Ask Charlie…
  • 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 […]

  • Mundy and Me

    Hello Troubadourians! Last year I memorialized three famous guitar players–and a few not-so-famous ones–as well as one legendary luthier. I had hoped that I could get to at least March before I had write another such memorial. Such is life that it’s January and I’m doing it again, this time from a very personal perspective. […]

  • Thunderstruck

    Hello Troubadourians! It is with much sadness that I have to write that one more of our generation’s guitar heroes is gone. As I started to compose this month’s column, I received the news that Malcolm Young had died at age 64. While every death is sad, his was made a little sadder in that […]

  • Don’t Come Around Here No More

    Hello Troubadourians! We’ve lost a lot of our musical heroes lately, Tom Petty being the latest. While every loss hurt, this one had a particular sting that, to me at least, was unexpected. Petty had success with pretty much everything he tried, from hits with the Heartbreakers to solo work and duos with Stevie Nicks. […]

  • Dumb Questions People Ask…

    Hello Troubadourians! I started writing this column six years ago with the intended audience to be the performing musicians in the San Diego music scene. Of course, I have tried to be inclusive of as many musicians as possible, from the active pros to the folks who are considered musicians simply because they own an […]

  • More of Me Please

    Hello Troubadourians! Guitar players are notorious for being loud. Most of us are guilty at one time or another and some of us are always guilty. It happens so frequently that even when the guitar player isn’t too loud, it is assumed that we are. It has been my experience that in an electric ensemble, […]

  • All Things in Time

    Hello Troubadourians! I apologize right up front… This is not going to be one of my usual upbeat columns. No, this column is about profound loss on a very personal level. Recently, the Washington Post published an article titled “the slow, secret death of the electric guitar. And why you should care.” In short, the […]