Newsletter Vol. 3 # 123 – October 1, 2010


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #123 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • Email of the Moment
  • This Date in Guitar Noise History
  • 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

Hi Charley!

Thanks again for handling the Guitar Noise News these past few months. It’s really helped make life a little easier having one less deadline to deal with!

I’m not sure where the time goes, but it looks like it’s already October! Be sure to mention FODfest in the next newsletter, okay? Todd’s going to be taking the tour to Israel and the West Bank in a few weeks and it would be great if some of our Guitar Noise readers could make a show or two.

Thanks again and please try not to rip up the sofa downstairs, okay? I’ll bring some of those chicken-flavored treats you like when I stop at the store later.



FODfest, for those of you who don’t know, is a series of free concerts that have been held in the US and Taiwan since 2005. “FOD” stands for “Friends of Danny” and “Danny” is Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered in Pakistan back in 2002. Todd Mack, a local musician here in the Berkshires (he also owns and runs the Off The Beat ‘n’ Track Recording Studios in Sheffield, Massachusetts where David has recorded the CDs for each of his three “Complete Idiot’s Guides”), played in a band with Daniel when the two of them lived in Atlanta.

As David mentioned in his email, FODfest is going to Israel in October. The following shows and venues are confirmed:

Sunday October 10 – Presentation & performance at ORT El Hoashallah school in Kasr-al-Sir
Sunday October 10 – Presentation & preformance at ORT Abu Krinat School near Arara Banegev Junction
Tuesday October 12 – Concert in Be’er Sheva (co-sponsored by Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality) –
Thursday October 14 – Concert at Open House in Ramle – (currently invitation only, owing to the size of the venue)

There are still another half-dozen or more shows that we’re waiting to get word on and rest assured that we will post the details as soon as they are available. If you live in the area, do try to stop in and see a show and meet the musicians. You’ll have a great time and it’s for a wonderful cause. Be sure to tell Todd “hello” from Guitar Noise.

This Date In Guitar Noise History

Two years ago, Guitar Noise ran two articles to bring FODfest to the attention of our readers. You can still find both of them on our website. Here’s how they were “premiered” in the October 1, 2008 issue of Guitar Noise News:

Todd Mack Interview
by David Hodge

With FODFest starting up in ten days, I thought this would be a great time to check in on Todd Mack, a Berkshire based recording artist and producer, and find out what’s going on with this year’s festival honoring the life of Daniel Pearl. Plus we get to hear about some of the other music Todd’s working on.

“FOD” For Thought
by David Hodge

You never know who you’re going to meet in life. And, given the way things are these days, you also never know who you’re not going to meet yet still get to know and appreciate. Joining FODFest the past two years has hammered home, to me at least, the point that every life can make a difference in this world.

Greetings, News and Announcements

Okay, now that all that’s taken care of, let me officially welcome you to the October 1, 2010 issue of Guitar Noise News. My name’s Charley, or Charles T. Cat if you prefer, and I’ve been filling in for David on the newsletter duties for a while now.

Of course, this writing gig of mine started when he was totally wrapped up in writing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar,” the brand new guitar tutorial for Alpha Books. It’s a bit astonishing to realize that the book is hitting the bookstores this coming Tuesday, October 5. Where does the time go?

Personally, nothing would make me happier (not to mention shock the daylights out of David) than to see his book make the New York Times best seller lists. But that’s never going to happen to any guitar tutorial book. Wouldn’t that send an incredibly weird message to the whole world?

But in case you are interested in buying a copy, you can do so either online or off. As it’s brand new, your local bookstore should be getting copies that will go on sale Tuesday. You can certainly call and check with them today and tomorrow (and Sunday if your local store is open Sundays) and they might be kind enough to hold a copy in reserve for you.

Online, and for hopefully incredibly obvious reasons, we’re asking people 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 (and I totally agree with David that it’s probably the lamest cover ever!) and you’ll be linked to the Amazon page where you can buy it. Buying the book this way gives some money to Paul and Guitar Noise and is a great way to thank them both for all the work they do.

And because David is David, you can also order a copy directly from him. Email him at [email protected] for details on where to send your money. It will be $20 (he gets them at the Amazon cost and the extra helps cover shipping) and he’ll ask you whether or not you’d like an autograph thrown in as well. Being someone from the Stone Age, David only deals in cash, checks or money orders, so if you want to go with credit cards or Paypal, try the online route.

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 September 1 newsletter, which you can read right here.

And we’re also still giving away autographed copies of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” in our latest Guitar Noise contest – two a month, in fact, between now and December 2011.

The October 1 winner is Glen from Ontario, Canada, who just took a quick picture of himself holding the book for the camera. We’re kind of assuming he was in a hurry to get started reading it! You can see Glen’s photo, as well as all our past winners, at David’s blog (

And speaking of contests, stay tuned for a great end of the year contest we’ll be having, well, at the end of the year! You will have a chance to win all of three of David’s “Complete Idiot’s Guides” as well as two tutorial books from the folks of Acoustic Guitar Magazine that include some of his articles for them.

Guitar Noise Featured Artist

Jimmy Page has the honor of being the Guitar Noise Featured Artist for the month of October and it’s an honor that’s long overdue. Read our bio on this legend of both the guitar and the recording studio by dropping in on the Guitar Noise Profile Page.

And also be sure to check out Paul’s wonderful article on the many genres and styles covered by Led Zeppelin called No Stairway, which you can find here.

Topic of the Month

For October, we’re featuring the “Turning Scales into Solos” series as our Guitar Noise Topic of the Month. Paul and David have gotten a lot of compliments and “thank you’s” for these articles and if you’ve ever read one I’m sure you’ll agree. Even if you’re not into soloing at all, they can give you some helpful advice on being able to choose the right sound for a particular song.

You can find all of them by clicking on the Topic Banner of the Guitar Noise Home Page. And check out the new ones that will be going up online later this month.

New Articles, Lessons, Reviews and Stuff

FODfest 2010
The Middle East and More

Interview by David Hodge

FODfest, a series of concerts that use the healing power of music to bring people of all backgrounds together, is en route to Israel and the West Ban region in October 2010. Todd Mack, founder and organizer of the event, takes a few moments to discuss the tour as well as the new “FODfest in the Schools” program that has been launched this past year.

Standard 12 Bar Blues (and the “Quick Change” Blues)
by David Hodge

Knowing the basic structure of the twelve bar blues will help you immensely as both a guitarist and a musician. Here’s a guide to explain how it works.

Diatonic Scales
by David Hodge

Diatonic Chords are chords formed using only the notes in a single major scale. Knowing the diatonic chords of whatever key in which you’re playing a song can help you in more ways than you might dream possible!

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Tip for October 1 – Practicing Modes (Part 38)

Welcome back to the series of articles exploring the musical modes. We’re currently checking out C Dorian, played around the fifth position. Let’s look at a substitute sound for C Dorian. This substitute is a run of the G minor 7 arpeggio. This arpeggio often sounds like an agreeable substitute for C. The reason is that C Dorian and G Aeolian–which provides one source for the G minor 7 arpeggio and chord–share the same key (Bb major). Besides sharing the same key, they share two out of four notes: G and Bb.

Don’t rely just on theory to choose your chord substitutes. Play the following run over a droning C bass note, or a strumming accompaniment consisting of just the C minor chord.


Thanks for reading.


Copyright 2010 Darrin Koltow

Event Horizon

Most of you have heard of Doug (“Moonrider”) James’ group, Southern Roots (, but did you know that Doug is now playing in a second band, the Moondawgs ( They’ve got a big show coming up at Honey Whyte’s All American Cafe, located at 2116 East Main Street in Richmond, Virginia on Friday, October 15 from 9 PM until 1 in the morning.

Lee Hodge and his band, Doesn’t Madder, are going to be rocking like crazy at the Iron Thunder Saloon of Concord, North Carolina, that’s at 10023 Weddington Road Ext., tomorrow night (Saturday, October 2) from 9:30 until 1.

The following Saturday, October 9, Doesn’t Madder will be playing at Midtown Sundries at Lake Norman (18665 Harborside Drive in Cornelius, North Carolina). This is another 9:30 to 1 show. Don’t forget that you can keep up with Lee and the band on their MySpace page:

And if you’re trying to plan for Halloween already, you can’t go wrong by seeing Slightly Offensive – with GN Member Tommy (“Tommy Gunz”) McLaughlin on guitar! They’ll be doing a Saturday, October 30 show at Jake’s Pub in Joliet, Illinois. Check their website ( for more details.

Random Thoughts

One of the big pieces of good news this week was hearing about the re-opening of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. This past Tuesday was the first show held there since the floods of last May closed down most of Music City and it’s a tribute to all the people of the area, musicians and non-musicians alike, that they are back and making beautiful music again.

The Opry’s oldest living member, Little Jimmy Dickens started the program with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” joined by Brad Paisley and other Opry members and for a moment it was hard to believe that so much of the structure had been under several feet of water mere months ago.

Now you may wonder why I would even care about Nashville, being a cat who’s never set a paw outside the state of Massachusetts (and, truth to tell, not outside of this house for the past three and a half years – well, except that one time that Lily and I managed to get a screen open and jump outside and that’s really an entirely different story). The answer’s very simple: there are people there who make music. And people who love cats.

One of the big tourist stops in Nashville is the Hatch Show Print store, where they still made woodblock posters (and will even do so for your shows or your band’s show for a reasonable cost) for concerts and all sorts of other events. Yes, it’s historic and interesting, but the real reason tourists stop there is to see Huey and Maow, two rescue cats that have become celebrities in their own right in a city full of famous folks. As they say at Hatch, “come for our cats, stay for our posters.”

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

And, as David would say…


(Charles T. Cat)

And do get yourself a copy of his latest book, okay? Thanks!