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As a youngster, Mercadante took on the flute, violin, and composition at the Naples Conservatory, and frequently organized concerts with his cohorts in school. The famous opera composer Gioachino Rossini once offered his compliments to the conservatory director, saying: “your young pupil Mercadante begins where we finish.” It was Rossini’s encouragement that drove Mercadente to fall in love with writing operas, though he would also write a number of symphonies and concertos, including many for the flute, which he often premiered with himself as the soloist.

Guitarists often jump to the conclusion that if you want a bigger sound, you need to add more layers. The downside of adding more layers to your guitar tracks, though, is that you lose some of the textures that make your tone so great. So, instead of layering, try using more complex harmonic chord shapes like open voicings and sevenths. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to build seventh chords out of simple triads, courtesy of Soundfly’s popular Mainstage course, Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords.