Newsletter Vol. 3 # 35 – December 01, 2006


Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #35 of Guitar Noise News!

In This Issue:

  • News and Announcements
  • New Articles and Lessons
  • Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow
  • Emails? We Get Emails
  • Tutorial Tip
  • Event Horizon
  • Random Thoughts

News And Announcements

A Happy First of December to everyone! And let me not forget to wish you all, not to mention your families and friends, a very happy holiday season.

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, I’d like to hold one more giveaway contest. If you’d like to win an autographed copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Playing Bass Guitar, all you need do is follow these instructions:

First, send me an email at: [email protected] and be sure to put “Bass Book Holiday Giveaway” in the subject line.

Second, include in the email your name and email address.

Third, mention your favorite Christmas song lesson here at Guitar Noise.

Deadline for entries is midnight (Eastern Standard Time in the United States) of December 13, 2006. Winners will be announced both here and on the forum pages on December 15 and the books should get to you by Christmas. That’s the plan, anyway!

The best of luck to those of you who enter.

This contest is open to anyone, and I’m hoping that those of you who’ve already won a copy will give someone else a chance to win as well.

And for those who might have already have purchased a copy, please let me know. I’d love to send you a thank you note over the holidays.

Okay, let’s see what’s new, shall we?

New Articles And Lessons

Three’s A Crowd (Part 2)
by Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews makes a long awaited return to Guitar Noise with the sequel to his February lesson on power chords. Here you’ll find the lowdown on augmented and diminished power chords, plus examples from everyone from Bush to Hendrix to Metalicca to Eminem.

The Sussex Carol
by Doug Sparling

Doug brings us another beautiful Christmas carol, arranged in standard tuning. This one is quite catchy and Doug also gives us a fascinating bit of history concerning the history of Chirstmas carols in Britain.

Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow

Tip: practicing basic patterns

Last time we looked at some basic melodic patterns used in soloing. We called them the 1 2 3 1 and 1 3 2 1 patterns. Please see the newsletter archives for the tablature. Let’s now look at ways of practicing these patterns.

Main ideas in practicing include covering all the basic major scale forms and avoiding boredom. We’ll deal with the “boredom” idea last.

We showed the two patterns in just one major scale form: the one with pinky on the root, string 5. If we’re going to be proficient soloists we need to be fluent in this pattern in the other basic scale forms. Presenting those forms is out of the scope of this tip, but you can brush up on or learn them with the Playing Guitar guide.

Learn those two patterns on the basic major scale forms. But actually, before you do that and possibly court the “what good is this pattern doing for soloing” response, let’s tackle our second idea for this tip: avoiding boredom.

We can translate (transpose?) “avoiding boredom” to “playing something more solo-like.” And *that* means playing the solo with accompaniment. To play the pattern in F major, you could probably guess that you could record an F chord, and play the pattern over that. True enough. Some other suggested progressions:

  • Prog1: F, D7, Gmin, C7 [repeat]
  • Prog2: F7, Bb7, C7. You’re going to get some funky dissonances with that one. That’s part of the fun of soloing.
  • Prog3: Bb, Gm, Cm, F7. More dissonance, but some of it kind of sweet.

And that last idea for a playalong “partner”: When you don’t have a computer or tape recorder to back you up, think “drone string.” Play the pattern in E major and play over an open E string. Then, play the pattern in B major, over the same E drone.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2006 Darrin Koltow

Emails? We Get Emails

I was the winning bidder on a guitar, at an auction here in Macon, Georgia, which was donated by Gretsch for art projects in the public schools (all proceeds went to the local schools). Anyway, I’m fifty-one and found your beginners’ instructions on Guitar Noise through a search engine.

The lessons were better than I could imagine! I’ve had my guitar for six weeks now, I have NO finger nails and some awesome calluses!! (sp?) I can get down on Horse with No Name and I’ve actually picked out a couple of my own tunes. Tonight, I jammed with a friend who played lead while I strummed around with a different beat on the E minor and A chords. I sounded like a pro! I couldn’t believe it myself.

Anyway, I know you get so many letters, I just had say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your love for this instrument and for sharing your lessons free via the Internet for beginners like me. Learning to play is truly one natural high. It makes me happy…

Love and peace…

Thanks for writing and sharing your terrific story! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing how people are getting into making music and sharing it with others. It’s great that you are getting better and I hope you continue to find Guitar Noise a source of both education and inspiration as you learn more about the guitar.

Please feel free to write anytime. I look forward to hearing how things are progressing with you.

Tutorial Tips

Hello David,

Say, I really appreciate your online lessons.

I purchased an Alfred’s Neil Young greatest hits notation and tab and it’s really hard to see let alone figure out. Does anyone else like Hal Leonard have a good tab/notation book of Neil Young out? Any suggestions? Thanks again for all your help and references.

Last time I checked, most if not all of Neil Young’s music was published through Warner Brothers. Two books I’ve used in the past are The Guitar Styles of Neil Young and Neil Young Guitar Anthology Series, both published by Warner Brothers Publications. The latter book is especially worth it if you’re interested in learning more about Neil Young’s soloing style, since it contains very good transcriptions of the solos in Alabama, Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl in the Sand and Southern Man.

Both books are available through, by the bye.

Hope this helps.

Event Horizon

Bish’s band Hap Hazard finishes out 2006 with a flourish. If you happen to be in the Quad City area of Illinois/Iowa, you can catch them tonight they’ll be at the 11th Street Bar and Grill, tomorrow they’ll be playing at the Snowflake Ball and next Saturday (December 9) they’re playing at Blueport Junction.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, you’ll find Frank Whitenack (also known as “bluenotefla”) playing Friday nights at Club 51 in High Springs, Florida. If you’re in the Gainesville, Florida region, go and say hello.

We also know that GN Forum member Larkso will be playing a gig in Olso, Norway on December 16, but we’re still awaiting details of the time and place. I’ll do my best to have that for you in our next newsletter.

And you’ve got another chance to see Twist of Fate, band of Forum Moderator and all-around great guy Wes Inman, at the Silverbrook Café, Route 57 in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. They’ll be there Saturday, December 9 and you never know who might happen by.

Finally, I’ll be back at the Monterey General Store in Monterey, Massachusetts on Friday, December 15. This time I’ll be providing backup for local singer/songwriter Joel Schick. Yes, it’s really a general store. Yes, there will be Christmas songs. Show is from 7 to 9 PM but come early if you don’t want to sit in the Spam aisle. Also, they serve terrific sandwiches.

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

Owing to a very wild and fun Thanksgiving weekend (good seeing you again, Nick!), I’m way behind with so many things it’s not funny. So I’m going to keep this brief so that I can get working on them posthaste. Hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot of me on the home page in the upcoming weeks!

Until next time, play well. Play often.

Stay safe.

And, always,