Newsletter Vol. 3 # 125 – November 1, 2010


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #125 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • 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

Greetings, News and Announcements

Hello! Charley T. Cat here and welcome to the November 1, 2010 issue of Guitar Noise News, your free twice-a-month newsletter from Guitar Noise and you already knew all that, right?

Last time out we mentioned Mitch’s blog, where he’s posting a chapter by chapter progress report as he works his way through “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Rock Guitar.” Well, it turns out that he’s not alone in writing reviews for this book. GN Forum member Javi, who goes by “Nuno” on the Forum pages, has got a wonderful review up on his site as well. And since Javi lives in Spain, it’s in Spanish. That’s very cool!

If you read earlier posts, you can also read his review of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Bass Guitar.”

Somewhere in the middle of October of 2002 (I had to go all the way back to Issue #6 of Volume 2 of Guitar Noise News to find it!), Nick Torres and GN Forum member Ryan Spencer began the Sunday Songwriters’ Group, which we call “SSG” for short. The idea was to give songwriters assignments so they could practice their craft. After all, writing songs is much like playing an instrument in that you won’t get better without practice.

Yesterday, Sunday, October 31 marked the start of the SSG’s ninth year. Vic Lewis, who’s done an absolutely magnificent job running the SSG these past two years, has decided to step down and David’s volunteered to helm the SSG through Year 9.

So take a moment and visit the SSG. If you’ve always had the itch to write a song, you won’t find a friendlier group of people to help you out.

And David has some interesting ideas that he’s hoping to try out to bring the wonderful songs of the SSG to the rest of the Guitar Noise community. Stay tuned for that.

In other news, we’re still giving away autographed copies of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar” as part of our latest Guitar Noise contest. Kathy from Illinois is our November 1 winner and you can see her 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

He was certainly one of the most influential songwriters, musicians, producers and performers of the 1980s, and he is the November Guitar Noise Featured Artist of the month. Read all about Prince on the Guitar Noise Profile Page.

Topic of the Month

And we’ve got a very cool Guitar Noise Topic of the Month for November called “Now and Zen.” It’s a look back ten years ago, to what the Guitar Noise site was like back in the year 2000. If you visit the Guitar Noise Home page and then click on the Topic Banner, you’ll get to visit some of the earliest articles ever written for Guitar Noise, way back in the days before audio files!

It’s actually amazing how great many of those lessons still are today!

New Articles, Lessons, Reviews and Stuff

Here’s what gone up online since we last chatted:

Patience and Guitar Practice
by Jamie Andreas

Discovering the roots of impatience can lead to much more productive practice and better performance. Jamie Andreas teaches you how to become a patient person.

A Simple Way To Understand Modes For Guitar (Part 4)
by Beth Isbell

In Part 4 of her series on understanding modes, Beth Isbell looks at each of the seven modes and gives examples of how they are used in songs you may know.

What Is Melody?
by David Hodge

The melody of a song is what we carry around in our heads. Along with harmony and rhythm, melody is one of the three essential elements of any song.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Tip for November 1 – Practicing Modes (Part 40)

Let’s stroll around the fretboard positions with the C minor 7 arpeggio. This run uses a repeated four-note pattern for the arpeggio, which results in a steady flow of notes that tends to fade into the background. In other words, the run is a bit static, but static has its uses, such as when you’re accompanying someone else’s solo.

We’ll do a more dynamic C minor or C minor 7 run in the next installment.


Thanks for reading.


Copyright 2010 Darrin Koltow

Event Horizon

Southern Roots, with GN Forum member Doug (“Moonrider”) James on guitar, will be playing at the Sandston Moose Lodge, 4505 Oakleys Lane in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, November 13, starting at 8 PM.

That same night, but in another part of the country, Chicago Ridge, Illinois, to be precise, GN Member Tommy (“Tommy Gunz”) McLaughlin and his band Slightly Offensive will be one of three bands playing at Bobby McGees. The starting time hasn’t been announced as yet, but as soon as it is, it will be posted on their website (

And Australian band Wishing Well will be in Germany, Austria and Switzerland during the first half of November at the following dates, times and venues:

Friday, November 5 / 8 PM: Londoner Gotha in Thuringen, Germany
Saturday, November 6 / 8PM: Noch Besser Leben, Liepzig, Germany
Sunday, November 7 / 8PM: Cafe Live, Alfeld, Niedersach, Germany
Wednesday, November 10 / 8PM: Conditorei, Stuttgart, Baden-Wurt, Germany
Thursday, November 11 / 8 PM: Cult Bar, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Friday, November 12 / 8PM: Bergwerk, Neusiedl am See, Austria

Read more about the band and their ongoing tour here.

Random Thoughts

The following fable was sent to David a little while back. Its probably made the Internet rounds (like many of these things do), but he thought it might make a good “Random Thoughts” piece at some point. Why not now?

In The Beginning There Was A Bass….

It was a Fender, probably a Precision, but it could have been a Jazz—–nobody knows. Anyway, it was very old…definitely pre-CBS.

And God looked down upon it and saw that it was good. He saw that it was very good, in fact, and couldn’t be improved upon at all — although men would later try.

And so He let it be.

Then God created a man to play the bass.

And lo, the man looked upon the bass, which was a beautiful sunburst red, and he loved it. He played upon the open E string, and the note rang through the earth and reverberated throughout the firmaments. Thus reverb came to be. And it was good. And God heard that it was good and He smiled at His handiwork.

In the course of time, the man came to slap upon the bass. And lo, it was funky.

And God heard this funkiness and He said, “Go, man, go.” And it was good.

And more time passed, and, having little else to do, the man came to practice upon the bass. And lo, the man came to have upon him a great set of chops. And he did play faster and faster until the notes rippled like a breeze through the heavens.

And God heard this sound that sounded something like the wind, which He had created earlier. It also sounded something like the moving of furniture, which He hadn’t even created yet, and He was not so pleased. And He spoke to the man saying, “Don’t do that!”

Now the man heard the voice of God, but he was so excited about his new ability that he slapped upon the bass a blizzard of funky notes. And the heavens shook with the sound, and the Angels ran about in confusion. Some of the Angels started to dance, but that is another story.

And God heard this—how could He miss it—and lo, He became bugged.

And He spoke to the man, and He said, “Listen, man, if I wanted Jimi Hendrix I would have created the guitar. Stick to the bass parts.”

And the man heard the voice of God, and he knew not to mess with it. But now he had upon him a passion for playing fast and high. The man took the frets off the bass that God had created. And the man did slide his fingers upon the fretless fingerboard and play melodies high upon the neck. And in his excitement, the man did forget the commandment of the Lord, and he played a frenzy of high melodies and blindingly fast licks. And the heavens rocked with the assault and the earth shook, rattled and rolled.

Now God’s wrath was great. And His voice was thunder as He spoke to the man. He said, “OK for you, pal. You have not heeded My word. Lo, I shall create a soprano saxophone and it shall play higher than you can even think of.

“And from out of the chaos I shall bring forth the drums. And I shall make you to always stand by the drummer, and he shall play so many notes thine head shall ache.

You think you’re loud? I shall create a stack of Marshall guitar amps to make thine ears bleed. And I shall send down upon the earth other instruments, and lo, they shall all be able to play higher and faster than the bass.

“And for all the days of man, your curse shall be this: that all the other instruments shall look to you, the bass player, for the low notes. And if you play too fast or too high all the other musicians shall say “wow”, but really hate it.

And they shall tell you you’re ready for your solo career, and they shall find other bass players for their bands. And for all your days if you want to play your fancy licks you shall have to sneak them in like a thief in the night. And if you finally do get to play a solo, everyone shall leave the bandstand and go to the bar for a drink.”

And it was so.

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

And, as David would say…


(Charles T. Cat)