Newsletter Vol. 3 # 118 – July 15, 2010


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #118 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

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

Greetings, News and Announcements

Cats don’t worry much about dates. “Dates” being the day of the month, not a romantic get together. There’s a good reason for that. When someone marks a date on a calendar in regards to his or her cat, it’s a safe bet that a trip to the vet is involved. Cats, like many people, don’t enjoy going to the doctors, even though we do understand it’s about maintaining good health. And even though it’s considered a big cliche, being in good health generally helps one be in a good mood.

Something else that might help put you in a good mood is your latest issue of Guitar Noise News, the twice-a-month newsletter from Guitar Noise ( This is your “sometime around the middle of the month” issue. David said to try to get it to Paul by the fifteenth but, well you know – cats and dates.

I’m Charley and I’m filling in for David for the time being. He is back from vacation but, as you might imagine, he’s found that nothing else stopped while he did. So he’s got about seven hundred and eighteen emails, not to mention articles to write and edit and, since neither Lily nor I drive (let alone carry cash or credit cards), cat food, treats and litter to purchase. Life keeps moving along.

And before I forget, I’d like to say a big “hello” to Nell, the lucky dog who lives with Vic Lewis over in England. Nell’s taken a turn at running the Sunday Songwriters’ Group on the Guitar Noise Forum and I think it’s great when people and animals help each other out in their day to day lives. As long as they don’t resort to that goofy baby-talk stuff. The people, that is.

Guitar Noise Featured Artist

Speaking of people, Bonnie Raitt is the Guitar Noise Featured Artist for the month of July – you can read all about this incredibly socially motivated artist by clicking on the Profile Page.

Topic of the Month

One of the most important things about learning guitar is to remember it’s supposed to be fun. Whether you are playing live in a band or just jamming with a few friends, it’s all about having a good time. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or you’ve been playing guitar for a while, there are all sorts of things to consider when playing live in front of others.

And that’s why the Guitar Noise Topic of the Month for July is “Getting Up on the Stage.” You’ll find links for the many Guitar Noise articles that deal with this subject when you click on the Topic Banner on the Home Page.

New Articles and Lessons

A Simple Way To Understand Modes For Guitar (Part 1)
by Beth Isbell

Everyone seems to have his or her own “Aha!” moment when it comes to modes. Guitar Noise welcomes Beth Isbell, who kindly shares her modal method with our readers in this multi-part series.

Guitar Strings And The Great Outdoors
by Professor String

Playing outdoors is fun, but it also requires you to pay more attention to your guitar strings! Professor String gives us tips on keeping your guitar happy when you play outside.

Solving Timing And Rhythm Problems – Part 3: Left Brain Left Behind
by Nick Minnion

Nick Minnion concludes his three-part series on solving timing and rhythm problems with a look at playing various eighth note, triplet and sixteenth note rhythms.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Tip for July 15 – Practicing Modes (Part 34)

Welcome back to our exploration of the C Dorian mode. Remember that we’re interpreting “C Dorian” as “C minor,” to give us more choices for chords. We’ll need those additional choices to do the following chord walk, which echoes the string 1 walk we did a few issues ago. This run will take you through the chromatic scale, from frets 12 or so to fret 1. The melody note of each chord is on string 2 this time.

Here we go:


Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2010 Darrin Koltow

Event Horizon

One thing Paul, David and everyone at Guitar Noise would really like to do is to help promote your shows, whether it’s in a stadium or at a ten-seat coffee house. Not only is it a great way to help support each other, it’s also a terrific way to meet more musicians!

So please feel free to write to David if you’ve got some gigs coming up. Send your gig dates to David at [email protected] and try to put “gig alert” in the subject header. And remember that Guitar Noise News is (usually) sent out on the first and fifteenth of each month. And one needs a few days notice ahead of time, so plan accordingly. For instance, if you’ve got something coming up in the last two weeks of January (that is, after the fifteenth), then write by the tenth or the twelfth.

Maybe you’ll get to meet some of your Guitar Noise friends at upcoming shows!

Tom (“Tommyguns”) McLaughlin’s new band, Slightly Offensive, has a number of gigs scheduled throughout the end of July. Saturday, July 17, they’ll be playing at the Annual John & Mike Hurley Benefit in Lansing, Illinois from 7 to 9:30 PM. John and Mike are a father and son from Beecher, Illinois who both passed away within six months of each other. The money raised at this benefit will help the family to pay for funeral expenses as well as to help fund college tuition for the younger family members.

On Friday, July 23, Slightly Offensive will play at 191 South (in Mokena, Illinois) from 10 PM – 1:30 AM. 191 South is a one of the south Chicago suburbs’ great venues for music.

Next day, Saturday, July 24, the band treks all the way north to Illinois’ “Chain of Lakes” region to play at Blarney Island, which is a man-made island of piers about a mile off-shore in Antioch, Illinois. If you don’t have your own boat (or helicopter, hang glider or personal jet pack), then you can catch the Blarney Shuttle Boat to get to the show, which runs from 6 to 8 PM.

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Marilyn Miller, one of David’s former students, on many occasions. Not only has she grown as a songwriter, guitarist and performer, she seems to be playing all the time around here! She’ll be playing a show at the Inquiring Mind Bookstore and Cafe this Saturday, July 17 starting at 7 PM. Inquiring Mind is located at 65 Partition Street in Saugerties, New York. If you go, look for David in the audience and say hi.

And if you happen to be a little to the west of Philadelphia over the last few days of July, you can come meet (and listen to) quite a few Guitar Noise folks at two Riverside Jam 2010 events.

Friday night, GN Moderator-in-Chief, Nick Torres will be hosting an acoustic songwriters’ showcase, featuring SSG stalwarts like Kathy Reichert and John (“the Celt”) Roche,as well as the aforementioned Marilyn Miller and lots of other GN folks like Dan and Laura Lasley. This all takes placeat Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, PA). Doors open at 7 and the music starts at 8.

Saturday night there’ll be a whole evening of rock, blues, jazz and more at The Note (142 East Market Street in West Chester, PA), featuring “Cruising for a Blues-in,” the new blues band that GN Mod Dan Lasley plays in. Doors open at 7:00 PM, show starts at 8 and the music goes on until 1. Again, you’ll get the chance to meet all sorts of Guitar Noise folks. Word has it that “Scrybe” from the GN Forum is making the trip from Liverpool to play!

Both events have a $10 cover, and the proceedswill be donated to Live Connection Music, a local charity that promotes music and education throughout the Philadelphia area. You can find out more about both shows, as well as a little bit of history on the Riverside Jam at this URL.

So come on out and mingle with some Guitar Noise folks!

Random Thoughts

Lily and I moved in with David and Karen in April 2007, little realizing that we were not only going to have to deal with being in a totally new home but that we were also going to have to be hosts for the 2007 Riverside Jam that took place there.

This year is the Riverside Jam’s tenth anniversary. Some of you may have read about the first one in either of the two articles at Guitar Noise:

As I mentioned, it’s been held now for ten years at these various locations:

2000 – Westport CT – hosted by Dan and Laura Lasley
2001 – Chicago – hosted by David Hodge
2002 – New Brunswick, New Jersey – hosted by Greg (“gnease”) Nease (featuring a surprise appearance by Paul Hackett!)
2003 – Chicago – David, again
2004 – Great Barrington MA – yep, David yet again
2005 – Elkhart IN – hosted by Anne O’Neil
2006 – Minneapolis – hosted by Jose Velez
2007 – Great Barrington MA – once more hosted by David, but Lily and I helped!
2008 – Fox Lake IL – hosted by Kathy Reichert
2009 – Middletown OH – hosted by Helena Bouchez

If you go to the “News” page in the Forums section and type “Riverside Jam” in the “Search” function (you can even add the year if you’re interested in any one Riverside Jam in particular), you’ll find lots of interesting threads that will give you a good feel of what this occasion is like. Having gone through it first-hand, I can tell you a good time is usually had by all. There is certainly a lot of magic and music.

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

And, as David would say…