,” Fark said. “Mayflower is right on the town square and very accessible.”

Each artist will bring his own style and genres to the event.

Mark Bayer music is strongly influenced by jazz, one reason Fark wanted to include him in Six Strings x 3. Fark said Bayer plays music inspired by different experiences in his life, such as living in a rural environment. For example, Bayer has a “rock/jazz” album out, entitled Horse Rescue.

“My style is a little different,” Bayer said. As a child, he slowly learned to play the guitar, using picks, but also his middle finger, ring finger and pinky or little finger.

“This was somewhat unorthodox, although I did not know it at the time,” he said. “Later, I was switched to the standard classical style using the thumb and index finger. Learning classical style allowed playing on separate non-adjacent strings, thus creating separate voices being played simultaneously. It became apparent quickly to me that this style opened up a whole new world to explore.”

Chris Weiss said he likes the idea of playing at Mayflower because he has not “broken in” to the central Ohio audience, and Six Strings x 3 is a “neat way to move into that market and to the folks around there.”

He says the way he plays fingerstyle is the way most people play piano.

“You can incorporate so many different styles into guitar playing,” Weiss said. “What I started to do was take all the influences that affected me in my lifetime – operas, classical, garage band, etc. – all those influences came together for me in fingerstyle guitar.”

Weiss comes from a classical background, but he’s always changing. Over the last two years, he has begun to incorporate singing, even though he is more inspired by playing instrumentals than by telling a story with words. He said he pays “more attention to intricacies” and their effect on a piece.

“I write a concept style of lyrics,” Weiss said. “When you’re thinking instrumentally, there’s not a story to tell.” Weiss writes from inspiration; the music and the instruments tell the story.

According to Weiss, his goal is to positively affect people around him, in any way, shape or form. This is the theme of his current album: Reflections. He aims to create music that inspires others to create, a philosophy that influences him as he works on putting together another album.

“I have a lot of new music for it, and I’ll be playing that at the concert,” Weiss said. “I’ve been doing a lot more songwriting. [Reflections] was strictly guitar, and this one is about half singing and half guitar playing. The songs people respond to are the ones I want to feature, to impact them in some positive way.”

David Youngman said he plays primarily by incorporating spirituality and experimenting with different sounds in order to mimic a full band. His most recent album, TRUST, is a collection of Christian hymns that he worked on for about two years. It is also his first concept album.

“It relates spiritual study and growth along to the music,” Youngman said. “It’s all connected. I want to be the best I can be … I try to make sure that the music means something to the audience, that there’s a purpose.”

Fark said that though Bayer, Weiss and Youngman are all very different artists, their talents are so engaging that they fit well in a performance together.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing show,” said Fark. “It’s not completely instrumental, but it’s instrumental music that will blow your socks off.”

Sponsored by Basil’s on Market, Sound City Music and Minor 7th, Six Strings x 3 will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Mayflower Arts Center, 11 W. Main St., in Troy. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission is $10 at brownpapertickets.com and $15 at the door for patrons of all ages. For more information, contact Mayflower Arts Center at 937.552.5848. To learn more about the artists, please visit chrisweissmusic.com or davidyoungmanmusic.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer CC Hutten at CCHutten@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer CC Hutten at ContactUs@DaytonCityPaper.com

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