Newsletter Vol. 3 # 119 – August 1, 2010


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #119 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • Email of the Moment
  • 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

Email of the Moment

Thought I’d start off with an email, if you didn’t mind. This one comes from Pancho and Lefty Reichert, who write the following:

Dear Charley,

We think it’s fantastic that you’re writing the newsletter for David and hope you get to do so for a while, or at least for as long as you want to.But we don’t understand how you manage to type so well. This has got to be the eight hundred and ninth time we’ve attempted to write an email to you! Usually it looks like this:

H cbgnhfjhd s byn t5r ckmi, bsgyi .o;9l 5bd ,umgnh

Does it take you a long time to type out a newsletter or are you simply a super genius (given that all cats, by virtue of being cats, are genius to start)?

Hope you’re keeping cool in this hot summer!

Pancho and Lefty

Dear Pancho and Lefty,

Thank you for writing and I assure you, I’m very much an ordinary cat. But I’m an ordinary cat who is lucky enough to have a copy of some experimental software that I think Paul got from somewhere (I suspect that his three cats actually developed it so that they might help him out because he can spend so much time working on Guitar Noise that they might feel neglected!). Don’t ask me how, but when I type in typical cat-style:

DSX knoifs joifs 90teffe l;’m’dv mljeddfs klm;

The software automatically translates it into American English (being cats, both of you already know that the above writing reads “That was a great nap. I wonder if David’s put new food in my dish yet?”).

It’s interesting because occasionally a word will be translated into “meow” because there doesn’t appear to be a translation of English that actually works. It is, as mentioned, still in the experimental stage so maybe one day cats from all over the world will be able to text their people whenever their water dish needs attention or to remind them to pick up treats at the grocery store. But that is, of course, assuming cats want to interrupt their lives with such technology. Seeing what it’s done to most of the people I’ve met, I think we’ll be taking a pass here in our home. With the occasional exception of helping out David when he’s busy, ’cause he always takes time for us.

Greetings, News and Announcements

Now that we’ve gotten that email out of the way, let me officially welcome you to the August 1, 2010 issue of Guitar Noise News, the twice-a-month newsletter from Guitar Noise ( You might be pleased to notice that despite a cat’s willful ignoring of dates and times, you’ve hopefully gotten this on the appropriate date!

I’m Charley and I’m filling in for David for the time being. Yes, he’s back from vacation and he’s even managed to finally finish up with all of the triple-checking of the upcoming “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar,” but this weekend he’s in Pennsylvania participating in the 2010 Riverside Jam. If you’ve no idea what that is, just check out the end of the last newsletter for details on it.

Here and now, we’ve more important things to talk about, such as the latest news from Tom (“Noteboat”) Serb’s latest report on his school, The Midwest Music Academy:

“The music school is expanding again! You might recall that last year I had to remodel our building to construct additional studio space – since then our enrollment has climbed more than 30%, and I’ve now got teachers for every popular, band, and orchestral instrument except viola and cello, plus a couple of great voice teachers. We’ve only got room to grow enrollment another 5% before I’ll run out of space again. And we’ve done that in two years (our 2nd anniversary is 25 days away).

So about 20 minutes ago I reached an agreement with the owner of the building just south of us – I’ll be taking over 1/4 of his building on August 1st. That should let us grow another 50% or so.

On Monday morning when I sign the lease, we’ll officially have a ‘campus’!

In a way, this expansion is scarier than starting the school was – with two buildings I’m really adding to the overhead with more rent, utilities, insurance, etc. – and I’ll have to add a receptionist for the second space. So I’m buckling up for a stressful year ahead. I probably won’t have much time for the forums, at least in the short term – hope y’all understand.

Now I’m off to the next item on my rapidly growing to-do list: time to go shopping for more pianos.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop on by – I’ll give you a tour, and we can even jam a bit if I have time!”

We all congratulate Tom and wish him continued success with his school! And if you’d like to send Tom a “good luck note,” you can do so right here on this thread on the Guitar Noise Forum’s News page.

And speaking of that aforementioned “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” (not to mention it being August 1), today is the start of a new giveaway contest that features free autographed copies of this book as soon as it comes out on October 5.

Between now and December 15, 2011, autographed copies of the all new “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” will be sent out our contest winners.

Our first winner, David Rosenberg, took a photo in Kauai. You can see the photo at We all wish David a hearty congratulations and a new winner will be announced right here in the next newsletter!

Guitar Noise Featured Artist

This month Guitar Noise Featured Artist is one of the unsung guitar heroes – the incomparable Steve Cropper, whose incredibly tasteful soul guitar can be heard on so many records and yet most people don’t know who he is.

But I’m sure you do! And you can read all about the man who is forever linked to the R&B and Soul music that came of Stax Records for close to a decade right here on the Guitar Noise Profile Page.

Topic of the Month

If you want to learn to play guitar, it’s kind of important to have a guitar (or at least have access to one). That’s why the Guitar Noise Topic of the Month for August is “Buying a Guitar.” 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

The Learning Curve of Learning Various Styles of Guitar
(PART 4 – Jazz and Classical)
by Jamie Andreas

In the final installment of her look at “The Learning Curve of Various Styles of Guitar,” Jamie Andreas examines what is needed to become proficient as a jazz or a classical guitarist.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

You’d think it must be summertime or something! We’re giving Darrin a bit of a summer break, too, so he’ll be back with his ongoing study of practicing modes next time out. Hope you’re staying cool, Darrin!

They are all worth reading! I don’t know if David’s told you or not, but Darrin’s articles were cited as favourites by many of the folks who wrote in for “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Rock Guitar” giveaway.

Event Horizon

Tom (“Tommyguns”) McLaughlin’s new band, Slightly Offensive, has a number of gigs later in the month (so we’ll post them next time), but you can keep up with the latest on their schedule by checking in with their website ( or by joining their mailing list.

Likewise, you can find out how things are going with Doug (“Moonrider”)James’ group, Southern Roots at their website ( They just had a terrific gig at Hooah’s Sports Grill a week or so back and you can read about it (and get video links) here.

David also managed to catch up with Lee Hodge who isn’t a relation, but a former band mate of Guitar Noise Moderator, Wes Inman. Lee’s moved to North Carolina and is playing in the band, Doesn’t Madder. They’ll be at the Iron Thunder Saloon in Concord, North Carolina on Saturday, August 21. You can keep up with Lee and the band on their MySpace page:

Random Thoughts

Asking a cat to write anything titled “Random Thoughts” is probably not that great of an idea. I might be in the middle of an impassioned essay on the importance of selflessness in music, particularly when it comes to playing in a group situation and then suddenly decide “I think it’s time for a nap.” Or “Hey! There’s that chipmunk I saw earlier this morning! I wonder what he’s up to now?” Or “Maybe someone’s put new food in my bowl since I last checked.”

More often than not, though, I tend to just stop whatever I’m doing to sing a bit, doing my best David Byrne impression with “Well, how did I get here?” Not in bewilderment, mind you, but rather in wonder and happy amazement. Cats spend a lot of time in happy amazement you know.

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

And, as David would say…