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Entries in acoustic fingerstyle guitar (2)


Az Samad - Our Voice

What would it be like if you could have a song on an album that was inspired by you ?

What if, that song -- your song -- could communicate any message you want the world to hear?

What would you say?

What would your message be?

I'd like to know.

Which is why I'm looking for 10 inspirational titles from purposeful individuals with a message for the people.

Here's how it will work:

10 songs, 10 days.

I give a theme.

You give me a song title.

Everyone votes.

The song title with the most votes is the song of the day.

I write and record a song inspired by that title.

The person who suggested it gets to write one paragraph about the title and
what it means to them.

And then our songs with your message get released. To the world.

Sept 1st to Sept 10th.

Everyone who collaborates will get a mention on the album inlay text.
That includes you. =)

Join in and be a part of the creative process.

Let's make something meaningful together this Merdeka.

Our Voice in harmony on one guitar.

 [Join Our Voice on Facebook] [Join Our Voice on Twitter]

Listen to the songs:

Sept 1 2011 [Day 1] Theme: Love
One of these some-days
 title by Natasha Humera Ejaz 

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of One of these some-days]
limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 2 2011 [Day 2] Theme: Hope
Intangible Hope
 title by @shaqyl

limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 3 2011 [Day 3] Theme: Peace
Rivers of tranquility
title by Yin

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of Rivers of tranquility]
limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 4 2011 [Day 4] Theme: Understanding
the give and take 
title by Alda Evan 

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of the give and take]
limited to 100 downloads! 

Colour of love
title by @embunmadu

limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 5 2011 [Day 5] Theme: Happiness
 Smile in a face of a Child
title by Daphne Lee 

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of Smile in the face of a Child]
limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 6 2011 [Day 6] Theme: Dreams
purest dreamer
title by @embunmadu

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of purest dreamer]
limited to 100 downloads! 
 Sept 7 2011 [Day 7] Theme: Serendipity

The Possible Miracle
title by Raja Azidah Raja Jaafar

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of The Possible Miracle]
limited to 100 downloads!

Sept 8 2011 [Day 8] Theme: Friendship
Connected through time and space
title by Carrie Jahde

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of Connected through time and space]
limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 9 2011 [Day 9] Theme: Change 
It's Long Overdue 
title by Yap Cheng Lit  

limited to 100 downloads! 

Sept 10 2011 [Day 10] Theme: Food 
 I thought I was full and then I saw you...
title by Natasha Humera Ejaz  

[CLICK HERE FOR FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of  I thought I was full and then I saw you...]
limited to 100 downloads! 

FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions]

1. How long is this going on for?
10 days. Sept 1st to Sept 10th 2011.
 2. I'm in [insert your current location]. Can I enter?
 Yes! This is open to anyone, anywhere in the world with access to an Internet connection.

3. How does it work?
Everyday, Sept 1st to Sept 10th 2011, I will announce a theme for the day. You can suggest a song title and then later during the day, everyone votes for their favorite song title. The one with the most votes wins and I will write a song inspired by it. If you win, you also get to write a one-paragraph description about what the title means to you.

4. I don't play an instrument/I don't play music. Can I still take part?
Totally! Yes! =)

5. What's the deadline for the title submission and voting thing?
For submissions, it's currently till 4pm (local Malaysian time) and the voting takes place from 4:30pm to 10:00pm (local Malaysian time too). It might change depending on the response but I'm trying this for now!

6. Why are you doing this?
I love collaboration and I wanted all my friends and fans to be able to join in the creative process.  It's fun, it's a bit crazy and very unpredictable. Plus, I get to be inspired by song titles that I know I would never come up with!

7. Do you like playing video games?
Yes, I do. Not much time now but gosh, I do.

8. What's your favorite color?
Green. Sometimes brown. Earth shades. 

9.  Rumor has it you were on BFM 89.9 FM talking about this? 
Your sources are correct. Did you miss the show?
[Click here for the podcast: Az Samad interview on BFM - That Music Show]  

Have a question? Ask me in the comments section of this post. =)


Private Lessons in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

A message from Az:


I'm currently back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and am available for a limited number of private guitar lessons and group lessons.

What you could learn if you study with me:

  • acoustic guitar techniques (basic fingerstyle, percussive guitar styles, arranging, writing and improvising in DADGAD)
  • guitar acompaniment styles for singer-songwriters (folk, contemporary pop, blues, groove-oriented fingerstyle playing)
  • beginner guitar (acoustic and electric)
  • composition and songwriting
  • jazz improvisation and guitar comping
  • chords
  • ear training 
  • fretboard harmony
  • music theory
  • preparation for music college studies

I typically teach an hour lesson but have also done two hour or more lessons touching on different topics within one session.

All levels and ages welcomed! 

My students range from 4 year olds to seniors. Some of my more prolific former students include Malaysian singer-songwriters Pete Teo, Rendra Zawawi and Ariff Akhir. Two of my former students have gone to study at Berklee College of Music and one went to pursue his MA in Music in San Francisco (and just graduated a month ago!).

I've been performing and teaching music for 15 years. My formal credentials include:

  • MA in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University, San Jose CA
  • BM in Jazz Composition and Guitar Performance from Berklee College of Music, Boston MA (Summa Cum Laude Honors)
  • BMus (Hons) in Professional Music (Arranging) from the University of Westminster, United Kingdom.

My teaching style and material is influenced by my studies with many great teachers over the years including Mick Goodrick, Bret Willmott, Rick Peckham, David Tronzo, Jon Damian, Hal Crook (during my time at Berklee College Of Music), Eric Roche, Don Ross, Thomas Leeb, Stuart Ryan, Alex de Grassi, Andrea Valeri, Jacques Stotzem, Jon Gomm and Gottfried Gfrerer (in fingerstyle guitar workshops and private lessons in the UK, Austria and California) as well as Jimmy Wyble, John Stowell, Ben Monder, Carol Kaye, Adam Levy, Guy Van Duser and Sten Hostfalt via workshops and private lessons (in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area). 

I've also studied classical guitar and participated in classical guitar master classes with Mark Teicholz and Muriel Anderson, as well as private lessons with Steven Lin, Patrick Francis, Grisha Groyachev, Scott Tennant, Willliam Kanengiser, Gyan Riley and Ron Burczon. I believe an understanding of classical guitar technique to be immensely helpful in both my steel-string solo guitar and fingerstyle jazz guitar playing.

I've been on faculty at the Berklee College Of Music Summer Guitar Sessions (teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced Fretboard Harmony classes) and have conducted workshops in Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA), International College Of Music andMalaysian Institute of Art (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). I've taught private lessons and group guitar classes in San Francisco, CA (USA) and for two years, co-taught the Guitar Fundamentals class at San Jose State University, CA (USA).

To inquire about availability and rates, message me at:

Please include your name, your playing experience (how many years, what styles etc.) and what you hope to learn in the lessons (possible topics, areas of interest,goals). I look forward to hear from you 

Best wishes,

Az Samad


Testimonials from previous/current students:

"I learnt more than I ever did in the past few months with my previous guitar teacher simply because he (Az) can effectively get the message across while keeping the subject matter simple. You won't regret it!"

Arthur Song, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


"Az Samad is a wonderful musician and teacher. He is familiar with a vast array of guitar styles and techniques from classical to contemporary. What's more, he knows how explain the guitar in simple terms."

Eli Harrison, M.Mus. student, San Francisco, California. 


"Az has a flawless technique for teaching guitar concepts, and is one of the top guitar players in the Bay Area. I highly recommend him for lessons or gigs!"

Keith Hunter, age 22, SJSU Music Education and Trombone Performance major, San Jose, California.


"Az Samad is not only an incredible performer but has the ability to explain the techniques behind his phenomenal playing. His knowledge expands from Classical to nearly every contemporary style under the sun. Along with his teaching skills, Az has the ability to truly inspire his students to be outstanding musicians. Mr. Samad's teaching style is perfect for beginner, intermediate and advanced students!"

Alex Upegui, SJSU B.A. in Vocal Performance, San Jose, California.


"As a student of many guitar instructors, Mr. Az Samad stands among the greats. His humble and patient approach, along with a wide breadth of knowledge, combines to create a perfect learning environment. Mr. Samad has an innate ability to pinpoint problem areas and focus your practice in a way that is enjoyable and highly productive. Simply put, a lesson with Mr. Samad is a truly 'Azesome' experience."

Mason Hutchinson, SJSU Undergraduate, San Jose, California.


" My lessons with Az has turned out to be one of the most valuable and worthwhile experience throughout all the time I've spent on the guitar. It is not just the instruction of technique but the impartation of his experiences, thoughts & observations, interjected with humour and good advice that sets him apart from the rest. Highly skilled and an excellent teacher, Az is a must for anyone looking to improve themselves as a guitarist. "

Aidan Chung, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


"Az Samad was born to play teach and play the guitar! He is a natural! His style of teaching is easy to understand. Each time I met with him I was amazed at how easily he could get his point across. Every time I asked him a question in class, he was always knew the answer. Az is an excellent teacher! He is patient, kind and an expert at his craft! You will do well to learn from him." 

Barbara Ramos, SJSU Music Education Major, San Jose, California.


"As a private student of Az, I can simply say that no other private lesson I've attended was as comprehensive for both practical & theory. Not a single minute was wasted. The session I attended filled me full of new knowledge & vision that I later applied to my very own music.

Az was so helpful that he was even willing to let me organize a group workshop for my guitar community, ACPickers. Everyone who attended the workshop had nothing but good things to say and were satisfied with the overall output! I'm already looking forward for the next one which is coming soon at the end of the year!

Az is not only a great performer - full of sense of humor but also great educator who is willing to teach and share all that he has learnt and experienced!"

Yowech Yong, Guitarist and Music Teacher, Malacca, Malaysia. 


To inquire about availability and rates, message me at: