Notes From The Rising Sun

Notes From The Rising Sun

To listen to Fujita is to hear someone deeply versed in the language of blues, jazz, and fusion. He can hang with the heaviest players while playing with a sound and feel reminiscent of Larry Carleton, Joe Pass, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. If that wasn’t enough, he also plays a mean slap guitar!
Read More
The Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass - As Iconic As McCartney

The Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass - As Iconic As McCartney

McCartney also had the advantage of having the controls customized on the bass, changing the placement of the controls to accommodate a left-handed player. Höfner would send him an updated model in 1963, and the 1961 model would be kept as a backup.
Read More

Keeping It Old School Here

Keeping It Old School Here

The world of content creation underwent a seismic shift on November 30, 2022, with the launch of Chat GPT. This date marked a pivotal moment, with individuals being able to harness the potential of text-based artificial intelligence. This also means that a computer, rather than a human, can now generate blog posts and other content.
Read More
The Guitar Pairing of Lennon and Harrison

The Guitar Pairing of Lennon and Harrison

The one thing I think is often overlooked is the complementary nature between Lennon and Harrison‘s guitar playing. John was the textbook definition of a rhythm guitarist, while George could craft memorable licks and leads.
Read More

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day On Guitar

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day On Guitar

For example, let's say you want to play the song "The Irish Rover" on guitar. The song uses a lot of open chords and has a distinctive rhythm that can be difficult to replicate in different keys. But by using a capo, you can easily change the key of the song to fit your voice or the sound you're trying to achieve.
Read More
When A Musician Visits Nashville

When A Musician Visits Nashville

To walk into his store is a sight to behold. The walls are lined with instruments from various eras, from legacy brands like Fender and Gibson to instruments from uncommon makers such as Paoletti and Mervin Davis. The staff are also not shy about letting anyone try anything. Want to play the $20,000 1950s Stratocaster? Go ahead!
Read More

If You Have To Ask...

If You Have To Ask...

Louis Armstrong once famously said, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” Some will say that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. Jazz has undergone several phases over the years, from big band to bebop to fusion to fuzak (though the less said about that one, the better). Many common elements exist in these styles that help define them as jazz.
Read More
A Silent Night For Every Player

A Silent Night For Every Player

One of the most popular, if not the most popular, songs of the holiday season, Silent Night, originated in 1818 in the Austrian village of Oberndorf. Joseph Mohr, the local parish priest, approached Franz Xaver Gruber, a school teacher and organist, with a poem he had written. On Christmas Eve, faced with a malfunctioning organ, Gruber composed a simple melody to accompany Mohr's verses (with a guitar, no less! How fitting for this blog!). The song was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 at the St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf
Read More

Now, they want a piece of the paddle

Now, they want a piece of the paddle

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for this blog called “Down That Stream Without A Paddle.”  It was a bit of a grim tale about how streaming is making it harder for musicians and songwriters to earn any decent amount of money from their work. Compared to radio and physical sales, the amounts the streamers (even the well-paying ones) are dishing out per spin almost seemed like a joke.
Read More
When Three Is Better Than One

When Three Is Better Than One

Rather than the traditional bar used by lap and pedal steel players, he has three differing ball-ended slides on his fingers, one on his ring finger and two smaller ones on his index finger and thumb. He began working on a technique around 2014 when he was gifted a lap steel guitar.
Read More

The Life and Times of Willie

The Life and Times of Willie

Austin’s Hippie scene was likely what Nelson needed to get his creativity going again. He went back to performing and writing, combining his songwriting style with elements of country, folk, jazz, and rock and roll into a new sound (creating the blueprint for what would be known as Outlaw Country).
Read More
There’s no bad music

There’s no bad music

For one thing, it helps keep our ears and minds fresh. After listening to tons of guitar-based music, you do hit a saturation point where you do want to listen to something else. It can be possible to have too much of a good thing. Sometimes, a trip into another genre is all you need to clear your mind.
Read More

Hold Your Position

Hold Your Position

Many, many years ago, while perusing the pages of a guitar magazine, there was an article with various pro players offering various tips to improve one’s playing. One that stood out for me was a tip from the great Steve Morse (of the Dixie Dregs and Deep Purple), who had a tip about soloing over changes.

Read More
From East of Richmond

From East of Richmond

People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers. I don't want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don't want to play stadium shows, I don't want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they're being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung.
Read More

How to get yourself an instrument just for you!

How to get yourself an instrument just for you!

Some may think though that this truly isn’t a custom instrument, to which I say poppycock! Some of the most iconic instruments, from Billy Sheehan’s original P-Bass, to Brent Mason’s famous three-pickup Telecaster, were all the result of a player taking an instrument and improving it to suit their needs.
Read More
Down That Stream Without A Paddle

Down That Stream Without A Paddle

We love our streaming services (the Apple Musics and Spotifys of the world). They’re cheap and convenient ways to access vast libraries of music. For the artists though, cheap and convenient comes at a cost. 
Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Open D Tuning

A Beginner’s Guide to Open D Tuning

As promised at the end of that post, we would dive next into the world of Open D tuning, another favourite among many guitar players. Open D (and its variants of Open C and Open E) have been used by the likes of Derek Trucks, Joey Landreth, Stone Gossard, Neil Young and a plethora of other players.
Read More
What To Do When You Get The Call

What To Do When You Get The Call

One of the last times I did a hired-gun gig for a house band, I got a call at around 7:30 a.m. on a Friday in February 2023. It was Shawn Sasyniuk (drummer/multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire and all-around great dude), asking if I was busy the following weekend and if I happened to be available for a couple of days. The guitarist that he originally wanted for a house band at a gig backing up several artists was no longer available to do it and he needed someone to fill the spot.
Read More

When You Need A Reminder

When You Need A Reminder

You can however argue that Tyler Childers is way more “country” than the majority of Country artists on Top 40 radio. Songs from his album Purgatory sound like they belong in the same set as Hank Williams and George Strait, rather than Florida Georgia Line and Jellyroll. To my ears, what Childers is doing is Country Music in its most traditional and identifiable forms.
Read More
New Nostalgia

New Nostalgia

His sound is not far from the truth. As stated earlier, he would fit in with a lot of older artists and is musically a standout in today’s modern country scene. As he stated in an interview with the Guardian in 2019: “Let’s not just Solo cup and pickup truck it to death. Let’s handle this in a smart way. Nobody is thinking about lyrical content, or how we’re moving people, or what’s going on in the background of their minds.”
Read More

Drumming Up Some Rhythm

Drumming Up Some Rhythm

In my formative years, my guitar teacher Jean-Marc Guenette gave me a set of strumming exercises to work on. These exercises had me counting a series of 16th notes, strumming on some, not on others, all while keeping a constant down-up motion with my right hand.
Read More

Zach Bryan: The Return of the Troubadour

In 2019, Bryan amassed a collection of songs written in just a couple of months. He and his friends rented an Airbnb in Florida, threw some mattresses on the walls to create a makeshift studio and recorded what was to be his debut album DeAnn (named after his late mother). It was also around this time that the YouTube video for the song “Heading South” was uploaded to YouTube. 
Read More

High-strung, you say?

High-strung, you say?

Nashville session guitarist Ray Edenton is often credited with developing this tuning, looking for a way to get more jangle out of the acoustic guitar while reducing the inherent boomy-ness of the instrument. What he got were the jangly characteristics that are common on a 12-string guitar without the lower octaves adding any low end to the sound.
Read More
Every Student A Prodigy?

Every Student A Prodigy?

When I started teaching guitar, I began by using whatever method books the schools and music stores used but found that the exercises were just that, exercises. Good lessons, but nothing that the student wanted to play. Anyone who tries their hand at guitar wants to play songs and riffs and doesn’t care for scales and theory (at least not at first).
Read More


1 2 3 9 Next