PlaneTalk by Kirk Lorange

How to Play Slide Guitar in Standard and Dropped-D Tunings by Kirk Lorange

You may know Kirk as a regular on these forums and a frequent contributor of wonderful video lessons to this and other sites. Kirk also has several of his own sites/forums and is also author of the amazing PlaneTalk book.

This is a great DVD for beginner slide players, or for those who are trying to move from the more common open tuning to Dropped D or standard. Although standard tuning requires a slightly different approach to slide, the advantage for us non-sliders is you don’t need to relearn the positions and what you already know about the fretboard.

After explaining some of the basics, such as the different types of slides, action and muting, Kirk goes through what he calls “String Sets” or where you can find portions of chords on which strings. While he’s showing you this he uses a fantastic three-way split screen method that displays slide placement, the left hand and the right hand all at the same time.

Playing a couple of Kirk’s own tunes, you can see how all of the information you’ve gone through can be put to use in a practical manner. The example tunes are played both full and half speed so you can catch what Kirk is doing.

In addition to all of this, Kirk makes tab for all of the lessons and examples online at

Kirk’s lessons are phenomenal. His easy going manner and camera persona make these DVDs just like having a personal lesson, albeit one you can pause and rewind at will. The video itself is very high quality as is the sound.

You couldn’t possibly get all of the information contained in this DVD in three months worth of lessons. How much would you have to pay an instructor for that?

To sum up “How to play Slide Guitar in Standard and Dropped-D Tunings” has great production, great content, a great teacher, and amazing value.

Kirk Lorange : PlainTalk – The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction DVD

Just in case you are reading this review without seeing any of my other reviews of Kirk’s teaching products, let me start by saying I’m a big fan of Kirk’s stuff. He’s easy going, teaches to you directly and has high standards for his productions. Just to show you how far he’ll go to teach he plays the guitar on his knees at a right angle to normal just to get the right angle for demonstration.

The DVD covers much of the material offered in PlaneTalk, Kirk’s terrific tutorial book, but not all. It’s a visual and audible presentation of the information, which is great for us visual learners. Seeing and hearing what Kirk teaches in PlaneTalk is a powerful reinforcement to the concepts learned from that book.

The DVD begins with the mess of chromatic notes that is the guitar fingerboard and sifts all the notes out into three easily identifiable patterns. These patterns are not only so much simpler than what one learns from the CAGED system, they are much more practical as well. One of the problems with CAGED is that people tend to stick to the pattern or two they’ve memorized and stay within those boxes. Kirk’s PlainTalk system doesn’t have that limitation. You can play wherever you want to play. Because you have such easy patterns/landmarks to keep track of, you can always get back to where you should be quickly if you ever should get off course.

I love the book PlaneTalk and highly recommend it, but combined with PlainTalk the DVD, it’s a truly powerful learning tool.

During the month of March you can get The PlaneTalk Package – Book, DVD, slide rule plus the Chord Tone Blues CD for $70 plus shipping and handling.

$70? You ask. Is it worth it?

Look, let’s forget about Chord Tone Blues for a moment and just say you get the book and DVD. That’s $35 each. Well that’s how much I pay for a forty-five minute lesson. Let me break out the handy dandy calculator and, yes, that’s the equivalent of two lessons then, isn’t it? It’s an easy decision. The incredible volume of information you get, plus an easy to use system for seeing the fretboard, plus Kirk’s examples and the ability to stop, rewind and replay the lesson, plus…oh never mind. Just get the package, it’s an astounding value.

By the way, just in case you were wondering, I don’t get a cut of the sales. It’s just my honest opinion about a powerful learning tool. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to open up the entire fretboard for soloing, this is a must have.

PlaneTalk by Kirk Lorange

When I die, assuming I might, I want to make sure that one thing does not happen. No not the obvious, that I find out Heaven is a polka only zone. No, I want to make sure that my guitars do not show wear on only the first five frets.

Why? Because I do not want to be known as just a first position player. And as I am sure that it will be impossible to fit all of my guitars into my coffin, someone would be able to find out by looking at the wear on the fretboard of one the guitars that doesn’t make it in. How embarrassing would that be?

I want to be known as the guy who could solo all the way up the neck, who could play inversions in many different positions, the guy who was not limited by his lack of fret board knowledge.

Well, as luck would have it, I no longer have this worry for I’ve found an answer in PlaneTalk by Kirk Lorange.

You may have heard about Kirk’s secret to opening up the fretboard. You may have seen posts asking what it is and the keepers of the secret denying your request for knowledge. Well let me tell you, it is a secret that is beautiful in it’s simplicity.

What does this book do?

It gives you an amazingly simple secret to mentally mapping the fretboard. How simple? It makes CAGED look like brain surgery.

It teaches you basic theory by using diagrams, pictures and a free fretboard slide rule.

It teaches in an amazingly simple fashion.

“Really?” You ask.

What if I told you that most of the book is written as a comic book?

It is a well-written book, and the pictures, contrary to Kirk’s disclaimer are excellent.

As an added bonus there are no exercises and no theory to memorize.

In order to get the most out of this book, I suggest you read it three times. Once breeze through. Second time through, try to grasp the concepts concretely. Third time, try to take what you are learning and work it out on the fretboard. Do this and you’ll be amazed at your sudden understanding. And it’s really easy too. I mean how hard is it to read a comic three times?

If you are beyond the absolute beginner stage, and by that I mean past memorizing the open chords and able to play the basic barre chords, and you want to completely open up the fretboard, not to mention your mind, this book is a must have in your guitar library.

Go buy it. You’ll thank me.

You can get the book here:

Tell him Nick sent you.

Oh and by the way, if you happen to be at the funeral, make sure my Collings and my Breedlove make it into the coffin, would you? Thanks.