Kirk's Column: Blackwood Stroll - part 2

Thanks for the nice feedback about this little ditty, those who wrote. I do realize it probably belongs at my other site, as it is not really suited for beginners, but there you go. This week I did part 2 of the progression, where it switches key.

Go to Guitar for Beginners and Beyond, you know the routine. As always, the lesson consists of a little video of me playing the piece, midi, tablature, commentary ... you really can't help but learn. I like to include the movie, blurred as it has to be to save bandwidth, just to show basic positions on the fretboard and how chord shapes are at the core of this style of playing. The interplay of melody/bass line/harmony are all based on working around chord shapes. The more you play and explore music, the more you realize that studying chords is the most valuable way to spend your practice time.

Word of mouth is spreading about my book PlaneTalk, judging from the number of visits, enquiries and sales. I do remember thinking when I wrote and illustrated it way back in 1994 that my simple visualization 'trick' was going to help a lot of twangers out, but I certainly never had any idea how many and how far flung they all would be. Thanks to this amazing Internet, thousands of guitarists all over the World are now well on their way to having the whole fretboard at their disposal at all times, not matter what the music is doing. Friendly, familiar, well worn territory ... from nut to 25th fret. And they keep writing me to thank me; here is a very recent letter:

“Thanks. I got the download and already read it from cover to cover. Outstanding!!! I been playing for 40 (Yes - 40) years. I majored in music in college and have all the theory back ground, but have always related it to the keyboard as a visualization. I've played in quite of few bands through the years and do a fair bit of improv. It has become almost 2nd nature but has always been related to many hours of practice on major and blues scales. I can't believe how easy your [method] is to relate to. Great work. You have another convert.” -- James from Illinois

Have a look at the testimonials page for more. The private forum you can join once you've purchased the book is now 700 strong, growing every day. We discuss the finer points of music, improvisation, the PlaneTalk way of thinking ... we're a happy bunch. So, if you know scales, chords, modes, double-stops ... all the parts of the puzzle ... but you still are wondering how to fit them all onto the fretboard and turn them into music, drop in for a visit. Three more have become PlaneTalkers just as I sit here writing this. I have a special going there right now.

Until sold: I need to get rid of a bunch of VHS tapes so I don't have to lug them back to Australia when I return next month. I'll let you download the PDF of PlaneTalk immediately*, and I'll send out the VHS (I have both World formats) for just 10 extra bucks. So, for $35, you'll have the book (in pdf format), the slide rule that comes with it (which is quickly folded into existence) and the video, demonstrating what the book explains. Guaranteed to be the best $35 guitar dollars you've ever spent. Details here.

We need members at the Slide Guitar Discussion Forum! If you're a fan of bottleneck/slide/resonator/steel guitar, come and join in. If you have a slide related website, you can also join the Slide Guitar Web Ring there ... bring some targeted traffic to your site.

Have a listen to the full Mp3 of Blackwood Stroll at my Soundclick site. My version of 'Georgia' is still Number One at the Jazz General charts, where it's been sitting for months now. There are many more tracks there to enjoy and download ... help yourself!

*Paypal customers need to wait for download instructions to be sent.

Kirk Lorange

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