Newsletter Vol. 3 # 19 – April 01, 2006


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #19 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • News and Announcements
  • Email Of The Moment
  • New Articles and Lessons
  • Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow
  • Forum Findings
  • Emails? We Get Emails!
  • Reviews
  • Random Thoughts

News And Announcements

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Contrary to my original plans, and no matter what it may sound like we’re not doing an entire newsletter full of April Fools’ Day jokes. For instance, the following may seem like a joke:

Email Of The Moment

What happened to the MP3s???????? I can’t access them anymore on my computer! How am I going to learn anything? Don’t you know how fragile my self-esteem is and how little (read ‘not at all’) I am capable of figuring out something without hearing it? Does this mean I have to actually read the text or (much, much worse) figure out how to read music?

How could you do this to me???

By the way, love the website and think you guys do the best job of lessons anywhere on the Internet…

Now, obviously, it would be easy to make all sorts of witty (and probably very inappropriate) rejoinders to such an email, or any of the hundred or so like it I’ve gotten over the past three days (I’m writing this newsletter on March 31 because I’ve (obviously since I’m responding to these emails) been unable to free up much time to get it together), but I think it’s better to stem the panic.

From time to time, owing to the huge amounts of traffic at the Guitar Noise site (particularly where the Forum pages and the MP3s are concerned) we run out of our allotment of bandwidth. So it shuts down. On the occasions when this does happed, it’s usually the last two or three days of a month, although we had one particularly strange month when it happened almost a week before the month was over. And when the next month starts, as it does today, things go back to a semblance of normalcy.

We at Guitar Noise appreciate your patience in this matter. And we are working on ways to prevent it happening in the future. But now let’s speak of the present and take a look at what’s new here at Guitar Noise since we last chatted:

New Articles And Lessons

Fire And Inspiration
by Tom Hess

Sometimes we need to stoke up our inner fires and get inspired to play and creat music. Tom walks us through a number of ideas to help you get your personal inspiration going at full burn once again.

Playing With Conviction
by Chris Standring

As instrumentalists we have to try that much harder to communicate with the listener because there is no vocalist to do that for us. We have to make sure our instrumental voice carries.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

And here’s Darrin with the April First installment of ‘Exploring Music:’

Approach tones for C7, position 5

We’re continuing our work with approach tones this time. Remember that all we’re doing is putting a little delay note before the real note we want to hit. This builds a little suspense and gives your melodic playing more color, whether you’re improvising or not. We continue using an approach that comes from a 1/2 step below our target note.

We did approach tones for a major arpeggio last time. Let’s do a Dominant arpeggio with approach tones a 1/2-step below. Here we go:



These are all eighth notes. The very first one should be started on an up beat, so you come down in measure two on a strong beat.

I know that descent gets a bit tricky when you first try this. You’re going to give your pinky a workout, which may be like a jump into a cold shower on a snowy day if you don’t even use your pinky now. But first, you don’t have to use this fingering, and second, this exercise gets easier (and sounds better) the more you do it. But you probably already know that.

Thanks for reading.

Darrin Koltow

Forum Findings

In case you missed it last time, you might want to take a gander over on the ‘Swap Meet’ pages. Some industrious Forum members are holding ‘Guitar Noise Auctions’ on very slightly used gear and other things like tuners and DVDs in order to raise money for their favorite free guitar tutorial website. Very cool!

Emails? We Get Emails!

With all the deadlines and projects that have been going on, I’ve gotten way too far behind on my email. So if you’ve been waiting for a response a rather long time (longer than a week), don’t be afraid to write me again with a nudge! And never worry about writing me directly!

My question has to do with example #4 in Dock of the Bay (verse transitions). Assuming I am using the first strumming pattern noted (q, e, q, qqq), how do I fit in the transition? Or is the transition a replacement for the strumming pattern?

To answer your question, Example 4 (the first measure) is a replacement for the original strumming pattern. It’s better to say that it’s a variation of it. The idea on many R&B songs is to use “anticipation,” coming in on the chord change a little earlier than expected, to give the song a more human feel. So we come in on the B7 at the last half of the fourth beat instead of on the first beat of the second measure.

To compensate for that, the second measure is also a variation of the original strumming pattern. The first beat is held over from the previous measure and then it continues on in the original strumming pattern.

I hope that’s not too confusing and also that it’s of help. Thank you again for writing and also for your kind words concerning my lessons at Guitar Noise. Please feel free to write me directly anytime. Hopefully I’ll be able to answer a lot faster!


Ultimate GS 100 Guitar Stand
Product Review by Dennis Corbind

$25 may be a lot for a guitar stand, yet I generally believe you get what you pay for. This stand has many features that set it apart from the crowd – it’s compact (it can fit in a gig bag) and light and a great operational guitar stand.

Gustavo Assis-Brasil: Hybrid Picking For Guitar Tutorial
Book Review by David Hodge

An exercise book designed for the Hybrid Picking Guitarist – containing a well thought-out design of exercises, plus practical demonstrations of lead lines and fills as well as some full original songs. It will certainly get you working!

Random Thoughts

Not surprisingly, given all the hoopla over the MP3s (and this, too, is not an April Fools’ joke), I’ve been thinking about life without Guitar Noise. Not in a specific sense or a morbid sense, but rather about how much of my current everyday life involves the website either directly or indirectly. Would I be where I am now, doing what I do for a living if I hadn’t made the acquaintance of Mr. Paul Hackett? Would I have met the people and enjoyed the friendships (both new and rediscovered) that I have gotten to know over the past six-and-a-half years?

There is an overwhelming temptation, in life and especially in relationships, to desire no more than to have things continue on as they are. And nothing is more impossible. People change moment by moment. True, the core of their being tends to be stable, but the little changes are important for growth and development. ‘Vital’ isn’t too strong a word to use in that context.

So, at this current moment in time, I’d like to thank Paul, for probably the eighteen millionth time, for creating and maintaining (don’t about an inappropriate word!) this bit of Eden we call Guitar Noise. I can’t wait to see what happens next…

And until the next time (that’s TAX DAY for all you in the United States, remember!), stay safe and play well.

And, as always,