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  • This Month's Live Streaming Guitar Lessons: TUESDAY JULY 2ND - PLAYING BY EAR - HEARING CHORD CHANGES. One of the most important guitar skills is to hear chord changes and be able to play them by ear. With a little bit of training you can listen to songs and understand what chords are being played. TUESDAY JUL 16TH ITALIAN GUITARIST ALBERTO LOMBARDI. Alberto Lombardi is a versatile guitarist, has been put among the 8 new guitarists to watch in 2018 by Vintage Guitar Magazine, voted in the top 10 emerging guitarists in the world by Guitar Masters Poland in 2015, released instructional courses and records for Stefan Grossman, toured germany with Peter Finger e Tim Sparks, Played in the US, Belgium, Portugal, and has been a Taylor guitars artist for many years, player for the brand big events like NAMM show. Major guitar magazines featured Alberto's work, like Acoustic Guitar, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Fingerstyle Journal and more. Watch LIVE on our Guitar Gathering YouTube Channel. It's going to be a great month! Learn all you can!

Steve Krenz

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About Steve Krenz

  • Birthday 07/28/1966

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    Nashville, Tennessee

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  1. Yes, that would be nice. It's never going to happen - but it would be nice. I've asked about it in the past. It's always been a non-negotiable. - Steve
  2. Yes, I've noticed this as well. It's been down for over a month. I could send an email regarding it but I doubt it would do any good. The company that I once lived and loved and poured my life into so dearly Legacy Learning Systems has moved on. They are no longer in the music education business - on to other endeavors. They'll keep discounting and selling the remaining Learn and Master courses until the last one sells. It's profoundly sad but not surprising that they have let the old discussion board dissolve. But, I'm so happy that we have the new discussion board here and the continued life and learning that we are all a part of. Thankful for all of you. - Steve
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    Examples and Progressions for the Live Lesson - Solutions for Boring Chords
  4. Tuesday July 9th, 2019 Topic: Solutions for Boring Chords 7pm Central Time US You can watch the lesson HERE. (We tried to do this lesson last year but had some technical problems so it was never released. I've always wanted to do it again so here's our chance.) Tired of playing the same old way? Bored with your own playing? Let's learn some quick, simple ways to take basic chords and turn them into something memorable. There's more to do than just strum along with a chord progression. With a little help you can learn to create guitar parts that shine! There will be music, laughs, giveaways and more. I look forward to seeing you there! Watch on our Guitar Gathering YouTube Channel HERE - Steve
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    This is the About this File
  6. Hey all, Since we can't do a full Gruhn's live lesson, let's do a Guitar Chat here on the discussion board! Let's meet in the chat room at 7pm Central and have some fun! If there are specific questions you want to ask me about, just ask them here and I'll get to as many as I can. Thanks and see you there! - Steve
  7. If you are like me, I appreciate straight talk – especially when it comes to something that is important to me, like learning guitar. There are just way too many opinions, by too many people, and too little time to wade through them all to find the real information. So, here are a few things, from where I sit, that every learning guitarist should know. 1) Decide. Are you going to do this or not? Is learning guitar and playing music an important goal in your life? If it is ever going to be more than just a “wouldn’t it be great” and a “maybe some day” kind of a hope, then you need to get busy. Stop waiting for the perfect time to get started. It will never come. Inspiration is for amateurs. Decision, goals and action are what get any job done. Decide, then start. 2) Don’t wait for free time, PLAN time to learn. Everyone’s busy. Waiting to practice until you have free time is a recipe for finding yourself a week from today not having touched your guitar. Think about your daily schedule and decide where you can fit in a few moments to practice. Set this time aside and be faithful to it. 3) Consistency is more important than quantity of practice time. The old saying goes “only practice on days you eat.” The human mind learns best in regular, consistent small doses. You’ll find you learn and retain more in 15 minutes a day for 5 days than a 3 hour “binge” practice session on the weekend. Don’t believe me? Try it and see. 4) When practicing, work and reach. Don’t fool yourself into thinking, “just because I have my guitar in my hands, I’m getting better.” Progressing in your learning comes from “reaching” – from doing things that you can’t do. It comes from struggling with a new task, fumbling around, making mistakes, eventually getting better at it, until slowly more successful attempts are made. If you’re not “reaching” and “struggling”, then you’re not progressing. 5) Never waste a good mistake. Learn from it. Don’t make a mistake and think “well, I just messed up.” If you make the same mistake more than once then stop and think carefully about what happened. What specific musical task did you stumble over? Isolate it, and analyze it. Was it the change between two specific chords? Or, perhaps, you’re consistently overreaching to get a particular note? You’ll find that your mistakes are hardly ever random. They are very specific. Examine carefully what you stumble over, isolate it, practice it slowly until you can play it consistently correct, then put it back into context within the song. Be a student of your mistakes so that you can learn from them. 6) Record your progress – “seeing the flower bloom”. When you finally get that new exercise down make a short video of yourself playing it. Try to make one video a week. After three months, you’ll be able to clearly see the progress you are making. Recording yourself helps you measure your progress but it also helps you learn how to switch from “practice mode” to “performance mode” which is a vital skill. 7) Bring someone else along in your learning journey. It’s no fun learning alone. Involve someone else in your learning journey. Play your new song for your spouse, or friend. It’s not about them being “impressed” with your playing. It’s about having someone to help you be faithful to your commitment to learn. 8 ) Relax. It’s just guitar. Learning guitar shouldn’t be stressful. It’s a long road toward a very worthwhile and life-enriching end. Relax and enjoy the journey. You’ll learn a lot better. Keep up the great work! - Steve
  8. Hey everyone, Wow, have we got a great time planned for this years Fall Fingerstyle Guitar Retreat! Three of the world's best fingerstyle guitarists for several days of intimate guitar instruction, masterclasses, jamming and fun! Here they are... DON ROSS (Two-Time International Fingerstyle Champion) In 1988, Don Ross became the first Canadian to win the U.S. National Fingerpick Guitar Championship. He won again in 1996, still the only two-time winner of the competition. Don was the flagship fingerstyle artist on CandyRat Records and has released numerous projects with them. He tours extensively across Canada, the USA, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Russia and India. He has played with symphony orchestras and collaborated live and on recording with Andy McKee, Dan McCrary, Tony McManus and others. Don is one of the true "founding fathers" of modern fingerstyle guitar known for his pristine technique and lyrical melodies. IAN ETHAN CASE (Double Neck Guitar / Looping) “One of the most creative and engaging fingerstyle guitarists in the world” - International Center for Creativity Double-neck guitarist and CandyRat recording artist Ian Ethan Case's video of his song “Butter II” introduced his music to over 6 million listeners around the world in the course of a month. Hardly an overnight sensation, Ian is a true craftsman and thoughtful composer bringing a fresh sound to the guitar through innovative tapping, use of double-necked guitars, altered tunings and multiple loopers layering a rich kaleidoscope of sound. Listeners have described his music as a cross between Michael Hedges and Pat Metheny. It is rare to find an artist truly forging new creative ground on the instrument - Ian is doing just that. VAN LARKINS (Percussive Fingerstyle) “Van Larkins’ technique is a fluid motion of beauty in sound.” - Mixdown Magazine Australian guitarist, Van Larkins, is quickly distinguishing himself as an artist whose command of the instrument combined with musicianship and energy captivates the listener. Van Larkins plays a modern fusion of traditional styles with a mesmerizing “one man band” percussive approach incorporating bass, rhythm, melody and harmony. Van’s eclectic music has transitioned from Metallica to finger-style acoustic guitar to playing transpositions of 400-year-old harp songs. A true artist and excellent teacher, Van brings a fresh approachable-ness to those he helps learn fingerstyle. COLLIN HILL One of our own guitar family, Collin Hill is a 21 year old Fingerstyle guitarist based in Nashville TN. Originally from California, Collin brings great technique to a sense of musicianship. This young artist is finding his voice to the delight of his many fans on YouTube, Instagram and Spotify. With over a million streams on Spotify and over 14000 Instagram followers, Collin's exciting music is turning heads in the fingerstyle world. He's also a gifted and conscientious educator with some of the best reviewed classes of any of our events. Four days of world-class fingerstyle instruction, hands-on workshops and intimate evening concerts in the stunning Tennessee autumn during peak fall colors. If you haven't been, it's one of the best events we have ever put together. Last year, the Fall Fingerstyle Retreat sold out months in advance and slots are already filling up for this year. If you're interested in getting all the info, check out www.FingerstyleRetreat.com See you there, Steve
  9. Nope, it didn't slip my mind (as slippery as my mind is during conference week!). I inquired about next years dates but Trevecca is holding off on setting dates for anything next summer for a few weeks due to some building renovations scheduled on campus and they aren't sure how they are going to effect everything. Rest assured, I'll be bugging the events coordinator at Trevecca and as soon as they commit to something I'll let you know. - Steve
  10. Tuesday June 4th, 2019 Topic: Guitar Questions Answered/Open Talk! Back to live lessons tonight! It's been way too long since we took some time to answer your questions, but tonight bring your guitar questions and let's get some answers. PLUS, one lucky viewer will win Joe Robinson's incredible new guitar course "Joes12" with tips from guitar legends Tommy Emmanuel, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford and others. You can learn more about this amazing 12 week mentorship course with guitar legends here.... JOES12.com Watch it live at 7pm Central tonight HERE Great music, giveaways and more. See you there! Make sure to subscribe to our Guitar Gathering YouTube Channel HERE Learn all you can - Steve
  11. Hey Gang, Here is the official schedule/itinerary for the Guitar Gathering 2019 A few things might shift around as we get closer but here it is! Guitar Gathering 2019 Itinerary 5-27.pdf If you have any questions about anything, email us at Service@MightyOakMusic.com Looking forward to a great time! - Steve
  12. Neil, Yes, Joe is an amazing example of determination, passion, risk-taking and hard work. We've talked many times, on camera and off, about his amazing journey. Let me sum it up. He wanted to play guitar and decided nothing would stop his determination to make it his career. He's had tons of setbacks. None that he decided to agree with and make an excuse for not moving forward. He wasn't afraid to give up "everything" to pursue his goals. "Everything" also included his personal comfort - which is something that most stop short of when they say they are willing to do everything it takes. Yes, he gets up and practices at 4am in the morning. But I've also watched him play big events and small events with the same amount of determination. It's clear that the motivation is not the size of the event but whether he can personally do his best. He's extraordinary and we all could use a good dose of Joe's determination in our own development. - Steve
  13. Looking forward to an amazing live lesson with Australia's Got Talent winner and Fingerstyle wizard Joe Robinson! If you have any questions for Joe for tomorrow night, let me know! - Steve
  14. Hey gang, I recently had a question about playing guitar on hymns from a hymnbook. It's something I have to do quite a bit. Here's the deal... Hymns are surprisingly tricky for a guitar player. Most hymns are written by keyboard players for keyboard players so they are commonly written on a piano staff with treble and bass clef. For a guitar player, trying to keep up with reading two different clefs, all of those notes and no chord changes can make even a pro sweat a bit. Add a choir and a piano player an no rehearsal and you have the makings of a Sunday morning heart attack! When in Doubt - Just Play the Melody As a guitar player, here are your options, you can read and play the single-note melody (usually the top line) pretty easily. I can usually do this with one time through rehearsing - especially if I'm already familiar with the song. If You Have Time - Grab a Pencil, Figure Out the Chords and Strum Along If I want to try to play chords and strum, things can get a bit trickier. To try to analyze the chords takes a bit more time - generally more than I can read at sight. So, I'll take 5 minutes and go through the song, analyze the chords and jot down the chords above the melody line. If you can, take a minute and try to figure out the chords. Look at the bass line - often that will outline what the chords are doing. Then try to analyze the chord tones above the bass to assimilate them into a familiar chord that works in the key. (Don't get too perplexed if the melody note doesn't match the underlying chord tones exactly. Melodies don't have to follow the chord tones exactly.) Think of it as a puzzle! Usually the chord has 4 notes - i.e. four part harmony. Here are the clues... Example 1: Bass note is G. Notes above it are D, and B, and melody note is a G. This is pretty easy. This would be a G major chord... G. Example 2: Bass note is a C. Notes above it are F, and A, and melody note is an A. This is an F chord with a C in the bass... F/C. If you want to play the C in the bass then great, other wise just play a standard F chord and it will work. Example 3: The key of the song is A. Bass note is a D#. Notes above it are F#, and B, and melody note is an A. (First let's determine what the chord is and then we'll figure out why it's there.) Your chord tones are D#-F#-B-A. In this order they don't make a lot of sense. But if I switch them into a different order - B-D#-F#-A, they turn into a B7. But the D# is in the bass so it would be a B7/D#. Now, why do you think a B7/D# would be in a song in A? The answer?... I would bet that it is functioning as a secondary dominant ( a V of V) and that the next chord is some sort of an E chord (the V chord in A). Yep, hymns are tricky. Simplify the Chord Changes Another way hymns are tricky is that they are often written with constant chord movement, so if I strictly write out the chords I'll end up with chords changing every beat. (Keyboard players like their movement!) But often, with a bit of thought, all of this movement can be greatly simplified to where they can be played on guitar much easier. Example: The analyzed chords may be... || G - G - Am - G/B | C - C/E - C/G - C || But don't worry about all of this bass line movement - especially if it is just between chord tones. This progression can be simplified to just a measure of G and a measure of C. Just Do the Best You Can and Smile Here's my general rule. If I have time to write it out then I'll do that. If I don't, and I don't know the song, then I'll just play the single-note upper line melody. If I do know the song, then I'll glance at the bass line and strum the chords that make sense to my ear go along with the song. Occasionally I'll miss a few but generally I'll be pretty close. Hope this helps.
  15. Tuesday May 21st, 2019 Topic: Fingerstyle Guitar with Joe Robinson! “ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE A YOUNG GUITARIST CAPTURES THE ATTENTION OF MUSIC LOVERS EARLY IN HIS CAREER AND MANAGES TO SUSTAIN THIS INTEREST AS HE MATURES CREATIVELY AND SHEDS THE ‘PRODIGY’ LABEL. JOE ROBINSON IS ONE OF THOSE RARE TALENTS.” - Premier Guitar Joe Robinson https://www.joerobinson.com/ is a self-taught Australian guitarist who has toured the world as a solo guitarist. He won Australia's Got Talent. (WATCH HERE) and launched his career when he was 16. He moved to Nashville and now tours the world playing solo guitar concerts. He's a relatively new friend to our Guitar Gathering family and has just released a new project. Here are a few videos.... Watch it live at 7pm Central tonight HERE Great music, giveaways and more. See you there! Make sure to subscribe to our Guitar Gathering YouTube Channel HERE Learn all you can - Steve

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