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Newsletter Home:  2006 | 2005


31st January, 2006


  • Health:  Discover The Chiropractic Advantage: Avoid Guitarists' Repetitive Strain Injury for Good!
  • Artist:  Teddy Thompson - Ignore At Your Peril!
  • Learning:  Managing Your Time, When Music Isn't Your "Day Job"
  • Lesson:  "Every Breath" by Sting
  • Gigging:  Home Run Gigs
  • Gear:  How To Make A Cheap Guitar Sound Great
  • Recording:  The Challenges of Recording Solo Acoustic Guitar
  • Recommendation: Jamorama - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit


    Discover the Chiropractic Advantage - Avoid Guitarists’ Repetitive Strain Injury for Good!

    By Jean Littman

    Ouch! Does it seem like every note you play on your guitar results in pain? Guitarists and instrumental musicians are a special risk group for repetitive strain injuries, with sizable percentages of them developing physical problems directly related to playing their instruments. Click here to read the full article.

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    Teddy Thompson: Ignore at Your Peril!

    Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Teddy Thompson has released his eagerly anticipated new album ‘Separate Ways’.  (Ed:  One of Ray's latest music acquisitions which has really hit the spot and has already been played over several times)

    The first album for his new record label Verve Forecast, it contains twelve stunning songs that were written and co-produced by Teddy Thompson, following a series of live UK dates.

    Co-produced by Brad Albetta - who also produced Martha Wainwright’s recent self-titled album - ‘Separate Ways’ features an impressive supporting cast that includes vocalist Jenni Maldour, drummer Dave Mattacks and Garth Hudson from The Band.

    The LP’s opening track ‘Shine So Bright’ is typical of the album’s sound with rich vocals and heartfelt lyrics throughout. The song mixes Teddy’s deeply expressive voice against the smouldering backing sounds of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, who also appear on the track ‘Everybody Move It’.

    Teddy’s Father, Richard Thompson, plays guitar on several other album highlights (‘I Should Get Up’, ‘I Wish It Was Over’, ‘That’s Enough of You’ and ‘No Way To Be’) while his mother, Linda Thompson, features on the beautiful reworking of The Everly Brother’s ‘Take A Message To Mary’ which features as a hidden track.

    London-born, New York based Teddy has a musical wisdom beyond his years. His deep-rooted embrace of music is evident through his lyrical insight, musical arrangements and arresting delivery.

    Teddy's father and mother are British folk-rock luminaries, Richard and Linda Thompson.  Those who know Richard Thompson's work know that he is an amazing guitar player and musician, who is probably best known for his time with Fairport Convention.  Although critically acclaimed, his career has long been regarded as under-recognised. 


    Somewhere along the way he met, married, performed with and divorced  Linda.  The Thompsons had a son known as Teddy who's all grown up now and carving a career of his own. 

    There are those who believe that Teddy Thompson may have the voice of his generation.  Full of personality, nearly as soulful as his mother's, more sonorus and warm than his father's, his voice is a wonder.  He also plays a very solid guitar, although perhaps not with the same brilliance as his father.  His songwriting shows a maturity beyond his youth, and he has the same biting lyrical bent as his father.

    After leaving the UK, Teddy spent some time hanging out and touring with his father, just generally learning the ropes.  When Richard introduced the band, there was never any mention that Teddy was his son.  How understated and British of them.  The audience either went in already knowing about it, or found out from someone else whilst there.

    According to his fans, Teddy's self-titled debut album "Teddy Thompson" (released in 2000) was criminally ignored by the masses, and deserved a better fate than the underappreciated used record bins of America. The tunes on the album engage the listener from a core feeling, with Thompson's welcome, warm tenor easily settling.  His tunes peak with strong emotion, poignancy and forthrightness.  Definitely worth adding to your collection.

    Latest Release:  Check out the soundtrack album to the acclaimed film Brokeback Mountain to hear two Teddy Thompson songs that are not featured on Teddy's Separate Ways album. The tracks are "I Don't Want To Say Goodbye", written by the film's composer Gustavo Santaolalla and sung by Teddy, and "King Of The Road", Teddy's duet with Rufus Wainwright on the Roger Miller country classic.... Brokeback Mountain won four 2006 Golden Globe awards, including Best Original Song-Motion Picture for Emmylou Harris' "A Love That Will Never Grow Old"..

    You can also check out the cool Teddy Thompson e-card by clicking here.



    Managing Your Time, When Music Isn't Your "Day Job"

    By Linda Dessau

    You CAN do everything.


    You CAN do everything. What you cannot do, however, is do everything at the same time, or create a day that’s longer than 24 hours.

    The two most important aspects of time management are acceptance and choice. When you think of time in terms of acceptance and choice, you’re never “wrong”, “bad”, or “lazy”, you’ve just made certain choices. When you think in terms of discipline and willpower, however, your inner critic can really do a number on you. We already have low self-esteem as artists; let’s not add to the problem!!

    An example of this from my own life is that I choose to live alone instead of with a roommate; that means I also choose higher rent and the need to bring in enough income to cover that rent. When sneaky thoughts of resentment or self-pity creep in to my head, I need to remember the choice that I made, and I need to accept this is how things are for now.

    Here are some tips for using choice and acceptance to manage your time.

    Decide what you want to have time for. What keeps getting pushed to the back burner or rushed through? How will you spend your time once you’ve made your songwriting dreams come true and you’ve become the artist you’re meant to be? Nourish this vision until it’s clear in your mind. It’s essential to know what you’re working towards. Remember, you won’t always be this busy unless you choose to be.

    Choose not to be this busy – for one week, track your time using a time log. You can make one yourself; simply chart out (on paper or on the computer) your day in fifteen-minute intervals and then record what you do in each of those blocks of time. Completing a time log will illuminate how much time you’re spending on different things. Look carefully at the choices you’re making. What do you most want to do with the time you have available?

    Accept your day job for what it is – a source of the financial support you need to eat and live – and write songs! Practice feeling grateful for the job you have, instead of feeling resentful about the time it’s taking away from your songwriting. For instance, what recording equipment, CD’s, manuscript paper, software programs or musical instruments have you bought from the money you earned in this job? Also, the job is giving you life experiences, and most likely lots of opportunities to interact with other people. Your passion is to communicate with people through your music – how can you take some of that passion and apply it to your day-to-day interactions? What kind of stories do your co-workers have to tell? What ideas do those stir up for you that you can use in your writing?

    Look for a “day job” that’s meaningful and that’s taking you in the direction of your dreams. Do you need some ideas? Try meditating to access inner wisdom and spiritual guidance. If songwriting is your primary passion, what’s your second passion? What ELSE gets your juices flowing? There’s no need to be in a job that doesn’t make you feel alive, in order to support what does. Some artists that I know get lots of fulfillment from teaching children or adults about their craft. Others take jobs that involve public speaking, to give them more experience and confidence talking to groups. Some take jobs in music stores, where they can have lots of time to learn about the newest equipment, meet lots of fellow artists, and get a discount, to boot!

    Schedule time with yourself for your songwriting, collaborating and rehearsing. Keep these dates with yourself and others as sacred appointments!

    Be good to your body and don’t sacrifice sleep for productivity (if you keep doing that, you won’t be in much shape to produce anything!).

    There are only a couple of things that we really NEED to do every day. Everything else is a choice.

    (c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.

    Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. To receive her free monthly newsletter, "Everyday Artist", subscribe at

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    "Every Breath" By Sting

    Chris Elmore
    (please note - this is only my interpretation of the song)

    This song was requested a number of times from subscribers all over the world, so I decided to make it available to you in this weeks edition.

    As usual, I've broken it down into bite size pieces and added the final piece down the bottom!

    Enjoy this song and be awesome!


    First Part


    Repeat this 2 times...



    Second Part


    Repeat this 2 times...



    Third Part




    Fourth Part




    Fifth Part

    (Same as First Part but play once only and add a 3 on the bass E String)


    After you have mastered each part - your rhythm should sound something like this - play along with me...




    First Part

    This is actually a power chord. Just hold this chord and hit the strings as heard in the audio



    Second Part

    This is also a power chord




    Third Part

    This is also a power chord



    Fourth Part





    After you have mastered each part - your rhythm should sound something like this - play along with me...



    LEAD for the Rythm



    G-2--0--2(bend) -------------|





    LEAD for the Chorus





    After this riff - PAUSE....


    Go back to beginning i.e.


    continue the same cycle from beginning...











    Final Product

    Finally - once you can play the lead, chorus and rhythm - here is what your playing should sound like...

    Lyrics for "Every Breath You take"

    Every breath you take
    and every move you make
    Every bond you break every step you take I'll be watching you

    Every single day
    and every word you say
    Every game you play every night you stay I'll be watching you

    Oh can't you see you
    belong to me
    how my poor heart aches
    with every step you take

    Every move you make
    every vow you break
    Every smile you fake every claim you stake I'll be watching you

    Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace
    I dream at night I can only see your face
    I look around but it's you I can't replace
    I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
    I keep crying baby baby please



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    With our new site you'll learn how to play popular songs of today's music using easy to follow step-by-step tabs, audio files, amp settings, lyrics, video clips and much more. Even submit your own songs or request it and we'll try our best to get it recorded for you!

    Click here to learn more


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    Home Run Gigs

    By Kenny Love

    Are you still playing your heart out to small audiences on gigs at unappreciative dives (excuse me, I meant to say nightclubs) that feel paying you a couple of hundred dollars for a 3-4 hour gig is also paying you about $150 too much?

    Unless you are a masochist, why do you continue to take such beatings? Is it due to laziness, complacency, cynicism, your now being jaded, or a combination of any of the above?

    Are you aware that you could dramatically improve your live performance income by making simple changes in the types of performances that you accept?

    For instance, see the below list of gig types and the average earnings possible, compared to traditional nightclub work:

    * Weddings ($1,000 *minimum* for 2-3 hours work)

    Instead of working yourself to death, so to speak, by chasing wedding performance opportunities on an individual basis, consider approaching a number of area caterers and offering your services to them as an add-on to their own services as, obviously, they will have significantly more client opportunities.

    Not only will your music service now give catering companies more value, as the client can now also purchase the wedding entertainment through a single source as opposed to contracting performers separately, but this single joint venture alone will dramatically increase your income, and on a more consistent basis.

    And, the best place to seek caterers is in your local Yellow Pages under the categories of "Caterers."

    As additional potential wedding income sources, you would also do well to leave your portfolio and/or business cards with area bridal shops, tuxedo shops, bridal consultants, wedding planners and wedding supplies and services.

    * Ship Cruises

    Talk about getting paid to, literally, travel the world! This is exactly what this amounts to...a paid vacation! There are a minimum of seven major high paying cruise lines that are actively seeking you to work with them. Truthfully, I cannot do this any further justice, other than telling you to immediately visit the ProShip Entertainment site below to fall into a musician's paradise.

    * Corporate Functions

    When I say corporate functions, I am speaking of getting incredible gigs with such companies as; Microsoft, IBM, and that ilk. Corporate functions are fairly regular, as they readily lend themselves to employee motivation.

    Without a better point of reference, I suggest your starting with these types of companies' Human Resource department, which can better direct you to an appropriate department that coordinates their corporate events if the Human Resource department does not. You will likely need to send your standard media kit for consideration.

    * Private Parties

    One of the best places to seek private party entertainment opportunities, is through the Society Pages of your local newspaper. The Society Page usually lists private events held by the wealthy and philanthropists who host fundraisers, charities, etc. You may also wish to consult your local library for possible local society directories that can also provide you with additional contacts.

    * Grand Openings

    Best places to check out your opportunities for Grand Opening performances are, again, your area newspapers, as well as Chambers of Commerce. Practically all new companies host grand openings in order to alert the public to their new business venture. They also go "all out," so to speak, in terms of media coverage through television, radio and print media advertising, as well as interviews. Any and all of this can serve to make far more people aware of you when you perform at these locales.

    By the any of these situations, *ALWAYS* request permission beforehand from your employers to sell your music, as this peripheral sales income will only increase your overall take. In some cases, you may be allowed to do so while, in other cases, you likely will not be allowed. However, it never hurts to ask and, by all means, ALWAYS ASK!

    Hopefully, these several income outlets can give you a much better income base while, eventually, taking you out of the hardworking, yet, low-paying nightclub arena.

    Kenny Love is president of, a radio promotion and media publicity firm that also provides business and career services to musicians.

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    How To Make A Cheap Guitar Sound Great

    by Rich Geyer

    Most beginning guitar players start with a rather inexpensive instrument. They usually have a mass production clone of a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul. The most popular clones are made overseas by Gibson and Fender themselves through the Epiphone and Squier lines. These are built to the same specs as the American made models. They are decent instruments in their own right but they can be improved greatly with just a pickup replacement. As long as the neck is straight and the tuning pegs are fairly tight, this is often all you need to upgrade to a pro sound.

    Iv'e modified several Mexican made Stratocasters and I'll take you through the process. The first thing you want to decide on is what kind of sound you're looking for. Replacement pickups are available with a lot of variety in sound output. I like to use Seymour Duncan pickups because they have proven to be of high quality and reliability. They also have a good selection and have a CD of sound samples you can listen to. Most dealers have the CD's and you can also listen to the samples online. Choose your replacement pickups and you're ready to upgrade.

    You'll need several things for the job. A good stable workbench or table, with plenty of room to lay your tools out, makes things much easier. Here's a list of what you need:

    1.screwdriver set, both flat head and philips

    2.soldering iron

    3.solder set of strings

    5.wire cutters/strippers

    The first thing you need to do is remove your guitar strings. I usually leave the low E-string on to keep a little tension on the neck. Next remove the pickguard cover. Make sure you save all the screws in a cup as they are small and get lost easily. After you remove the screws you should be able to lift up on it and slide it off under the E-string. You should now see your three pickups and the wiring thats attached to them.

    The new pickups come with a wiring diagram that is color coded but take a good look at each pickup before you replace it in case something isn't quite right with the color code. It's important that you replace one pickup at a time so as not to mix up the bridge, middle and neck pickups.

    Heat up your soldering iron. Remove the first pickup. I usually start with the neck pickup. Cut and strip the wires according to the instructions and solder the wires to the new ones. Repeat the process for the other two. Not too bad, huh?

    When you replace the cover/pickguard, be careful not to overtighten the screws or they might get stripped. Now would be a good time to clean the guitar before you put the new strings on.

    Replace and tune the strings and plug in. You'll be pleased with the results. I have several of these upgraded strats for the price of one expensive one and more versatilty with different pickup sounds. You can do the same thing with an Epiphone Les Paul to produce a sound that rivals the Gibson for about a third of the price. Now you can spend more money on all the cool effects gadgets. Have fun and keep practicing.

    Rich is the webmaster of Guitar Reviews and has a blog about Guitars.

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    The Challenges of Recording Solo Acoustic Guitar

    By Chris Standring

    I had an email from a subscriber recently, and I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember his name because these days unless I write things down, nothing gets done or remembered. It's my age you know. Anyway, he asked me if I had any tips on recording solo guitar as he had recently been doing so and was having a hard time. He said "Everything is just so exposed, I hear every note, fluff and squeak, and it just sounds terrible and I had to give up in the end".

    This email struck a chord with me because during the last few weeks I have been finishing up my new beginners/intermediate guitar course, 'Guitar Made Simple' and have been recording all the audio examples here at my home studio. Now I can tell you that for me, writing this course and getting inside the head of someone who knows nothing about guitar, I mean a total beginner, was no small feat, because after playing guitar for a good while, we naturally take things for granted. Just to illustrate this further, years ago when I gave private instruction, a lady once said to me, "If I fret this note with my left hand here, do I have to strike the same string with my right hand?" This of course may be extreme, but I can assure you that when someone has never touched a guitar in their life, it can indeed be rocket science to them, so teaching needs to be done carefully and attentively during a student's early stages. And so my audio examples in the first part of this course needed to be played very slowly and explained articulately.

    So I'm recording these audio examples, and I find that because many of them are played on the acoustic guitar, solo, with nothing but a little reverb to make me sound better, recording say four notes very slowly in isolation, is unbelievably hard! Just to play a two octave scale, at say metronome mark 60 evenly and cleanly is extremely challenging.

    Now, because it's my guitar course I'm writing, I can hardly give up can I? and the truth is that what is acceptable to me and what is acceptable to anyone reading through the course may well be two different things, but for my own horribly anal and perfectionist nature, I simply HAD to get these little examples to sound as good as I personally could. Even to play one simple chord in isolation with the fingers, where all the notes came through evenly, where the attack of the chord sounded absolutely right, well that was quite an issue too. Not to mention microphone noise and technical issues to get the level right and so on. I would brush the pickguard of my guitar ever so lightly and I would hear it in the recording, and naturally it was unacceptable and had to be re-recorded. And breathing? Well forget it! OK - a little drama here, but you know what I mean. The damn mike picks up absolutely everything. Oh for a drummer to soak everything up!

    Have I gone mad you ask? Well no, and I thought I had too, but I put this whole experience down to well, just that - experience. I was a professional session guitarist for years, having played on TV shows, albums and now a recording artist with five albums to my name, so why on earth was this so difficult?? But I honestly hadn't recorded anything so difficult in a long time! Oddly, the process got easier as the examples got more challenging. Anytime I got to layer an instrument, the recording went just that little bit quicker because it wasn't so exposed.

    I have recorded quite a lot of solo guitar in the past, but music that had a beginning, middle and end and one could get into a 'performance' state of mind, and at comfortable tempos. These little isolated examples were difficult because so many of them had to be played so slowly, and at the end of the day I can't recommend that students run before they can walk.

    So what advice do I have to impart? Well first I can now highly recommend that if you think you have good time, if you think you know how to play cleanly and evenly, know how to stop individual strings ringing on when they need to be muted while playing others, know how to project each note at the same volume as the next, then I urge you to play a G major scale, solo acoustic at metronome mark 60 and listen back to yourself. And a better microphone may just make things worse because you'll only hear more!

    Is this advice or instilling fear into you? Well it may be the latter and I do apologize, but only because I may not actually have any real advice other than just do it. I believe that if your ears are open, what you hear back from your recording should tell you what you need to work on.
    Here's the good news...

    Do we really want to be robots? Do we actually want to have a quantize button attached to our guitars? Do we want to be that serious and intense? I think the answer is no. This is why most of us are more attracted to humans playing music than machines. Music should push and pull, it should ebb and flow and shortcomings are often the character in one's playing, to an extent. We need to just relax and play.

    But if you are to record your acoustic guitar solo, you will no doubt come face to face with certain issues that I did, and my subscriber friend did also. All I can suggest is this; First, don't give up, but understand that one needs to surmount a problem to the level of personal acceptance. In other words, if it sounds good to you that's OK, provided you are pushing yourself and striving for your personal best. Now, that template will probably change as you grow as a musician and what was acceptable then may not be now.

    All I can say is, however you feel about this stuff, and whatever level you're at, recording yourself playing solo acoustic guitar very very slowly is just bloody good practice!


    Chris Standring is a jazz recording artist and educator. For more information about his highly acclaimed home study guitar courses please visit and


    Jamorama - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit
    Product Recommendation

    We’ve been looking again at Ben Edwards’ latest developments to his guitar learning package, Jamorama - the Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit. 

    Ben and the team have built on the already solid foundation that they have in their Learn to Play Guitar with Jamorama books, and developed their product further with the addition of several exciting new products to further help budding musicians learn to play the guitar.

    The three books, Learn to Play Guitar with Jamorama for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced, are already proving to be one of the most popular guitar learning guides on the internet.

    In addition to this, the Jamorama team have also developed two exclusive computer games to aid learning of musical notes, both in transcribing and in reading written music. These games make the monotony of learning to read music fun, and also enables students to develop their ear for transcribing their favourite songs from the radio.
    Both games are well presented, and are invaluable in developing the key skills necessary in being a better musician.  Two bonus e-books have also been added, and these cover how to tune your guitar, and techniques that will cut your learning time in half.

    A further bonus available to customers is a free online consultation to students who may have specific concerns or problems to address. This is very popular with hard to solve problems.

    This package is impressive because it is one of the most complete packages regarding the whole process of learning the guitar, from strumming, muting and bending, to timing, reading music and transcribing.

    We really believe this package is at the very cutting edge of learning techniques for guitar players. It is full of good quality information, and most importantly, it is applied in a manner that is both fun and maximizes the learning progression of guitar students.

    Don’t just take our word for it though, take a look for yourself at:

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