Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Seger in the same week ??..c 10 Years, 10 Months ago
TG Newsletter - October 9, 2009
What's Going On?
As we cruise into October I get the sense that everybody is staying
pretty busy learning new songs and polishing up their old ones. We
have been busy, mostly behind the scenes working on refining and
improving many of the features at TG. This has created a bit of dust,
as many of you have noticed, but hang in there, all will be cleared
The TG FacultySomething we have been working on to expand our
horizons at TG is to bring in occasional specialists to present
other aspects of music, as far as styles or even new instruments.
We introduced Michelle the Ukulele Lady last month and she will
continue to bring us info and lessons on this fun instrument.
Over the next few weeks we will begin introducing other guests who
will be bringing us additional info on various things musical.
Songs Added To The TARGET Program
This week we brought out a Campfire Version of Purple Haze (huh?),
yes, Purple Haze! I can hear you now, "What was he thinking?" Well,
I'm not really sure but I show the rhythm part of the song to many
students and I thought everybody (somebody... anybody...?) might enjoy
A thread popped up on the Forum this week listing all of the
YouTube songs where I 'promise' there is a follow up at TG, and
there isn't, yet. I was afraid that this list would be over 50
songs and was quite relieved to see there were only about 15. I can
tell you honestly that some of those are in the pipeline, even a
few finished, some are on the drawing board, and a few may take a
little while (never see the light of day?). I do appreciate the
work involved to cross match the tunes and compile the list, and I
will see what I can do. The list can be seen here.
Coming soon... vote on our first ever video competition from last month. The final entries are in and our voting feature is on the way. There are a lot of great videos that were entered.
The winner of the compeition video will get a HD Min Camcorder and non-TARGET members can win a year of TARGET free.
The winner of the compeition video will get a HD Min Camcorder and
non-TARGET members can win a year of TARGET free.
This month you can still enter the "Tshirts R Us" contest. Design
an inspiring, funny, witty, or original Totally Guitars t-shirt.
Make sure it's rated G of course. We are currently accepting
entries here. We look forward to seeing your entry! The winner's
entry will be made into an item in our upcoming TG Store.
TG Live remained on Holiday this week as we are still
working on dates for the next set of broadcasts. At this point we
have 15 or 20 hours worth of old episodes that I hope everyone has
watched from beginning to end at least 2 or 3 times. They are
available to our TARGET members under the TotallyGuitars Live menu.
Click here to go to TG Live! www.totallyguitars.com/target-homepage/tg-live
Uploaded Videos For Review
This week we had some great tunes
uploaded, including an original song by one of our very visible
members from Switzerland, NeverFoundTheTime. Be sure to visit the
Uploaded Videos section and think about adding your own! Click here
to go to Uploaded Videos Section. www.totallyguitars.com/forum?func=showcat&catid=86
The TG Forum
As we work hard to fine tune the Forum, I have been amazed by the
numbers of members who have stepped up to the Please Introduce
Yourself Here thread. It is really exciting to hear how and why
folks started playing the guitar and the details of their musical
journey. If you haven't introduced yourself yet I really encourage
it. The TG Community is fast becoming a fun place to hang out. Go
to TG Community.
I was thinking earlier about the goals/aspirations/dreams I have
for my guitar playing, and wondered what guitar related goals
everyone else has set themselves.
Mine vary from the tiny, to the (what for me at least) feel like
absolutely huge, somewhat scary, what if possibilities.
As an example, my current goals are
To keep to my practise routine, its working for me, I can see the
improvement in only 2 weeks.
To continue learning theory, I'm the sort of person who wants to
know how things work, and why, so I need to do this for myself, and
to improve my playing.
To continue focussing on the basics, to improve them, and to make
sure that I'm doing these things right.
To be able to play 1 song correctly, in time, and with as few
mistakes as possible ( I'm not a perfectionist on this matter)
To be able to build up a repertoire of songs which I can play all
the way through and people can recognise and sing along too (
that'll be the campfire section then!)
Learn classical gas, imagine, and windy and warm to a standard
where I can play them and people can recognise them.
To be able to fingerpick correctly.
Finally, this is the latest, and the scariest goal I'm busy
considering....going to an open mic/busker night, and playing a
song..never done it before...it scares the you know what out of me,
but it would be a challenge..I've been in bands before which have
never got past the rehearsal stage, so its something I'd like to do
while I'm still able.
How Do You Practice?
I was just wondering what some of your practice
regiments are. Here is mine.
I have broken my practice into 6 focus groups. Each of these focus
groups has several tasks. When I practice I pick one or more tasks
from each of the focus groups and do those for my practice. I know
it might be overkill but it keeps me focused and on track.
-Learn all the notes on the fretboard up to the 5th fret.
-Learn all the notes on both E strings.
-Study Modal Theory.
-Study the relationship between chords and scales.
-Practice the chords you know; Focus on playing each string
separately and cleanly.
-Practice Barre chords.
-Practice Chord Transitions.
-Learn a new Chord.
-Practice the parts of the C-Major Scale you know; Focus on
Alternate picking and knowing the note you are playing.
-Practice the 1st position of the Pentatonic scale.
-Learn another octave of the C-Major Scale.
-Learn the 2nd position of the Pentatonic scale.
-Practice a strum pattern you know playing along with a metronome.
-Learn a new strum pattern.
-Learn "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
-Learn "Lucky Man"
-Learn "Boulevard of Broken Have fun and play anything you want;
This is my reward time for practicing hard.
Now I would love to hear what you guys do.
Metronome is Boring
I find the metronome boring. I know the
importance of keeping proper time so I bought a cheap keyboard that
has the electronic drums built in. You can get these cheap and it
is more fun, and sounds better, for me to play with drums to keep
time than a metronome.
My question is... Do you see a downside to using a drum machine in
place of the metronome? I know the upside is that I'm more likely
to use it than the metronome.
Are You Classically Trained?
Barb posted a question that I
accidentally deleted as I was trying to answer (early AM darkness,
couldn't quite see the warning on the screen!). It was basically
whether I was classically trained.
The answer is pretty much yes. I started taking lessons at 8 years
old and learned to read music with the Mel Bay Classical Guitar
method. Over the years I spent a lot of time sight reading pieces
from classical guitar books. The main was one called the World's
Favorite Series #43, but a little later got into 2 books by
Frederick Noad, The Renaissance Guitar and The Baroque Guitar.
In my late teens and early 20s I spent a lot of time exploring
things musical with my friend John Dimick, a fabulous classical
guitar player. We worked on many duets and even arranged some
symphonic pieces for 2 guitars- Scheherazade and Pictures At An
Exhibition are a couple I recall.
There are many advantages to this approach and few disadvantages.
One of the disadvantages is a mindset that sometimes develops in
classical players of not feeling qualified to create their own
music. Luckily, I was always intrigued by new stuff I discovered on
the guitar and felt I could mold little ideas into my own pieces.
I wasn't even fazed when an international classical guitar
authority named John Duarte overheard my ragtime reworking of a
Bach Sarabande and stomped off in disbelief and disgust.
In general, I would say that classical training makes more things
easily accessible than any self-taught street method but you need
to remain open to alternate approaches. An obvious example is that
I will use my left thumb to fret notes when it is the best way to
get a desired effect.
P.S. - Feel free to get back to me on the blog and on the forum to
let me know what else YOU would like to see in this weekly
Not A TARGET Member Yet? Check TARGET out here Join today before
the $19.95 a month memberships are gone! Price change fast