Ask Charlie…
  • I Wanna Be Like You

    Hello Troubadourians! When you do anything long enough it’s easy to get to a point where you don’t know what else there is to do or learn. And even if you did know, would there be enough time to learn it? This is an easy trap to get caught in and it is one of […]

  • Listening and Learning

    Hello Troubadourians! What is it with me and jazz standards? A few months ago, I wrote about the Hoagy Carmichael’s classic “Stardust.” This time it’s “All Blues” by Miles Davis. Although I took lessons from two excellent jazz guitarists, I am in no real sense a jazz guitarist. I’ve learned some jazz-ish stuff in order […]

  • Making Music in a Pandemic

    Hello Troubadourians! There’s an old saying, some would say a curse, that goes “may you live in interesting times.” These are definitely interesting times. I never considered that we could find ourselves in a situation like the one we find ourselves in now. Regardless of your politics, I suppose it is classic American arrogance to […]

  • Stardust

    Hello Troubadourians! Everyone has a favorite song. Sure, many of you will say that you have several favorite songs. But, if you really had to, I’m sure that there is one, just one, that really holds deep meaning and is truly your all-time favorite. For me, it’s “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael. I’m sure that many […]

  • NAMM Show 2020

    Hello Troubadourians! January brings the NAMM show to the Anaheim Convention Center every year. The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show is actually an international trade show that is exclusive to the music trade and is reportedly the largest trade show on the West Coast if not the entire country, and it gets bigger […]

  • It’s in the Hands

    Hello Troubadourians! Everyone wants to get a good tone from their instrument. It doesn’t matter what you play, you want to sound good. Whether it is replicating a tone you hear in your head or trying to sound like one of your influences, it is important to know how to achieve “that tone.” But how […]

  • 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 […]