Country Blues Guitar...It is our roots. (L of C...West Virginia 1935)

Everyone Can Learn Guitar!

I want everyone to have success with the guitar. This blog is dedicated to that desire. If you have been stumbling, then I know you will find help and encouragement here. I know that everyone who truly desires it can make music on the guitar.

Now, on with the Blog.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lights Out

Well, Ike just blew through on his way back to the sea. 60mph straight-line winds that lasted for three hours. And we're 800 miles away from land fall. Scary to think how it was for those folks back in TX. I only lost three sections of fence, a few shingles, and the power was out all day.

The good news was the power was out, which meant there was nothing to do but play gutiar.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Right Hand Pick

I've been working on my right hand trying to get a convincing pick style sound out of my thumb and index finger. There are just some styles that need that pick sound/attack, but I never have a pick at hand. I'm using the thumb for downstrokes and the index for the upstrokes (ala Albert Collins).

It's coming along quite well, I suppose, but it does bring up an interesting observation about how completely muscle-memory becomes integrated. I suddenly feel like a complete beginner when practicing my new pick. It's been a long time since I felt this...ahmm...clumsy while running scales I know in my sleep. It's sort'a cool. It is making me examine all kinds of little angles and positions as I teach my hand how to do it.

So why post it to the blog? I guess just to suggest that if your feeling a little bored with your playing, then try to mix it up a bit with a strange technique. You will reap an instant return to that "beginners" mind.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Which came first, the Guitar or the Music

Okay, I must address this. I am often accused of being a bit philosophical about how important music is to human existence. My guitar buddies will roll their eyes when I look past the rippin' solo they just did and comment on how "honest" or "raw" it was.

Now I truly believe that the guitar is the perfect instrument, but I'm sorry, the music comes first. How many students down at the local music store quit because they mistakenly thought their love for the guitar culture could somehow be converted to music. It can't be done. Oh you might learn some licks, but if you don't at some point fall in love with the music, you will slam into a brick wall as a guitarist.

So if I at times sound a little too "jasmine and incense" about this whole guitar/music thing it's because I believe we are artists, and every one of us, from classical to metal, brings something important to the world.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Music Appreciation...The Guitar Way

Sunday afternoons in September are made just that much more special when music is added. Take today for example:

There was a slight breeze, the lingering effects of a far off hurricane, and the late summer humidity didn't seem too awful.

We were sitting on the back patio. My wife sat to my left. The hound was at my feet. A guitar was nestled in my hands. All together this created an image of peaceful living that is just dang hard to beat.

I wasn't really playing anything especially challenging (my thumb is still a little tender) just noodling over a simple chord progression. [Later I did work (if you can call it that) on some of the Fuller stuff.]

It would be impossible for me to describe how enriching it is having music in my household. I want everyone who aspires to guitar to know this aspect of making music. I believe, with all my being, that the path of the musician changes your life. Changes you!