Guitar lessons online from Totally Guitars!
Totally Guitars News Podcast

The Santa Cruz strings have been on my guitar for a week now and they sound and feel pretty much the same, not the usual week old sound that I am used to. I think that 30 some years of D’Addario history is now history. Today’s update started with a little blues based on Want You To Know, as I remember it from the second Hot Tuna album. My agenda today included talking about our May sale on Beatles lessons, some news about both IGCs this summer, and a mimi-lesson on modes. The talk about modes may clear up some things, but it may cloud things as well since I wanted to keep it to just s few minutes.

This week we added lessons on Cocaine, as made famous by Eric Clapton, Goodnight Elisabeth by Counting Crows, and after a few setbacks I finally finished the look at Al Stewart’s Tim Passages. Songs like that can get quite complicated when I consider what I want to include and what can be left out or considered later. The sax solo here was an example. But now it is time to move on and I played a piece I am thinking of doing a lesson on, The Earl Of Salisbury. It has been a while since a classical lesson was added so I hope to get to that next week. In any case, I hope you enjoy hearing it.

That was about the shape of the News today,

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Guitar lessons online from Totally Guitars!
Totally Guitars News Podcast

Last week I had a great catch up call with my old friend Richard Hoover, of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company. We caught up about old times and he told me about the string set they have developed, over quite a few years. It is a really interesting concept about balancing tension rather than worrying about string gauge. He sent me some samples and today’s update started off with me playing the strings I had just put on the guitar last night without really touching them until the camera was running. I have to say they felt and sounded quite different from the D’Addario EJ-17s I have played for a couple decades. I was pretty impressed and I will explore more in the next few hours. I improvised a little A Minor piece with them as I recall.

I apologize for not getting to an update last week but a few technical issues arose with the lesson I was working on and I had to address them. As it was part of a lesson on Al Stewart’s Time Passages was finished and posted early this week, with the rest to follow soon. The next part will be based on the type of stuff Dave Nachmanoff plays when he accompanies Al live nowadays.

Other recent new lessons included Those Magic Changes by Sha Na Na, Still by The Commodores, and a FOTW lesson as Sandy’s project Landslide continued.

Max brought us a couple lessons with a different take than most of what we have once again. It started last week with a theory lesson on Soloing Over Dominant chords, and followed this week with a classic jazz tune from Herbie Hancock, Cantaloupe Island. Both of these offer great insight into the inner workings of the guitar.

I just got some of the last video from IGC 2017 and took a moment to remind people that all the video from every year is available to anyone signing up for this year’s camp. We have room for about 5 more people so if you are thinking of joining us, please do it soon.

The last thoughts I had were about a couple of the recent uploads from the TG Community, Bob’s Jamming With Friends thread, John’s nice rendition of In My Life, and Craig’s double tracked Wonderful Tonight. For that one I offered suggestions on embellishing and smoothing out the melody, after congratulating him again for a job well done.

And, as usual, there was a bit of random playing as I enjoyed the new strings. I definitely encourage everybody to give them a try. Maybe we’ll even look into a TG discount at Santa Cruz Guitars, if a few people seem interested. I would also like to hear from anybody else who has tried them. Maybe we need to start a new thread on the Forum to trade thoughts and experiences with strings.

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Learn to play guitar with Totally Guitars!
Totally Guitars News Podcast

So it has been 9 years since we started TG, with a whopping 50 lessons in the Target Program. I find it hard to believe that we are still going strong and have beefed the library up to over 1000 song lessons. Of course some of this is thanks to my colleagues Vanessa and Max. This week they each brought us classics from a couple of the women of rock and roll, Bonnie Tyler and Pat Benatar with Total Eclipse Of The Heart and Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

As I was reminiscing in today’s update I had to tell a story my son’s third grade teacher told us about 20 years ago as far as his likely future. It turns out it was prophetic for me as well.

The other new stuff was a lesson on Gordon Lightfoot’s Beautiful and a Fly video with Kevin working through On The Road Again. Mentioning Gordon reminded me of his album Endless Wire, which prompted an improvised stab at his song The Circle Is Small, one of my favorites.

Not much playing this week, although brief bits of Sylvia and Bethena slipped in, but I spent some time on Guitar Geography with some suggestions on using octaves to learn and find notes up the neck. It may have gotten a little technical, at least as far as the math goes, but hopefully you can find some short cuts there. I also mentioned a progressive band from the early 70s, Gryphon and have added a link to a song of theirs that crossed my mind during the ramblings. I hope you enjoy it.

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