Dearest Guitarnoise community members,
I have just been shocked back to life by the compliments and excitement of Bigfoot21075. He wrote a great message in my forum and I was inspired to reply with everything I had...a bit of an explosion of enthusiasm for the mysteries of the instrument we have in common. Having composed the message there, and just about wearing myself down to the nubs in the process, I had an after thought that it might be appropriate and worthwhile to copy and paste it here because it contains some of the highest hopes I have for anyone who has ever taken a lesson from me or purchase my teaching materials, or, well, heck...anyone who plays the guitar. So, I'm going to paste the message below, and, Nick...if, for any reason (that I am unable to currently imagine), you find it hokey or tacky in any way, I won't ask any questions when you remove it or ask me to do so myself.
Wow, man! Wow! It's moments like these that make it all worth while for me. I have spent countless hours and hours...blood, sweat and even tears putting this together over literally a course of years. Really, I actually started developing this method on the night of my now 9 year old daughter's birth.
I wasn't being a bad husband...the wife just kept shooing me away every time I would ask her if she needed anything. Turned out she was in the "zone" and didn't want to be disturbed one bit. Finally, after a few hours of that and starting to feel pretty useless, I decided I would find something quiet to do. Then it hit me. I would do what I had always been threatening to do, but never seemed quite serious enough to do: Start writing what I would eventually call "The Rosetta Stone Of Guitar."
The more I wrote, the more I learned about what I already only thought I understood. One of the first ultimate moments of eternal reward for me was when I finally got my long-time singer/friend to be able to solo freely all across the fretboard without ever getting lost. The night the method finally soaked in enough to hit him in its full significance...he actually had to fight back the tears. He had been wondering about the great mystery for years and nothing, not all the horses and the kinds men could spell it out to him until this. What a feeling to know that I could help out a friend like that.
That's what drove me to think that more people should know about this method. I started teaching it to more and more people and eventually developing better and better materials for presenting it. It still begs to be taken to the next level. I'm almost there...I just can't afford to sacrifice any more family time for the time being.
I'm telling you...there is a secret so subtle, yet so powerful that will soon be within your grasp if you totally immerse yourself in this method. Memorize the family of chords up and down, vertically and horizontally. Memorize the scale pattern so that there are no holes...no dark regions on your fretboard. Do all that with the expectation that there is some greater gift waiting for you on the other side, because that's the truth. And if you conquer the fundamentals I can explain it to you in such a simple way. If you're like me, you might even be a little mad about the fact that no one has ever yet put it to you like I will. In a word or two I will whisper "Sharp Older Sister" (harmonic minor scale) and once you know where to put her, you'll need to know when to put her and once you know that, you'll be freaking out at what it unlocks.
I'm telling about this now because I think I really have your attention and I can't afford to wait until your senses might not be so sharp as they are now. Remember this and never forget to come back to it. I don't care how long it takes for you to hammer this out in your mind (the fundamentals) but you simply have to come back to this when you're ready. One of my greatest frustration comes from the notion that so many of my students and customers get so excited at the power that gets unlocked in the first few chapters/encounters with this method that they go over soloing and strumming chords with a big grin as if the pocket change they just earned is enough to satisfy them for the rest of their lives.
In 25 years of playing, and about 15 years of teaching guitar, I have learned more than just this one trick I'm aggrandizing to you now. But, if I were to be struck with amnesia and had the choice of remembering just ONE trick/concept, I would choose this one: "Sharp Older Sister" (#Os - aka harmonic minor). And remember, there are two parts to this secret: WHERE to put her and WHEN to put her. If you don't have both, it's like the difference between a lawnmower and a Ferrari.
I think the best way to convey the power of what I'm teasing you with is to just put together a simple video where I speak to my listener as if I assume they have the fundamentals mastered. Oh, and if you really pay attention to the module on progressions, and treat it with the utmost respect (paying close reverence to the timing of the cycles and what I call the "home chord moment", you'll be ripe for that great secret.
Wow, this is getting long-winded...but I can't help it. Strike when the iron's hot! Now, in the wake of all the tension I may have built around this "great secret" you have to keep your head about you and remember that the power of music is often in its subtleties. So, I can tell you that you have surely heard this secret being used over and over throughout history, in song after song...and it's usually the really great and memorable ones that utilize such moves. But, for some reason, only a handful of writers seem to either know or care enough to really develop it in their work.
If you're going crazy with anticipation I can tell you right off the top of my head that the trick can be found in the second chord of these songs:
Hotel California, Stairway to Heaven, Yesterday (Beatles...although in this song the scale is actually one step more exotic, containing #Os as well as one more note that is outside the regular scale...making it melodic minor). If there's a single note in the solo for Hotel California that make your skin really crawl...I promise you it's #Os!
Okay, I'm going to leave it at that for now, but for God's sake...don't fade away. Make sure you come back and ask questions where you feel the need. This forum (MEANING: MY FORUM OVER AT www.rsoguitar.com
) is practically uninhabited these days...you'll have a complete monopoly on answering. Just remember that I still don't get any kind of automatic notification when you post...so I might now notice right away. Just be patient...
Also, I read your post on guitarnoise and I really, really thank you for sharing that with the community over there. Nothing I can say or do builds trust like a testimonial from someone like you.
Thank you SO much! You've also managed to re-inspire me for what I do on my end. I'm gonna show my wife your message(s) just so she knows that all the time I've put into this stuff (and away from the family) really does serve a healthy purpose.
And finally, Nick, thank you for taking the time to review my stuff. Meeting you was pivotal to maintaining my excitement and hope for this brainchild that has grown so much over the years.