A young man named Brian Gatheru recently found me online and wanted to ask some questions about guitar for a school research project. The interview focused on my beginnings as a guitarist, the learning process, the timeline involved, and continuing education.
As I answered his questions, I had a nice little trip down memory lane to when I began and what my life – my “Six String Life“, as I like to call it – has been like since I decided to devote myself to this great instrument.
I’ve posted the questions and answers below for your reading pleasure. If you’ve got some playing experience, you may see yourself in some of my answers. If you’re relatively new to guitar studies, then maybe my answers will give you some perspective or even something to shoot for. (more…)
I’d like to welcome you to join my new Facebook guitar group, Six String Life!
If you dig the lessons and information you’re finding here on my little corner of the web, then I know you’re going to LOVE this community.
I created the group so that guitarists of varying skill levels could share tips, techniques, lessons and stories, build relationships/network, and celebrate each other’s wins.
Anyone is welcome, from beginner to advanced players, hobbyists to gigging pros. And that’s the beauty of it! My vision for this group is a place where less experienced players can learn from the seasoned veterans.
To bump that up a notch, I’m going to have some guest pros – friends who are top players, teachers and technicians/luthiers – to answer questions from the group members periodically, a la Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything”. (more…)
Happy New Year to all my guitar ninjaz out there!
The first guitar lessons of a new year always find me asking my students what their goals will be in the upcoming months. It’s nice to feel freshly inspired and to get our minds right in January.
Some of their goals will be stylistic (“I’d like to learn how to play blues better”), some will be technical (“I need some serious practice on my string bends”) and most will be repertoire (“This year I’m gonna learn the entire Led Zeppelin catalog note for note”).
Those three things are “big ticket items” to me; you can never go wrong with this approach and you’ll get lots of bang for your musical buck here. But there are a number of other, less obvious, things that you can resolve to learn as well.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of ideas to get you started – a dozen big and small ticket items, if you will. It’s a grab bag of stuff to inspire you and give you some clear direction in the months to come. (more…)
What’s up, rock and rollers!
It’s been a number of months since I’ve done a Free For All Friday article, which, you may remember, featured some of my fave links to some of my fave stuff.
Well…I couldn’t wait until Friday to share my new fave stuff, so instead we’ll launch our first ever Musical Miscellaneous Monday! (In case you can’t tell, I’m quite the fan of alliteration. Please help me stop.)
1 – The Sound City documentary.
2 – Making your practice stick with The Bulletproof Musician.
3 – The first music video by my former student, Piper Bateman (recorded and produced by yours truly).
Let’s get this party started! (more…)
Hard to believe that this month – May 2013 – marks my two-year anniversary of writing guitar lessons and articles for my little corner of the Web.
It has been a blast and I’ve learned a lot, but more importantly, I hope I’ve done what I originally set out to do: spread the gospel of great guitar music.
Hopefully you’ve learned a few new things about the art and practice of guitar and enjoyed the way I’ve presented the material.
In honor of hitting this personal milestone, I’ve decided to make my 100th post a “Best Of”-kinda deal. Let’s rock! (more…)
Welcome to the latest installment of Songs From the Guitar Studio!
As you might remember from earlier volumes, this series is dedicated to songs my students have played in guitar lessons. Instead of picking a technique or concept and finding a song to match it, we’ll sometimes pick a song first and see what we can learn from it.
Listed below are just some of the songs we’ve jammed to over the last few months. It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, so there’s no way I can touch on all the great tunes that have blasted through the studio walls over the last couple of months. However, I’ve hit on a dozen tunes below that, for one reason or another, stand out to me.
We’ve got hair metal, acoustic rock, classic solos, altered tunings, classical guitar…and of course, Devo. I’ve outlined a few of the main elements and takeaway points from each song. Hopefully you’ll see something here to inspire you!
Let’s check out some tunes… (more…)