Newsletter Vol. 4 # 16 – December 1, 2011


Welcome to Volume 4, Issue #16 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • Greetings, News and Announcements
  • Guitar Noise Featured Artist
  • Topic of the Month
  • New Articles, Lessons, Reviews and Stuff
  • Great Advice from Great Teachers
  • Events Horizon
  • Random Thoughts

Greetings, News and Announcements

Hello and welcome to the latest issue of Guitar Noise News, your free twice-a-month newsletter from Guitar Noise. Today is December 1 and it won’t be long before 2011 is over. It’s been quite a year and all of us at Guitar Noise would like to offer all our readers the best wishes for a safe and joyful holiday season, whichever holidays you’re celebrating this month!

By now hopefully all of you know that Paul has negotiated successfully with Alfred Music to purchase the rights to some of their songs for our song lessons here at Guitar Noise.One by one, we’re bringing back some of our old song lessons and we’ll also be adding brand new ones as well!

This month we’re pleased to announce the return of “Hey There, Delilah” to the pages of Guitar Noise. This particular lesson has been a runaway favorite with our readers since it made its debut just a few years ago and we’re thrilled to have it back.

“Hey There, Delilah” joins our three R.E.M. song lessons – “Man on the Moon,” “Losing My Religion” and “Driver Eight” – each with all the music, tablature and lyrics. And again we’d like to thank Alfred Music Publishing for working with us in order to bring copyrighted material back into our song lessons.And, as always, we hope you enjoy all our Guitar Noise song lessons and also find them educational, entertaining and inspirational.

Just in case you’re interested, rumor has it that a certain horse (who chooses to go nameless) will be our next lesson subject, which should pop up online right around the start of the upcoming New Year.

Guitar Noise Featured Artist

It’s been just over ten years since George Harrison passed away.We’re celebrating his life and music all through the month of December as our featured artist. Read all about him on the Guitar Noise Profile Page.

Topic of the Month

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas! We’ve always prided ourselves when it comes to the incredibly diverse selection in our “Easy Christmas Songs for Guitar” lessons. So it’s a bit of a no-brainer to feature these terrific tutorials as the Guitar Noise Topic of the Month for December. Stop by the Guitar Noise home page and click on the latest “Topic of the Month” up at the top of the page, just below the blue banner.That will take you to some fun and easy lessons that will get you in the holiday spirit in no time! Plus you’ll have a great time impressing your friends and family.

New Articles, Lessons, Reviews and Stuff

Revisiting The Capo – Parts 2 and 3
by David Hodge

Why do we acknowledge that using a capo changes the chords we play but continue calling them by their open position names? What are the real chords? Pars 2 and 3 in our series “Revisiting the Capo” addresses some of the confusion that transposing a song invariably causes humble guitar players.

How Do You Play “Double Stop Rock?”
by David Hodge

This little exercise from David’s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Rock Guitar” has proved to be quite a fun and popular little piece. In this little “Q and A” session, he discussed how to best go about playing different types of double stops on the guitar.

What Is Dissonance?
by David Hodge

What do people mean by “dissonance” and other such terms when talking about chord changes? As David explains, not everyone hears the same sorts of dissonance.

Hey There Delilah
by David Hodge

Here’s a great example of how a simple pop song can help you to build up some solid technique in using partial chords, playing with finger-style or pick, and making some interesting chord changes on the fly. And to top it off, it’s even got some very easy (and short!) walking bass lines. Not to mention it’s a great work out for your basic rhythm!

Great Advice From Great Teachers

This month, we’re continuing a terrific series from long time Guitar Noise contributor Tom Serb concerning just about every scale you could ever think of:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Scales – Part 3

The Hexatonic Scale

Hexatonic scales are any scales that have six notes; the blues scale was actually your first hexatonic scale. But now we’ll try a different note: the 6th of the major scale.

This pitch is located one fret below the b7, or two frets above the 5. The hexatonic scale has been widely used in rock, in solos ranging from Jimmy Page’s “Stairway to Heaven” solo to Carlos Santana’s work on “Black Magic Woman”. Many guitarists incorrectly identify this particular hexatonic scale as the Dorian scale – we’ll look at the differences soon.

Going back to our first minor pentatonic fingering, here’s the hexatonic scale with the addition of 6 – we have two possibilities:

 | R  |  |   | b3 |
 | 5  |  | 6 | b7 |
 | b3 |  | 4 |
 | b7 |  | R |
 | 4  |  | 5 |    | 6 |
 | R  |  |   | b3 |
 |   | R  |  |   | b3 |
 |   | 5  |  | 6 | b7 |
 |   | b3 |  | 4 |
 | 6 | b7 |  | R |
 |   | 4  |  | 5 |
 |   | R  |  |   | b3 |

The second fingering only has one practical fingering:

 |   | b3 |   | 4  |
 | 6 | b7 |   | R  |
 | 4 |    | 5 |    |
 | R |    |   | b3 |
 | 5 |    | 6 | b7 |
 |   | b3 |   | 4  |

And that’s also the case with the third fingering:

 |   | 4  |   | 5  |    | 6 |
 |   | R  |   |    | b3 |   |
 | 5 |    | 6 | b7 |    |   |
 |   | b3 |   | 4  |    |   |
 | 6 | b7 |   | R  |    |   |
 |   | 4  |   | 5  |    |   |

In theory, the fourth fingering could have a couple, but in practice only one is easy:

 |   | 5  |    | 6 | b7 |
 |   |    | b3 |   | 4  |
 | 6 | b7 |    | R |    |
 |   | 4  |    | 5 |    |
 |   | R  |    |   | b3 |
 |   | 5  |    | 6 | b7 |

And it’s the same with the fifth fingering:

 |   | b7 |   | R  |
 |   | 4  |   | 5  |
 | R |    |   | b3 |
 | 5 |    | 6 | b7 |
 |   | b3 |   | 4  |
 | 6 | b7 |   | R  |

Events Horizon

Read events from this past week, which covers from today through December 10.

Random Thoughts

This time of year tends to be one of reflection and those reflections often lead to resolutions to start out the upcoming year. Invariably putting more practice time into one’s schedule turns up as either a lament or a resolution – often both.

It’s certainly not too early to be thinking that way, but I’d like to suggest that you don’t have to wait until an event like New Year’s Day to do so. Let’s face it, we’re all for getting in more practice or improving ourselves in some way – eating better, exercising more, practicing more (“more” in some cases meaning “more than I do now,” with “now” often meaning “not at all!”) – but we’re all also great at starting off our new found resolve with a conditional clause. Does this sound familiar:

“I’m going to practice more starting January 1”

“Wait. January 1 is a Sunday and I’ll probably be too tired because of the New Year’s Eve party. I’ll start on Monday. Great way to begin the week!”

“Wait. Monday will be the first day back at work after the holiday weekend. It’s going to be a zoo and I’ll be lucky to get anything done, let alone have any spare time. What about Tuesday? Who starts a new routine on a Tuesday?”

And before you know it a good week or month or even a season is gone by and you’ve not made a move to change your practice habits.

You can, of course, avoid this by starting right here and now. Think of the month of December as a trial run to work out all the kinks and snarls of scheduling. Practicing for improving your practice, if you will!

Remember that life is always going to throw things your way and you have to be flexible and adapt to whatever may happen. You probably won’t get practice time every single day, but you could be making a mental log of what available times you actually do have. If you start to objective look at your goals and plan for them now, and even move on to the next step of working on them, you’ll hit 2012 already working on your resolutions. That will certainly put you in a great mindset to keep your resolutions going in the first part of the New Year.

Until our next newsletter, play well and play often. And for those of you going out and about, my best wishes for safe travel.

And, as always,