Ask Charlie…
  • 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 […]

  • 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. […]