Thursday, March 31, 2022

New Editions: Kenny Hill Guitar Compositions

I’m happy to announce the publications of 3 new editions of my own compositions for guitar, written over the past two years: Lost and FoundStolen Moments Suite and Songs from Home. The stay-at-home era and travel hiatus gave me the opportunity to dig into composing in the way I had long wanted to, but had been procrastinating for too many years.

These three publications each have 3 related pieces and are beautifully laid out by Eric Dussault of Productions d’Oz in Quebec. There are already video performances of some of them on YouTube and I’m working on getting them all recorded by various artists, myself included. 

It’s been exciting, a bit scary but satisfying to get these musical ideas down and playing, something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. It took a pandemic to get my attention and motivation. I still have many many ideas itching to come out, and now with this effort in print I can get back to composing, and hopefully much more music to come. 

I know it seems unlikely to build nice guitars AND compose nice music, but actually I find they feed each other, so why not? I want to believe that if you can think it, you can do it.

I’m grateful to Eric Dussault  for putting up with my learning curve about publishing, and for doing such a beautiful job of engraving and putting together the music books, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m also grateful to the people around me putting up with my temperament, particularly my wife Roberta and my manager Maggie Kling, and to the musicians who have encouraged this work — Phil Collins, Stephen Goss, Giacomo Fiore, John Dearman, Bill Kanengiser, Richard Patterson, Guy Cantwell, David Tannenbaum, Ron Friedman, Terrence Farrell, Dean Kamei, Gretchen Menn, Adam Perlmutter and all of the folks in Zoom classes and open mics who have put up with listening to my works in progress. 

And I'm especially grateful to Johannes Moller who was the first guitarist to look at my music seriously. Johannes is an amazing, inspiring composer and guitarist, and he did me the honor of learning and performing and recording some of my earlier pieces. His support and appreciation helped me find the courage and confidence to do more, and to realize the joy of creating music and sharing it with the public.

These three music books are available from Hill Guitar for $15.00 each plus shipping, and also as PDF with no shipping cost. 

Thanks for your interest!

Kenny Hill
March 2022

Tuesday, November 2, 2021


This coming weekend is the first ever Headstock guitar makers festival in San Diego at the Liberty Station Conference Center Saturday 12 -8pm and Sunday 10 - 5pm. Kenny Hill will be there to exhibit Hill Guitars, including the Legacy Model concert guitars and the new Companion Model travel guitars.

Kenny will also be playing a music showcase performance of original guitar pieces written recently, all from this year. That performance will be at 2:00 on Saturday. For Kenny this is the first on-stage performance in over two years, and the the first public performance of most of this music.

For more information look at the Headstock website or call us here at the office. 831-336-9317.

See you there!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New Composition 'Twilight' by Kenny Hill

Over the last 3 months I’ve been writing this piece Twilight, usually in the wee morning hours, before I get to work at guitar making. The piece was just recently completed, at least I‘ve declared it so. It’s tricky knowing when to quit.

During this time I’ve also been taking an online composition course with my friend Johannes Möller. This course is a live Zoom meeting between composers around the world, led by Johannes. It’s a very interesting thing. Johannes is in Sweden these days, and there are student participants in Romania, Germany, Mexico City, South Africa, California, Australia, China, Bangladesh and India — all live on screen. The only downside is that for me it happens at 5:00AM on Sunday morning. The upside is that I’m usually up at that time working on music anyway.

But the more significant upside is that I get to meet weekly with all of these really talented people around the world. The quality and beauty of what each person is doing is very good, surprising and varied. It’s a unique opportunity and really a whole new way of learning and getting together. There is no scenario that all of these talented people would be together in person, and it is stimulating and inspiring to have these online relationships.

I want to thank Johannes Moller for conceiving this and making it happen. He has been a most supportive and helpful teacher, and everyone who takes this class gets a lot out of it. If you are interested in guitar composing you should look into it on his social media. It has been very good for me.

And now, beyond that, Johannes recently made a beautiful video recording of this piece Twilight. I’m really proud to have it played so eloquently by such a masterful player and composer and friend. It's deeply gratifying. I’m delighted to share the recording here. The sheet music is available from me as PDF and will be in book form very soon. I hope you like it!

Kenny Hill
January 2021

Photography by Simon Hill

Program Notes
Over the past three seasons I've spent more time alone, and often sitting outdoors in the twilight of the end of daylight, and of the dawn. My back yard is a lovely nature environment hosting all sorts of plants and birds and animals passing through. At any moment there is a changing texture of sounds from the sky, the trees, the bushes, the ground, a layering both random and expectant — a poetry, or a sonata.  This changes with the weather, the length of the days, the wind, with the rolling population and life cycle of critters. These nature songs are most animated as the day is coming and when the day is going. There’s a language, tales of drama and peace, a music that nature is playing without any concern for our human stories of hopes and anxieties. This is somehow reassuring amid tension and seeming chaos swirling around.

Twilight the music is just a mood piece suggesting some of the comings and goings, the overlays and counterpoints of sounds outside my home. This piece is not too difficult to play, except maybe the passage beginning with measure 93. There is an annoying reach at the end of measure 97, but with practice it is do-able. Throughout this section it takes some extra attention to suppress the ringing of the D natural from the open fourth string. That can be intrusive. For a time I kept thinking that noise was my cell phone vibrating on the table. It just needs some strategic open-string damping.

Friday, November 20, 2020

'Twilight' Composition Premiering with Johannes Moller!


I just finished a new composition for guitar called Twilight. I’ve been working on it steadily over the last few weeks, and now it is done. The engraving is also done just this morning so I will be able to publish it soon. 

This Sunday November 22nd Johannes Moller is planning to play the debut performance on his live stream “See you on Sunday” on Facebook at 11:00 am PST. Johannes has been doing this live stream  program since early lockdown, playing his own music, his concert repertoire and also sometimes music from other current composers. It is reaching a lot of people in a new way.

 Johannes has also been running a zoom composition course for a while now that I am participating in, along with several other guitar composers from literally around the world: Sweden, Germany, California, Mexico, Bangladesh, Australia, China and more. Because it’s a live class meeting the time zones are crazy, and while Johannes is in his Sunday afternoon I’m there at 5:00AM Sunday morning and the guys in Australia are attending sometime around midnight. This has been a rewarding community to be a part of. If you’re curious about writing guitar music check it out. It has been a very good experience for me.

I just introduced this piece Twilight to the class two weeks ago, but Johannes is willing to play it in public on Sunday. He’s good, I’m sure he can do it. I haven’t heard it except for my own playing, so this seems very, very cool.
Kenny Hill
November 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020

"See You On Sundays" August 9th with Johannes Möller

Hello Friends.

My good friend and cohort Johannes Möller is now hosting a weekly live stream on Sundays at 11:00 AM Pacific time on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Johannes is an extraordinary composer and concert guitarist and he’s broadcasting from his home in Holland. He is featuring his own music as well as spotlighting other composers and generally sharing music with the community of guitarists around the world. This is an interesting adaptation to our current lifestyle, with musicians and particularly concert artists finding ways to continue to be active and relevant while concerts and gatherings are down. I think this is very interesting, and I think we are learning a new way to share community that will endure even beyond our current isolation's.

Of special interest to me is that on August 9th Johannes is going to feature some of my own compositions. I know, I’m supposed to be a guitar maker, not a composer. Well I’m old enough now to do whatever I want, and I delight in doing both. One of the messages coming out of this evolving online society is that music is for everyone, and that creativity is where you find it. We don’t have to wait for permission or authority to break new ground. I like that, I live that.

Please check out Johannes Möller’s live stream See You On Sundays and in particular tune in on August 9th to hear him play some of my music. I’m honored to be a part of this.

Kenny Hill
August, 2020

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Used/B-stock Guitar Sale!

Over these past few months we’ve been doing some house keeping and restructuring operations here at Hill Guitar. As part of this I’ve been going over our inventory of pre-owned guitars that have been adding up for a while. We have a generous trade in policy where we offer top value for our instruments being traded in toward upgraded guitars. Lately I’ve been organizing these used instruments and doing repairs and adjustments to bring them up to maximum usefulness, and there are some real gems here. In fact an older used instrument can be just as good or better than a fresh new guitar, and if you’re willing to over look some cosmetics or play wear, they can be real bargains. This summer I would like to get these into the hands of players who can put them to good use.

Included is a list of some of the guitars that I have already gone over. These are all New World guitars at the moment, thought there are some Hill Guitars that will come out later. They are priced individually, and in cases where there is some cosmetic issue, we can send you detail photos to help think about it. As used instruments there is no implied warranty, but I try to have them in the best condition before they leave here. If you're not satisfied with the instrument when you receive it you may return it within five days, paying only the round trip shipping.

So many of us are still spending a lot of time at home, and guitar is a real comfort and distraction of the best kind. I hope some of these instruments can boost the quality of life these days and going forward. I’m still fully in love with the guitar and the music, I get as much stimulation and satisfaction from it as ever, actually even more.

Kenny Hill
July 2020

To inquire about availability please email Maggie at or call (831)336-9317. Prices do not include shipping and CA tax if located in CA.  

— P640S, 2020
Used for Arthur Dente's east coast tour in January/February 2020. Good condition. It has strap buttons.

— P650S Cutaway 2016
Used, good condition

— P650C 2017
Used good condition. Small irregularity in the finish

— E45C, 2018
650 scale, Laminated Bubinga back and sides, solid cedar top. Light color blemish in top finish. Sounds great!

— P640C FS, 2018
Used Fingerstyle, very slight play wear. 48mm nut, cutaway, 16” radius fingerboard.

— Player Series Flamenco, 2017
650 scale, solid Spanish cypress. Clear tap plates.

— P650C, 2020
Small repaired wood checks, lower back near tail block.

— P640C, 2018
Repaired top crack near center seam.

—P650C 2019
bridge re-glued, solid, but visible chip at front of bridge under the strings.

— P640S 2019
— Used, slight play wear.

—P650S 2017,
Used, excellent condition

— P640C 2019
String pop bridge top ding

— P650C 2017
String pop bridge top dings

— E580C 2018
Repaired top crack

— P650S 2020
It has highly figured burl pattern in the rosewood back, ornate, structurally sound.

—P628C 2019
Finish dent under 1st string

Friday, May 22, 2020

Watch & Download "Solitaire" by Kenny Hill

In March 2020 here in California we slid into quarantine like so much of the world. At first it just meant more binge watching and cooking at home, but after a couple of weeks of that I decided to use some of the time to compose something. Solitaire was that first piece. It’s a stylistic change from other music I’ve been writing recently, calmer and more transparent. As difficult and tragic as this lock down has been for so many, there is also a sense of peace and reflection in stepping out of the rat race for a while. I’m fortunate to be at a stage in life where inspiration and letting-go hover more or less in balance. And that’s good enough for now.

This is dedicated to my wife Roberta who’s strength, humor and goodness is there always, in good times and in bad. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make music, which can relieve and purify out of nowhere, and not do any harm at all.

Solitaire is really just a homemade folk song. It’s simple, though not exactly easy. The harmonics require care both in the left hand and the right. They’re sweet when it comes out right.

Kenny Hill
May, 2020