Changing of the Guard

I’m really not one for long, crazy, sentimental ramblings. Ramblings? Yes. Sentimental? No.

With that said, I am announcing that Fretterverse is having a changing of the guard.

In the past few years that Fretterverse has been running I have met many great people, learned a heck of a lot about guitar, music, and myself, and had a hell of a lot of fun.

As with many things, however, time runs its course and priorities change. I have known for a little while now that I simply can not dedicate the time and attention I was once able to.

One shortcoming of the Internet is that it’s very easy to just pick up and move on.

Sites shut down all the time, people find new corners of the universe to hang out in, and life goes on.

I didn’t want to do that, however. I think Fretterverse has a unique voice in the guitar community, and I didn’t want that to go away.

So while the bad news is that I will no longer be working on this site, the good news is that the site isn’t going away!

I am passing the reins to my good friend and fellow blogger Matthew Warnock.

Many of you know Matt as a guest poster here on Fretterverse, from his own website, and also as one of the prime movers at

I could not think of a better person to keep the Fretterverse tradition alive, and he (luckily for me) agreed to man the helm.

So, without further ado (and sentimental rambling) I humbly pass the torch to my good friend Matt, and ask you all to support him and the future of Fretterverse as you have for me since it started.

Keep Going!

The Shameless Cover Tune Plug

Support my cover song!

A while ago I wrote a post about cover tunes (Cover It Straight or Make It Your Own).

For those of you who like old school prog, I submit to you my band’s contribution to “making it your own.” This project by an Italian-based prog lover was a long time in the making, but it’s finally out and available for purchase.

If you get a moment and have a chance to listen to some great musicians — and to hear my idea of making a cover tune original rather than covering it exactly as the original — click into the post to get more information.


gTar: Learn Guitar the Lazy Way?

the gTar (image from their Kickstarter page)

I remember a few years ago, the folks from Rock Band said they were working on a way to adapt their guitar controllers to be able to teach people how to play guitar. I thought this was a good idea, as the more guitarists we have out there, the better the world would be. But it never came to fruition for whatever reason. I suspect it had mostly to do with the waning interest in the game itself, though I also suspect there is a decline in the number of kids taking up guitar. I have no numbers to support this; it’s just a hunch, and I hope I’m very, very wrong about that.

Recently, I became aware of a new Kickstarter-funded project for a product called the gTar. As explained on their site:

The gTar is a fully digital guitar that makes it easy for anybody to play music, regardless of experience.

Okay, fair enough. We live in a world where everything must be done cheaper, easier, and faster. (I’m not exactly sure why, but apparently those are the rules now.) The problem is, will a product like this actually help people to learn to play guitar, or is it just another dump marketing scheme?


Breaking The Barline-Phrase Placement

Dave Kain

Improvising over jazz standards can be a very difficult thing to do. Once you learn all your scales, arpeggios, licks etc., you may find yourself in a rut with what to do with all the harmonic knowledge you have learned. For me, an incredibly important as aspect of improvisation that is overlooked is phrase placement. Where you start and end your phrases can take your solo from a predictable, boring and safe one to a strong assertive and climatic one.

When I am improvising, I am extremely aware of what, where and when I am starting any and all phrases. Becoming conscious of this is going to be more difficult if you don’t know the tune very well. So, applying this concept may be too difficult if you are still struggling with the harmonic elements of any tune you wish to use this idea on.


Learn Guitar with

For those people who want to learn guitar and are completely starting from scratch — I’m talking the people that don’t even know that the guitar has six strings — it can be be difficult to try and figure out exactly where to begin. Surely, youTube, Fretterverse, and plenty of books and DVDs have plenty of information to use, but there aren’t many places where you can actually sit down from the absolute beginning.

If only there was a website that catered to the Day One guitarist…