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"Special Spotlight"



For Students, Composers, and Fans...

"Special Spotlight" features original songs composed by yours truly and several additional contributing songwriters. The tunes, many FREE and others for Vision Music Members only, are presented with the same high-quality music scores (standard notation & tablature) as all other lesson pages found at Vision Music, including pro audio that plays automatically when you access the composition.

Note: the majority of these tunes are in piano trio format. Adding your guitar makes a quartet!



Original Blues Tributes to Fellow Artists...

Writing a composition dedicated to your music colleagues is a terrific way of paying homage to their powerful influence, and a living testament to everything that you've learned from them.

Inside Out!

by Mark Stefani
A spirited Bb bebop blues tribute to the Philadelphia-based jazz guitarist Jimmy Bruno, using blues riffs combined with a slick whole-tone scale pattern, plus 'call & response' chord punches. Jam track link included.

The Last Word

by Mark Stefani
A 'Texas-style' vamp shuffle in the key of E, 'The Last Word' is a smokin' tribute to my great friend and student, Mr. Laws. Fire up your favorite axe, and you too can have 'the last word!'

Blues for Hank

by Mark Stefani
A jazz tribute to one of my longtime guitar mentors, the legendary Hank Garland. This Bb swing blues was built using a classic double-stop cliche transcribed from one of HG's solos ('Jazz Winds from a New Direction').

Blues for R.C.

by Mark Stefani
A bebop blues composition (Eb) by your's truly, dedicated to the brilliant jazz guitarist and my good friend, Robert Conti. Solid licks throughout, plus a four-chorus 'jam' section for improvisation.

Sure Enough

by Mark Stefani
This is a swing blues tribute to my friend Ulf Wakenius, the jazz guitarist with pianist Oscar Peterson. OP is clearly the one most responsible for my interest in jazz music. This tune is based on one of his timeless cliches.

Deja Blous

by Mark Stefani
This Bb jazz blues is dedicated to my friend, Henry Johnson, the brilliant guitarist hailing from Chicago. Piano trio format, with 'call & response' achieved through chord punches and single-line answerbacks. Up tempo.



Compositions by Fellow Artists...

We are fortunate to have some of the greatest musicians in the world associated with Vision Music. Here are some excellent song contributions from some of our "guest faculty" members:

Three-Four, the Blues

by Hank Garland
A famous original composition by legendary guitarist Hank Garland (and Gary Burton), transcribed from 'Jazz Winds from A New Direction' and lesson-formatted for Vision Music (transcription by Mark Stefani).

Grits 'n Greens

by Robbie Laws
'Grits 'n Greens' is an exciting, uptempo tune written by the blues 'pride & joy' of the Pacific Northwest, Robbie Laws. This song features a 32-bar riff-based head, followed by solos over a G blues.

Death by Chops!

by Robert Conti
This is a blistering bebop jazz composition by the brilliant Robert Conti, transcribed from his 'Comin' On Strong!' CD. Features a riff-based head, then solos on rhythm changes (Transcription by Mark Stefani).


by Dennis Marcellino
This is a beautiful bossa nova original by saxophonist and multi-talented instrumentalist Dennis Marcellino, a member of our 'Teacher Feature' guest faculty at Vision Music. Standard notation & tab for guitarists.

Shut Up & Listen

by Steve Laury
An exciting swing blues original in the key of E by well-known guitarist, composer, and producer Steve Laury. 'Wes-style' octaves with cool chord responses (Transcription by Mark Stefani). Jam section included.



Songs for Our Members...

This is a very special addition to the "Special Spotlight" page, for Vision Music Members only. This is a mix of original songs by yours truly, in a wider variety of styles. In a sense, learning these tunes is like taking lessons from me and learning from my mentors. Most include extensive jamming sections. Enjoy! (scroll for more FREE tunes).

Blues for Don

by Mark Stefani
A blues based on the use of 'Wes-style' octaves, written for one of my best local jazz guitar students. Medium-fast tempo. Key of Bb. Chord responses throughout and plenty of room for solos.

Reflections Past

by Mark Stefani
Like latin music? Jobim? 'Reflections Past' is one of the my earliest bossa nova compositions, inspired partially by the chord progression to 'Solar' (Miles Davis). Includes solo section to improvise.

A Special Place

by Mark Stefani
My second original composition, written back in the mid-eighties. This is a 15-bar 'groove' tune with nice changes for improvising. Octave melody arrangement for guitarists to learn. Plenty of room for jamming.

Young Funk

by Mark Stefani
Brought back by request! The bass version of this funky number written as a tribute to a young guitar student. Guitar can double with bass on the verse, built on a classic F minor blues riff. High 'fun' factor!

Spontaneous Combustion

by Mark Stefani
Old meets new in this spirited, jazz modal original. The idea was launched back in the late eighties, but the head was written just recently. Very fast tempo. Great for minor improvisation.

Blues for Oscar

by Mark Stefani
Another blues tribute, this one dedicated to piano legend Oscar Peterson, my most significant jazz influence. Done in acoustic fingerstyle fashion with a walking bass line. Also published in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.

Whatever It Takes

by Mark Stefani
This is another tune written in the mid to later eighties, with elements of gospel, blues, rock, and funk. Strong bass parts provide the backdrop for flute melody and possible solos.

So To Speak

by Mark Stefani
Another original tribute by your's truly, this time to my good friend and student, guitarist Rick Ross. This is a sultry, 16-bar jazz swing tune in the key of C minor. Solo section for jammers included.

Bad Weather

by Mark Stefani
A fun(ky) dance tune composed in the late nineties, using a simple but powerful bass figure and a melody inspired by the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. AABA format. Flute over piano trio.


by Mark Stefani
A spirited 32-bar, riff-based bebop tune in the key of Bb, played over the classic 'Rhythm Changes' chord progression. Link to Jam Central Station provided for your solos. Spotlighted (1987) in Guitar Player Magazine.

We're Cookin' Now

by Mark Stefani
One of my original latin samba compositions from years ago, written as a tribute to my mother-in-law, Francesca Marcellino. Nice chord changes and energy complement the rhythmic phrasing. Plenty of room for solos.

Better Late Than Never

by Mark Stefani
'Better Late Than Never' is a fun, rockin' 32-bar vamp composition done in AABA style and built around a two-chord vamp in the 'A' section. Long jam section for improvisers included. For one of my good friends.

No Time To Think

by Mark Stefani
This 32-bar, AABA bebop composition, based on the classic 'I Got Rhythm' changes by George Gershwin, is one of four rhythm changes originals done in 2001. Fast tempo. Quartet format w/vibes over piano, bass, & drums.


by Mark Stefani
Composed in the late eighties, 'Anticipation' is 16-bar, Jobim-influenced bossa nova for solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar, but here in a trio format with bass and drums. Previously published in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.

First Response

by Mark Stefani
Another tune from the late eighties, this is a 16-bar pop ballad featuring a melody played in double-stops, first as sixths, later as thirds with an additional octave. Two-chord vamp for solos.

What Goes Around

by Mark Stefani
This is a 32-bar, AABA tune written for one of the coach's good friends. The melody features a blend of fourths and blues scale riffs over a modal jazz progression, plus choruses for you to jam.

Smoke Detector

by Mark Stefani
A minor groove tune with a distinctive bass line and a syncopated melody, composed in the late nineties. AABA structure. 'Wes Montgomery-style' octave arrangement for guitar players.

Made for Suede

by Mark Stefani
Don't miss this recent composition and tribute to jazz scat singing vocalist and diva, Suede. This sultry swing blues in G was built on a classic Oscar Peterson theme. 'Wes style' octaves and chord punches. Made for Suede!

Blues for Mister Ed

by Mark Stefani
This original is a bebop blues tribute to Ed Benson, Publisher of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, in part for giving me the opportunity to share knowledge with others through his publication. Released in the Nov '02 issue of JJG.

Love Beyond Measure

by Mark Stefani
A pop ballad in the key of D, dedicated to my wife, Janice Stefani. Written during the later eighties. Bass and rhythm parts set the stage for a 'head' (melody) loaded with great solo riffs.

On Second Thought

by Mark Stefani
This is a sequel to 'No Time To Think' (rhythm changes), with the same Bb progression. As before, quartet format with vibes over piano, bass, and drums. Fast tempo, but not quite as fast.

Bus Stop Blues

by Mark Stefani
One of many shuffle blues originals, this one written in the mid-nineties for an old friend and student, Freeman Chee. Features pedal bass notes and three-tone blues chords and fills throughout the piece.

Wait Until Tomorrow

by Mark Stefani
One of the first group of bossa nova compositions, again from the 1986-88 time period. Unusual length (56 bars) in AABA format. Flute over piano trio. 'Wes style' octave guitar chart.

Tell Me About It

by Mark Stefani
Another tribute, this time a 32-bar, AABA swing composition dedicated to vibraphonist Eric Nemeyer, the publisher of Jazz Improv Magazine. Based on the changes to a Duke Ellington classic and a solid vehicle for solos.

Country Funkin'

by Mark Stefani
Mid-eighties, blues-oriented rock composition in the key of E, featuring a driving, "locomotive" groove and saxophone-style melody. Later dedicated to my brother-in-law, Vincent Marcellino. Fun(ky) tune for jammers.

Crab Pasta

by Mark Stefani
This medium-swing Bb jazz blues is dedicated to my friend, jazz guitarist Steve Laury. It's based on a classic riff by Oscar Peterson, the legendary pianist who's had such a profound influence on my playing and writing.



Student Compositions...

Some of the best blues tunes on this page come courtesy of several of my guitar students, either locally (Portland) or via the highly-popular "Lessons by Mail" correspondence program.

Note: I'm extremely proud of each and every one of my students who have contributed their tunes to this page. Regardless of professional status, these exciting compositions are among the best I've ever heard, compelling evidence to support the effectiveness of my "real-world" teaching philosophy.

Rainy Day Blues

by Steve Moss
This is a slow swing blues in the key of E, featuring solid chord punches & double-stops throughout. Terrific composition by one of my longtime local jazz guitar students (Portland, Oregon).


by Brett Baker
A superb, bebop-flavored F swing blues tune, combining elements of both blues and jazz language. Courtesy of one of my talented long-distance jazz guitar students. Jam track link included.

Back Talk

by Dave Gill
This is a hot swing blues original in Bb, courtesy of Dave Gill, one of the greatest blues guitarists to be found in the Pacific Northwest. Jam track link included. Have fun with this one!

Breakin' Out

by Greta Yin
Like 'Texas blues?' Then you'll love this rockin' tune by blues guitarist Greta Yin! Strong influences by the late Stevie Ray Vaughn in this funky, three-chord blues in A. Vibrato, anyone?

In Cahoots

by Brent Stuntzner
Yet another fine swing blues composition (key of Ab) by one of my talented jazz and blues guitar students. Influences range from Kenny Burrell to pianist Oscar Peterson. Solo section included.

Nuff Said

by Matt McNany
This is a fine swing blues original composition in the key of C, written by Portland-based guitarist and pianist Matt McNany. Great Oscar Peterson influences throughout. Solo section.

Feel free to perform any of the compositions on this page in public, but we do ask you to please support the artistic efforts of yours truly, my colleagues, and Vision Music, by informing your audience who wrote the tune, and where you learned it!




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