Newsletter Vol. 2 # 4 – September 29, 2002

Welcome to the latest issue of Guitar Noise News.

In This Issue

  • News and Announcements
  • New Lessons and Articles
  • Email of the Week
  • Things To Do People To See
  • Reviews
  • Thoughts and Feedback

News And Announcements

So I get home Wednesday night and pop in my disc labeled “GN News” into my computer and click on the file named “September 29.” It won’t load. Nothing on the disc will load. Have I ever mentioned what a hopeless case I am with computers? Do I panic? Do I curse?

Or do I sigh and say, “Oh, bother!” and insert another disc?



Welcome to yet another action-packed, adventure-filled issue of Guitar Noise News. And yes, I’m afraid that this is about as much action and adventure as I can take!

Seriously, you know how people will say things like “everything you need to know about life you learned in kindergarten?” Well, did you ever see the guy on the Ed Sullivan Show who had all those plates spinning around on the top of these thin poles? Much more appropriate I think. Doesn’t even get to do much more than glance at his lovely assistant from time to time…

New Lessons And Articles

A-J is back! Hans, too! Plus a new piece by Stephen Sherrard of And a debut piece from Randell Young that’s going to give you a lot to think about! Here’s what new to Guitar Noise since our last newsletter:

Home Recording: Equipment And Preparation
by A-J Charron

A-J gives us more tips on home recording, gleaned from his work on his upcoming CD. Packed with a lot of advice for the do-it-yourself person in all of us, A-J goes over the necessary equipment and the need to be prepared so that you can make your home recording experience as painless as possible.

Jazz Comping III: Chord Extentions
by Hans Fahling

Part three of Hans’ series on comping continues with the addition of 9th and 11th chords to our ever-expanding jazz chord vocabulary. We also get our first taste of “alternate” chords such as b9s and #9s. If you’ve been keeping up with Hans’ past lesson and following his teaching plan, you’ll love the sounds and the applications of the chords he gives us this week.

On Soloing
by Randell Young

Please join me in welcoming Randell Young to the pages of Guitar Noise. In this piece, borrowed with permission from his personal website, Randell outlines his philosophy on soloing with seven simple “rules.” It’s a fascinating read for players of all levels and styles.

by Stephen Sherrard

When you’re mixing your CD it’s more important to look at the finished picture at the parts. Learn the intricacies of “sound sculpting” and EQ in this piece from Stephen’s site, Music and

Email Of The Week

Way back when I wrote the Easy Songs For Beginners’ Lesson House of the Rising Sun, I made a point of mentioning that even though I knew that “C,” as a time signature in music, meant 4/4 time, I did know why this particular symbol was chosen. Boy, did I get emails about that! And they all told me that “C” stood for “Common Time.” Some explanations went further, detailing that the “C” came from the Italian word for common.

But this week I received an email that went a step further and I’d like to share it with you:


I am a band director/music teacher at a high school in California and was browsing through your beginning guitar website. Maybe you have received many explanations as to why we use “C” instead if the standard 4/4 time signatures, and maybe you have received this explanation before, but the history behind the “C” began in medieval times. Their notation was different from our notation, especially their time signatures. A circle, which was considered to be the “perfect” shape, represented triple meters (6/8 was an empty circle and 9/8 was a circle with a dot in the center). The “perfect” circle stood for “3” because of the association with the Holy Trinity and its perfection. Duple meters were represented by a half circle. 8/4 was a half circle with a dot and 4/4 was a half circle. Composers eventually went to using numbers instead of circles, but the half circle remained and became a “C,” which later turned into the abbreviation for common time.

As I’m fond of saying in my columns and lessons, I hope that I never stop learning!

We love receiving your Email here at Guitar Noise and always take the time to read it. If you have a question please remember that many questions have been asked in different ways, and the answer may already appear somewhere on Guitar Noise. If you have a question please check the help pages.

Things To Do – People To See

If you’re one of our readers in Berlin, you can catch Hans Fahling next Sunday (October 6th) doing a solo performance at TeeTeaThe, Goltzstr. 2 from 11:00 AM ’til 2:30.

And on this side of the Atlantic, Sheryl Bailey will be back in New York City after visiting Chicago last weekend. Having heard her here, I highly recommend that you catch her if you can. Saturday, October 5th, she’ll be performing as a duo at Park Avalon (Park Avenue between 17th and 18th) from 11:30 AM ’til 3:30 and Sunday, October 6th, the Sheryl Bailey 3 will be at Union Square West, also from 11:30 AM ’til 3:30.


The Real Deal – How To Get Signed To A Record Deal

Dayelle Deanna Schwartz’s latest edition of her book gives you advice, wisdom and, most of all, encouragement. Learn everything from how to select a manager to how songwriting royalties are paid. Schwartz provides lots of personal tips from people in the industry and goes out of her way to stress the importance of doing all you can to promote your career. Even if you’re not interested in a record deal, you’ll find a LOT of great ideas to help you pursue your musical dreams in this book.

Thoughts and Feedback

So I’m writing, once again, the final section of the (seemingly truncated) newsletter and wondering where the week has gone. It’s actually too easy to see – Monday through Friday I work from 7 to 5 at my “real” job, then there’s teaching lessons (one or two) in the evenings and also Saturday morning. Somehow I fit in all this writing and answering about ten to twelve emails a day, usually on lunch or while waiting for a report to print up on the computer.

I don’t know how Paul did this all by himself, because he also had the actual physical running of the site to deal with. Amazing.

I bring this up because I feel fortunate in that I do none of this by myself. And in addition to our “core” writers and contributors at Guitar Noise, we seem to be attracting more all the time. I’d like to thank all of our readers for that, because you are where they come from.

I also bring this up because I need you to know how important your role is all this. Your feedback tells us what works and what doesn’t. A little over two years ago I wrote what I thought was a one-shot throw away piece called “The Simplest Song.” Today, our song lessons for both beginners and intermediates are met with such anticipation that I am in awe.

If there’s a point I’m trying to make, it’s that you should never think that your voice doesn’t mean anything. No, we do not (and should not) always see eye to eye on things but as long as we communicate without taking things personally, we should always be able to keep Guitar Noise running as the quality site that it is.

I also bring this up because I’d like to try something. A special project, if you will. But it will take a major commitment of time on my part (aha! THAT’S why he wrote all that!), and before I do this I’d like to know that it would be of interest to you.

Next week, we’ll discuss this in detail. I think I’ve rambled enough for one day.

As always,