Newsletter Vol. 1 # 5 – February 02, 2001

Dear Guitar Player,

Welcome to Guitar Noise News, the weekly update for Guitar Noise. With out the recent activity on this website it may be difficult to keep up with all the updates. Your best way of staying up to date is by reading this newsletter every week. If you want to subscribe with additional email addresses you can do so on our newsletter sign-up page. If you are going to be away from your desk for a while you ought to consider bookmarking our What’s New page. This page always keeps track of what has been added in the past month as well as listing the stories we are working on for the next newsletter.

Site News

The Other Side!
While there is no doubting that women have played an important role in music through the ages, there has been a lack of attention on women who play guitar. Not only are there few websites spotlighting women who play guitar, there are no resources for women who want to play guitar. We have been listening, and this week we are unveiling our new page for aspiring female musicians and guitarists. Here is the first lesson:

The Other Side
by Laura Lasley (01 Feb 2001)
Have you ever noticed that most of the people playing and talking about playing guitar are guys? Most of the authors (ok, all of the other authors) on this website are guys. Many of the artists talked about are guys. Not to say that guys aren’t great guitar players, writers and composers. But what about the Other Side??? Don’t think of guitar as a male sport; it’s for anyone with a love of music.

New Lessons

Riff Raff – Bass for Beginners 5
by Dan Lasley (01 Feb 2001)
For this lesson, let’s take a break from some of the more “theoretical” discussions and review some of the fun bass riffs found in rock & roll. I am going to focus on the two classes of riffs that I call “walking-riffs” and “octave-riffs”.

Changing Bad Habits Part 2 – Guitar Principles 4
by Jamie Andreas (01 Feb 2001)
If you do not have sufficient understanding of how things work, of what really happens when you sit down to practice guitar, you will not be able to change bad habits. The only way you get to be able to change bad habits is by understanding how you got them in the first place.

New Reviews

This week we have four new CD reviews. These CDs feature some great guitar work from guitar legends Steve Hackett and Steve Howe. If you are unfamiliar with their work you definitely ought to check out these reviews to find out what you are missing.

Steve Hackett – Feedback ’86
Why a new album called Feedback ’86? This album was originally recorded back in 1986 when Hackett was still signed with Chrysalis records. It was dumped by the company and had been sitting on the shelves all this time. A great find for many of us!

Steve Hackett – Sketches of Satie
For the amateur of Classical music. Eric Satie is one of those lesser-known composers who has one particular melody that we all know without knowing who it’s by. In this case it’s GymnopĂ©die No. 1. Which was also the basis for the album.

Steve Howe – Quantum Guitar
Many styles converge through the use of 33 guitars and basses. There are several country-flavoured pieces as well as Hawaiian guitar and mandolin-medieval tinted pieces. As “Quantum physics is about simultaneous levels of space and time,” Quantum Guitar jumps through these divides “to fashion a sound that encompasses the spectrum of guitars.”

Geoffrey Downes – The World Service
Geoff Downes, Widely known as the keyboard player from Asia, also present on one Yes album (Drama), occasionally gives us an instrumental album. Downes is not known for his keyboard heroics, but rather as keyboard player who does the job and does it well. The World Service is not an album filled with complicated passages and long, drawn-out movements. Instead, it takes you into various moods influenced from his impressions of various cities of the world.

Remember, you can have your music reviewed on our site and appear in this newsletter! Send us a copy of your disc or MP3 and we will review your music for the thousands of musicians that already belong to the Guitar Noise community. Get the details here.

Recommended Reading

There are some books that should be on every guitarist’s bookshelf. This week we have selected one of them as our recommendation.

The Guitar Grimoire – Scales and Modes
This is the only book you’ll ever need on scales and modes! An encyclopedia with over 6,000 diagrams, charts and graphs. Harmony and Theory is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Best of all, scales are graphed out for you in all twelve keys so you can start using them immediately while you learn. Complete explanation of all five-, six-, seven- and eight-tone scales and modes. The essential volume for every guitarist’ library.

Email of the Week

With this week’s email we will get into a little debate over copyrighting songs. For anyone writing songs, whether you record them or not, you should copyright them. If you are just starting out as a songwriter we have some great columns about protecting your work by A-J Charron.

Someone recently called into question A-J’s method of copywriting. Here is what they said:

In one of AJ Charron’s columns he suggests sending your song to yourself in the mail, and leaving it unopened. This “poor man’s copyright” has been shot down in many court cases, and no longer permissible, since envelopes can easily be tampered with. Sign the government forms you can copyright as many as you wish, in one shot for 20 bucks or so, and send them sheet music, lyrics, a tape, disc or whatever suits you. I’m sure you guys are more familiar with the process than I am so I’ll spare you any more of my vague details. The site is great. Keep up the good work.

In response, here is A-J’s defense of the “poor man’s copyright:”

I agree with you on most of what you say, but in countries like Canada, the government copyright forms contain strictly a title. You cannot submit sheet music, lyrics, recordings or whatever, they are refused.

As an example, in 84 I registered 17 songs at once under one compilation title. I could claim to have written back then somebody else’s song under that registration, yet it would be useless and thrown out of court.

Mailing it out to yourself is a first line of defense only, and another document to add in case of a suit. In certain countries, like Belgium, you can mail yourself an open envelope and seal it years later.

I have an unrelated witness sign across the seal of mine before I mail them out. The point is to simply have as many defenses as possible. If you have to take on a major company like Sony or EMI, you’ll need it. But I do appreciate your bringing up this point.

That’s right. Many countries have different rules for copyrighting music with different degrees of fairness for the artist. About half of the people who receive this newsletter are outside the United States, so you may be wondering where you can find specific copyright information for your country. Well, we have a very useful list of links about copyrights. So far we have links to sites with copyright information for the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the world.

Any songwriters who are even a little unsure of the copyright laws should check out these links.

New Sites

This week you can find the following new links on our website:

  • Easy Song Tabs – The 1960s. One of the questions I get asked most as a guitar teacher, and as an About Guitar guide is “what are some easy songs to learn?” Well, now I won’t have to answer that question anymore. This week, over 30 easy to play songs from the 1960s are presented, complete with tab and lyrics. Next week: songs of the 70s.
  • – Large international database of music teachers. For all instruments, locations, ages, styles and skill levels. This database has been on-line for over three years and contains 7,600+ teacher listings.


Paul Hackett
Executive Producer