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Totally Guitars News Podcast

This week we tried something new as far as lesson go. Max Rich added a couple segments to our Girl From Ipanema lesson on improvising over jazz changes. I know some of you are interested in just that sort of thing and I hope you get some insight from it. We will try a few more of these over the next few months.

Other new lessons included Elvis Costello’s She, El Condor Pasa as done on Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel, a follow-up FOTW with Kevin’s update on Piano Man, and Break A Little by Kirstin Maldonado. I really want to thank Illeana for joining the TG world and singing it on video for us.

And speaking of thanks, life here at TG has run as smoothly as possible partly thanks to Katherine, who is now moving on to other things, unfortunately. I especially have to thank her for working the other side of the clock from me, getting things up very late in the evening for her, some of which finished pretty late in the day here for me.

Once again we are making progress with the Uploaders and I believe the Busking one is working. I would really like to get back to Video Reviews for our Target members so if you would like something reviewed go ahead and use the Busker and just mention that in the text or Forum post and I (or one of us) will offer some suggestions.

The musical tangents this week included I Know You Rider, and a few instrumental improvs on tunes mentioned above and in the Forum as well.

Stay Tuned & In Touch,



Improve Your Guitar Skills with the online guitars lessons from Totally Guitars!
Totally Guitars News Podcast

This week I was inspired, partly by a couple lessons, to mess with some instrumental versions of songs. So what else is new? You might ask. I think it really started last week with the lesson on Girl From Ipanema, which I hope to continue with a solo version, but also by our songs by Three Dog Night that appeared this week, quite coincidentally I might add. It is pretty clear that the upload of Never Been To Spain a couple weeks ago got both Vanessa and me looking at songs by the huge group from the early 70s. I am glad I opted for One after seriously considering doing Never Been To Spain, which may have proved embarrassing had we done a lesson on the same song.

So somewhere along the same lines I was inspired to review and relive music from one of my all time favorite bands, Focus. This led to finding the videos I shared with you the other day and sent me down the rabbit hole of trying to arrange Sylvia for solo guitar. The work-in-progress closes this week’s update. There is even a little teaser of Hocus Pocus, both of which were inspired by Jan Ackerman’s acoustic take on the two of them that I ran across at YT.

Along with our Three Dog Night songs, this week we brought out Eric Clapton’s cover of After Midnight by J.J. Cale, James Taylor’s Millworker, and a FOTW lesson with Sandy starting to work on Diamonds And Rust by Joan Baez.

The motivation thread was very interesting as I can get pretty uninspired at times, as I’m everybody does at times. I talk a bit about a couple things that can combat that, and my reawakening to Focus helped me snap out of it somewhat.

This week we also started bringing out some videos from our last night at IGC 2017. The last night is dubbed ‘Collaboration Night’, and everyone is encouraged to get up and play with other folks who they have been working with during the week. The night started off with our 6-man group The Beagles. I hope you had a chance to check them out. More of that evening will be posted soon.

I also addressed a question that came through our Support network about Guitar Pro. I know many of you use it to play the files I create with it. It allows you to change the speed and/or pitch of anything in the format, which can be a great practice and educational tool. I use it just about everyday. Another really useful program is Song Surgeon, which let’s you do something similar to any audio file. This proved very helpful to me this week when I realized I needed to change the key that Sylvia was in, which really opened the door to getting a grip on the song.

OK, enough rambling, watch the News and get out your guitar and play!



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Totally Guitars News Podcast

This week a question came up on the Forum about the metronome setting for Kathy’s Song by Simon & Garfunkel, although the lesson we have is based on Eva Cassidy’s version. I don’t always mention, or even make note of the speed in many lessons, and the Guitar Pro file is not necessarily accurate as I don’t usually bother with that.

So rather than just give the answer I decided to demonstrate the technique I use. It started with just trying to synchronize my metronome with the recording, then I went into a couple other songs, and even used a John Renbourn song as an example to show that most recordings do not stay true to real ‘metronome’ time.

Along the way I pulled up Eva’s and Paul Simon’s takes on Kathy’s Song, a little gem from Seatrain called Out Where The Hills, and a flashy John Renbourn piece called My Dear Boy, which included me trying to play it with the metronome, which probably should have been rehearsed but who has the Time?

Before I started playing the ‘Fun With Metronomes’ game, I started with a little improve that turned into a distant version of a bossa nova I recorded about 25 years ago on my album Yesterday’s News, Black Orpheus. There was a stab at Billy Joel’s Piano Man as well, since this week a FOTW went up with Kevin working on that tune. We also had a lesson from Max on the Red Hot Chili Peppers Around The World.

Meanwhile, here at TG Central I am in the throes of replacing equipment that someone decided they needed more than I did. It put a little dent in the lesson production schedule but hopefully things will be back on track next week.

I hope everybody can enjoy the videos below, particularly Seatrain, a band I always really liked.