Newsletter Vol. 3 # 10 – November 15, 2005


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #10 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • News and Announcements
  • New Articles and Lessons
  • November CD Giveaway
  • Exploring Music with Darrin Koltow
  • Forum Findings
  • Reviews
  • Off Site Sightings and Works In Progress
  • Completely Random Thoughts

News And Announcements

“Hey, Where did my post go?” It’s a common refrain for the past couple of days. It does appear we are having a few issues with.

Pick one:

  1. Code
  2. New features
  3. Our server
  4. Memory leaks
  5. Disappearing posts

I just want to say hang in there. If a post is missing it isn’t because we deleted it. The problem should be resolved shortly. Paul and our Hosting provider are working on it diligently.

New Articles And Lessons

The Number System
by Jimmy Crabtree

First-time Guitar Noise contributor Jimmy Crabtree details the workings of the “Number System” (also known to some as “Nashville Numbers”). This is a good reference to get you acquainted with the basics of the number system, which is used a lot in studio work.

Standard Notation (Part 2)
by Tom Serb

In the second installment of Tom’s series on reading notation, you’ll learn about ledger lines, repeat signs and other musical “traffic signals,” as well as delve into accidentals and key signatures. Plus you get an arrangement of “Jingle Bells” to get you going for the holidays!

Top Secrets Of Common Sense – Part 1
by Tom Hess

No matter what level of musical skill you have, there are going to be many significant challenges ahead of you. Your attitude towards these challenges can be single greatest factor in determining how much you will achieve as a musician. Tom Hess looks at the importance of having an attitude of positive thinking.

November CD Giveaway

This month we are giving away two CDs to two lucky winners.

Enter to win a copy of soul/jazz man Jeffrey Osbourne’s latest album From the Soul. Contest ends 12/4/05!!

Enter to WIN a copy of french Chatuese Ilona Knopfler’s latest CD Live the Life. Contest ends 12/4/05.

Check out the Guitar Noise review for Ilona Knopfler’s newCD below.

Good luck to everyone!!!

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Soloing over minor chords

We’ve been exploring the use of scales for soloing to learn which scales go with a particular chord. Please see archives of this newsletter on for details.

Let’s look at minor chords now. What scale can we use to solo over an E minor 7 for example? Let’s rephrase and ask this: in what scales does E minor 7 appear? If we limit our choices to major and melodic minor scales, we get this:

C major: E minor 7 is the III chord
D major: E minor 7 is the II chord
G major: E minor 7 is the VI chord
D melodic minor: E minor is the II chord.

If you are just starting out soloing or learning about how scales and chords are connected, you might have had the idea that there was only one scale you could use for a particular chord, E minor 7 in this instance. But now you’re a bit more savvy, and maybe even relieved, to see that you have many choices for melodic improvisation. The point? Learning a bit of chord scale theory can enrich your playing.

Before we move on, do please try each of the aforementioned scales over E minor 7. You can have you mind filled with memorizations of possible scales to use for a given chord; but until you get “inside” the music and *do* it, you won’t truly be soloing.

A note about modes. Get out your guitar and play a C major scale — except start the scale on the E note instead of the C note. After you play the scale, play an E minor chord, preferably in the same area you played the scale.

The purpose of doing this is to get you to hear that you can imply a chord by playing the *modes* associated with that chord. How is that possible? We’ll cover that next time.

Thanks for reading.

Forum Findings

Well finding your post the next time you log on can be an adventure, but I wanted to alert you to some real quality stuff being posted in both SSG, hear here and Easy Song Database.

First off, it seems the SSG has become partial to creating MP3s of the work being submitted. Now don’t let this put you off if you don’t feel comfortable recording your own work, but it’s great to listen to hear the ideas of the lyricist.

By the way, go take a shot at composing some lyrics this week.

Speaking of recording, we’ve got some good posts going on how to record. Believe it or not Kristal and Audacity are the most often mentioned…AND they are both free.

Once you’ve downloaded them, you should check out some of Smokin’ dog’s online jam tracks. Ken has got something for every level of user.

And finally, some of the best stuff I’ve seen posted as far as tab goes is appearing in the ESD forum. One of my favorites just appeared, Father and Son by Cat Stevens. Thanks Matt.

You can also find the Who, Coldplay, David Gray and more. Check it out.


Ilona Knopfler: Live The Life
CD Review by: Jimmy Caterine

Ilona Knopfler describes her latest CD, Live The Life, as “a tribute to my unconditional love of music.” This album comes highly recommended to jazz lovers as well as those who may not listen to jazz but are looking to expand their musical horizons. After listening to Live The Life you will know that Ilona Knopfler is one with the music she sings.

Completely Random Thoughts

Guitar Noise was down today for a while and the forums are still just a bit wacky. I had to keep checking back though to make sure it was okay. Withdrawal is hell. It’s a tribute to all of you who read, click advertisements, download articles and contribute on the forums that the place is so darn addictive. So thank you all.

I played at a song or two for a gathering of children this past week. I was playing a song I knew and when I got to the flatpicking break in between verses I screwed up. I mean wrong notes, had to stop playing screwed up. So I just strummed a chord or two and started the next verse. I decided to play the break again and screwed it up again. I know this song cold. Still I couldn’t do it. Ah well back to the verse. Third time through I got it. Now I was embarrassed, but I remember something I learned way back. Don’t apologize or make excuses, take a bow and exit gracefully. Don’t put yourself down; leave that for others to do. So I didn’t. I held my internal self-criticism in.

You know I can’t tell you how many people said “thanks for playing” and “that was great” and “the kids loved it”. I thought I had just dragged my nails down the chalkboard and I’m pretty sure I did, but I didn’t make it worse by dwelling on it. Not a single person came up to me and said, “Man, what happened?” or “Dude you suck”.

So two things:

A. Cut yourself some slack, you aren’t supposed to be perfect.

B. Always try to be professional; playing ability is only part of the equation, presentation is another.

Believe in yourself.