Category Archives: Music Theory

What Happened To My Frets?

Frets Magazine (1979-1989) In 1979, I had just finished my first year at college and returned home for a summer break.  Of course, my banjo, guitar and mandolin came back home with me.  After walking into a nearby music store, … Continue reading

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The Right Way to Build a Chord Vocabulary

When an aspiring musician buys their first banjo, guitar or mandolin, they also usually are talked into buying a pictionary chord book.  Such a book, lists chord after chord, in charts that are in alphabetically order.  Without knowing any better, … Continue reading

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What Time is it?

“I played this much better on my own at home than in front of you.” I often hear this comment from my music students.  It is their perception that they are playing well behind closed doors.  In actuality, the beginning … Continue reading

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Frets & Math

In one of my guitar classes, I had a student mentioned that she never thought she’d have to learn algebra to learn music.  Algebra you ask? No .. we weren’t learning algebra.  We may have been applying a little geometry … Continue reading

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Do You Know Your Musical ABCs?

When I start teaching a new banjo, guitar or mandolin class, I first ask my students whether or not they know their alphabet. These students, many whom are adults, look at me with a bit of disdain, as though I … Continue reading

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A Music Student’s Plateau

I have been studying music for a year now and I feel like I am not getting anywhere. I think I have hit a plateau with my mandolin. How do I get out of this rut with my guitar playing? … Continue reading

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Ear Training?

You may have heard of a basic musical concept referenced as “Playing by Ear” or “Ear Training”.  What does it mean and is it possible for you to train your ear to play a banjo, guitar or mandolin? With a … Continue reading

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