From Old Ways to New Ways

Do you remember the song that goes “The economy was getting so bad I had to lay myself off?” There’s a small clue in the title of this post. But in any case, you’re now looking at a newly redesigned Guitar Noise. This is more than just a new look for the site – it’s also the beginning of us doing things in new ways.

With every passing moment more mountains of information pile up on the Internet. And as quickly as they rise, heaps of other information vanishes and is forgotten forever. We know better than to assume that once something gets to a certain age it’s no longer any use. If you’re looking for good examples of sonnets you’d probably reach all the way back to Shakespeare. When it comes to learning guitar, there are books, teachers, and even websites that shouldn’t be lost and forgotten. Guitar Noise fits in here somewhere.

We’ve been creating guitar lessons – both general tutorial articles and columns and specific song lessons – online for a long time now. If your comments and emails are anything to go by, we’ve been getting a lot of things right. So why did I start this blog talking about laying myself off?

Another old dude once said “the only thing permanent in life is change.” He was talking about something else, but the idea does apply to the way people learn guitar online. A year ago, less than 10% of people visited this site using a phone. Today it’s 18%. It might be 20% before you finish reading this.

Being unprepared for this and other changes in the cosmos, I’ve been watching Guitar Noise’s traffic descend into a very large abyss. There are plenty of other good websites out there, so why am I stuck believing that most of them aren’t as good as this one? If people stop reading, why not let Guitar Noise find its way to the junk pile of unused websites? I couldn’t really do that. Before getting to the point where I’d have to lay myself off, it was time to find new ways of doing things.

It was time to call in outside help.

I began by tracking down the people responsible for making some of my favorite websites. I wanted to see who was available for work and interested in helping me rethink the way Guitar Noise works. My first hire was James Dalman from Oklahoma. James is a WordPress designer, consultant, and something of a branding guru. He’s a really exciting guy to work with. He understood the site and where I’m coming from right away. His creativity and willingness to take chances surprised me and I’m immensely happy with the work he turned in. The future success of Guitar Noise is going to depend on James’ vision and creativity. You can see some of the other websites he has helped at his portfolio.

The next part of the journey involved hiring master craftsman and WordPress developer Bill Erickson. It was his job to make the site work as envisioned by James. One of the special things Bill added was making the website mobile responsive. What this means is the site is now going to look good on whatever device you use – whether it be your computer, your phone or some kind of tablet. The width of your screen will no longer make things come out unsightly and difficult to read.

Working together with these two gentleman produced excellent results. They got me excited about trying more collaborative efforts. Things worked out smoothly enough for me to think we were all playing in the same band.

So where does Guitar Noise go from here? Now that we’ve got a new souped-up engine and the exterior of the car is looking good, we’re going to be filling the tank up again with new lessons again. As we continue to head down the road, we’ll be spending more time looking ahead of us than behind us. And we want you, our loyal readers and friends, right there with us on this trip, not only tomorrow but all the rest of the way.

Here’s something you can do to stay in touch with us. We’d like you to sign up for our newsletter again. It’s great knowing that so many of you have finished school or found new jobs, but your old email addresses are bouncing things back. We take spam seriously and we want to get rid our list of broken addresses. Anyone who wants to continue getting lessons and updates from us by email, should sign up again at