Newsletter Vol. 3 # 22 – May 15, 2006

Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #22 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • News and Announcements
  • New Articles and Lessons
  • Guitar Noise Staff Picks!
  • Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow
  • Emails? We Get Emails!
  • Digging Through The Archives / Forum Findings
  • Event Horizon
  • Reviews
  • Random Thoughts

News And Announcements

If you live in the United States and forgot to wish your mother a Happy Mothers’ Day yesterday, drop everything immediately and do so. We’ll wait for you.

Welcome back! And welcome to the May 15, 2006 edition of Guitar Noise News. For those of you who missed our last newsletter, the big news is that Nick Torres and I are inviting you the chance to attend: Guitar Noise Mini-Camp 2006.


Stadium Arcadium, the new DOUBLE album from Red Hot Chili Peppers, hits stores May 9th. Kiedis, Flea, Frusciante, and Smith team up with Rick Rubin to bring you 28 tracks that will become the soundtrack to your summer. To celebrate the release of the album, John Frusciante wants to give one lucky fan a signed Fender Stratocaster!

And now let’s take a look at what’s new here at Guitar Noise:

New Articles And Lessons

After The Gold Rush
by David Hodge

Here’s a short lesson that uses the chord melody approach to come up with a nice song arrangement that you can play either as a chord melody or as a single guitar accompaniment for a singer (or yourself).

Top 10 Hits Of CD Distribution
by Kevin McCluskey

Seeking a distribution deal for your indie CD? Kevin McCluskey from the Berklee College of Music provides an analysis of the costs versus the potential career benefits.

Guitar Noise Staff Picks!

One of my good friends in Chicago sent me a link to an interview with guitarist/songwriter Richard Thompson.

It’s a very interesting read and I’m hoping that he manages to get out my way sometime in the near future. Always a good show.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Time for the second installment of Darrin’s discussion on ninth chords: The Major Nine , part two

We’ve been exploring a special “addition” to the plain major chord: the Major 9. In the scale of C major, you can have two different major nines:

C major 9: C, E, G, B, D — listed in order of ascending pitch. And F major 9: F, A, C, E, G

(You can also have a G major, add 9.)

Here’s a point about how this works in reality on the guitar. Sometimes, we don’t play the natural seventh. That’s the B in C major 9. In that case, the chord is named as follows: C major, add 9.

We’ll take a look at a couple of different places you can play the major 9 on the fretboard and then go into some applications for this form.

Here’s one pattern: the D major 6/9. Notes: D, F#, B, E. Notice the seven and five are missing. That’s fine: we don’t need them to get the basic major 9 sound.


And here’s one with the top note falling on string 1, F major, add 9


Play this one with your fingers instead of a pick.


Now here’s an excerpt from an actual tune that uses a major 9 chord.

  Q    Q     Q    Q      Q     E     Q.    Q

  Q  Q   Q  Q    Q  E  Q.  Q

The E means eighth note, Q is quarter note, and “Q.” is dotted quarter note.

That’s the Girl from Ipanema.

Also, listen to the intro to Dust in the Wind for a Major, add 9 happening in open position. Very pretty.

When do you use the major 9 and related chords? If you’re accompanying yourself singing, and reading chords to strum from chord charts or other notation, try a major 9 when you see a plain major chord called for.

Thanks for reading.


Emails? We Get Emails!

Hi David,

Thank you for providing all those great lessons on I’m (very much) a beginner guitar player, and though I have an informal teacher, the lessons you’ve written have helped me be really excited about practicing, partially because I can feel myself getting better so easily.

And to be able to play songs that I know and love – Dock of the Bay, Wild World, Bookends – is so fun! I’m still not very good, but having challenging songs is keeping me engaged so much better than strumming pattern exercises or chord progression exercises. It’s really helping my practicing improve and become more frequent.

The short sound clips you provide, too, are so valuable to my practicing. I’ve played other instruments in the past (piano, flute) so know the basics of reading music, but it’s often very hard for me to play something without hearing it, so learning from books has been difficult.

Anyway, I am lucky to have found, and grateful for all the hard work you put into writing these articles and recording the clips. Thank you!

You’re quite welcome. I am truly hoping to spend much more time writing in the upcoming months that I have so far this year. Spare time seems harder and harder to come by these days but I truly enjoy writing and recording the lessons.

And speaking of recording sound files:

Digging Through The Archives / Forum Findings

Hello David,

I’m a Californian who has been living in Germany for the past ten years (my parents were German)

Here, I teach English and guitar. You would be amazed how the German people love American folk songs! They usually don’t understand or know all of the text, but the know the melodies.

My beginners are learning “Corinna, Corinna”, “Kumbaya” “Amazing Grace” and others.

I made a simple CD for them of me singing and playing these songs. My question for you, because the recordings I heard of you playing are very good, how you go about recording your music. What program do you use, what equipment, etc.,

I would be very grateful if you could give me some tips in this direction.

Thanks a lot and greetings from Germany!

Hello and thanks for writing.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I use a Yamaha digital recorder to make the MP3 files you hear on our site. I record directly into the machine, usually using two microphones and an acoustic guitar and that’s about it.

But there are lots of ways of coming up with good recordings. You might want to check out both our Forum page’s section called “In The Studio” as well as the Recording pages on our sister site, Music Careers. You’ll not only find a lot of information, you’ll also get to chat with many folks who are very knowledgeable in this particular area.

Hope this helps and who knows? Maybe one day soon we’ll be able to hear your CD!

Event Horizon

I know that a lot of folks are playing out and about this summer (we’ve already gotten some alerts for Fourth of July shows), so be sure to get your gig mentioned. You might get to meet some of the folks you’ve been chatting with on the Forum Pages.


Mambo Sons: Racket of Three
CD Review by Jimmy Caterine

I would highly recommend this CD – it’s good old rock and roll, nicely flavored with many stylish rhythms and influences of guitarist Tom Guerra.

Tempest: The Double Cross
CD Review by Jimmy Caterine

An interesting concept album about Captain Kidd, featuring great musicianship and terrific arrangements in a style you might think of as “Celtic Progressive Rock.”

The Green And Yellow TV: Sinister Barrier
CD Review by Jimmy Caterine

Political statements, ecological stands, social commentary and a very commercial pop sound from a three-piece band. No, it’s not Green Day! You might find this terrific trio a bit more reminiscent of England’s Muse. An exceptional album!

Random Thoughts

Owing to some things we’ll discuss next time out, this is going to have to be one of the less chatty newsletters.

I hope that everyone is having a good spring (or fall for those of you south of the Equator) so far and until we chat again in a few weeks, I hope you all stay safe and play well.

And, as always,