Ask Charlie…
  • 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 […]

  • From the Beginning

    Hello Troubadourians! Tom Petty said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” I’m not disputing that logic as it is undeniably true. But when it comes to forming a band I would say that the starting is the hardest part. Beginning anything from scratch is difficult but trying to organize the schedules and musical tastes of […]

  • Theoretically Speaking…

    Hello Troubadourians! Do you remember your guitar teacher… or really any music teacher you’ve ever had? Some of us took private lessons, some of us had some music training in school, and many of us are self-taught. Regardless of where and how you started, have you continued to add to your musical knowledge? That concept […]

  • We’re Going Back!

    Hello Troubadourians! I haven’t played for a live audience since November of 2019. That’s a long time but it feels longer. However, I’ve started rehearsing with my good friend Mark Jackson, and we’re going to start playing some gigs this summer. Many of my musician friends in town have already started gigging as the venues […]

  • What Do You Get for Your Money?

    Hello Troubadourians! Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of YouTube reviews of so-called budget guitars—guitars starting from less that $200 in some cases, to under $400—that are receiving rave reviews. I won’t name the brands but you can find them on several YouTube channels and it made me think about what makes a guitar “good” these […]

  • The Illusion of Cool

    Hello Troubadourians! Musicians are cool, right? Everyone thinks that their favorite musicians and performers are the ultimate in cool. We accept as a given that we’ll never be as cool as they are. That doesn’t stop us from trying to be cool, and some of us can and do achieve some semblance of coolness. I […]