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In Defense of the "Self-Taught" Guitarist

In Defense of the "Self-Taught" Guitarist

For the Self Taught Guitarist If you want to avoid the gatekeepers, you’ll have to learn to make your way through the forest of sound alone. Thankfully, records hang like fruit from the trees, and there is a deep cave where you can examine the reflection of your instrument (just don’t venture too deep, like some sort of sonic narcissus). A small creek, brook, or stream is best for refining intonation, as it is a constantly moving target that you can spend a lifetime imitating. Let the birds …
Aug 12th 2020 Robinson Earle
The Magic of Slide Guitar | Midwood Guitar Studio

The Magic of Slide Guitar | Midwood Guitar Studio

Magic and Mystery of Slide Guitar When folks who are used to fretting attempt slide guitar, it’s like trying to run on ice-skates. You suddenly realize that there are whole oceans between the notes. As western musicians, we tend to base our musical understanding on the 12-tone, chromatic scale, but a guitar is not a piano, and it can cover more hidden ground. Not only can we bend the strings, we can slide in between them, too. Here are some pointers and insights for those few who will choose t …
Aug 1st 2020 Robinson Earle
Six String Shamanism | Midwood Guitar Studio

Six String Shamanism | Midwood Guitar Studio

Six String Shaman People begin playing the guitar for many reasons. Some crave stardom, some the attention of the opposite sex. Some just regard it as a constructive past-time; a way to round out their skill-set, something to do at parties. From my experience as a musician and teacher, however, the ones who excel at the instrument are the ones who truly need it. They need it to focus their overactive mind, they need it to express pent-up anger and frustration, they need to identify wi …
Jul 15th 2020 Robinson Earle
The Pentatonic Modes | Midwood Guitar Studio

The Pentatonic Modes | Midwood Guitar Studio

Petatonic Boxes I’ve often heard guitarists express frustration at being trapped within the “ pentatonic boxes”. Here they are organized to create an A minor pentatonic scale up the neck:  Folks tend to memorize them each vertically, then horizontally, then diagonally. The most fluid players can find then whenever, wherever, and in any key. After a while, though, the ear starts craving more complexity. That said, before adding more notes, it’s worthwhile to explore all the pe …
Jul 9th 2020 Robinson Earle
Texas Blues Guitarist | Midwood Guitar Studio

Texas Blues Guitarist | Midwood Guitar Studio

Although it’s impossible to say with complete assurance where “the blues” first developed, a strong case can be made for the Texas Blues Guitarist. In their unfinished tome, “The Blues Come to Texas”, researchers Paul Oliver and Mack McMcormick exhaustively detail the geographic and sociological circumstances that made the Lone Star State the perfect incubation zone for such an artform. It’s an excellent read, and one of the best books ever published on the subject, but as most won’t have …
Jul 1st 2020 Robinsn Earle
A Morning in The Midwood Guitar Studio Acoustic Guitar Room

A Morning in The Midwood Guitar Studio Acoustic Guitar Room

When you visit Charlotte, make sure you have time for A Morning in The Midwood Guitar Studio Acoustic Guitar Lounge. When Rock & Rollers enter our storefront in the historic Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina, we have to greet them with a drool bucket. A post-industrial aesthetic of brick walls and exposed piping serves as the perfect backdrop for our diverse inventory of hand-picked electric guitars. Anderson, Fender, Fender Custom Shop , PRS, Charvel, an …
Jun 15th 2020 Robinson Earle
Reverb | Midwood Guitar Studio | Charlotte

Reverb | Midwood Guitar Studio | Charlotte

Reverb has been an essential part of the electric guitar and all genres of music since the 1960's.  I’m a sucker for reverb. Always have been. I want to live inside my electric guitar. I always play piano with the sustain pedal depressed. Perhaps this preference has primordial roots, an inheritance from our cave-dwelling ancestors. It’s impossible to say for certain, but I’m clearly not alone. People love reverb. It’s one of our sonic birthrights. In Greek mythology, Echo …
Jun 7th 2020 Robinson Earle
Charvel and the Dawn of the Hot-Rod Guitar

Charvel and the Dawn of the Hot-Rod Guitar

Charvel and the Dawn of the Hot-Rod Guitar The “ gear-head” is integral to the advancement of any technology. I am referring to the sort of individual who is rarely satisfied with stock options. While most of us simply buy carefully, play, and let be, gear-heads tend to view new acquisitions as blank canvases rather than completed masterpieces. Not content with simply expressing themselves through the manipulation of strings, their imaginations extend to the structural featur …
May 26th 2020 Robinson Earle
Swart Amplifiers | Midwood Guitar Studio

Swart Amplifiers | Midwood Guitar Studio

Swart Amplifiers | Midwood Guitar Studio Guitarists and recording engineers alike know that the best studio amp is often small and tweed. There’s something about a tiny, vacuum-tube powered box pushed to its limits that perfectly captures the spirit of rock & roll. Before there were full stacks and arenas full of screaming fans, teenagers learned to channel their angst through diminutive combo amps that sounded their dirty best when turned all the way up.  As a guitaris …
May 13th 2020 Robinson Earle
The Fender Guitar Legacy | Midwood Guitar Studio

The Fender Guitar Legacy | Midwood Guitar Studio

The Fender Guitar Legacy | Midwood Guitar Studio It’s impossible to imagine where the musicians of the world would be without the innovations of the Fender Musical Instruments Company. From the first production solid-body electric to the first 100-watt amplifier (the latter requested by Dick Dale to satisfy a gymnasium full of ecstatic teenagers), Fender guitars are finely woven into the fabric of American culture.The Origins of the Telecaster It all started with an unassuming, guitar-s …
May 7th 2020 Robinson Earle