Newsletter Vol. 3 # 34 – November 15, 2006


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #33 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • News and Announcements
  • Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow
  • Forum Findings
  • Event Horizon
  • Random Thoughts

News And Announcements

Seven years and three days ago, November 12, 1999, I saw my first article posted up on Guitar Noise. It was a little introduction to both myself and my thoughts about getting going as a guitarist, called Breaking Out Of The Box?. Last month, I received email from a reader about this article and I was as thrilled about someone reading it now as I was back then.

If you’re a fairly recent comer to the Guitar Noise website, you might find it hard to image there being a time when there were fewer than two dozen articles here. Breaking Out Of The Box? got maybe five hundred hits total for the entire year of 2000. It’s hard for me sometimes to remember things like this, especially when I see that this year’s total for Horse With No Name is already about a third of a million hits.

Guitar Noise currently has close to six hundred articles and an addition three hundred or so reviews. Paul also informs me that we apparently have two hundred and twenty-three newsletters. Amazing, no?

Part of the reason I share this with you is because Paul is currently in the middle of doing some more “behind the scenes” work and both he and I are trying to do a lot of straightening up. There are typos to correct, not to mention the odd glitches of musical notation and general care and maintenance. So if this newsletter seems a little light, it doesn’t mean things aren’t going on.

There’s another reason for bringing all this up and I’ll save it for the “Random Thoughts” section. In the meantime, let’s get on with a few other items of note:

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Common melodic patterns for soloing by Darrin Koltow

Here are two pretty common patterns to solo with. There are some more complicated things we can build with these patterns but let’s start with the basics for now. We can call these patterns 1 2 3 1 and 1 3 2 1. These refer to the degrees of the major scale. F is 1, G is 2 and so on.

Here are the patterns at the fifth fret, F major:



And here’s the 1 3 2 1 pattern:



Next time we’ll look at some ways to practice these patterns. Before then, just a quick reminder and request. As we in the United States get closer to Thanksgiving, I know a lot of us sometimes look around for stuff to be thankful for. But the crazy thing is, our lot in life on this planet is already pretty good. We have things that people in other places are literally dying to get. Food is one of those things.

This is a roundabout way for me to express my thanks to Paul Hackett who owns this site and David Hodge who is its main creative force. And thank you, fellow guitarist, for reading this tip.

Now the request. If you find yourself seeking something to give thanks for, look no further than You don’t have to give money to benefit from the great lessons on this site. But if you want to, you can.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2006 Darrin Koltow

Forum Findings

In case you missed the announcement last time, the biggest news on the Forums is our “Easy Songs Database,” courtesy of UberModerator Nick and a dedicated group of others who put in a lot of time and effort on the project. Now all the songs currently on the Easy Songs page of the Guitar Noise Forum can be found fairly easily.

Nick gives a special thanks to Dan T. (who pulled the names and links from half of the pages himself), Vic Lewis, Larsko, Sport Toxin, Mike, Greybeard and everyone else that helped put this together. And also thanks to all of the guitarists who took the time to teach us how you do these songs.

Event Horizon

I’m thrilled to announce that GN Forum Member Geoo’s band will be playing at the Borders Bookstore in Norman, Oklahoma, Friday, November 24. The show is from 8 PM ’til 10 and they’ll be the third of three acts. Looking forward to hearing about this one, Jim!

If you’re in the Gainesville, Florida region, check out Club 51 in nearby High Springs. You’ll find Frank Whitenack (also known as “bluenotefla”) playing there on Friday nights.

Waaaayyyy further north, I hear that GN Forum member Larkso will be playing a gig in Olso, Norway in the middle of December. I’ll do my best to get more details for our next newsletter.

And finally, closer to home, Forum Moderator and all-around great guy Wes Inman will be playing with his band, Twist of Fate, at the Silverbrook Café, Route 57 in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. I’m hoping to drop in on this one myself!

I’m sure that folks have got some holiday gigs coming up, so take a minute and send them in. You might get to meet some of the Guitar Noise community next time you play out.

Random Thoughts

Like everyone else, I suspect, I can get a little goofy. Or very sentimental. Or even both at the same time.

It’s very hard to sit here writing this newsletter while thinking back over the past seven years and thinking about how different my life has become since “meeting” Paul online and joining the volunteer staff of Guitar Noise.

Part of it comes from the fact that so much of my life as I know it has sprung up from the people I have met, both online and in person, as a direct result from my work here. From Paul to AJ, from Darrin to Nick, from all the students who found me on the Internet and then took me on for private instruction to all the incredible people who moderate the forums, from all the folks who came to seminars or mini-camps to the folks who helped me participate in my first “online jam” this past month, I have truly been blessed with friendships the whole world over. Sometimes I feel like I could travel almost anywhere on the planet and find someone from the Guitar Noise community to sit and swap songs and stories with.

As Darrin mentioned, the holidays in general (and Thanksgiving in particular) seem to make us look around for things to be thankful for. I’ve been lucky enough to never have to look very far. It usually starts the moment I open my eyes each day.

So thank you, all of you, for being such a big part in my life. I truly wish I could let each of you know how cool it is to be part of a community like this and I hope you all know how much I appreciate everything you do to make a website like Guitar Noise possible.

Until next time, play well. Play often.

Stay safe.

And, always,