Ask Charlie…
  • An Interesting Email…

    Hello Troubadourians! This month I was going to continue our discussion on amplifiers that began back in the September issue, but I received a rather interesting email from a reader named Scott. He asked; “Have you ever discussed how performers can best use technology at a performance? I am not yet a performer, but I […]

  • Amps II

    Hello Troubadourians! Last month we began talking about amplifiers, guitar amplifiers in particular. As I said, this is a very complex subject with lots of facts to consider and countless opinions, too. As we continue our discussion I’ll do my best to give you facts that you can verify for yourself and if I have […]

  • Amps

    Hello Troubadourians! I received an email the other day from a reader asking my opinion on which amplifier he should buy. He had explained his intended use to me (in some detail, I might add), and he had narrowed his selection to three small amplifiers. I responded with my impressions and opinions on each amplifier […]

  • Relevance

    Hello Troubadourians! Relevance is a big concern for me both musically, professionally, and personally. Recently, there was an issue that came up in my day job that started me thinking about remaining relevant. At what point are we no longer relevant? At what point is our music–that which we play and that which we listen […]

  • …and bring your guitar.

    Hello Troubadourians! It’s summertime! That means you might asked to bring your guitar or other instrument to a party that isn’t in someone’s home. The beach is especially popular and a very dangerous place for your instrument. So is the trunk of your car. It is possible, under certain circumstances, for the interior of a […]

  • Get Real

    Hello Troubadourians! Facebook is such a bizarre medium for expression. People post the inane, profane, boring, beguiling, inflammatory, hilarious, ridiculous, and sometimes very personal parts of their lives. I’m probably guilty of posting all of these things but mostly the boring, I would imagine. What seems profound to one person holds little interest to another […]

  • Open Up!

    Hello Troubadourians! Have you ever experimented with open or non-standard tunings? While this is mostly the domain of guitar players, other instruments such as bass guitar are also candidates for non-standard tuning. Guitarists have been using open tunings for almost as long as the modern guitar has been around. When the guitar took its modern […]

  • NAMM 2018, part one

    Hello Troubadourians! Every year, on the third week of January, the NAMM Show comes to the Anaheim Convention Center. It’s my job to attend and check out as many of the instruments and equipment on display as is humanly possible. Of course, I’m looking for things that I like but I’m also looking for things […]

  • Just What I Needed

    Hello Troubadourians! How many instruments do you own? If you’re a guitar player, how many guitars do you own? On average, guitarists own seven guitars. That would make me average because that’s how many I own. I may rate an exception, though, because three of them are “projects” that have been delayed so they are […]