Newsletter Vol. 1 # 32 – November 21, 2001

Dear Guitar Player,

Welcome to Guitar Noise News for November 21, 2001. Most websites have started gearing up for the holidays already. Without trying to seem like we are jumping on the band wagon we are going to offer some holiday suggestions between now and the end of December. Hopefully it won’t come across as if we are trying get our hands on your money. We are just happy to have you with us.

In this newsletter:

  • News
  • Topic of the Month
  • Recommended Books
  • CD Reviews
  • New Links
  • Email of the Week

You can recycle this newsletter by passing it on to a friend you think might benefit from Guitar Noise. This newsletter is available online.

News and Announcements

Steve Hackett Box Set
This week I want to pass along an announcement made by Camino Records who have been very kind to us in the past.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, the Steve Hackett Live Archive is now available for ordering on the website. The 4-CD box includes 70s shows from Hammersmith Odeon, 80s from Rome’s Castel Sant’ Angelo and 90s Live at The Grand. There’s a 40-page booklet full of photos and insights from Hackett himself on the times, the tunes and the cast. In addition we have an extra 70s show (Newcastle City Hall, since you asked) to add to the box and that one will be available exclusively from the website. Steve describes it as “A gig from the ‘Shearer’ band. A great drum kit, a great audience and a great noise!”

The first 1,000 copies will be signed by Steve.

For those of you who don’t live near a website the ‘street’ release date is 12th November in UK & Europe. North American retail release is delayed until next year so until then – get it from Hackett Songs!

Orders will be mailed as stock becomes available.

You can check out all of our past reviews of Steve Hackett.

Performance – Topic of the Month

In the months of October and November, we will be exploring many aspects of Performance. After all, that is what it’s all about – standing up and playing in front of others, either on stage, or in your basement. Most of the columns published this month will explore the things that make performing easier and more enjoyable. In addition, we will begin to publish reviews of live concerts. In anticipation of the Performance topic, we have expanded one of our forums to encourage you to post your own concert reviews, as well as announcements of your own gigs. So get out there and play!

Melissa Etheridge: Alive and Alone
by Laura Lasley (17 Nov 2001)
I have followed Melissa Etheridge’s career since her first self titled album. While I enjoy her albums, I really love seeing her in concert. I have seen her perform each time she has toured to promote a new album. She’s been in large and small venues, and has performed solo sets interspersed with her band sets. She inspired me to pick up a guitar and learn to play it.

Check out Guitar Noise’s Performance page.

Recommended Reading

Christmas Music
Now that the holiday season is approaching and most websites are gearing up for it in full force, we have also decided to feature some Christmas books. If you order now you will almost surely receive the books in time to learn before Christmas. And we may get our hands on some of the money you spend in time for the holidays too! Ha, ha, ha – Oops! I mean Ho, ho, ho!

100 Great Christmas Songs
What an incredible collection! From the classic to the contemporary, these are the songs that make for magical memories! Titles include: Auld Lang Syne, Away in a Manger, Deck the Halls, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Jingle Bells and more.

CD Reviews

Magnitude 9 – Chaos to Control
A nice little Metal album. A bit uneven in its overall direction. My overall impression is that these boys are truly talented, but are somehow hesitant in releasing their full potential.

Pain of Salvation – The Perfect Element 1
I must admit that the first track, “Used”, a very heavy Metal song, made me put this album away without going any further the first time around. But I believe that fair is fair, so I put it on again and skipped to the next.

Email of the Week

This week our email of the week is another answer to the popular topic of scales.

Subject : Scales
I have been playing guitar for about three years now. I can play just about any band i like with practice, but i want to expand. My question is about scales I know they are crucial to a guitar player or any musician for that matter. but I do not read music notes only tab. anyways my question is do you know where i can find scales that are tabbed for guitar?. Since i go to school and don’t have a lot of money I like to use free online sources do you know of any sites that have scales tabbed for guitar? thank you so much and your site is a blast I love reading and learning from it

David’s Response:

Thanks for writing. The easiest way to get a TAB of scales is to do one yourself. No lie. This is what I do with my students. First we will take a scale and analyze it and then we will chart it out on the fretboard. (By the bye, there’s a really cool site where you can get blank tab and fretboard pages.)

So if we go over the minor pentatonic scale, the student knows it is root, minor 3rd, 4th, 5th, b7th. Now let’s pick a key. E is the easiest, so let’s start there. Em pentatonic would be E, G, A, B, D. In first position, we’d have this:

E – 0 3 (E, G)
B – 0 3 (B, D)
G – 0 2 (G, A)
D – 0 2 (D, E)
A – 0 2 (A, B)
E – 0 3 (E, G)

Now the beauty of this is using both the guitar and your brain. If I think, “Hey, the root of this scale is on both the 1st and 6th strings,” then I can correctly assume that any minor pentatonic scale would use the same form. I would need to find the correct root. Since I know that G is the third fret on either G string, then I know that a Gm pentatonic scale (G, Bb, C, D, F) would be like this:

E – 3 6 (G, Bb)
B – 3 6 (D, F)
G – 3 5 (Bb, C)
D – 3 5 (F, G)
A – 3 5 (C, D)
E – 3 6 (G, Bb)

See how easy this is? This is why I encourage my students to write these out themselves rather than look for it on the net. You’ll remember it better because you put the effort into learning it.

I hope this helps. We’re going to be doing an in-depth study of scales and leads this winter (complete with TAB and notation) which I also hope will help throw some more light on this subject. But if you’d like to discuss this further in the meantime, by all means please write me again.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


David Hodge

The topic of scales is one we have covered many times. But as the writer of this week’s question pointed out they are essential for all musicians. You can find some help on scales on our Scales and Modes page.

That is all for this week. Have a nice week.

(I mean it)

Paul Hackett
Executive Producer