Newsletter Vol. 3 # 117 – July 1, 2010


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #117 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • Greetings, News and Announcements
  • Topic of the Month
  • Guitar Noise Featured Artist
  • Exploring Guitar with Darrin Koltow
  • Random Thoughts

Greetings, News and Announcements

Since I usually spend my days in an exhausting search of the perfect place in the sun in which to stretch out and nap, this whole sitting at the computer thing is a little weird to me. I appreciate your ignoring any glaring typos I might make, especially since I have to write in English, which is not my own language.

My name is Charley and I welcome you to the July 1 issue of Guitar Noise News. Yes, David usually writes these newsletters (or at least spends a lot of time worrying about them when he could be paying more attention to his cats), but I’ve had the honor of writing a few myself! For those of you who remember me – and especially to those who sent emails to me! – I hope that you’ve been well and that this newsletter finds you happy, healthy and in great spirits. If we’ve never “met” before, then, again, I welcome you to the newest edition of your twice-a-month newsletter from Guitar Noise (which you already know can be found at, right?).

David’s trying to get a bit of much needed (and, in my opinion, long overdue) vacation time, so I’ve volunteered to fill in for him for this issue. Well, he told me about how great computers were because you got to sit and play with a mouse all day and I have to say it’s more than a bit of a disappointment. “Maus” isn’t even spelled correctly and it doesn’t squeak
at all. I’ve seen twist-ties that were livelier (not to mention more fun to bat around!).

He’s pretty much given me free reign to write what I’d like but did say I should mention the upcoming giveaway that starts in August. For more than a year and a half, autographed copies of the all new “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” (due out on October 5) will be sent out to readers who have bought a copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Rock Guitar” and have taken a picture of himself or herself with it someplace.

And speaking of August, I’ve heard that Alan Green (one of the Guitar Noise Moderators I’ve had the honor to meet in person), is going to be playing every Sunday of August at the Square 1 Restaurant (15 High Street in Great Dunmow, which is in Essex, England). Alan’s a great player and you’re sure to have a good time if you can make it there. And if you do, tell him both “Charley and David” say hello and ask him if he’ll play either Sor’s “Etude in Bm” or his own original punk tribute to Joey Ramone (one of my favorites!).

Topic of the Month

In July, the Guitar Noise Topic of the Month is Playing Live, which means that you’ll find links for the many articles already at Guitar Noise dealing with this subject when you click on the Topic Banner on the Home Page.

Guitar Noise Featured Artist

There’s also a new Guitar Noise Featured Artist for the month of July – you can read all about Bonnie Raitt when you click on the Profile Page.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Tip for July 1 – Practicing Modes (Part 33)

Welcome back to our group exploration of modes, the C Dorian mode in particular. Last time out we ran through a chromatic chord walk along string 1, which put unusual notes like E natural and B as melody notes for C Dorian. How can we use these melody notes and still sound C Dorian-ish?

Take C Dorian with E natural on top. That’s only one change to the C Dorian chord. The change turns C Dorian into C Mixolydian. But, we don’t have to play C Mixolydian. We can play another chord from the C Mixolydian (F major) scale. That way, we can disguise our C Mixo chord. For the second chord in our run…


…that disguise idea is exactly what we’re using. The above is a Bb major #11 chord–there’s no C to give away the real C Mixolydian chord.

It’s a good idea at this point for you to look at the other chords in last issue’s exercise, and ask of them what we asked and answered here: “What scale is this non-C-Dorian melody note taking me into, and what chord besides one with a C root can I use here?”

Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2010 Darrin Koltow

Random Thoughts

Even though I enjoy writing these newsletters immensely, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t do them all the time. I mean, you can just imagine the “News” section every two weeks or so saying “we had something to eat and then took a nice nap” over and over again. Maybe occasionally there’d be a note about having a catnip treat or maybe catching a mouse or something.

I could even write about meeting various guitar students or even tell you some things about Nick that I’m sure everyone is dying to know! But at heart I’m a cat of few words.

I did want to share two cool items with you, though. First, here is “Fresh,” the latest single from Devo.

Now that looks like it was fun!

And people enjoy music as much as cats, so I was pretty excited to read about this music / art project finally making it to America.

That’s got to be a big undertaking. Imagine being in charge of taking care of one of those pianos! Just being careful about the sun and the rain and the changes of weather is hard enough without taking the people into account. Hopefully everyone will treat the pianos with respect and give the city some beautiful music.

Until the next issue of Guitar Noise News, play well and play often.

And, as David would say…


Charley T. Cat