Ask Charlie…
  • Guitar Geekery II

    Hello Troubadourians! This column closes my eighth year writing this column for you. It has been my pleasure to do it. And I’m forever grateful that the wonderful Liz Abbott gave me the chance to express myself. Liz has been patient while steadily guiding me to be a better writer even though she says that […]

  • Guitar Geekery

    Hello Troubadourians! I love guitars. I love playing them. I love listening to them. I love looking at them. I love buying them. And I love talking about them. Totally geeking out over guitars is fun and entertaining. One of the highlights of my year is going to the NAMM show and hanging out with […]

  • Do I Really Sound Like That?

    Hello Troubadourians! How many of you have ever recorded yourself playing or singing (or both)? If you haven’t, you should. It is an eye-opening experience. The first time you hear your voice on a recording, it sounds like a completely different person. Who is that? That can’t be me…can it? Likewise, when you hear a […]

  • Why Do You Perform?

    Hello Troubadourians! Years ago when I began writing this column I had planned it to be a source of information for performing musicians as well as a forum where musicians could ask questions about their gear and get advice on anything from how to select an instrument to how to make a PA system work. […]

  • How Do I…

    I get asked a lot of questions. Sometimes I’m asked about this guitar or that guitar, this piece of gear or that piece of gear. Other times they begin, “How do I…” and always refer to being better in some way—sound better, play better, sing better… You’d think that the obvious answer would be practice. […]

  • Roll Your Own

    Hello Troubadourians! Last month we explored the idea of a new guitar. Need vs. want and how to know the difference. I’d like to go a little deeper into that but from a different direction. Let’s say you’ve decided that a new guitar is the answer for you. Let’s narrow that down a little more. […]

  • A New Guitar?

    Hello Troubadourians! The other day, someone asked me if I thought they needed a better guitar. I answered by asking two questions of my own: “Why do you think you need a better guitar?” and “Would you know that a guitar was ‘better’ than the one you have if you couldn’t see it first?” Obviously, […]

  • A Set of Strings

    Hello Troubadourians! Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can change a pile of parts into a fine instrument… and vice versa. Several times over the years, I’ve written in these pages about custom this and special that. I’ve geeked out over such things as specialized string gauges that are selected so that every string in […]

  • Get Low…

    Hello Troubadourians! At some point, every musician gets bored with their playing and/or their instrument. Learning new songs or learning a new technique can do the trick. When that works, you feel accomplished and you have new things to work into you playing. But, sometimes the only way to break through the boredom is to […]

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