Ask Charlie…
  • The Middle Four

    Hello Troubadourians! This column is sort of a continuation of last month’s column. Sort of, inasmuch as I’m going to share some of the things I’ve used to help me play the guitar the way I want to play and to become the best player I can possibly be. I’ll share some of the concepts, […]

  • 10,000-Hours

    Hello Troubadourians! I’ve been busy. Very, very busy. And not with my playing either, much to my disappointment. No, I’ve been working the “day job,” putting in lots of hours. And I’m salaried so there’s no overtime either. Why am I telling you this? Because I worry a lot about my playing. And when I […]

  • Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll!

    Hello Troubadourians! As I sat down to write this column, my daughter broke the news that Chuck Berry had died. The King is dead! Long live the King! Yes, to me, Chuck Berry always was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Always will be. And I’m in good company there. John Lennon once said that, […]

  • NAMM 2017

    Hello Troubadourians! Every year, on the third weekend of January, the NAMM Show comes to the Anaheim Convention Center. It is my responsibility and privilege to attend the show and see what new and exciting things have been thought of and subsequently brought to fruition by established companies and new companies as well. While I’m […]

  • Breakdown

    Hello Troubadourians! Did any of you watch Mariah Carey’s audio malfunction on New Year’s Eve? No? Neither did I. But I did see a lot of internet news articles about it, which I ignored until I saw one reportedly from her ‘team” that purported to give her side of the story. Now we’re talking! I […]

  • Coffee or Cigarettes

    Hello Troubadourians! Years ago, when people found out that I was a guitar player, the first question was always “lead or rhythm?” Depending on my mood, my answer was either “both” or “lead” depending upon how much time I wanted to spend in that particular conversation. I was trapped either way but I knew that […]

  • Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

    Hello Troubadourians! When you read this column, it will be December (well, actually sometime after December 1…), but I’m writing it in mid-November. The publishing business is weird that way. We have to be dedicated to documenting past events and attempt to be somewhat prescient about the future. For a columnist like me, I’m usually […]

  • Take Me to the River

    Hello Troubadourians! At the end of last month’s column I admonished you to play smoothly, and that there is no substitute for smooth. So, what does that mean in terms of your playing? The obvious is to play so that your music flows from note to note and phrase to phrase. This applies to rhythm […]

  • It’s All in the Hands

    Hello Troubadourians! Yes, it’s all in your hands. It’s inescapable regardless of how much or how little money you spend on instruments, amplifiers, effects, cords, picks… or whatever else you’ve been told will improve your tone or make you sound just like your guitar heroes. The truth remains that your hands define your tone. How […]

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