Ask Charlie…
  • Things I Don’t Do…

    Hello Troubadourians! I recently started giving guitar lessons to a friend from work. I usually don’t give private lessons—for various reasons—and certainly not to people I work with for many of the same reasons. I made an exception in this case because the young man I’m teaching, who I’ll call T for the purpose of […]

  • In Memoriam…

    Hello Troubadourians! I am a member of a demographic that has a prestigious and sometimes derided position in the world. I’m a Boomer and we seem to be a rapidly thinning herd. In the past few months, I have played in two memorial concerts for friends from the music scene who have passed, and I […]

  • Pedalboards

    Hello Troubadourians! I was at rehearsal the other night. We had finished and were talking about how we had played, things to work on for the next time, and the next gig. As the conversation drifted along, the subject shifted to memories of old bands and memorable gigs both good and bad. Oh, the things […]

  • Style or Genre?

    Hello Troubadourians! I may have written about this before, but it has been on my mind of late so hopefully this take will be different enough to be engaging and informative. Language—and the words that comprise it—can be funny things. At once misused and misstated it is still understood by those hearing or reading those […]

  • To NAMM or not to NAMM?

    Hello Troubadourians! As I write this column it is end of January and, normally, I would have just returned from attending the NAMM Show in Anaheim. The pandemic has disrupted this annual event just as it has disrupted essentially everything for two years. The last show I attended was January 2020, just before everything shut […]

  • Transposing and Transcending

    Hello Troubadourians! Last month I wrote about transposition but there are a few more things I want to talk about, specifically some of the idiosyncrasies of the guitar and how transposing can work for us and sometimes against us. On the guitar, the open position keys are C, A, G, E, and D.** They each […]

  • Transposing

    Hello Troubadourians! I’ve written about transposing songs and music a couple of times in recent columns, and it came up again just a few days ago in a conversation on Facebook. So, I thought it would be a good time to readdress the subject and add some detail about the mechanics of transposition as well […]

  • Remembering Michael Hart

    Hello Troubadourians! It is late October as I write this column… there are so many things on my mind it is difficult to focus. A couple of days ago, I played in front of an audience for the first time in two years. The occasion was a Celebration of Life Show for Michael Hart. Michael […]

  • Self Portrait

    Hello Troubadourians! How do you approach learning a new song? With practically everything now available on YouTube, as either the official version of the song or as an instructional video, we have seemingly unlimited access to learning just about anything we might want to play. We can choose from the recorded version, sometimes a live […]