Newsletter Vol. 3 # 122 – September 15, 2010


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #122 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, Lessons, Reviews and Stuff
  • Exploring Guitar with Darrin Koltow
  • Event Horizon
  • Random Thoughts

Email of the Moment

Talk about being a space case! Very shortly after the September 1 issue of Guitar Noise News went out online, David got this email. I’m embarrassed to even post it (and the answer) because I truly should have included all this information in the last newsletter! Be that as it may:

Subject: sales of the new book???

When, where, online, your site, ????? Or, just put an ordering instruction paragraph in the next newsletter – I don’t know how you’ll deal with payment options (PayPal, secure credit card….) but sales should jump instantaneously!



Thanks for writing. I’m assuming you’re referring to the upcoming “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar?” There will be “ordering instructions” in the next newsletter (neither Charley nor I even thought about putting them in the last one – some capitalists, aren’t we?) but I can give you some now, too, if you’d like.

The obvious first choice (and one that wouldn’t involve any waiting) would be to go to your local bookstore on October 5 and just buy it. You can call and check with them a week ahead of time to make sure that they’ll have a copy and chances are very likely they’ll even hold it for you.

You can buy it online from all sorts of sources, but I am recommending people try to buy it through Guitar Noise’s various affiliate links to Amazon. If you go on the home page you’ll find a “Recommended by our Readers” book wheel down towards the bottom of the page. Click on the photo of the “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” cover (it’s the one with the incredibly sad looking purple guitar on it – and no, I didn’t have a say in the cover) and that will take you to the Amazon page where you can pre-order it until it becomes available. I think you need a secure credit card to buy from Amazon, but they make take Paypal as well. I’ll check into that if you’d like.

You can also, if you’d like, order a copy through me. I charge $20 (I pay the same Amazon price everyone does and the extra usually makes up for the shipping) and you also get a free autograph! I take cash, checks or money orders.

If you do want to order through me, just write back and let me know so I can tell you where to send a payment.

I hope that covers everything! Thank you once more for the email and I look forward to chatting with you again soon.



Greetings, News and Announcements

I think I can now welcome you to the September 15, 2010 edition of Guitar Noise News, the twice-a-month newsletter from Guitar Noise ( I’m Charley, or “Charles T. Cat if you prefer to be formal), and, yes, I’m still filling in for David here at “Guitar Noise News Central,” and doesn’t that sound like the sort of place that should have a
lot of vibrant theme music and flashing lights and all sorts of noisy, not to mention distracting, things?

Fortunately, though, “Guitar Noise News Central” is just a somewhat cluttered desk with a wonderful view of some trees (and, more important, the birds in the trees) that are just beginning to show the slightest suggestion of changing color. It’s all going to be yellow, red and orange in about three weeks or four weeks or so.

In fact, that will be about the time right after David’s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” comes out. October 5 is the “official” date the book becomes available and, as you’ve already read (unless you skipped right down to this section), there are all sorts of ways of getting yourself a copy both now and when it arrives in stores.

Speaking of one’s own back yard, that’s where you’ll find Paul from England enjoying a read through “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Rock Guitar.” Paul is the September 15 winner and you can see his photo online at David’s blog ( We’ll be sending an autographed copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” across the Atlantic to Paul within the next three weeks.

There are obviously many more copies that we’re giving away, so do feel free to enter. And, as always, we wish the best of luck to everyone who participates.

If you’re interested in what exactly the book will contain, just check out the brief summary of the Table of Contents that we posted up in the last newsletter, which you can read right here.

As we also mentioned last time, one of the real treats of this book is that you’ll get a chance to play accompaniment for our very own Moderator of Moderators, Nick Torres. Nick has provided the vocals of more than twenty-five songs that you’ll be able to play along with on the CD that comes with the book. Over the past four-and-a-half months I’ve gotten to hear Nick singing many, many times while David was working on double checking the music notation and guitar tablature (and triple checking and then checking again and again) that goes with the book. And every time I listen to it I end up having a new favorite song.

Guitar Noise Featured Artist

The Guitar Noise Featured Artist for the month of September is John Fogerty, truly one of the legends of rock guitar and rock music. Not only can you read all about him on the Guitar Noise Profile Page and you can also participate in Paul’s Guitar Noise blog and tell us what your favorite song of John’s might be. There certainly are a lot of great ones from which to choose!

Topic of the Month

Appropriately, the Guitar Noise Topic of the Month in September is “Songwriting.” There are an amazing number of articles on this subject, written by Nick, A-J Charron, Nick Minnion, Keane Li, Gilbert Isbin and more Guitar Noise contributors and you’ll find links for all of them by clicking on the Topic Banner on the Home Page.

New Articles, Lessons, Reviews and Stuff

Paul and David are building a library of “Micro-lessons,” or “mini-lessons,” if you prefer – short guides to help you understand basic musical concepts, guitar techniques and other topics that occur over and over again in your day to day playing. Currently these are being called the Guitar Noise “Music Guide” and they will all be- linked to various “full lessons” here at Guitar Noise. The idea is that if you’re reading any given lesson and you find you need a quick refresher on a topic, you’ll be able to click on a quick link, brush up on a topic, and get right back to your lesson. Let us know what you think about this new feature!

Likewise, if you’ve got a request on a topic like this, just drop David a line at [email protected] and put “mini-lesson” or “Music Guide” in the email’s subject line.

Communicating in Lessons
by Gerald Klickstein

The author of “The Musician’s Way” describes seven strategies that enhance student-teacher communication and boost the benefits of music lessons.

A Simple Way of Understanding Modes for Guitar (Part 3)
by Beth Isbell

In Part 3 of her series on understanding modes, Beth Isbell gives practical tips on how and when to use any mode to either an entire song or a chord progression.

Grace Notes
by David Hodge

In music notation, grace notes are smaller than regular notes and are often tied to the “regular” note that comes after it.

Practice With Purpose
Turning Scales into Solos (Part 9)

by David Hodge

There’s a very simple reason a lot of solos sound more like someone playing scales rather than solos and it all comes down to how you practice. Learn how to solo by learning how to practice soloing.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Tip for September 15 – Practicing Modes (Part 37)

Welcome back to our exploration of the C Dorian mode. Our run in the last issue produced a pretty impure, watered-down minor sound. We’re going to fix that problem in this issue. The following run emphasizes the D root, which carries through the minor feeling with conviction. The run bolsters the D by playing the A right before the D. The A is the fifth (V) degree of D Dorian. The resulting V-I movement is the strongest there is in Western music.


Thanks for reading.


Copyright 2010 Darrin Koltow

Event Horizon

Doug (“Moonrider”)James’ group, Southern Roots ( will be playing two shows in the next few days. The first will be on Saturday, September 18 at Namaw’s Country Diner (located at 16121 Goodes Bridge Road in Amelia Court House, Virginia). Show starts at 6:00 PM

Then, next week, on Friday, September 24, Southern Roots will be at the Hopewell Moose Lodge (4701 Western Street in Hopewell, Virginia) beginning at 7:30 PM

And if that weren’t enough, Doug is now playing in two bands! His second project, the Moondawgs, have a huge show coming up October 2, the Moondawgs will reform and perform a show for Walk Now for Autism Speaks at Richmond International Raceway. We’ll be starting between 9:30 and 10 am.

Guitar Noise Moderator, Wes Inman’s former bandmate Lee Hodge and his band, Doesn’t Madder, are going to be at Horsefeathers Roadhouse in Sherrils Ford, North Carolina this Saturday, September 18. Music starts at 9 PM. You can keep up with Lee and the band on their MySpace page:

Guitar Noise Forum member JWMartin, who steps out under the lights as “J. Ghouls,” bassist for the band Spookhand are going to be playing in Nashville and Atlanta over then next week or so. Tomorrow, Thursday, September 16th 7:30pm Spookhand will be opening for The Independents (they used to be managed and produced by Joey Ramone) at The Muse (835 4th Avenue South in Nashville, TN).

Then next week, on Friday, September 24 7pm they’ll be one of four bands (Psycho Charger, The Creeping Cruds, Spookhand (that’s them!)) and a local, not yet named Atlanta band) at The Shelter, located at 2101B Tula Street Northwest in Atlanta, Georgia

The following day, Saturday, September 25 7pm Spookhand and two of the other bands – Psycho Charger and The Creeping Cruds as well as and Alucard (that’s “Dracula” backwards in case you missed it) will be back at The Muse, performing at Dr. Gangrene’s 7th Annual Horror Hootenanny. Sounds like Halloween is getting a very early start in Nashville and I’m sure it will be a lot of fun!

You can keep up with some of the Guitar Noise Community’s fairly regularly performing bands at these websites:

Slightly Offensive – with GN Member Tommy (“Tommy Gunz”) McLaughlin on guitar: (you can also join their mailing list there)

Random Thoughts

I don’t know about you, but it’s close to impossible to keep up on all the activity going on at the Guitar Noise Forums sometimes. Right now, Matt (who goes by “Blueline”) is putting together a “virtual CD” by teaming up with a number of Guitar Noise Forum folks. At the time of this writing, they’re working on their first song – “Time Again,” written by Vic Lewis. It’ll be really interesting to see and hear what happens and how the song turns out.

This is a great project and we’re wishing Matt and his entire team of musicians great success at putting together a magical piece of music.

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

And, as David would say…


(Charles T. Cat)