This week I revisited a record that made a big impression on me in the late 1970s, Finger Style Guitar Solos by Guy Van Duser. Guy’s sound and arrangements owe a lot to Chet Atkins and this album introduced a piece for the ages, his Great Western TV Medley. Throughout this update I played bits and pieces of most of the tunes he included, as well as a few others from the Great American Songbook that came to my attention in a book called Golden Standards Of The 1900’s (I think, can’t seem to find the book anymore). I hope you enjoy the excursions.

As far as the new stuff at TG, we had a lot of female artists represented this week. Our FOTW entry featured Bebe Rexha’s hit Meant To Be along with In Color by Jamey Johnson. Max brought us At Last by Etta James and I Say A Little Prayer from Aretha Franklin, and Vanessa did a great lesson on The Bangles’ Manic Monday. We also brought out a 5-Pack of lessons on Pearl Jam songs.

But, back to Guy Van Duser, I hope you enjoy the attached file of his medley and see how many you can identify. I may have given a few away in the video but PM your thoughts over the next week and next Friday we will go over the answers. A hint, there are 8 themes included.


This week I made a quick trip to Phoenix to host a meeting of The Guitar League. A small group got together Tuesday night at a Marriott Hotel and I think they all got something to work on to get them to the next level. Some of the things I talked about included some essential techniques and songs that everyone should incorporate into their practice routine. I mentioned a lot of those in today’s update as well.

A few new lessons this week; The Star Of The County Down, done with a ‘do it yourself’ twist as far as the progression and rhythmic feel, Barbra Streisand’s classic Evergreen, from the previous incarnation of A Star Is Born featuring Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet, quite a different genre than the other lessons this week. We also like to occasionally honor my partner and founder of TG with bands from down under.

A couple new packs flew off the shelves this week as well, one featuring The Red Hot Chili Peppers and another on Pearl Jam songs.

And for all our American members, I hope Uncle Sam is kind and forgiving this weekend…



Channeling Sweet Baby James at the top of the update, partially inspired by the Josh Turner thread on the Forum this week, led into a short talk about 12-bar blues, along the lines of Steamroller Blues. The mini lesson was followed with a rundown of some recent new releases; I Can’t Tell You Why by The Eagles, Jet Airliner from The Steve Miller Band, and our first Aretha tune, Think, as memorialized in The Blues Brothers. We also put together a 5-pack of Red Hot Chili Peppers lessons.

Another thought from the same Forum thread brought vocal harmony into my radar and I mentioned that we are adding a class on just that to our IGC agenda, along with a little more focus on instruction to go along with our open mic opportunities this fall.

There was another mini lesson on fingering for a particularly difficult passage in Sleight Of Hand, presenting a slightly easier approach to a really nasty stretch.

Things ended with a little reminiscing about a concert I went to in 1974, a Day On The Green at the Oakland Coliseum with a few of my favorite bands (turns out it was the 3rd DOTG, I thought it might have been the first). 

And don’t forget, if you are in the Phoenix area next week please join Bart and me at The Guitar League Tuesday night, April 9.