Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Giuliani Arpeggio Study

I'm going to start a video series on applying the Giuliani Arpeggios to steel string guitar playing. Get your copy here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Best of Burt Bacharach

Lot's of Wrecking Crew goodness on this record and some great songs too!

The Best of Burt Bacharach

He is definitely one of my favorite songs writers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thinking of Studying Flamenco Guitar?

I was going to highly recommend these books I got a few years ago but apparently are now out of print. You could get them here at Amazon for a premium or just keep your eyes open and find them elsewhere....

Manual Didactico de la Guitarra Flamenca Volume 1

Manual Didactico de la Guitarra Flamenca Volume 2

Manual Didactico de la Guitarra Flamenca Volume 3

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk

If you want to make a living playing guitar, you better be a good rhythm player.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I'm now contributing to this site for guitarists called Gain!  Bookmark it and check it out from time to time there will be many great contributors adding their, um, contributions.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mo' Picks...

I can never have enough different picks; heavy picks, thin picks, cheap picks, expensive picks, red picks, blue picks, old pick, new picks.

It's the quickest way to change the sound of an instrument. Especially acoustics. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Banjo Claw

Tracking banjo today...

Saw somewhere, probably on Youtube, a trick to lesson the scraping sound when playing banjo, use a pair of pliers to slighty twist the tip of the picks to make them strike the string more straight on and less along the edge.

Goodtime Banjo

Banjo Picks

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Rare Regret...

Even in Indiana in the 70's I'd heard of Ted Greene. I bought these two Ted Greene books...

Chord Chemistry and Modern Chord Progressions

... while I was still in high school. Both hugely influential on my growth. Once I was in college I picked up these two tomes...

Jazz Guitar Single Note Soloing Volume One and Volume Two

... both deep and thorough treatises into single line phraseology. Not quite as influential on me, but still important.

And I bought his record "Solo Guitar".

Flash forward to 1983, and I'm jamming with some friends. One of the other guitarists told me he was taking lessons from Ted Greene. "The Ted Greene?" I asked and indeed it was the same TG that authored my now dogeared and well-worn books aforementioned. He told me he was taking lessons from him for $15 an hour. Really? I was charging $10 and hour myself. I should take lessons from him I said. I didn't.

Flash forward another ten years. Another friend was studying with him. Still only $15 a lesson. I should take some lessons. And again I didn't. So many great players studied with him. What skills and knowledge would I have attained had I shelled out a couple hundred bucks for some tutelage.

Well, now, post-mortum I can study with Ted a little through YouTube's amazing Ted Greene Archives` are an amazing collection of guitar lessons filmed by former students. Here's an example of one such lesson...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Jam Tracks for the Modes of G

Here are seven jam tracks in the seven modes of G. Click on mode name to open a jam track at Youtube.

G Ionian (Major)
Scale tones - G A B C D E F# G
Chords used - C/G and D/G

A Dorian
Scale tones -  A B C D E F# G A
Chords used - C/A and D/A

B Phrygian
Scale tones - B C D E F# G A B
Chords used - C/B and D/B

C Lydian
Scale tones - C D E F# G A B C
Chords used - C/C and D/C

D Mixolydian
Scale tones - D E F# G A B C D
Chords used - C/D and D/D

E Aeolian (Minor)
Scale tones - E F# G A B C D E
Chords used - C/E and D/E

F# Locrian
Scale tones - F# G A B C D E F#
Chords used - C/F# and D/F#

Cool Site - Fretboard Heatmaps

Select a band/artist to see what frets they gravitate towards at Fretboard Heatmaps.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cool Tool - The High-Strung Guitar (revisited)

This, so far, is my most popular Youtube video. Also referred to as a Nashville-tuned guitar or "Poor Man's" 12-string, the High-Strung guitar is very fun tool for recording or writing. Basically you string the guitar up with the high six strings from a 12-string set. On my Larivee Parlor guitar I use half of an Elixir 12-string light set. It's still tuned, EADGBE, so you can play it just like a regular guitar, but the bottom four strings are tuned up an octave. You can do this to any guitar, but would I use a cheaper, back-up instrument just to be safe, and you are going to want to leave it tuned that way for ever, trust me. Even basic open chords sound magical on this axe. Seventh chords especially sound very piano like, because the tunings allows for very tight voicings, something that would be very difficult on a normally tuned guitar.

You won't find any one marketing high-strung string sets, although I will talk to Elixir about this, but if just buy an Elixir 12-string Set, you can split it up into two sets, a high strung set and a normal light set.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Wrecking Crew - MacArthur Park - Richard Harris

Released May 11th 1968, 45 years ago today.

The epic seven plus minute song features the best musicians in LA at the time, including but not limited to Tommy Tedesco, Hal Blaine, Al Casey, Larry Knechtel and the young writer Jimmy Webb.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Spider Exercise

An exercise to increase left hand (fretting hand) independence. 

Left hand fingerings while holding down other two fingers...


Friday, March 15, 2013

High-Strung Song No. 1

I wrote this to kind of high light the intrinsic beauty of the tuning. Mostly played on the top four strings in 6/8 time. The pattern is a very simple up and down sweep of 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but often sounds more complex. Notice the frequency of unisons ringing out against each other, something that would be difficult to accomplish on any instrument. Tight piano-like clusters abound as well.

I used my Larivee Parlor guitar with the high set of an Elixir 12-string set (use the remaining strings for a normally tuned guitar) and a Wegen Pick

©2013 by Tom Strahle, BMI

Monday, March 4, 2013

Exercise or Jazz Lick #2

Here's the video....

Here's the image...

All You Need To About The Music Business

Yeah, it's not in this blog, but the title says it's in this book.

It actually is a really good book letting you all the ins and outs of the business. All the ways your music can make you money.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

DIY Roadcase Video Series

For those who are handy with tools and want to save a couple bucks start here...

Part 1 of 11.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 1234 Exercise

In the building we live in I've had the pleasure of having several USC guitar majors as neighbors. All of them superb players. And everyone of them had very dexterous left hands, able to go any where their brain takes them.

Here's a good set of exercises to help you develop left hand dexterity.

1234, 1243, 1324, 1342, 1423, 1432
2134, 2143, 2314, 2341, 2413, 2431
3124, 3142, 3214, 3241, 3412, 3421
4123, 4132, 4213, 4231, 4312, 4321

What does it all mean? Above are variations on left hand fingerings of 1, 2, 3 and 4. The battle strategy is to take each of the above 24 exercises up the strings and up the neck. From the first fret to the twelfth fret and on each of the six strings. 

For example 1234 on the 6th string, then the 5th, the 4th, the 3rd, the 2nd and lastly the 1st string. Move your hand up one fret and play the pattern 2345 on the 1st string down to the 6th string. Then up a fret and continue until your first finger is on the 12th fret. Phew! Next pattern... 1243, repeat the whole process again. 

Some patterns are easy and some are downright elusive. Some days you'll be able to do all of the patterns. Other days you may run out of time or steam.

In future posts I will be posting a more practical, musical use for these patterns. These posts will be called "Exercise or Jazz Lick"?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Wrecking Crew - Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

The Wrecking Crew played all the instruments on the Pet Sounds record by the Beach Boys. The most well known track is "Good Vibrations"recorded on this date 45 years ago...

Check out the Wrecking Crew.

The AFM contract here.

Rare footage here...

Friend's Bass Blog...

If you are a bass player, or just want to be a better musician, check out my friend Andrew Ford's new blog.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Locrian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Locrian Mode...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Aeolian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Aeolian Mode (minor)...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Lydian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Lydian Mode...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Mixolydian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Mixolydian Mode...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Phrygian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Phrygian Mode...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Inside the Hey St. Jude Session

For those of you who aspire to do session work, here's a little view from the inside with some comments. I'd say this is a typical session, but every session is different, and some are very different. In this one we were hired to replace a karaoke track of the original tune that had already been sung over, by various artists, actors, athletes, and other, and edited. This posed some very unique and complex issues which the arranger and engineer handled flawlessly. I played bass, acoustic and electric guitar and even helped out with handclaps. here's my inside look...

Here's the final product...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Dorian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Dorian Mode...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mode Lesson/Jam Track - C Ionian

Here's a lesson I did a while ago on the Ionian (Major) Mode...

And here's a Jam Track I did of the chord progression in the lesson...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Great Little Practice Amp

The Vox Pathfinder 15R

Solid state, but a sick tremolo and a real reverb tank. And power to spare. Could easily use it in the studio. Nice crunch sounds. My son just got one of these and I've been messing with it. I'm ordering one myself. I don't have anything with an eight inch speaker so it will definitely fill a gap. Super light too!

Only $120!!!! (!!!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013