Newsletter Vol. 1 # 9 – March 02, 2001

Dear Guitar Player,

Welcome to Guitar Noise News, the weekly update for Guitar Noise. This week I was reading a newsletter I subscribe to from a popular website about webdesign. The author chose for his weekly topic “Why I write this newsletter.” It seems an appropriate enough topic for me to write about as well. After all, like the other site we are also very successful at what we do. And while our website has a steady audience and continues to grow it also requires a great deal of work.

So why spend so much time working on a newsletter too? Isn’t the site enough? Something from the other newsletter struck a chord with me. The author said:

The concept of freebies on the Web is starting to falter, but the number of newsletters on the Web is growing. I think there’s a correlation here.

In a nutshell that explains it all. I started Guitar Noise as The Online Guitar College in my spare time over five years ago. The original idea was to organize all the free online guitar resources I could find. The idea hasn’t changed that much in the past five years. But rather than scouring the net for free resources we now make our own. Simply because if you can’t find what you are looking for you should make it yourself rather than waiting for someone else to do it. That way you will never be disappointed with the results.

One problem with websites is that the bigger they get and the larger the audience they attract is the more they cost to run. And while so many dot-com companies continue to go under smaller websites find room to profit. Usually at the users expense. There is no such thing as a free website anymore. You have no doubt already been repeatedly pestered by banners, pop ups and spam mail.

Isn’t it nice to know that some things in life are still free. This newsletter, for example, takes the best of each week and delivers it right to your mailbox. At least you know if you sign up for this newsletter you will only be bothered by us once a week. Though it may only be a matter of time before all your favorite free newsletters find a way to make you pay.

New lessons

A Conundrum – The Other Side
by Laura Lasley (01 Mar 2001)
The adage that practice makes perfect must have been written by a guitar player. In order to play well you need to practice. But in order to play at all you must be inspired. Inspiration comes from enjoying what you play. That’s tough when what you play doesn’t sound inspiring. Hmm, a conundrum worthy of exploring…

Why Should I Learn To Read Music? – Guitar Principles
by Jamie Andreas (01 Mar 2001)
There is a lot of confused thinking out there when it comes to the subject of reading music, especially being a guitar player and reading music. I want to examine what some of this confused thinking is, and how people get this confused thinking into their heads, and why it stays there.Why do some people think they shouldn’t learn to read music, when they should? Why do some people think they should, when they shouldn’t (at least not right away)?

The challenge to every guitar player: The 12-string guitar – Acoustic Guitar Workshop
Special to Guitar Noise (28 Feb 2001)
I have been in love with 12 string for a long time and before I ever heard of the artists Huddy Ledbetter (Leadbelly) , Blind Willy Mc Tell and Big Joe Williams, I learned to play the instrument by endless exercises and by discovering it’s possibilities. Here I will give you some basic information about the 12-string guitar, some helpful tips and some examples in tablature.

Site News

The Other Side Discussion Forum

Now you can get in on the action of our latest user forum. The Other Side was created to enliven and empower all the girls in the world who want to play guitar. Topics in this forum should deal with women and music, as well as discussions about articles already posted in the other side.

Start a new discussion by posting a message in the Guitar Forums.

Recommended Reading

It has been a long time since we listed a Beatles book as our deal of the week. Considering most people haven’t bought anything Beatles related since last Christmas and probably won’t buy anything Beatles related till next Christmas, now would be a good time to pick up this book. I wish someone would buy one for me. Hint, hint!

The Beatles Complete Scores
A fitting tribute to possibly the greatest pop band ever. This attractive collector’s item is a must for any Beatles fan. Full transcriptions of every instrument on every Beatles song! This outstanding hard-cover edition features over 1100 pages with full scores and lyrics to all 213 titles recorded by The Beatles. Guitar and bass parts are in both standard notation and tablature. Also includes a full discography.

New Sites

The following links were added to Guitar Noise on March 2:

Email of the Week

This week the Other Side has really begun to take off. We just added our second article and the discussion forum went live. We have more stories in the works and have plenty of ideas. After only one month the email has started to pour in. So this week I thought it would be a good idea to share a great email we recieved this week.

Howdy, I just wanted to say that I’m absolutely thrilled with Guitar Noise’s “The Other Side”. Here’s my story, it’s a little long because, I’m 24 and I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10.

I was listening to Crazy On You by Heart, and that amazing acoustic intro by Nancy Wilson. That’s when I decided I just had to play guitar. I was not encouraged nor supported when I first asked my parents for a guitar. Everyone told my Mom that I wouldn’t stick with it. After a lot of pestering she finally got me a guitar for Christmas. The cheapest one she could find in the Sears catolog so she wouldn’t waste too much money on my little phase. It was a horrible Stella Harmony student guitar. To this day I have never played a guitar with a higher action. I pestered her some more because I wanted an electric guitar. She made a deal with me, when I could play a complete song she would buy me an electric.

I learned the basic beginner songs like Ode To Joy and Mary Had a Little Lamb from a guitar book. I played that wretched guitar until I was in tears. After learning the major scale I was able to figure out the riff in Crazy On You. And I played it, again and again and again until my parents were thoroughly annoyed. My Dad said “For crying out loud Michelle, play something else.” I told him, well if you buy me an electric I can use headphones. Finally I got my electric when I was 13. Starting on an acoustic guitar with a very high action paid off, because my fingers flew on the electric. They also let me take lessons and soon I was playing Barracuda with the amp cranked up. I said I *could* use headphones, I never said I would.

My high school was pretty cool because they offered a lot of Music electives. I took every music class I could sqeeze in around English, Math and Science. I took Music Theory, Electronic Music, Piano and Chorus. I wanted to play guitar in the Jazz Band but my music teacher wouldn’t let me. It was a requirement that to be in Jazz Band you had to also be in Marching Band. With the invention of those mini clip on amps, I’m sure it’s possible to march with a guitar but my teacher didn’t make that an option. I learned how to play trombone for Marching Band so I could play guitar in Jazz Band.

I only played guitar in Jazz Band for one year. The next year we had no bass player and a jazz band just isn’t a jazz band without a bass. My music teacher begged me to play bass even if all I could do was play the bass of the chords. We had two guitarists, but I was the one who played trombone so I was already proficient at reading bass music. Much to my surprise it was only a month before I was fingerpicking walking bass lines. It must’ve surprised my teacher too. He gave me an A+ on my report card.

Guitar, voice, piano, trombone and bass. It started sinking in with my parents this phase isn’t going away. Oh yeah, I also have a mandolin now too. God, I love music. -Michelle

This was a thrilling letter to receive. And our Other Side correspondent Laura sent this response:

Michelle, What a great story!! I’m forwarding it to our webmaster as a contender for Email of the week! If it doesn’t make it, I plan to use it in a column at some point, if that’s ok with you.

You’ll absolutely chuckle, but I just finished editing my second column two days ago, (I’m still chewing on it before I send it in to be published) and the riff from Crazy on You is mentioned in it! What a grand coincidence that your email arrived today!

Keep playing whatever you can get your hands on! My son started with piano at 5, then clarinet. Our middle school jazz band doesn’t allow clarinet (can you say Benny Goodman???) so he was ‘”forced'” to take up tenor sax to make the jazz band. So he played clarinet in regular Band and Tenor sax in Jazz. This last summer he added flute, just for the heck of it. He’s 13. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to death. My younger one, my daughter is learning piano and has added clarinet (jazz band thing). She’d be on the alto sax (she’s got a really sweet tone on it) but she’s not quite big/strong enough to carry it. Next year she will be (she’s only 9). So yes, music is a big part of my family’s life. My husband is the author of the Guitar Noise Bass section. Hee, hee, ain’t it grand? Best of luck always and Play on! Laura

We seem to be making a lot of friends along the way. For everyone who has written to share stories, whether for the Other Side or otherwise, we seincerely thank you.

We are thrilled when we receive your emails. They give us so many more reasons for doing what we do.

Feel free to drop us a message.

And before I wrap up this newsletter I just want to give you a preview of next week’s newsletter. First, next week will see the return of David Hodge. David’s next column will discuss the topic of what is the best way to learn guitar. Look for it early next week. Also next week we will be taking a look at how independent musicians can make it on their own without record companies. As well as showing you some examples we will also give you some tips for recording your own music and distributing it online.

Best of luck with your continued guitar studies. See you again next week.


Paul Hackett
Executive Producer