Ask Charlie…
  • 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 […]

  • The Chet Chronicles

    Hello Troubadourians! I’ve been listening to Chet Atkins a lot lately. Chet was an early influence and an ongoing one as well. In fact, Chet was my first influence. When I was first learning to play, everything I did was with a thumb pick and with the “boom-chick”-muted bass note style that Chet used. Not […]

  • 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 […]