Acoustic Tuesday Show with Tony Polecastro

By Tony Polecastro

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A weekly show where Tony Polecastro gives you his list of 5 acoustic guitar geek finds that will help your guitar playing or turn you on to new guitar gear or music.

Episode Date
130 - Why Barre Chords Are Worth the Pain
Feb 18, 2020
129 - Learn THIS Scale (know them all)
Feb 11, 2020
128 - How to Find Any Note On Guitar (2 Tricks)
Feb 04, 2020
127 - 5 EASY & Classic Blues Guitar Riffs
Jan 28, 2020
126 - 5 Female Blues Guitarists You Need To Know
Jan 21, 2020
125 - 3 Ways the Blues Transforms Your Playing
Jan 14, 2020
124 - Acoustic Blues 101: Festivals, Art, and History
Jan 07, 2020
123 - New Year's Resolutions to Get Better at Guitar
Dec 31, 2019
122 - 10 BEST Holiday Songs for Guitar

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Featured in this episode...

  • Top 10 Holiday songs from acoustic guitarists
  • brief return to the Gibson J-45 Episode


Dec 24, 2019
121 - 5 Best Blues Guitars [reviews and more!]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • 3 Things to Look for in a Blues Guitar
  • Featured Artist: Piedmont Bluz
  • The Stella Guitar Book & Vintage Blues Guitars website

  • 5 Best Modern Blues Guitars you NEED to check out
Dec 17, 2019
120 - Why the Gibson J-45 Changed the World

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Featured in This Episode...

  • 5 Reasons to own a Gibson J-45
  • Featured Artist: Russ Barenberg

  • Documentary Sneak Peek: "American Workhorse: A Documentary Film on the J-45."

  • 5 Alternatives to the Gibson J-45 you NEED to check out
Dec 10, 2019
119 - Tommy Emmanuel Guitar for Sale
Dec 03, 2019
118 - Who is The White Buffalo??

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Guitar Gratitude (looking back at your guitar journey's roots)

  • Featured Artist: The White Buffalo

  • Top 4 Music Movies For After Thanksgiving Dinner 

  • Heartbreaker Guitars Reports From The Front Lines
Nov 26, 2019
117 - Can You Still Rock? Uh... YES!

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Can you still rock? Acoustic Life Story: Kathy

  • Featured Artist: Jon Gomm

  • Axe Heaven Mini Guitars

  • American Songwriter Magazine Review
Nov 19, 2019
116 - Do THIS After Every Guitar Practice [3rd Pillar Of Purposeful Practice]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • The 3rd Pillar of Practice

  • Featured Artist: Joseph

  • Quarter VS Half Sawn

  • Ask The Artist with Adrian Bellue
Nov 12, 2019
115 - Level Up Your Guitar Practice! [2nd Pillar of Purposeful Practice]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • The 2nd Pillar of Practice

  • Featured Artist: Kacy & Clayton

  • A Visit to Luthiery School

  • An Acoustic Life Story
Nov 05, 2019
114 - The Pillars Of Purposeful Guitar Practice [1st Pillar]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • The Pillar of Practice

  • Featured Artist: Nathaniel Murphy

  • Ask the Artist: Yasmin Williams

  • An Acoustic Life Story
Oct 29, 2019
113 - Boucher Heritage Goose 12 Fret Review

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Boucher HG-56 Review

  • Featured Artist: David Grier

  • Matt and Tony talk Kevin Kopp Guitars

  • John Lowell is back with an Ask The Artist
Oct 22, 2019
112 - A Wazinator Stompbox Battle!

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Wazinator Stompbox Comparison

  • Featured Artist: Doctor Turtle

  • Tony plays a tune

  • An Acoustic Life Story
Oct 15, 2019
111 - Meet An Acoustic Guitar AND Wood Geek! [Boucher Guitars Review]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Boucher Guitars Studio Goose Review

  • Featured Artist: Red Molly

  • What's the deal with Flight Cases???
Oct 08, 2019
110 - Musicwood: A MUST See For Every Acoustic Guitar Geek

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Musicwood Documentary

  • Featured Artist: Cary Morin

  • Heartbreaker Guitar of the Month

  • Original Song From Tony P.
Oct 01, 2019
109 - Does Orangewood Guitars Pass The Test??? [SAGE Model Review]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Orangewood Guitars Sage Review

  • Featured Artist: Maneli Jamal

  • NV Tone is Back, Better Than Ever!
Sep 24, 2019
108 - Are Vinyl Records Making A Comeback? (Jack White thinks so...)

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Third Man Records w/Jack White

  • Featured Artist: John Lowell (A Bozeman, Montana Local)

  • Music Millenium Records (Portland)
Sep 17, 2019
107 - Reboot Your Acoustic Guitar Practice! [Here's How]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Reboot your guitar practice with MTC: Minimum Time Commitment

  • Featured Artist: Willie Watson

  • A Song For You Documentary Review
Sep 10, 2019
106 - Top 10 Delta Blues Fingerstyle Guitarists (19th Century!)

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Top 10 Blues Guitarists Born Before 1900

  • A NEW Mule Resonator

  • Andrew White Guitar Giveaway
Sep 03, 2019
105 - The BIGGEST Acoustic Guitar Fundraiser EVER! (For Vets)

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Guitars 4 Vets Fundraiser (100k By November)

  • Featured Artist: Leo Rondeau

  • Ask Matt: Matt C. from Eddie's plays a tune
Aug 27, 2019
104 - Emerald's NEW Jumbo Guitar [Size DOES Matter!]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Emerald Guitars X30 Review

  • Featured Artist: Yasmin William

  • Ask Matt: Humidity
Aug 20, 2019
103 - Beard Guitars NEW Sidecar Acoustic!

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Beard Deco Phonic Sidecar Acoustic Review

  • Featured Artist: Keb Mo

  • Heartbreaker Guitar of the Month
Aug 13, 2019
102 - Make Progress Playing Guitar [Here Is The SECRET!]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Fun Fuels Progress

  • Featured Artist: Adrian Bellue

  • Win a FURCH Guitar!
Aug 06, 2019
101 - Save Your Guitar AND Your Wallet [With THIS Piece Of Gear]

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Acousti-Lok Review

  • Featured Artist: John Renbourn

  • Matt from Eddie's Guitars talks Vintage VS New
Jul 30, 2019
100 - Top 10 Torch-Bearing Bluegrass Flatpickers

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Top 10 Torchbearing Flatpickers

  • Fishman Tone DEQ Review

  • Guitarsenal Extravaganza
Jul 23, 2019
099 - 3 Alternate Tuning Tips For Guitar

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Featured in This Episode...

  • 3 Tips To Decode Alternate Tuning

  • Featured Artist: Roy Bookbinder

  • Taylor Guitars Grand Pacific Series Review
Jul 16, 2019
098 - 3 Signs You NEED To Change Your Guitar Strings

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Featured in This Episode...

  • 3 Signs You Need To Change Your Strings

  • Featured Artist: Mandolin Orange

  • Heartbreaker Guitar of the Month
Jul 09, 2019
097 - Acoustic Guitar Summer Safety

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Featured in This Episode...

  • 5 Tips to get your guitar safely through the Summer Season

  • Featured Artist: Alexa Rose

  • Meet a Guitar Geek whose father inspired her
Jul 02, 2019
096 - An Acoustic Guitar Tone Secret

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Featured in This Episode...

  • Why bracing is a big player in acoustic guitar tone

  • Featured Artist: Joy Williams

  • NEW Segment from Heart Breaker Guitars
Jun 25, 2019
095 - How To Chicken Pick On Acoustic Guitar (Mind Blowingly EASY)

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Featured in This Episode...

  • How to hybrid pick on acoustic guitar

  • Featured Artist: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

  • Fishman's NEW LoudBox Mini
Jun 18, 2019
094 - Record Yourself Playing Guitar TODAY (No more Excuses!)

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Featured in This Episode...

  • 3 Tips To Recording At Home

  • Featured Artist: Catfish Keith

  • LR Baggs Chorus and Delay Pedal Review
Jun 11, 2019
093 - 5 Tips For An Open-Mic Success

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Featured in This Episode...

#3 5 Tips To Prep For Your First Open Mic

#2 Featured Artist: Days Of The New (Travis Meeks)

#1 Devil At The Crossroads Netflix Documentary

Jun 04, 2019
092 - The BEST Fishman Acoustic Guitar Pickup

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Fishman's Blackstack Pickup Review

#3 Featured Artist: David Qualey

#2 Fylde Guitars

#1 ToneTalk

May 28, 2019
091 - NEW Acoustic Guitar Line From Beard Guitars

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Beard Decophonic Acoustic Line

#3 Featured Artist: Simon Flory

#2 Bryan Kimsy, Acoustic Guitar Hot-Rodder

#1 5 Tips To End Guitar Store Anxiety

May 21, 2019
090 - Andrew White Guitars And A Musical Murder Mystery

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Andrew White Guitars

#3 Disgraceland Podcast

#2 Featured Artist: Shaun Hopper

#1 Clay Parker and Jodi James: Ask The Artist

May 14, 2019
089 - A MUST Hear Blues Renaissance Man

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Loops Ear Plug Review

#3 This week's Featured Artist is Guy Davis

#2 Ask The Artist with Michael Watts

#1 Tone Talk #3

May 07, 2019
088 - Tony Plays A Furch Guitar And Teaches An Important Lesson

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Furch Guitar Review

#3 This week's Featured Artist is Will McNicol

#2 What to do when you feel behind

#1 The Personal Guitar Workshop

Apr 30, 2019
087 - An Acoustic Life Rite Of Passage

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Rite Of Passage

#3 New Era Guitars

#2This week's Featured Artist is Erik Mongrain

#1 How To Grow A Band Documentary

Apr 23, 2019
SE01 - Remembering Preston Thompson

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Featured in This Episode...

Remembering Preston Thompson

Apr 18, 2019
086 - Your Acoustic Guitar String Gauge Guide

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 String Guage Selection Guide

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

#2 A Hockey, Bourbon, Guitar Collision

#1 Jason Momoa and Colter Wall


Apr 16, 2019
085 - The #1 Mistake You NEED To Make On Guitar!

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 The #1 One Mistake You Need To Make

There is 1 mistake you can make on your guitar that will immediately change your perspective on every future mistake you make. Wanna know what it is...? Then check out today's episode of Acoustic Tuesday. I'll give you the key to ruling all of your mistakes.

#3 B&G Caletta Guitar

B&G are mostly known for their electric guitars, so you can imagine my surprised delight in not only hearing of their NEW acoustic line, but impressed at what I have seen and heard so far.

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

I became aware of this duo when they opened for I'm With Her in Stanford, CA on 10/10/18. I love their personalities, their story (twins from Illinois whose last name isn't actually Brother - haha, it's Moss), and of course their touching music. They masterfully play a variety of instruments (guitar, violin, mandolin, cello), and their harmonies are dead on. But what's really striking is the sentimentality of their songs and their performances, somewhat reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel. The link that I featured is a half-hour radio interview with the duo, but they play full songs in the interview. Give it a listen and I hope you enjoy.

#1 Lowden Strings

I'm a geek for strings AND I just happen to be on the lookout for a Lowden Guitar... so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give Lowden's NEW strings a try. I put them on my Martin OM Custom and am very very pleased with the tone I am getting. You can see and hear them for yourself...

Apr 09, 2019
084 - An Irish Trad Guitar Master

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#4 What's On the Turntable This Week?

John Doyle was the first guitarist that inspired and informed my own playing. He is a master of traditional Irish music and alternate tunings on the guitar. Although based in Irish trad, he has toured with Tim O'Brien, Joan Baez, and many others in the American folk music tradition.


#3 Holy Grail Guitars w/ Matt Chulka

Matt is back! But this time, instead of #askmatt it's what guitar Matt thinks you should know about... Today, Matt introduces a beautifully made guitar by Kevin Ryan with Ryan Guitars. You don't want to miss it!

#2 Dehradun Guitars

J David Murray moved to the foothills of the Himalayas to open his guitar custom workshop. As if setting up shop in the Himalayas wasn't awesome enough, he found and trained 6 budding luthiers that hand-make every single guitar to the specs of the purchaser.

#1 ToneTalk No.2

Back by popular demand, ToneTalk is here again for round two! Noah gathers your questions about anything and everything and Tony answers away in one-minute or less.

Apr 02, 2019
083 - Clean Up Your Guitar Chords

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Featured in This Episode...

#4 Clean Up Your Guitar Chords

When you're playing a guitar chord it either sounds good or... not so good. You may find it surprising that getting your chords to sound nice and clear may only take the slightest adjustment. So, in this lesson, I'll share with you a way to make your chords leaner, meaner, and cleaner.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Mile 12. A great blend of both old and new bluegrass, Acoustic Tuesday viewer and Tony's Acoustic Challenge member Shawn G. says this group is so fresh and contains just a bunch of virtuosity.


#2 Martin's Newly Designed SP Strings

Here we are for Round 2 of my dive into Martin's newly designed lineup of strings. I put these bad boys on my Thompson, and although I can't really say I notice a difference between the old and the new strings, there is a little bit of a magical presence that makes me enjoy what I'm hearing. What do you think?

#1 Bluegrass Journey: A Documentary

This documentary is a bit dated, but... the deep tie and appreciation of the music and culture of bluegrass are timeless. It runs deep and is a treat to see and especially experience.

Mar 26, 2019
082 - Play THIS Blues Riff!

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#4 Play Blues In Any Key

Learning the Blues is where many guitar geeks start because it's fun, recognizable and rewarding. So, in this lesson, I'm gonna show you one blues lick that is incredibly useful because after you learn it, you will be able to play the 12 Bar Blues in ANY Key.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Cory Chisel. From Wisconsin, Cory's voice is immediately recognizable and pours his heart and soul in both his solo music, as well as his group projects. Both are worth a listen. 

#2 GHS Vintage Bronze String Review

I love trying new guitar strings. And what's more... I love getting to share with you my findings on each and every one of them :) These GHS Vintage Bronze Strings

#1 Eric Skye 3x3

Featured in Acoustic Tuesday #74, Eric Skye is a true guitar geek. We asked Eric three guitar geeky questions and he more than delivered. He reveals the piece of gear that changed his guitar playing forever.

Mar 19, 2019
081 - Are Martin's Authentic Acoustic Guitar Strings Better???

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#4 Martin's Authentic Acoustic Marquis Guitar Strings

I was excited to hear about Martin's newly revamped Marquis Guitar String selection, so... I ordered them. Revamped, repackaged, and improved is what the word on the street is. So, in today's episode of Acoustic Tuesday, I'll share with you my findings.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week I'm listening to Michael Watts. Recommended by Eddie's own Matt Chulka, he says Michael is not only an articulate gentleman of the highest caliber but also a ridiculous player. I concur. You will not be disappointed.

#2 Gorgomyte Cloth

I recently featured the GHS Fingerboard Care Kit. A great tool for that once a year deep clean. This product is for more regular use of polishing your frets and fretboard. Not a super deep clean, but a great touch up cleaning whenever you feel your guitar needs it.

#1 5 Inexpensive Tonal Experiments

Playing the guitar is all about having fun. And whether you feel like you're in a rut or not, these fun and simple tone experiments will help get your creativity pumping. Plus, if you happen to feel that your acoustic guitar is limited in what kinds of tone you can get from it, these tips will show you what different tones your acoustic guitar is capable of producing. You might be surprised...

Mar 12, 2019
080 - Consider THIS Internal Acoustic Mic Pickup

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#4 NV Tone Pickup

Do you use an internal mic for your acoustic guitar pickup system? I'm normally not a fan of internal mic's. It can be difficult to represent the true tone of the guitar, not to mention potentially picking up body noise and even some external noise. But when NV Tone reached out and asked if I would like to try their internal mic system, I said: "Why not?" Watch the show to see the results.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Acoustic Tuesday Viewer and Tony's Acoustic Challenge Member, Maggie Pope. And not just Maggie, but her band Under The Oak. Maggie is living her BEST Acoustic Life. Managing a large family and still making the acoustic guitar a major part of her life. I think you'll like what you hear...

#2 Red Tail Ring 3x3

Red Tail Ring was the featured artist back on Acoustic Tuesday episode #72 and they are back! Gracious to contribute to one of our new segments "3x3", Both Michael and Laurel answer three guitar geeky questions for you. You might be surprised at the end.

#1 Tone Talk w/Tony & Noah

NEW Acoustic Tuesday segment! We take viewer questions and answer them live here on Acoustic Tuesday! Everything from what guitar you are thinking about buying to what bourbon is Tony's favorite.

Mar 05, 2019
079 - A MUST Have Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit

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#4 Fix Your Acoustic Guitar Buzz

If you're a guitar geek like me you look forward to that moment in the day when you can kick back and have some fun playing your acoustic guitar. But nothing can spoil that fun like a buzz emanating from it. So in today's video lesson, I'm going to help you identify where that buzz is coming from.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Nathan Salsburg. Nathan comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Andrew D. from Richland WA, who is on a HOT streak. This is his third time recommending an artist that has totally knocked my socks off! Andrew says, "Reminds me of a modern day John Fahey without the internal demons."

#2 Cruztools Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit Review

This is something that every guitar player MUST have. It just came out, and is the Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit made by Cruztools. If you're anything like me when you go to change your strings, you start by asking your significant other where the wire clippers are located. You then follow with where is my string winder? And where are my extra strings? Every time. Enter Cruztools, life changed.

#1 David Bromberg Unsung Treasure Documentary Review

If you consider yourself a guitar geek, if you like guitar in general, if you like personal stories you need to add this to your watch list. David Bromberg Unsung Treasure is one to watch. He was a musical enigma. It's a fascinating story, a documentary everyone should see. I learned a lot about him in this film and really enjoyed it.


Feb 26, 2019
078 - Your Guitar Fingerboard Care Kit

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#4 5 Reasons A Metronome Can Be Fun!

I don't want you to freak out about this learning and playing tip. Don't turn the show-off and run away. I want to show you how you can have fun with a metronome. I'll share with you five reasons why it can be fun, and in the learning tip link, you'll learn three steps in using a metronome to make it fun!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a duo, Robert Bowlin and Wil Maring. This duo comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Jon B. of Makanda, IL. Jon says, "Robert and Wil are local artists, and though their websites kind of fade away after 2009, they are still in Southern IL and still playing together. I am fortunate to see them at a friends 4th of July party every year where they play for a dozen or so people. In 1978 Robert took second place in Winfield at the National Flat Pick Championship in the flat pick division and in 79 he won the fingerpick title at Winfield......Oh, and Robert's guitarsenal will make you drool. Last 4th of July he brought his 1935 D28 Herringbone."

#2 GHS Fingerboard Care Kit Review

I put this through its paces, so I could share my experience with it. It was super easy to use. This tiny care kit is so convenient and it very guitar and travel-friendly. I used it on a dobro that I had, I hadn't cleaned it in three years or so. Check out the video to see the dramatic impact this care kit had on my fretboard! I am tickled with this product, I think it's a fantastic kit.

#1 Daddario Humitrak System Review

The humiditrak is a small blue tooth unit that sits in your guitar case (with clip or velcro) and it gauges your temperature and humidity, and communicates to an app on your phone! You can set it up to send alerts to your phone if your guitar is in any sort of danger. I am floored. It has made me realize that I should get one of these for all of my guitars.

Feb 19, 2019
077 - Modern Day Troubadours

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#5 Top 10 Valentine's Day Guitar Geek Gifts

In this episode (starting at minute 25:43) we provide you with a little special Valentine's Day report. Check out our top 10 guitar geek-centric Valentine's Day gifts!

#4 Three Reasons Why Drop D Tuning Is Awesome

Drop D tuning was one the first tunings I was exposed to, and I didn't know what the hell it meant. I finally figured it out and was really happy I did because it unlocked a whole different world of creativity. In this episode, I show you some tips and tricks to open up your knowledge of drop D tuning.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Conny Berghall. Conny comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Rikus V. of Johannesburg South Africa. Rikus says, "He is the most amazing guitar player I have ever seen just watch and listen." Rikus was totally right. This guy is unbelievable. Conny has carved out his own path in terms of percussion and the melodies that he puts together.

#2 AER Amplifiers Review

Let me tell you about a tiny, yet powerful acoustic guitar amplifier. These amps have a very woody, transparent tone. They are made by AER in Germany and built like total tanks. I have also learned that Tommy Emmanuel has an artist edition!

#1 Find Your Way: A Busker's Documentary Review

This documentary is about 5 separate buskers (street musicians) in Seattle. Good news, this documentary weaves together 5 different stories throughout the entire movie. I am delighted with it, I found it extremely inspirational and thought-provoking. The theme that had the biggest impact on me is that it seemed to toy with the idea of various people trying to define success, which is so fascinating.

Feb 12, 2019
076 - Combining Bass And Melody On Acoustic Guitar

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#4 Combining Bass And Melody On Acoustic Guitar

I want to share with you how to combine bass lines and melody lines to create a composed piece of music. I will show you a simple and effective method to do this, and it's not a complicated approach - you don't even have to know what you're doing.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a duo, Jake and Rebekah Workman. This duo comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Andrew D. of Richland, WA. Andrew says, "Both of their skills are SICK." - he need not say anything further, because that pretty much sums it up. I have seen Jake play in person, and he is a phenomenal player. The two of them together are incredible.

#2 G7th Performance 3 Capo Review

After using this capo for about two months, I am way impressed with it! I think this is a Swiss army knife of capos. This capo creates a buzz-free playing experience. They have done a wonderful job in designing it. I think this is a great one size fits all capo!

#1 PureWave Massager Review

The PureWave Massager has relieved so much tension for me. I have used it on my forearms and hands, it has helped me out a ton. It increases blood flow to my forearms so they don't feel as tight and sore as they would without using it. This massager makes me feel nimble and loose.

Feb 05, 2019
075 - Practicing VS Rehearsing On Acoustic Guitar

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#4 Practicing VS Rehearsing On Acoustic Guitar

In this episode I talk about the expectations we set for ourselves. Part of having fun as a guitar player is managing your expectations. I will cover the differences between learning, practicing and rehearsing. Set your intentions for these, and be happier with the outcomes!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is a local MT band who I have been wanting to feature for quite some time. I have been listening to them since their start. They are a great group of guys, wonderful musicians. They started around 2009 and are going strong, making incredible music. What I love about this band is that their arrangements are intricate. They are amazing to listen to, kind of like if the Beatles were in a bluegrass band.

#2 LR Baggs Lyric Pickup Review

This pickup system produces beautiful tone. What I love about this system is that it uses this true mic technology, which allows you to play it aggressively without giving you an odd tone. It sounds so pure and is super feedback resistant. You're going to want to listen to the tone it produces!

#1 LJ Williams Guitar Review

Sometimes we find ourselves going down an online rabbit hole of pictures of guitars. Well, last weekend I found myself venturing down what turned out to be a very fruitful rabbit hole. The picture that caught my eye was a striking tonewood! It looked 3D, holographic-like. I was stunned. It lead me to a new luthier that I had not heard of....check it out.

Jan 29, 2019
074 - Play Acoustic Guitar In DADGAD Tuning

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#4 Play Acoustic Guitar In DADGAD Tuning

 Maybe you've wanted to look into DADGAD tuning but felt it was this elusive thing, or maybe you've never heard of it at all! Well, this lesson will help you not only get started but also playing in this tuning today!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Eric Skye, who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Trent S. from La Crete, Alberta, Canada. Trent says, "What I love? Everything. I love his fingerpicking, and I especially love his Flatpicking. His album June Apple is absolutely fantastic, and it's not lighting fast so it's awesome to sit down and play along with. I just recently did a lesson with him, he's super kind and explains things so well. And he's got 50 fiddle tunes up on his website in standard notation for the true music geek!"

#2 Eric Bibb Shares His Favorite Guitar

I want you to think back (AT Episode 66), where we featured an artist named Eric Bibb. Eric is a fantastic blues player and a torchbearer of the folk tradition. He had just released an album called Global Griot. We heard from Eric right after our feature so we, of course, hit him up for his responses to three burning questions we had for him. Check out his video response!

#1 Harlem Street Singer Review

This movie is something I think everyone should watch. This is the story of Reverend Gary Davis, from when he grew up in the deep south. He was an integral part of the 1960s folk scene. You'll agree it's a must watch documentary.

Jan 22, 2019
073 - Spice Up Your Strumming On Acoustic Guitar

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#4 Five FUN Strumming Patterns For Acoustic Guitar

Do you strum the same few patterns for almost every song you play? Well, you won't anymore. Whether you need more strumming patterns in your repertoire or are interested in learning some new ones, this video lesson will do the trick!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist came recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Caleb H.  I know Doyle Dykes as a fingerpicker, but he is a musical chameleon. He is an amazing musical arranger, composer, and player. Doyle's one of those players that you need to know about if you're an acoustic guitar player.

#2 Faith Guitars Review

I love fine guitars, it's pretty clear. BUT I do know there is an array of guitars out there, in all price ranges and categories. Each guitar has it's good qualities. Just because a guitar is inexpensive doesn't mean it's not a good guitar. Faith Guitars does a great job in balancing the price of their guitars and a really good sounding guitar. These guitars are made in the UK and come at a really fantastic price.

#1 American Epic Review

American Epic is a musical TV series that I just recently started to get into. This show really traces the roots of American music. The series is fascinating, from the footage that they dug up, to the songs featured, to the interviews....this show is multifaceted.

Jan 15, 2019
072 - The Guitar Exercise To Rule Them All

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#4 The Best Guitar Exercise

Does it sometimes feel like your pick hand is out of sync and your fretting hand's accuracy is all out of whack? In this lesson, I'm going to teach you an exercise that will introduce speed accuracy independence and control to both your fretting and picking hand.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a folk duo called Red Tail Ring. This recommendation came to us from a YouTube commenter, and as soon as I pulled the name and got the tunes I immediately fell into a black hole of listening. The harmonies are very tight and the instrumentation is extremely diverse. They are wizards of the stringed instruments. Check out their synergy!

#2 Journey Guitars Road Trip Series

The Journey Guitars Road Trip Series are smaller, fixed neck travel guitars. They aren't collapsable, but they are very travel-friendly. These travel guitars are extremely convenient and comfortable to play. I tried one and I think it sounds AWESOME.

#1 Bernunzio Uptown Music Store

I want to tell you about a music store that I think is a hidden gem. The store is located in Rochester NY and is owned by John Bernunzio. They not only have banjos, but they also have an incredible array of vintage instruments. I encourage you to check out their shop, it needs to be in your list of stores to check out frequently.

Jan 08, 2019
071 - Best Acoustic Guitar Year EVER!

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#4 The Importance of Reflection and Intention

Grab a cup of coffee and a pen and paper. Reflection and Intention are the lynchpins to experiencing progress on the guitar. Being grateful for the experience you've had thus far (#smallwins) and then setting intentions moving forward is crucial in creating positive momentum in your guitar journey.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a duo, recommended to us by Glenn W. Everyone needs to stop what they're doing right now and listen to Clay Parker and Jodi James. I have been listening to them all week. I am completely enthralled by their harmonies, sound and dynamic as a duo. They are a musical treasure that needs to be listened to by all guitar geeks.

#2 Wrist Grips Review

These wrist grips almost give you an added strength. They offered an incredible amount of stability to both my picking and fretting hand. I can't explain it but I felt like I fatigued less and had more stamina. They just made me feel more stable. I think you'll notice a difference in using these wrist grips.

#1 Revival:  The Sam Bush Story

If you love bluegrass music, artists that define entire genres, if you love icon artists this documentary is for you. It's called Revival:  The Sam Bush Story. Talk about one of the most inspirational players - this documentary is on my list for tonight's viewing.

Jan 01, 2019
070 - Chord Changes Made Easy With THIS Trick

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#4 Three Steps To Play Bass Walks

Does the mere thought of transitioning from chord to chord stop you dead in your tracks when you want to play a song? In this video lesson I share with you a way to make your chord changes not only easier... but more interesting and fun by adding bass walks. And if you watch to the end, you'll get the Master Formula to create ANY bass walk you want.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Gwenifer Raymond who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Mark Clark H. from Ardre, Gotland. Mark says, "She's a young up and coming Welsh fingerstyle guitarist who's influenced by Fahey and other American Primitives, as well as old country blues. She also has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and designs video games in her day job--so pretty interesting bio. Her first LP just came out this year and it rocks deeply, or maybe picks deeply rather?"

#2 Tonewood Amp Review

The Tonewood Amp has been recommended to me many times. The folks at Tonewood were kind enough to send me a demo model. This unit is completely unassuming.  Installation was super easy, and it did not mark the finish on my guitar. I was intimidated to install it but am surprised at how easy and seamless it went. Once installed, it was extremely user-friendly. I see this as a very useful, creative tool.

#1 The GIG At Belmont Review

There's a lot of talk about planning in the new year. What vacations to take, guitars to buy, guitars to play.....well I found a place in Nashville that combines all of this! The GIG (Gallery of Iconic Guitars) actually features nearly 500 truly iconic guitars. 

Dec 25, 2018
069 - How To Fingerpick On Guitar

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#4 Four Steps to Fingerpicking Freedom

When starting out on your guitar journey, fingerpicking seems so cool, but also so difficult. And like me, maybe you thought, "I wanna learn that... but when I'm good enough." Well, I want to tell you that you that you are good enough, right now. Whether you're a beginner or have been playing guitar for a while, you can fingerpick as long as you know the four basic steps that I cover in this video.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Emily Barnes, who came recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Pam B. of Nazareth PA. As soon as I received Pam's recommendation I took it seriously. She lives in the same town where Martin Guitars is based, so clearly, she's a guitar geek who knows what she's talking about.  This recommendation totally blew my socks off. Emily is very much under the radar, but she shouldn't be. She's an outstanding singer/songwriter, her playing is fantastic and her lyrical content is so moving. You won't be disappointed.

#2 Journey Instruments Travel Guitar Review

As a guitar geek, we want to travel and we want to bring a guitar. But traveling with a guitar can sometimes be anxiety-inducing. I've tried quite a few of the travel guitars, but they all have that shape that causes red flags with the TSA. It's a hassle, and you're always worried about the guitar. Journey Instruments has the solution to your worries.

#1 Auld Supercut

Noah has been at a very special project for quite some time. One year ago, we had the Tony's Acoustic Challenge members participate in a song challenge. Over the course of two weeks, they learned an entire song, measure by measure. They had another two weeks to practice the song and then submit a video of themselves playing the song. We received over 60 video submissions of this song! We have made a supercut of the song Auld Lang Syne. It's a treat to watch. Sit back and enjoy!

Dec 18, 2018
068 - There's More Than One G Chord???

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#4 What G Chord Is Correct?
Ever see someone play a chord you thought you knew, but you notice their fingering looks different or it's a completely new shape you're not familiar with? That's because there are multiple ways of playing the same chord. And not only that...some ways of playing a chord are actually better depending on what style or sound you are going for. Watch this video on three ways to play the G Chord and why you might do so.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?
This week's featured acoustic artist is Cahalen Morrison & Eli West who come recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Zorn J. from El Paso TX. Zorn says, "The playing, the harmonizing, the unique vocals of Cahalen...I'm not eloquent enough to do these guys justice. These are the gentlemen that opened up the vast world of this genre & roots music."

#2 LR Baggs Align Series Pedals Review
LR Baggs sent us the full meal deal set of pedal boards to review and I'm so glad they did! We have the Session, Equalizer, Reverb and Active DI. In this segment, I show you each of these up close and go into detail on what I think about them. Each of these pedals individually is extremely useful. BUT I think when you actually chain them together as a series that's when their full potential is realized.

See this Product Review

#1 Preston Thompson Newsletter
I found a great way for all of you acoustic guitar geeks to stay in the loop with one of the leading acoustic guitar makers in the United States. Clearly, you know by now I love Thompson Guitars. I love this newsletter too, you should sign up for it.


Dec 11, 2018
067 - How To Strum Without A Guitar Pick

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#4 Three Strumming Patterns Without A Guitar Pick

If you hate using guitar picks then this quick lesson is for you. Some guitar geeks just don't like guitar picks and that's ok, but what do you do when you want to strum along to a song? You certainly don't want to sit the tune out, so in this short video, I am going to share with you 3 ways you can strum along to a song without a guitar pick.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is The Devil Makes Three who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Tony F. of Kansas City, MO. Tony says, "I love that they uphold bluegrass and Americana traditions, but add modern lyrical themes. They also have astounding energy live."

#2 Native Sons Straps Review

Native Sons Straps offers a whole plethora of design options, you're sure to find one that fits your style. In this segment I hit on quite a few options that they offer, I also tell you about a SPECIAL DEAL for Acoustic Tuesday viewers only.

#1 Regal Musical Instruments History Book Review

This would be a great gift for the guitar geek that may quite possibly have everything, BUT I can guarantee you they don't have this. It's an encyclopedia of Regal musical instrument knowledge. The tale of Regal Instruments is a fascinating tale. At the end of the book are ads on every Regal Guitar that was produced. The instruments shown in the ads are absolutely stunning.

Dec 04, 2018
066 - How To Play ANY Guitar Lick

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#4 Three Steps to Hack EVERY Guitar Lick

A necessity on every guitar geeks journey is learning guitar licks. But a big problem that a ton of players face is that a guitar lick stays just that... a lick... that is never actually used when jamming to a tune or playing with your friends. So in this video, I teach you the MOST popular bluegrass lick AND how to incorporate ANY lick into your guitar playing!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Eric Bibb who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Cedric Perrier of London, England. Cedric describes Eric as "Quite simply one of the most prolific acoustic singer/songwriter bluesmen in the world today. Last year his album ‘Migration Blues’ was nominated for a Grammy alongside The Rolling Stones’ “Lonesome & Blue” album in the blues category."

#2 Wazinator Stompbox Review

I want to introduce you to a stompbox called the Wazinator. These stompboxes are made in Australia and they are AWESOME! I have tried out quite a few stomp boxes and I haven't (up until now) found one that floats my boat. They all seem to make a clicking sound when I'm using them. That is not the case with the Wazinator.

#1 Acoustic Tuesday Holiday Buyer's Guide

Let me describe a scenario to are a guitar geek. You embrace your geekiness, you love it. But it never fails, people do not know what to get you. They are intimidated by your guitar geekiness. They get overwhelmed by all the 'gear' and so they get you a sweater.  It's a nice thought, but we don't need more sweaters. I have made a GUITAR GEEK HOLIDAY GIFT LIST! You're going to want to share this with those people who may be wondering what to get you.

Nov 27, 2018
065 - Artificial Harmonics: EXPLAINED!

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#4 Artificial Harmonics Made Easy

I don't know about you, but one thing that keeps me out of a guitar rut is learning new techniques. So, in this video, I show you how simple it is to start playing artificial harmonics. Get out your guitar, because after watching this you will be playing them!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Scott Mulvahill. Scott is doing something that I always thought was completely impossible - sing and play stand up bass at the same time. To me, this feat seems impossible and I am very impressed.

#2 LR Baggs Venue DI Review

This DI left me wondering why it took me so long to try it out. It's probably one of the most versatile DIs on the market. You can really dial it into your preferences, which I love. The tuner is one of the best tuners I have seen on a DI. I think they have thought of everything with this product!

#1 Ask Matt - Sitka vs Adirondack Spruce Braces

As a guitar geek do you ever find yourself pondering the question, "What is the difference between Sitka and Adirondack spruce braces?" Acoustic Tuesday correspondent Matt Chulka from Eddie's Guitars in St. Louis, MO helps us answer this tough question.

Nov 20, 2018
064 - Play Guitar In Open-D Tuning

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#4 Play Guitar in Open-D

This lesson on open tunings really helped me to break out of an acoustic guitar rut. This will unlock a massive amount of creativity and exploration on your guitar. Learn about my initial hesitations to alternate tuning, and how I overcame those! I'll share a guide with you that includes three easy steps to breaking through any fears you may have in alternate tuning.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Christie Lenee. Christie is an incredibly talented guitar player. In 2017 she won the International Finger Style Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield KS. Christie has been recommended to me numerous times, I'm glad I finally checked her out!

#2 Picker's Grip Review

When I first started flatpicking my pick would spin constantly. I hated the feeling that I wasn't overly solid on my pick. This product would have helped me in those frustrations. Check out this segment where I discuss how Picker's Grip feels to use, and why I think it can help you in keeping control over your pick.

#1 Preston Thompson Family Go Fund Me

We are a tight knit community of acoustic guitar players. As a part of this family, we try to help out our own when we can. Preston Thompson of Thompson Guitars was recently in the hospital. He's on the road to recovery, but he and his family could definitely use some help. In this segment I give you details on how you can help Preston and his family out. We are thinking of you and sending you good vibes Thompson family!

Nov 13, 2018
063 - Resonator Guitar Crash Course

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#4 Your Quick Start Guide To Resonator Guitars

Resonator guitars are some of the most distinctive sounding stringed instruments, and they are a blast to play, but they can be intimidating. Well, be intimidated no more because I show you the ins and outs of all types of resonator guitars in this quick start guide.


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Toby Walker, who is an acoustic blues juggernaut you need to know. He's an incredible blues player and more impressive than his technical chops are his tone and feel...


#2 Beard Guitars Belle Beard Review

Right at the beginning of 2018, I was lucky enough to find this guitar and add it to my guitarsenal. I had lusted after a guitar just like this for years and finally, the stars aligned. This resonator by Paul Beard looks slick and sexy, sounds slick and sexy, and even has a very special surprise hidden within it. Check out the full review to find out what secret this resophonic beauty is keeping.


#1 Mule Resophonic Guitars Tri-Cone Review

This guitar's looks don't tell its full story. Beneath the hood of this hot rod lies a tri-cone resonator system that sounds gorgeous. From headstock to tailpiece, this Mule Resonator has loads of mojo to offer; handmade in Saginaw, Michigan by Matt Eich and his talented team this guitar carries with it a story so be sure to check out the entire review to hear about its origins and how it sounds.

Nov 06, 2018
062 - Avoid These Music Theory Mistakes

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#4 Three Music Theory Mistakes to Avoid

In this episode, I cover the 3 biggest music theory mistakes. I've learned my lesson with these mistakes, I'm want to help you learn and avoid them.

  1. You don't have to know standard notation;
  2. Not applying what you've learned in music theory;
  3. Feeling like you have to learn EVERYTHING on music theory.

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#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Tim Stafford, who is an acoustic guitar player you need to know. He's a fantastic flat picker, an all-around incredible songwriter and composer. Some of his instrumental stuff will leave you weak in the knees.


#2 Orange Acoustic Preamp

I received this acoustic preamp to check out. I gave it a try and I'm very impressed with it. It's a two channel pre, and channel A actually utilizes a tube so you are able to get this wonderful, rich, harmonic blend. Channel B has a mic input with switchable fan and power. You can effectively play your guitar plugged in and in front of a mic all in one unit!


#1 Thompson Cuban Mahogany Dreadnought Review

I featured this guitar in a past episode of Acoustic Tuesday, but I need to share it again. My Thompson Cuban Mahogany Dreadnought is mind-blowing. The string spacing, responsiveness, bark, overall volume - is amazing. It literally will make banjos run away with their tails between their legs.

Oct 30, 2018
061 - 3 REAL Reasons to Use A Capo

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#4 Three Reasons To Use The Capo

In this episode I discuss in detail when you may want to use a capo:

  1. To change keys easily;
  2. To replace barre chords;
  3. To get access to chord shapes for a specific style.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Chris Knight from Slaughters, KY. He's one of those songwriters who is able to paint such a vivid picture, with beautifully chosen words. You don't want to miss my segment featuring Chris!

#2 The Music Emporium

This is a beautiful store that stocks an amazing amount of acoustic guitars. The Music Emporium has a wonderful reputation and a great history. They have been around since 1968 and are based out of Lexington, MA. They have an unending supply of acoustic guitars that can be purchased through their website or in person.

#1 Furch Guitars Review

Are any of you confused about the difference between Furch and Stonebridge Guitars? Well look no further, I found the answer!

Oct 22, 2018
060 - The Hidden Power Of Barre Chords

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#4 The Secret of Barre Chords

Do you think that barre chords SUCK? Well listen up, because I know if you knew the hidden power of barre chords you'd place them much higher on your guitar practice priority list. In this episode I show you the secret power of barre chords. Check it out.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Sierra Ferrell who I am personally recommending to you. She's got a voice that is plucked from old time radio - it's so unique and has a wonderful vintage characteristic.

#2 Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Review

I want to share with you my review of the Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings. The strings boast two main qualities, they are break resistant and ultra durable. I tested out those qualities, check out the segment to find out what I found out.

#1 My First Guitar Book Review

This book was sent to me as a gift from one of our AT viewers, Vic G. I would encourage you all to get the book. Seventy of the most influential guitarists are interviewed about their first guitar playing experiences. My First Guitar really shows the human connection to the guitar.

Oct 16, 2018
059 - The Secret to Fretboard Memorization

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#4 Musical Alphabet and Note Memorization

Does the musical alphabet and note memorization have you stumped? Grab a pen and paper and join me as we take a dive into learning them!


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Glenn Jones, who was recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Richard L. from Kingsland, TX.


#2 Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner Guitar Review

In this episode I review the Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner. I think this guitar is a true jack of all trades. It's capable of a lot, but may fly under the radar because of what seems to be basic specs (hint - it's NOT basic!).


#1 Robert Crumb Blues Heroes Book Review

Looking for a gift for another guitar lover? I want to share with you a gift that may just fit the bill. The contents of this book by Robert Crumb were formally only available in a trading card form, now they are bound together in one book!

Oct 09, 2018
058 - A Canadian Luthier Trifecta

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#4 Boucher Guitars

Boucher Guitars is located in Quebec Canada.  They definitely have their finger on the pulse of tradition. They are located in the heart of one of the best places for the raw materials they use in creating their guitars. The vibe of these guitars is steeped in tradition and style.


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured artist is Tim O'Brien. Tim was recommended by Acoustic Tuesday listener Eric T. from Ontario Canada. Eric said we need to check out Tim's music because of "his versatility and unique flavor."


#2 Manzer Guitars

Linda Manzer is an incredible luthier from Toronto Canada. She's built guitars for Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana, Julian Lage, and many other well-known musicians. Be sure to watch what Pat Metheney has to say about his relationship with Linda.


#1 Parks Guitars

Shelley Park of North Vancouver, BC. Shelley has been building guitars since 1991 and is considered the preeminent gypsy jazz guitar builder. Her guitars are stunning, and most reviews reflect on the laser-like projection of the guitars.

Oct 02, 2018
057 - Hand Saving Stretches For Every Acoustic Guitar Player

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#4 Red Bear Picks

I want to share with you my review of the Red Bear Guitar Picks made in Cedar City Utah. This company makes over 30 styles of picks. I tried quite a few, do you want to know what I dug about them? Watch the review to find out!


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured artist is Boubacar Traoré. One of our listeners recommended this artist and boy am I glad he did! This is the kind of music you can just listen to and zone's almost trance-like. Check it out.


#2 Acoustic Guitar Player 5 Minute Stretch

Stretching is extremely important to your guitar playing journey. These are simple stretches I show you that take very little time.


#1 Lomax: The Songhunter

I want to share with you some insight on the Alan Lomax documentary. In this episode I also share a little discovery with you about Alan's recordings for the Library of Congress.

Sep 25, 2018
056 - 5 Tips To Turbo-Charge Your Acoustic Guitar Scales

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#4 Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze Strings

I threw these strings on my Thompson Dread, watch the review to see what I thought about them!


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is John Oates. John is one half of the best-selling duo of all time Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. I've selected three tunes that I think you'll love.


#2 How To Best Practice Scales (5 Tips)

In this episode I share with you five tips on how to effectively practice your scales and have fun doing so. Scales are an absolute necessity to learn. Scales are where chords come from. They are how we convey musical ideas. They are where melodies are born, and many times the origin of original music. So scales are supremely important.


#1 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

As a guitar geek you absolutely have to know about the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion Festival. This festival was recommended by an Acoustic Tuesday viewer and for good reason... it's like an acoustic music showcase.

Sep 18, 2018
055 - Are These Acoustic Guitar Strings Worth $40?

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#4 Would You Spend $40 On Strings?

Guitar strings are one of the cheaper experiments you can do to modify the tone of your guitar. That notion held pretty strongly up until about two weeks ago when I bought a set of strings that I certainly wouldn't describe as inexpensive.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Today's artist feature comes courtesy of Acoustic Tuesday fan Bob W. from Kichener, Ontario. Bob says, "He's an amazing talent that plays with a lot of feel and dynamics and attributes influence from Michael Hedges." I agree with Bob here, in fact, I think you will too. Check out this modern fingerstyle player who uses percussive techniques...

#2 Honeyboy's Life In A Book

Edwards, Honeyboy is very much an under the radar Blues musician who is connected deeply to the roots of the Delta Blues. This documentary's amazing, but there are more resources available about him than just the documentary.

#1 Do You Think This Documentary Is Blazing Hot?

I want to make sure you know about a guitar geek full-length film that's directed by Ethan Hawke. It was just released on August 17th, in theaters across Texas. I'm not sure of the trajectory of this movie but I just want it on your radar because it definitely piqued my interest and I think it will perk you guitar geek up as well. Check out my thoughts in this week's episode....

Sep 11, 2018
054 - Is This The NEW Golden Era of Acoustic Guitar?

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Sep 04, 2018
053 - 5 Acoustic Guitar Case No-No's

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#4 Special Guitar Seasoning

You know when you get a new guitar, they use terms like "Oh, it's stiff," or, "It needs to open up"? I've recently experienced this very thing. I just purchased a Thompson Dreadnought guitar with Cuban mahogany back and sides it's a newly made guitar, and it felt a little stiff when I first got it. In that, it wanted to be resonant, but it just wasn't quite giving its all. It still sounded good, don't get me wrong, it's just a new guitar. After two weeks though it doesn't sound so stiff, and guess what? I didn't even play it that much...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Today's artist feature comes courtesy of Acoustic Tuesday fan Ray R. from Mililani, Hawaii. Ray says, "(He is an) amazing guitarist and songwriter." I agree with Ray here, in fact, I think you will too. You may have even heard this individual before, but not in this particular context...

#2 Vintage Inspired Blues Machines

There's a luthier up in Madison, Wisconsin that you probably don't know about. He is making vintage inspired guitars, but not the vintage you are thinking of. Sure he loves old Martins and Gibsons like all guitar geeks do, but this luthier derives his inspiration from old department store type guitars... think old delta blues guitar players... yep those guitars...

#1 What A Guitar Case Is NOT Good For

Guitar cases are in fact guitar-saving and protecting devices. They help protect our guitars from knocks and bruises, dings and all sorts of things like that, but our guitar cases can actually cause damage to our guitars as well...

Aug 28, 2018
052 - One Year Anniversary of Acoustic Tuesday

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#5 A New Album On The Horizon

A couple of episodes back on Acoustic Tuesday, I featured a singer/songwriter who has an incredible voice, and his songwriting is just, well, it's about as raw as it can get. He's like a word magician, and I gotta tell you, I was super pumped to find out this piece of knowledge...

#4 Mouth Watering Guitars From Virginia

When I first started playing guitar, I absolutely lusted after a particular guitar from this maker. I remember talking to my Dad. I'm like, "Dad, we have to go to these different shops and I have to try out these guitars I heard that they're amazing." And boy, was I right...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This artist is largely responsible for the start of my own personal guitar journey and I thought he absolutely needed to be mentioned in a show. For those that are familiar with him you should be reminded of his importance in the acoustic guitar world, and for those who have never heard his name, you are in for an absolute treat...

#2 What Happens When Two Guitar Geeks Are Stuck In a Room?

Every now and again you find yourself in the company of a true guitar geek. This happened very recently and you'll never guess who sat down for an interview here at Acoustic Life Studios...

#1 Are You Coming To The Pary?

It's official Acoustic Tuesday has turned one year old and of course, it is thanks to viewers like you. What birthday party would be complete without gifts? There actually is a gift with your name on it, you have to see it...

Aug 21, 2018
051 - A Guitar Geek Vacation Destination

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#4 Beautiful Feedback Busting

Feedback is a bummer; It's loud, ornery, inconvenient, and can ruin an acoustic performance. It is the nature of the beast though... when you plug in an acoustic guitar at a certain volume it will feedback. Those black "Feedback Busters" exist but quite honestly I think those are as ugly as sin. So what is a guitar geek to do...


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Judging by the amount of passion and mojo that pour out of every note this artist plays, he is very much a student of the blues. Whether playing a banjo, resonator guitar, or his 1930's Regal the tone and vibe of the blues seems to surround this fingerpicker. He delivers songs with grit, sweat, and a perfect imperfectness that keeps you coming back time and time again...


#2 Guitar Geek Library Expansion

Guitar geeks often get inspired by trying out new guitars. You play a different instrument and your mind goes into overdrive thinking of all of the possibilities that having that instrument could provide. This phenomenon is quite common amongst guitar lovers, but there are those rare moments when an instrument actually takes your breath away and leaves a mark on your guitar geek heart...


#1 History Told With Guitars

Hanging a guitar on a wall is a statement. It could mean so many things... things like "I play guitar," or "this guitar means a lot to my family and me," or even "in this house we love music." Just one guitar can make quite a profound statement, but what happens when there are 1700 of them...


Aug 14, 2018
050 - 5 Tips To Get Out Of Your Guitar Rut

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#4 A Life in the Shadows

This guitar geek film recommendation is brought to you by honorary guitar geek and Acoustic Tuesday viewer David M. I am super excited to watch this documentary because it contains footage and stories from some of the most important musicians in blues history...


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This weeks listening selection is brought to you by Acoustic Tuesday fan and guitar geek, Steven W. He says this of the artist for the week, "Excellent songwriting, and the lead singer has one of the best voices I've heard...incredibly full of emotion and passion. Definitely, one of my favorite bands to just sit and listen to!"


#2 Quebec's Master Luthier

There is a guitar maker in Quebec that has absolutely hit the nail on the head when it comes to a powerful, responsive, and tonally rich fingerstyle guitar. I was able to say this with confidence before, but after having played one in person...


#1 Bust Your Guitar Rut Right Now

In every guitar journey, there are some hurdles and detours that all guitar geeks must deal with along the way, but nothing is more intimidating nor frustrating than the ultimate nemesis to any guitar geek...


Aug 07, 2018
049 - Official Acoustic Life Festival RECAP!
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How To Live Your Very Best Acoustic Life...

A festival purely dedicated to guitar geeks is in the history books and if you want to know every detail and astonishing thing that happened then you must check this episode out.

The inaugural Acoustic Life Festival held in Bozeman, MT at the Rialto Theatre happened Friday, June 22, and Saturday June 23, 2018. It was two days of living the Acoustic Life to the max!!!

The Acoustic Life Festival was full of amazing moments both musical and personal. Between the artist performances, the open mic nights, the workshops, and the band performances so many friendships were started, transformations made, and guitar geek flags waved.

Make sure to check out all of the video recaps for some behind the scenes footage as well as the picture gallery for some candid shots of the open mic, the shows, and the guitar geekery that occurred at the very first of many Acoustic Life Festivals.

Acoustic Life Festival 2018 Behind the Scenes Links

Jul 31, 2018
048 - A One Stop Guitar Pick Shop
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#5 Beautifully Dressed Up Fingerboards

Vinyl albums are an item of pure beauty. From the album art, the shiny black disc, the liner notes, and the listening experience; vinyl records capture as much or more mojo and magic than the music was originally recorded with. The album is only half of the equation though...


#4 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured artist comes from Zorn John in El Paso, TX. He says: "Much like John Fahey he makes a single guitar sound incredible. This is the sound I aspire to create one day." For all of you out there who happen to like the American primitive guitar style, you are going to love this...


#3 Guitar Geek Fashion, Form, and Function

You know you're a guitar geek when you have this friend that you really want to finish an album so, selfishly, you can listen to it whenever you wish...


#2 The Capo Conversation Heats Up

Back on Episode #47 of Acoustic Tuesday, we took a look at the new G7th Heritage capo. It is a truly sexy capo, but I had some questions about its design. I happened to ask these questions during the show and you'll never guess who responded...


#1 Playing Guitar With a Jalapeno?!?!?

Yoke capos are one of the most convenient capo types available. They are beautifully designed to stay on your guitar when not in use, and very easy to recruit when a capo is necessary. For a while, there was really only one high-end yoke capo option until this company came along...


Jul 24, 2018
047 - A Neck And Neck Capo Race To The Finish

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#4 Going Into Orbit

Vinyl albums are an item of pure beauty. From the album art, the shiny black disc, the liner notes, and the listening experience; vinyl records capture as much or more mojo and magic than the music was originally recorded with. The album is only half of the equation though...


#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This weeks featured artist comes from Zorn John in El Paso, TX. He says: "Much like John Fahey he makes a single guitar sound incredible. This is the sound I aspire to create one day." For all of you out there who happen to like the American primitive guitar style you are going to love this...


#2 Help Out A Fellow Guitar Geek...

You know you're a guitar geek when you have this friend that you really want to finish an album so, selfishly, you can listen to it whenever you wish...


#1 A Sexy Capo?!?!

Yoke capos are one of the most convenient capo types available. They are beautifully designed to stay on your guitar when not in use, and very easy to recruit when a capo is necessary. For a while there was really only one high end yoke capo option until this company came along...



Jul 17, 2018
046 - A Star-Studded Luthier Showcase

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#3 A Guitar Geek Aura

Having something that makes your guitar sound consistent in a variety of playing situations is hard... even more difficult to find is something that is easily tweak-able to dial in a tone you find pleasing. Well, guitar geek friends, I have found a magical DI box that comes close to that mouthwatering description...


#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

His playing is so supportive of the song; it's never too much, it's never not enough, it always seems just right for the musical situation. He plays fingerstyle guitar with a fluidity that sets a shining example, and his playing looks completely effortless...


#1 A Luthier that Takes the Cake

If creating an instrument that has balance, power, dynamic range, and an uncanny level of responsiveness is a contest, this luthier will no doubt take the prize and win by a very large margin...


Jul 10, 2018
045 - A Guitar Thief Is On The Loose!


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#4 Guitars that Sustain Forever...

Being a luthier seems to be one of those professions that you don't choose, rather it chooses you. I want to introduce you to a luthier who has been chosen to make some of the most robust and lush sounding guitars I have ever heard...


#3 A Guitar Thief is On the Loose

As a guitar geek our guitars are precious to us... there is absolutely no doubt about that. And as a luthier and guitar geek not only do you take fantastic care of your instruments, more often than not those very instruments that you take care of are your very own creations...


#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Her playing approach is delicate yet can be considered powerful at the same time. She has an effortless command over the fretboard and her influences seemingly pour out of her playing...


#1 #AskMatt

It's not every day you get to sit down with one of your own acoustic guitar heroes so when the opportunity arises it is a guitar geeks obligation to... well... geek out.


Jul 03, 2018
044 - A Fingerpick You NEED To Know About

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The acoustic rocket has carefully been placed on the launch pad, safety harnesses are fastened, helmets are in place... all systems go.

The countdown begins 10... 9... 8...

All aboard are intergalactic guitar geeks ready to see what lies within the galaxy of geekdom.

7... 6... 5...

Constellations made of abalone, satellites held together with 80/20 bronze guitar strings, moons made up of layers upon layers of exotic tonewoods.

4... 3... 2...

A gargantuan galactic gathering place where guitar geekiness flourishes.


Blast Off!!!

Welcome to Acoustic Tuesday, your gravity-free guitar geek world chocked full of all of the guitar goodness that you should be aware of.

Featured in This Episode

#4 Spaceship Finger Protectors

Fingerpicks are little bent pieces of metal that sit atop your fingers so that you can dig in, pull some extra volume out of your instrument, maintain clarity, and absolutely destroy your cuticles. It's true, for all of the good that fingerpicks do, it comes at a cost of damaging the cuticles of your picking fingers, but it doesn't have to be that way anymore...

#3 A Summer Acoustic Music Destination

Summer is absolutely chocked full of musical opportunities from local hotspots to national festivals that fans trek miles to. There is literally something for everyone. One festival that I think everyone should know about and at least attend once is...

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

I love her ragtime infused fingerstyle blues. Her playing is like listening to Robert Johnson but having a little something extra thrown in there. Kinda like eating your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant, but they won’t tell what the secret special ingredient is...

#1 Your May 2018 Donation Report

Acoustic Tuesday finds all of us guitar geeks uniting every Tuesday, but this week we get to celebrate a whole new level of guitar geek solidarity...

Jun 26, 2018
043 - Is this the BEST Acoustic Guitar Pickup?

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The magnificent blazing ball of light known as the sun rolls over the horizon and illuminates the calm waters of Acoustic Tuesday

This episode will have you setting sail on the S.S. Acoustic, heading into uncharted waters of the acoustic ocean with a guitar geek list as your map to the all-hallowed guitar geek treasure.

Strap on your life jacket and hold steady at the stern for we are about to get underway and navigate the channels of acoustic bliss.

Featured in This Episode

#4 A Custom Saddle Maker in Georgia

When I first saw that this item was recommended I was a bit confused because it seemed so basic, but I was very pleasantly surprised upon doing more research. This may be the equivalent of sliced bread for guitar geeks...

#3 A Songwriter's Dream

For music history buffs and especially for those interested in songwriters, their stories, and even their process this documentary needs to be very high on your "to watch" list...

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's artist actually comes in the form of a two for one special. Acoustic Tuesday Viewer Ted Renshaw from Southold, NY recommended a true songwriting treasure that's connected to another under the radar artist.

#1 A Visit From an Angel

Magnetic soundhole pickups for acoustic guitar can really be hit or miss. Some can be inexpensive and sound puny, others can be way expensive and sound only ok, but this one sits right in the middle and needs to be known by guitar geeks en masse...

Jun 19, 2018
042 - An Acoustic Guitar Pickup Showdown

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For this Acoustic Tuesday, I invite you to ride upon the chariot of acoustic wonderment.

This episode finds us wandering through a land where the streets are paved in spruce, the guard rails are phosphor bronze, and people hang their clothes on the line with capos.

Hop in and strap your seatbelt on for a tour de force through acoustic-city.

 Featured in This Episode

 #4 The Best Addition to Your Guitar Geek Library

As a guitar geek, specifically an acoustic guitar geek, there are certain books that need to make an appearance in your library. Books that not only take on the history of the guitar but also provide a reference for specs and things of that nature...


#3 A Storyteller Who Has a Link to Robert Johnson

There are many myths and legends surrounding the crossroads, the location where Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil. To hear stories from a contemporary of Mr. Johnson, someone who Robert Johnson actually played with, would be a blues guitar geeks dream... Well, blues guitar geeks, it's time for dreams come true.


#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Their synchronicity is a wonder in and of itself. The way these four come together to make music is a treat to watch. The energy that they bring and the way they give each other a slice of the sonic pie is just plain fun to hear.


#1 Finding the BEST Acoustic Guitar Pickup

There comes a point and time in every guitar geeks journey where the opportunity to plug in comes along. It can be at home with a new acoustic amp, it can be at an open mic, it could even be with friends at a jam; whatever the case though you will most certainly need a pickup. There's a catch though...


Jun 12, 2018
041 - A Capo For Every Guitar Geek Gig Bag

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Welcome to the wonderment that lies inside the many layers of Acoustic Tuesday.

On the docket for today's exploration are 5 items that will surely inspire you to live your best acoustic life.

There is much ground to cover so let's get ready for blast off into the acoustic infused world of Acoustic Tuesday!!!

Featured in This Episode

#5 A Comfy Musical Instrument Hug

A comfortable hug brought to you by your instrument... seriously a big warm squeeze from your six string friend...

#4 A Mythical Instrument Mashup

Sometimes there are instruments that capture your attention, and they seem to follow you wherever you go... and I mean everywhere...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

These gals sing with such precise harmony and phrasing it will send chills up your spine. They can surely be soft and sensitive when the song demands, but if they need to be gritty and raw they have no problem conjuring those sonic beasts as well...

#2 An Emergency Must-Have Accessory

Every guitar geek has that moment where you are pumped to go play, you get to where you're going, and you open your case only to get that dreaded feeling...

#1 A Recipe for Acoustic Magic

To create acoustic magic, mix one part iconic acoustic guitar brand, two parts guitar geek enthusiasm, and one incredibly talented luthier...


Jun 05, 2018
040 - 150 Years of Banjo Tradition Shattered

Hello and welcome to another week of guitar-centered geekery!

Acoustic Tuesday is coming in for a landing. The runway is clear, and with this jumbo jet of acoustic centered goodness comes a full dose of inspiration to live your best acoustic life.

After checking with the radar tower it seems as though 5 guitar geek items have popped up, but no worries it's all smooth flying from here.

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-Heartbreaker Guitars-

Finding small bench luthier made guitars to sample is a difficult task. Even in today's day an age, it's still hard to find the rarer makers all under one roof. A single place where you can compare and contrast a multitude of artisan made instruments... That changes now.

Heartbreaker Guitars in Las Vegas, NV is the place where you can go and try out a Lowden, next to a Bourgeois, next to a Santa Cruz, next to a Huss & Dalton. Located roughly 14 miles off the Vegas strip, Heartbreaker Guitars is a boutique shop that has a diverse and inspiring inventory.

The owner, Brendan Smith, curates the inventory with the simple guidance of what he likes... and judging by the pictures and things on their website, he has phenomenal taste.

HBG stocks some unique and one of a kind instruments that would make any guitar geek drool and quite possibly lose sleep. This is one of those stores that will make you weak in the knees and searching for a place to sit down simply because of the breathtaking instruments.

If you happen to be in the Vegas area make sure to check these folks out, call for an appointment and be prepared to be amazed at the selection. If you aren't in the Vegas area, no worries at all, just surf their site and check out hi-res images of every in stock guitar. Oh and if you want to hear those guitars, be sure to visit their youtube channel where they feature reviews of the guitars and even do some fantastic comparisons.

This store no doubt has guitar geeks rejoicing, and you too will rejoice after seeing the guitars that they stock... to say they are drool worthy is an enormous understatement.


-Swallow Hill Music Center-

Folk music is a broad term that encompasses so many different styles, instruments, cultures, and people. Folk music even involves more than just music itself... it's almost as if it needs one place where it can all be contained... a place to learn, play, sing, dance, and discuss.

Swallow Hill Music Center in Denver, CO is just the place that folk music can call home. This non-profit establishment is a place where children and adults can take music lessons, it's a place where you can see an inspirational show, it's a place where you can go to attend a workshop, and it's a place where you can go to share your ideas and thoughts on music as well.

I first heard of Swallow Hill Music Center when I worked in Chicago at the Old Town School of Folk Music. What the Old Town School of Folk Music is for the Midwest is exactly what Swallow Hill is for the West. It truly is another folk music epicenter offering all of the education and wonder that goes along with folk music.

The beautiful thing is that their mission is to make sure that people feel the enrichment of music on a daily basis, and they are striving to do just that. They have festivals so folks can enjoy live music, their adult classes hold graduation ceremonies (part of which involves performing), and they even offer financial aid programs for people that wish to get involved but may not have the means to do so.

Swallow Hill is responsible for spreading the goodness that music can bring, and they are a place that as a guitar geek you need to know about. You can of course visit Swallow Hill and see a show if you are in the Denver area, or if you still wish to support their cause you can even donate online.

-Michael Daves-

What can I say about this weeks artist... I should rephrase, what's not to say about the artist featured this week.

His playing makes you feel like you are on the edge of a cliff... uncomfortably close to the edge. His flatpick runs are inventive and unconventional, but are at home, comfortably finding their way into tunes.

Michael Daves is a guitarist and singer that I first heard playing with Chris Thile on an album entitled "Sleep With One Eye Open." His command over the guitar alongside Chris Thile was inspiring, and then, he started singing...

Michael's voice is a serious contender for one of the best modern bluegrass voices around. Singing lead, Michael Daves controls the ebb and flow of the song all the while projecting a raw confidence. Singing harmony, he quickly escalates to the upper echelon of singers in the genre. His high part harmony is an absolute treat to listen to and unmistakable.

Michael Daves' voice is one that, in my opinion, will be referenced for years and years to come and not just within the bluegrass genre. The ease with which he adds harmony to a song is a treat to the ear, and his abilities on the guitar need not be overshadowed by his voice... they are both on very strong and equal footing.

One album that features Michael in his element is his duo album with Chris Thile entitled "Sleep With One Eye Open." The other album that showcases his creative side is entitled "Orchids and Violence." This album is more of a concept type album featuring one side of it dedicated to straight ahead bluegrass tunes and the other side taking those same tunes and putting a dark electric guitar-infused spin on them.

Chances are if you have heard any modern bluegrass album recorded in the New York area, you may well have already heard Michael at work, but now it's time to single out his abilities and check out his albums... Your record collection will certainly rejoice at their arrival.

-Nechville Banjos-

In a galaxy far, far away there lived an invention that would forever change the way the banjo was thought about. This invention made the banjo a much more tame beast. This invention made the banjo less complicated. This invention made the banjo... easier to tune.

This invention was brought to fruition by a man by the name of Tom Nechville, founder and owner of Nechville banjos out of Bloomington, MN. Nechville banjos sound like the classic banjos that carved the path of bluegrass music, but these banjos are much much different. They have fewer parts, they are easier to setup, and they are easier to tune... it's true, with Tom's invention, the banjo head of the banjo is way easier to tune/tension.

So what exactly is this invention???

The Heli-Mount design replaces over 70 pieces of hardware found on a traditional banjo, and leaves behind a streamlined look and just about the easiest way to tune a banjo head that I have ever seen. The Heli-Mount system functions much like screwing a lid on a jar... except on a banjo. This system, with the use of a single tool, allows you to tighten or loosen the head of your banjo in mere seconds, and it ensures that there is equal tension around the entire head... meaning your banjo is much more musical and far less frustrating.

Nechville banjos also have more than a handful of modern improvements such as the revered hand cut enterprise bridge, the modern in-line tailpiece, the comfort bevel armrest, and the quick-cam neck connection. All of these improvements together make for a banjo that is easy to setup and tweak, but has that highly sought after vintage tone.

Nechville banjos come in a wide array of styles from very modern all the way to that classic vintage banjo look. If you happen to want something a bit more custom, they are happy to entertain those ideas as well.

If you are looking for a banjo that offers the promise of less time tinkering and more time for music making Nechville banjos should be on your list to check out for certain. (slow scroll over the helimount system info) (slow scroll through the model offering)

-Wegen Picks-

The guitar pick quest continues, actually it never really ends, and today is proof of that. Today, a pick that comes from the Netherlands offering a dark and gritty tone.

Wegen picks, made by Michel Wegen over in the Netherlands, are a fantastic solution for a guitarist not only looking for differently shaped picks but also some radically varied thicknesses. I opted for the Wegen picks that closely resembled what I'm used to so I tried out the black bluegrass picks that come in a standard thickness of 1.4mm.

There are two things I noticed about this pick upon playing with it for the first time. The first thing that popped right out at me was how these picks interact with the guitar strings. The material is a bit softer than what I am used to so I experienced a bit of "drag" as I used the pick on my guitar. It's as if the strings grab hold of the pick ever so slightly... Which leads me to the next thing that I noticed... the tone.

The second thing that surprised me about this pick was its tone. The tone produced by this pick was darker and grittier than most picks that I have tried recently. The Wegens offered a much different tonal palette. Due to the drag on the strings, I felt I could dig in harder to get a more gritty tone. This is a great feature especially if you want to put an exclamation point on a G run, or something of the like.

Overall the Wegen picks were a breath of fresh air. What I initially thought may have been the pick's downfall was a huge benefit in the tone department. The fun doesn't end there though... I only tried one of the plethoras of picks offered from Wegen. Amongst the offerings Michel has created, some standout picks include gypsy jazz picks, mandolin picks, triangular picks, and even the notorious Fatone. All of these picks have their prescribed uses and I would certainly encourage you to try them out if you happen to be in an adventurous mood.

May 29, 2018
039 - Is this the BEST entry level guitar?

Salutations guitar geek, may this fine Acoustic Tuesday cast plenty of pleasantries your way!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by

Another volume of Acoustic Tuesday is here and with it comes your weekly helping of acoustic guitar goodness.

This week another 5 guitar geek items are presented on a silver platter for your enjoyment.

-Jeffrey Foucalt -

I am so happy about the news that I just received... yet another Acoustic Tuesday artist is releasing a brand new album, and I heard this one in entirety and it is a beautiful piece of work.

Jeffrey Foucalt is set to release his newest album Blood Brothers on June 22, 2018, and I will just say that you need to pre-order it. Plain and simple, this album contains some gorgeously crafted songs. Jeffrey's writing on Blood Brothers is open, honest, and truly touching. This is the type of album that you just keep flipping in an effort to make sure it never ends. The cast of characters playing on the album treats the songs so incredibly well, playing with taste and a high level of reverence for the songs and their lyrics.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to receive my pre-ordered, signed, vinyl copy of this new album. You should be excited as well because you can pre-order yours too by visiting Jeffrey's Pledge Music page. There are a gaggle of great options available on that page from preordering the album, access to some live show material, and even getting a private show with Jeffrey.

One more thing that makes me love this project even more... this quote from Jeffrey's pledge music page:

"I don’t care about being famous, and if I did I would have made other decisions in my life until now. I want to make enough money to write songs, make records, tour behind them, and pay everyone fairly along the way. I believe in music, and what it’s meant in my life, and I want the music I make to mean something in the lives of other people."

That right there is a project I can get behind.

-Blueridge Guitars-

The question of what is the best entry level guitar has been posed to me many times before, and I wish I had one I could go to as the end all be all, but the truth of the matter is that there are a whole bunch of really exceptional entry and mid-level guitars out there. So which ones should you consider?

It would be hard to pick just one, but if I had to I would say that one brand, in particular, would be a phenomenal starting place. Blueridge Guitars made by Saga Musical Instruments has some truly fantastic instruments and they come in at some unbelievable price points.

Usually, I would just isolate one guitar from a lineup, but in this case, I have to say that across the board Blueridge makes some very good sounding and nicely priced instruments. Both the Historic Series and the Contemporary Series by Blueridge are major home runs.

These models take their aesthetics from iconic guitars which is what initially caught my attention. While working in Chicago, I had the privilege of playing the BR43, BR40, BR63, BR60, BR143, BR140, BR163, BR160, amongst others. I have to say these instruments are well made, look the part, and most importantly sound good. Not only did I have the chance to play each of these models, I got to play a ton of each of them so I feel commenting on their consistency is very relevant here.

Whether you are looking for an intermediate level guitar for your guitarsenal or you are seeking out a second guitar that you can modify or use on camping trips I would certainly consider Blueridge. The amount of these guitars that I have seen at bluegrass festivals alone says a ton about their sound. BR143 Demo BR60 Review BR40 Review BR160 Review - BR40 - BR43 - BR60 - BR63 - BR140 - BR143 - BR160 - BR163

-Molly Tuttle-

This week's artist is no stranger to Acoustic Tuesday, but there has never been an official artist feature on her. That changes this week...

She flatpicks with surgical precision, her phrasing is unique, and she sings with a magical voice. Her original tunes are crafted with expertise and the musicality she brings to every situation is her superpower.

Molly Tuttle has been on Acoustic Tuesday roughly 4 times and now she officially has an artist feature. This is long overdue because Molly is one of the top modern flatpickers that I have ever heard.

Molly has a knack for finding space and letting a tune breathe all the while balancing her high-level flatpicking ability. She is the type of picker that never seems to overplay; she plays what's right when it's right... nothing more and nothing less.

Watching her play is a master class in pick hand control and economy of motion. She picks with ease, although what comes out of her guitar does not sound easy... she just makes it look that way.

Molly is most associated with the acoustic guitar but she is an outstanding banjo player as well. In fact, she often brings the old-time clawhammer style of banjo to her guitar which can be heard on the song "Save This Heart" from her EP "Rise."

The bottom line is: if you like amazing flatpicking, incredible tone, an outstanding voice, and appreciate original music. Molly's new EP is one for you. If you are looking for a flatpicker that will make you think differently about bluegrass guitar you very much need to know of Molly.

-Dunlop Flow Picks-

Guitar picks... our best friend and arch nemesis. There are so many how do we know when to stop searching for the right one... The answer is never...

That search for the perfect pick is what brought me to this wonderful little gem. This beautiful green colored Ultex beauty has made my guitars scream with joy. I am referring to the new Dunlop Flow picks.

These picks have a comfy feel and even a subtle grip to them beyond the normal grippy feel of Ultex. What I noticed about these picks is that they are close to the Primetone picks but without the bevel. They come in a fatter shape that allows for a bit more control with the thumb, a huge bonus.

Overall I was very pleased with the tone produced by these picks. The notes are fat and warm, and the polished edge allows for a nice smooth release of the string. I experienced that the picks actually felt a touch faster than my standard Ultex picks. This may be in part due to that polished edge, but I also feel that it could be attributed to the shape of the pick and the extra control it seemed to offer.

These picks won't halt the perfect pick journey, but they may very well keep me occupied for a spell. My standard Ultex picks seem to be getting just a little jealous of the new Flow picks. I will have to keep you posted on how they cohabit in the pick box.

-Gryphon Strings -

There are some amazing acoustic guitar shops in the US, but one has two figures that are largely responsible for what we know about the history of guitars, and how we fix them...

Back in 1969, Frank Ford and Richard Johnston started Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, CA. Those names might sound familiar and if they don't then take this as your introduction to two of the most amazing guitar geeks out there. Frank Ford runs the repair shop at Gryphon and he is a repair wizard of sorts, and Richard not only runs the retail shop, he also writes for industry magazines and guests on PBS' Antiques Roadshow as their instrument specialist.

The shop that these two founded and still are a part of is incomparable. They feature new instruments from some of today's top makers as well as a very wonderful assortment of vintage instruments. The selection of instruments that they offer is vast, but it is more than just a shop.

Want lessons? Gryphon does it.
Concerts? Gryphon does it.
Workshops? Yep, Gryphon does it.
Appraisals? Yes indeed, Gryphon does it.
Super informative and beneficial news? ...Sure thing, Gryphon does that too!

In fact, the news section of their website is one that should be checked out by every guitar geek. Particularly the article on how heat in a car can damage your acoustic guitar... beware if you look at that article there are some very graphic images.

All in all, Gryphon Stringed Instruments is a shop for guitar geeks by guitar geeks, and by the looks of what they are up to they do an amazing job of uniting guitar geeks as well.

The warm breeze that is Acoustic Tuesday is done shaking the leaves on guitar geek trees for this week.

Alas, don't fear it will only be one more week until the next Acoustic Tuesday is here.

Until then check out those guitar geek items and live your best Acoustic Life!!!


May 22, 2018
038 - This $30 Product Will Give You An "Eargasm"

Glorious guitar geek greetings to you on this day of acoustic celebration!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by

Prepare your eyes and ears for the customary dose of 5 guitar geek items that Acoustic Tuesday brings with it.

This week we'll pick up right where we left off and keep that Acoustic Tuesday train rolling.

Being that it is summer, it seems as though there are boatloads of new records coming out. One record, in particular, is being released by a songster and songstress previously featured on Acoustic Tuesday. Oh, and these two aren't only crafters of song... they happen to make gorgeous banjos as well.

On May 18, 2018, Jason and Pharis Romero will be releasing a brand new album featuring their delicious harmonies, outstanding arrangements, and wonderfully played tunes. I am super pumped for this album for two reasons: one, I just discovered these two in the last year, and two, I think the music they create together is brilliant. The way these two harmonize is addicting, and the way they support what they sing with their instruments is superlative.

Their new album (out May 18) is entitled Sweet Old Religion. I have heard the title track from it, and that alone has sufficiently fueled my desire for the entire thing. Currently, you can preorder the album in both CD and Vinyl format from their website. I would urge you to hop on this one, it will surely please any acoustic music lover.


This product, for as simple as it seemingly is, will increase your enjoyment of music for... well... an entire lifetime. I'm not even kidding about that.

I ordered a set of Eargasm Earplugs on a whim and I was very pleased that I did so. I purchased these as a replacement for my "Mack's Hear Plugs" which were getting on in their years, and honestly, weren't very comfortable. I was impressed with the Eargasm earplugs in a big way. The packaging is clean and well thought out, the instructions are easy to follow, the comfort is off the charts, and they work so incredibly well.

These ear plugs filter the sound instead of muffling it. What this means to you as a music appreciator and player is that you can listen to music, rehearse, go to shows all while listening at a comfortable level. The benefit here is two-fold: one, you preserve your hearing and keep your ears healthy. Two, you can listen, play, and participate for longer because your ears don't fatigue.

I tried these out while playing drums (something I usually wear foam earplugs for) and I was amazed at the fact I was able to hear with clarity just at a reduced and comfortable volume.

I dare profess these as a necessity for any guitar geek participating in loud or even semi-loud rehearsals and even more so for the live concert attending guitar geek. Oh and another two things I love about these: They are pretty discrete in your ears (unlike the pictures on their website), and they have a convenient carrying case included which is perfect for storage and quick access.


This weeks artist is one that I have wanted to feature for quite a while, I just wanted to wait for the time to be right... and that time is now.

His playing is clear, concise, delicate, and packed full of emotion. I have never heard someone play old-time banjo in such a way that so much emotion comes across. That's just the playing though; his singing is raw and fits the old-time banjo so well.

Chris Coole is an old-time banjo player from Toronto, and he picked up the instrument at age 17. His education in old-time banjo was delivered by the streets of Toronto... literally, he would busk and play tunes over and over again to work on variations and refine his tone. He is now one of the main players in the old-time banjo scene. He plays in various string bands such as The Foggy Hogtown Boys and The Lonesome Ace Stringband. Along with the bands, he also has a duo with Ivan Rosenberg (Dobro) as well as another duo with Arnie Naiman.

The first time I heard his playing I was enthralled. The clarity with which he presents the melody seems uncanny. His playing carves a clear-cut path for his own singing, and his ability to read and interact with the song is apparent by hearing him play solo or with just one other musician. He has a high level of technical proficiency matched with grace and ease.

Chris really is a standout musician and his catalog of albums is proof that he is a bit of a musical shapeshifter. From his solo album "Old Dog" to his "Farewell to Trion" album with Ivan Rosenberg; it is evident that Chris is an acoustic musician that should certainly be on your playlist.

I would recommend starting with some of his solo work and then building from there. You'll find his solo performances captivating and that is no exaggeration whatsoever. - Old Dog - The Train That Carried My Girl From Town - Willie Duncan - I Know Your Wandering Heart - Farewell Trion - Return To Trion - Meet Me in the Music

Our bearded guitar loving brother is back with an awesome #AskMatt segment. This week Matt gives us a peek into his own collection, one guitar in particular. Not only does Matt tell us why he loves this guitar so much, he shows us. Matt delights us in a beautiful tune played on a guitar that is just as gorgeous as the tune he plays. It is an awesome day when you can not only learn about a very amazing instrument but also hear the owner pour their whole musical being into it... That is exactly what happens in this #AskMatt segment.

-Dunlop Primetone Picks-

Nothing beats a guitar pick that is worn into perfection. I'm talking about that wonderful bevel that develops, making the pick effortlessly slice through the strings of your guitar. It seems like it takes months of playing with the same pick to achieve that, but not anymore...

Dunlop's Primetone picks are at your service for that nicely broken in pick feeling. From $5 - $12 depending on thickness and quantity, these picks are the real deal. They felt incredibly comfy in my hand, and even had a raised, grippy type surface on them... and the tone... oh my the tone...

These picks produce a very solid and articulate note. The notes produced by these wonderfully sculpted plectra retain body and thickness. I really took a quick liking to these picks because they felt broken in already and they produced a tone that was familiar to me... like incredibly familiar.

Upon further research, these picks are composed of Ultex, pretty much one of my top 3 pick materials. I was so excited to hear that these were Ultex. I pretty much found a pick that right out of the package produced a tone that I loved without the break-in period.

One quick thing though, if you are a guitar player that likes a pick with a more crisp edge these may not be for you because the bevel is pretty significant so keep that in mind while checking these out.,100195,100474

And with that, another Acoustic Tuesday is placed in the record books, but that need not be the reason for the celebration to stop.

As a guitar geek, take the momentum that we gathered on this Acoustic Tuesday and allow it to blast you through the week, and don't forget if you need a little pick me up, head to

Until next week guitar geek friends, wave your guitar geek flag loud and proud!!!


May 15, 2018
037 - The Future of Acoustic Tuesday

Grandest of greetings and sweetest of salutations to you Guitar Geek!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by

This week on Acoustic Tuesday history is being made. You have not only helped make history, you are also part of a huge guitar geek movement.

As with all Acoustic Tuesday's I have cooked up 5 delectable delights just for guitar geeks.

So grab your fork and knife and let's dig in...

-String Swing-

As a #guitargeek what happens when you run out of floor space and stands for your guitarsenal? Dare you start leaning guitars against couches, walls, and other seemingly stable surfaces? As a guitar geek, I wouldn't advise the leaning option. However, there is a solution for your guitarsenal that originated in Wisconsin.

The company, String Swing, located in Wisconsin, has been making #guitarsenal solutions since 1983. String Swing is based in Ontario, WI and got its start in Elroy, WI on a small dairy farm of all places. String Swing specializes in all things display, and what I want to focus on is their vast array of instrument wall hangers.

This company offers secure wall hangers for all sorts of instruments: guitars, ukes, violins, mandolins, and yes even banjos. The beautiful thing is that each hanger does its job very very well, in fact depending on the hanger you get the yoke and hanger depth will be of different size to accommodate whichever instrument it's for.

These hangers get bonus points in my book for the wooden hanger base options available as well as the ease of installation. If you know how to turn a screwdriver these hangers can be installed in mere minutes. All of the necessary hardware is included and the drywall anchors that are in the package are simply the best I have ever used.

One note about these hangers that all guitar geeks should be aware of is that the material used for the hanger is safe for your guitar's finish. Yes, from everything I read the tubing used on the hanger yoke is finish safe, but being that I am a complete guitar geek I still get hanger covers for that part of the hanger. (Note: those can be purchased separately and are not included with the hanger).

Overall, these are a great solution for any #guitargeek that wants to put their instruments on display in their guitar den. They even make a 5 space wall hanger... I just found that one and am trying to convince Whitney that it would look really cool in our family room... I will be sure to keep you posted on the status of that conversation. - Guitar Hanger - 5 Guitar Hanger (Copper) - 5 Guitar Hanger (Black) - Banjo Hanger - Mandolin/Uke Hanger - How to Install

-Hawktail Album coming May 11-

Every now and then acoustic artists gather together and create a force that seems nearly superhuman, a formidable juggernaut of acoustic music bliss. Also, every now and then a supergroup captures this magic on a record.

This is exactly what happens on May 11, yes just 3 days away a supergroup will release a gorgeous album containing music specifically designed for the acoustic music lover.

The group Hawktail made up of Brittany Haas, Dominick Leslie, Paul Kowert, and Jordan Tice were a previous feature on Acoustic Tuesday (AT episode #14) and they are back because they have a new album coming out that is sure to tickle the fancy of acoustic aficionados.

It's official, on May 11 this acoustic supergroup will release their first album as a quartet entitled "Unless." I have heard a few tracks from this album and I am sufficiently excited to listen to the full album.

If you happened to like the earlier trio, Hass, Kowert, and Tice you will definitely want to hop on preordering this one as it is a sure pleaser for any acoustic #guitargeek. - Unless - Abbzug - New Album Unless

-Infamous Stringdusters-

If acoustic bands were like comic book heroes then this next band would be the equivalent of The X-men, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, and The Guardians of the Galaxy all wrapped up into one.

Top to bottom this is a band that dominates every musical dimension. From their proficiency on all of their chosen instruments, incredible multi-part harmonies, this band is ready to follow the muse wherever it takes them, and the results are always good... unbelievable at times.

The Infamous Stringdusters are made up of Jeremy Garrett (Fiddle), Travis Book (Bass), Andy Hall (Dobro), Chris Pandolfi (Banjo), and Andy Falco (Guitar). This group of musicians is an absolute powerhouse of energy and incredible musical skill.

The singing alone is masterful, the playing is otherworldly, and they have this 'x' factor... For lack of a better term, I'll just call it energy. Seeing them live is a treat on so many levels, but it is the best example of this energy that I'm referencing. They always seem to know what the other is going to do musically, and they make it look easy. They crowd around whoever is soloing and in doing so it looks like they have orchestrated the whole performance.

I would dare call this band absolute masters of improvisation and performance. They continually push the boundaries of what is possible with their instruments, not to mention they create and perform with endless energy.

To date, they have put out more than 7 studio albums and this last year (2018) they won a Grammy for the Best Bluegrass Album. I have been a Stringdusters fan since very early on and have continually enjoyed seeing the band grow and push the boundaries of bluegrass music. - Where the Rivers Run Cold - Gravity - You Can't Stop the Changes - Black Rock - By My Side - Laws of Gravity - Silver Sky - Let It Go - Things That Fly - Self Titled - Fork in the Road

-Sharktooth Picks-

Thumbpicks can no doubt be uncomfortable, and flatpicks can fly out of your hand so what is a #guitargeek to do when they want to flatpick a little, strum a little, and then finger pick a little?

If only some sort of crossover pick was made that would allow you to use all of your tools as a guitar player... This exists, I tried it out, and I was pleasantly surprised. The Sharktooth crossover pick by the company Strum'N'Comfort is a pick that allows you to have a flatpick at your disposal, but also convert that flatpick into a thumbpick like device.

The whole notion of the sharktooth pick is that there is a neoprene band that goes around your thumb and attaches with velcro. Inside this neoprene band is a non-skid material that has a flatpick attached to it. Once affixed to your thumb you have what looks like a thumbpick, but with more comfort and control over how tight it sits on your thumb.

I found this pick to work quite well. I must say I have no trouble with standard thumb picks so this was more of an experiment for certain, but my skepticism was quickly removed upon trying the sharktooth. My initial thought was that it would slip on my thumb and just feel, well, kind of odd. Well, I am happy to report that the pick did not slip at all. The pick stayed put when using it like a flatpick as well as like a thumbpick. Also, I should say that it was quite comfy on my thumb the neoprene was much more welcoming than the standard plastic band of a thumbpick.

I will say that I noticed the pick give just a touch on the upstroke creating a feeling that I was using a thinner pick than I was, but overall I was pretty impressed with its stability. I used the pick for the better part of two weeks and the grip and elasticity of the neoprene band didn't seem to wear out, which is a nice bonus as well.

All in all, this is a great option if you are the player that is looking for a more comfy pick that allows you to quickly change styles during play. Included in the package were two neoprene bands with two different thicknesses of picks (.75mm and 1.0mm), as well as an additional band that you can use your own favorite pick with. - Sharktooth Pick

-Acoustic Life.TV Announcement (Andy Powers Full Interview)-

It's here, it's here, it's finally here... the moment that every acoustic guitar geek in the world has waited for... A very special announcement about the future of Acoustic Tuesday...

Acoustic Tuesday started as just an idea... a show focused on all things that acoustic guitar geeks would enjoy. Just 37 episodes ago, Acoustic Tuesday was born and my oh my have we seen it grow up quickly. Guitar Geeks are continuing to unite underneath the banner and mission of Acoustic Tuesday. Each week thanks to all of you, Acoustic Tuesday gets spread from guitar geek to guitar geek, positivity is shared, and guitar geekiness occurs all over the globe, and now Acoustic Tuesday is reaching another level.

Now Acoustic Tuesday is not only a show. Acoustic Tuesday now has a companion website for all of the juicy details on each item discussed in the show. It is a place where any guitar geek can go to feel at home and get lost in pages and pages of all things acoustic guitar. From interactive guitar geek trivia, all the way to expanded acoustic artist features, is your new home to get inspired to live your best acoustic life.

Oh and remember that time I had a chance to sit down with Andy Powers and chat about V-Class bracing when it first came out??? That entire unedited interview is available exclusively at

Yes, the entire interview in all of it's guitar geek glory!!!

But there's more...

Often times during the show I will feature products that you can check out such as picks, capos, guitars, stands, etc. I usually include a link to purchase the featured items, and these links are affiliate links that offer a small percentage of the purchase price to Acoustic Life for promoting the sale. Well, I am very excited and happy to announce that any money generated through an affiliate link on will now be going straight to the Guitars For Vets non-profit organization.

Let me recap: Acoustic Tuesday now has a new online home at The new website will now share all of it's Amazon affiliate link revenue with the amazing non-profit organization Guitars for Vets.

Yes, by loving your acoustic guitar and being a guitar geek, you are now supporting an outstanding organization that believes and acts on the healing power of music.

Be certain to pop on over to to completely geek out on all things acoustic guitar, and be fully prepared to find some fun bonuses over there as well. - Andy Powers Interview

You all are what help make this possible so thank you so much for being a part of acoustic guitar history, and for helping so many guitar geeks unite.

I hope this Acoustic Tuesday ranks among the top episodes for you and if you want to check out back episodes to see you certainly can do that at

I wish you the best week guitar geek, I can't wait to see you next Tuesday for another round of the ultimate in guitar geekiness... Acoustic Tuesday


May 08, 2018
036 - How to be a Fretboard Wizard

Dearest Guitar Geek,

It's here, it's here, it's here...

Another round of Acoustic Tuesday is here to satisfy your nerdiest of needs and your dorkiest of desires; all within the guitar geek realm that is.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by

Here is your fix of 5 guitar geek ponderings that need to be setting your guitar geek radar ablaze with awareness.

Here goes nothing:

Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music Ricky Skaggs

Every now and then a book comes along that gives you insight not only into the artist it features but also how big of a role they played in a certain genre's history.

Ricky Skaggs' book, Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music, is a book that does that very thing. It is complete with stories of a young Ricky Skaggs making his way in the musical world, which includes hopping on stage with Bill Monroe and then later with Flatt & Scruggs at a very young age. This book is a treat to read and is chocked full of all sorts of interesting stories from throughout Ricky's life. From his albums and experiences with Keith Whitley to his experiences with some of the greats of bluegrass and country music.

I have always admired Ricky's talent, whether it be on the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo or even his incredible harmony singing, but never did I realize just how big of a role Ricky played in the history of bluegrass music.

The book was written by Ricky Skaggs and Eddie Dean, and kudos to them for sharing such wonderful stories and doing so in a way that really keeps the reader's attention. (Play until 1:50) - Buy Book - Ricky Skagg's Site

Fretboard Wizard Open

It's official! Fretboard Wizard is open for enrollment.

Christy Hays

This week's artist is one that I hold near and dear to my heart because of her songs and because of the person she is.

Her songs are raw and the writing is as real as rain. She takes seemingly everyday happenings and crafts them into song in a way that leaves you hanging on every word.

Christy Hays is an artist that I have had the immeasurable pleasure to play with nearly every summer since roughly 2014. Christy is a crafty songwriter and her vocals are seriously scrumptious.

She is a mix between the unique quality of Emmylou Harris and her own mixture of grit and heartfelt expression. Her writing effortlessly paints pictures of landscapes and curious characters all of which create the pulse of everyday life.

Christy has released a whole slew of albums from full band performances to her by her lonesome, and her newest album River Swimmer is due out April 27, 2018. Christy is one of the hardest working musicians I know and this album is for sure going to be topnotch. Make sure to check out her site for the older albums that are available and of course if you like what you hear pre-order River Swimmer... and guess what?!?! You can even get that one on vinyl!!! - Town Underground - Strange Times - Don't Let Me Die In California - Christy Hays' Site - Buy Album (River Swimmer)

Chuck Lee Banjos

Custom instruments are something to behold regardless of whether they are a guitar or not.

I say this because there is no doubt that I love me some banjo, and usually when the word banjo is even uttered it sends people fleeing towards the exits. But stay seated I promise this is good.

Chuck Lee Banjos out of Ovilla, TX produces some very gorgeous (both looking and sounding) banjos. The instruments coming out of Chuck's shop are simply fantastic, and I am nearly positive that no two are the same. Custom instruments are the bread and butter of Chuck's shop from different headstocks, to inlay patterns, to tone rings, to wood and finish selections this shop does an impressive job. The necks are nice and hefty and the rims are exquisitely turned... it's the kind of instrument that you just want to feel. The neck feels like it was crafted for the player's hand and the playability of these banjos is outstanding.

And then there's the sound... with all of the options available you can custom design a banjo that sounds as plunky as you need or as crisp as you want.

Overall, these banjos are remarkable and if you happen to find one at a local shop or get one by contacting Chuck himself (I think they are still being made) you will be just as impressed as I was when I got mine. - Interview (20seconds - 54 seconds) - Where to Find a Chuck Lee - Chuck Lee Lonestar

Hense Faux Tortoise Picks

What's the deal with imitation products that produce tones previously achieved by only the rarest of materials?

Well, I am happy to say that no turtles were harmed in the making of these picks, however, the tone produced by them is quite reminiscent of actual tortoiseshell. Since 1973 it was no longer legal to trade/sell actual tortoiseshell, so many guitarists had to go back to the drawing board to find a material that produced that warm yet crisp tone that tortoiseshell is known for. This tone haunts Flatpickers and seems like something only dreams are made of, which is why when I discovered Hense picks from Germany I was so excited!!!

Hense's The Happy Turtle pick that I procured from Artisan Guitars in Nashville is made out of a material called Milk Stone which is a casein (think of it as a milk protein). This material is outstanding at producing a solid tone and an extraordinary feel. One thing to be careful of with these picks is to not bend them, or get them wet. These picks are quite stiff and have only a subtle flex... if flexed too far they will snap. Since these picks are made of an organic material they will become brittle if they have been wet or damp and then left to dry out. So if you aren't playing on a rainy day outside these picks are exquisite, and produce some serious tone.

Hense picks also come in a variety of shapes and material choices such as:

-The Happy Turtle picks, made from Milk Stone
-The Cream Speedy picks, made from a modern self-lubricating high tech plastic.
-The Midnight Blue picks, made from a high-impact plastic.
-The Grunge Triangle, made of traditional hard rubber

These picks are definitely worth a try if you are seeking a tone and feel akin to the old tortoise shell picks.

That wraps up another study session at the universal library of guitar geekiness known as Acoustic Tuesday.

Make sure to return your books on time and come back next week to dive ever deeper into the realm of acoustic guitar and the geekiness that must accompany the best Acoustic Life.



May 01, 2018
035 - Are You Going To Merlefest?

Compliments to you on this fine Acoustic Tuesday, Guitar Geek!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by

As Spring arrives gazes are drawn towards the tree branches for fresh buds, the ground for tender green sprouts, and of course towards the guitar geek radar to see if any new inspiring things have come up.

And boy howdy have they...

Here are 5 guitar geek things pinging the #guitargeek radar this week.

How does a guitar geek stay properly fueled, hydrated, and alert? You may think bourbon is the answer, but I reckon it is quite the contrary. See bourbon, although it tastes delicious, doesn't do much for hydration or the alertness aspect. However, Fretboard Coffee out of Columbia, MO is here to provide the perfect cup of Joe for any tired and fading fretter. This coffee company was brought to my attention by Acoustic Tuesday Show viewer and fan Troy and when I dug into the coffee I was not only pumped to find out it tastes good, but it also lives up to its name. See the name fretboard coffee is just plain awesome in and of itself, but the coolness factor bumped up a notch when I opened the bag to find a little card sharing what song was playing during the roasting process. Double whammy for us coffee loving guitar geeks; you get a great cup of joe and exposure to a song you may have never heard before. It's like a match made in heaven. Fretboard Coffee also seems to support live music as well have some killer merch available to peruse. So order yourself a bag or two, have a nice long sip and listen to the song that your beans were born to.

Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen

Books about artists and their life fascinate me, my bookshelves at home are covered with biographies, autobiographies, and the like. So this next book was a bit of a surprise to me. Last Christmas Whitney's folks gifted me a book by the author Bob Boilen, entitled Your Song Changed My Life. Now first off, Bob is the creator and host of NPR's All Songs Considered as well as their Tiny Desk Concert Series so this man knows music. This book is a sampling of 33 artists and what song they define as changing their life. It is fascinating, there is enough context around each artist to learn some great factoids about their life and also you get insight into their vast musical interests. Each artist, in discussion with Bob, shares not only the song they define as life-altering, but also the when's, where's, and why's of it. This book is a great read and it's separated in such a way that makes it a great read. - Bob's Site - Book Interview - NPR story - Buy the Book

This week's artist I would say is from the "old-time" category, but I definitely do not want to pigeonhole them as they are capable of way more than old-time music. 

It's not often that you hear a new artist that is able to take you back to a time and place long forgotten and only best conjured up by an artist from that very era. The Local Honeys are a group that is basically a time machine. From their voices, inflection, phrasing, and instrumentation these ladies do a great job in teleporting the listener back to a simpler time, yet they are able to freely flow from old-time music on up to more contemporary tunes. The Local Honeys are a made up of Montana Hobbs, and Linda Jean Stokely and the way these gals sing together is addictive. At first, I thought the accents were a bit contrived... and then I did my research... it's the real deal and it is amazing. From slow ballads to craftily written tunes all the way to instrumentals, these girls have it. Their album is a blast to listen to front to back, from the slow tunes to the peppy ones. Also, special note the tune Cigarette Trees is an anti-strip mining song that brought home blue ribbon from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2017. - Cigarette Trees - How Mountain Girls Can Love - Hares On the Mountain - The L&N Don't Stop here Anymore - Hills of Mexico - Band Site - Merch - Buy the Album

Merlefest April 26- April 29

This weekend, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, one of the most amazing and inspiring bluegrass festivals will take place. From April 26th to April 29th, 2018 incredible acoustic musicians, music fans, jammers, and all around good people will join together to create the phenomenon known as Merlefest. Merlefest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson (Doc Watson's Son) as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate ‘traditional plus’ music. I owe this festival a huge thanks because although I have never attended in person, I have discovered numerous artists just by checking out who is playing Merlefest in any given year. This year, as always, the lineup is chocked full of pure acoustic goodness, and I am absolutely positive there will be plenty of jamming to be had by any who wish to partake that are in attendance. If you are interested in the festival just check out their website for all of the ticket info as well as all of the other things you need to know to have an outstanding festival experience.

What's the point of the CAGED system?

At one point in anyone's guitar journey there comes a time where you hear about the CAGED system. You hear how wondrous it can be to unlock the fretboard, you hear about how much it can help with your overall understanding of the fretboard, but when you find information on it may seem a little bit disorienting, and that's ok because I was disoriented too until I figured out the core elements of what makes CAGED so darn useful. See with CAGED you need to know three things:

1.) The 5 basic chord shapes C A G E D. You need to know how to make them, and the most important part, the fact that they can become moveable by converting them to barre chords.

2.) Where the root note is for each of the 5 chord shapes. The Root note is the lowest bass note that defines the chord. Each of the 5 chord shapes has their root note located on a specific string. Knowing this makes the moveable shapes much more useful because now you can name them. 

3.) Why Caged is useful. Knowing why CAGED is useful helps with the reason why you need to learn it in the first place. If you have thr "why" you will follow through not only learning it but implementing it. So here are just a handful of reasons CAGED is helpful: It helps with Capo use, it helps with transposition, it helps with alternate chord voicings, it helps you add sonic layers in multiple guitar situations, it even helps you organize scale patterns and see how they connect. 

It would be hard to break from the show and start teaching CAGED due to technical limitations so I want you to check out video 2 of my foundational five workshop series. In video 2 I go into detail on CAGED and show you how all of the things I just discussed are connected and more importantly how you can do apply them immediately to the guitar. 

vid 1 is live and people are going nuts make sure to check it out at:

There's another Acoustic Tuesday chiseled on the stone of guitar geekdom.

Make sure to tune in to see the full episode and unite with your fellow #guitargeeks.

Until next Tuesday, keep your guitars tuned and the guitar geeks uniting.


Apr 24, 2018
034 - 3 Cheap Guitar Pick Experiments You Should Try ASAP

An infusion of #guitargeek vitamins awaits you on this Acoustic Tuesday. Acoustic vitamins to fortify you and your #guitargeek friends.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by 

As is customary on Acoustic Tuesday these vitamins come in the form of 5 guitar items that will be placed on your #guitargeek radar. 

So grab a tall glass of water and make sure to take all of your acoustic infused medication. 

Open wide...

Picks are picks are picks... right? Definitely not! Picks impact the tone of a guitar in a major way. If you are a flatpicker, you can do a quick and easy experiment: Get three different picks, play the same lick, and observe how each pick will add a subtly different tonal characteristic. Some picks are bright and clear while others are on the dark and warm end of the spectrum, the new Acrylux picks by Daddario actually cover both ends of this tonal spectrum. These new Acrylux picks come in two different recipes: the "Reso" version and the "Nitra" version and both have a unique sound to offer. The "Reso" picks offer a subtly more clear and bright sound while the "Nitra" composition is a bit warmer and offers a darker tone. These picks come in three different shapes: Standard, Jazz, and Mandolin, and only one thickness (1.5mm) at the time of writing this. Although these picks are on the thicker end of the spectrum they have a decent amount of flex to them. My experience with these picks is that both versions produce a tone that is on the warmer end of the spectrum, however the "Reso" picks do have a touch more clarity than the "Nitra" ones. I also noticed that both picks seem to be pretty slick and smooth in how they interacted with the strings. These would be a great option for any #guitargeek looking for a warmer/fatter tone. - Acrylux Product Video - Acrylux Reso - Acrylux Nitra

The material that a pick is made of impacts its tone in a huge way, but it goes beyond that... The material also has an effect on the pick's stiffness. Think of it this way: you can have a 1mm pick made out of delrin or you can have a 1mm pick made out of cattle bone; although both picks are the same thickness their inherent stiffness is very different. That is the very thing I noticed upon trying TUSQ picks by the company Graphtech. These picks were brought to my attention by Acoustic Tuesday viewer Andrew D. and I am very happy that he got me to try them because I was stunned. These picks are incredibly stiff and that correlates into a fast snappy release from the string as well as a very clear tone. Not only did I try different thicknesses of picks I also tried different materials (Graphtech has three different materials which they advertise as the tones: Bright, Warm, and Deep). I was amazed at the variety of tones that were possible and also how comfortable I was with a subtly thinner pick at 1mm as compared to my usual 2mm Ultex pick. The thing that was the most pronounced for me was the stiffness and the resulting clarity that it helped me achieve. For any player looking for more articulation  these are a great starting point. It's always hard for me to put down my Dunlop Ultex 2mm pick, but these are a very enticing option for certain. - Product Video - TUSQ Picks Mixed Gauge Pack - TUSQ Picks Mixed Size Pack - TUSQ Picks Biangle Mixed Pack

Hearing a songwriter sing a completely raw and truthful song while performing solo is a magical experience. What makes it magic in my eyes is that it doesn't really happen all too often... (I guess in my eyes it should happen all the time... so I am biased). The artist that I am listening to this week came from a band setting and went ahead releasing a solo album in December of 2017... just himself and a guitar... and yes it is truly magical. Benjamin Tod, who also plays with the Lost Dog Street Band, released his solo album I Will Rise in late 2017. It contains 10 songs that will downright rip your heart out, make you reflect, and proceed to kick your heart down the street a little bit... even through the puddles and the potholes. Benjamin's album is well beyond a treat to listen to and it delivers on the raw and emotional front. One of the reasons I think this album emotes so well is that it's just him, a guitar, and nothing else besides some songs that you know are loaded with personal tales, trials, and tribulations. Benjamin's voice has this quality that I'll refer to as "raw yet refined," you can hear it when he trails off on a line with this unique three note step down that seems a bit Celtic. This album is a must play on one of those days when you wake up only to see the clouds hanging low in the sky contemplating on whether or not they're going to let the rain out. "I Will Rise" is about the purest album I can think of released in the last 6 months. - Using Again (Song) - I Will Rise (Song) - Hungry For You Blues (Song) - The Mountain (Cover Song) - I Will Rise (Album) - Life's a Dog Gone Shame (LDSB Album) - Sick Pup (LDSB Album) - Homeward Bound (LDSB Album) - Rage and Tragedy (LDSB Album)

There are some things that #guitargeeks deal with on a regular basis like broken strings, constant tuning, and misplacing your pick, but nothing is worse than finding a pick that you absolutely love only to have it become slippery in your hand and start spinning while you play. This #guitargeek phenomenon is all too common and thankfully there is a company out there trying to stop the spinning and slipping. Monster grips is a company that makes these small and grippy little discs you can stick right on your favorite pick... and they actually work! I have tried many products that aid in helping your pick stay put, from Gorilla snot, to violin rosin, and even the Cool brand picks with the sandpaper attached to them. I can confidently say that Monster Grips are a cut above the rest and are raising the bar in this category of Acoustic Guitar Accessory. They are easy to use and extremely durable. I put the grips on each side of a Dunlop Ultex pick, played the guitar for more than an hour, followed that up with placing the pick in a cup of coffee, and then washed it off with dish soap. In short, I put these through the ringer, and after cleaning they were just as grippy as when I first put them on. One of the things I had to get used to was the feel of the grippy pads on each side and the added thickness, but after a short adjustment period I found these to be pretty darn effective. They also work really well as a non slip surface on the feet of effects pedals. All in all Monster Grips are pretty outstanding if you are one of those players needing a little extra grip on your pick. - Monster Grips on Amazon 

For as much joy as playing with another person can be, it can also produce a ton of anxiety… and I mean the kind of anxiety that can cause any player to lock up.

What can cause the anxiety are the questions that bubble up. Those pesky questions that rattle around our guitar #guitargeek brains like:

What if I don’t know the song and can’t play along?

What if I’m not good enough to play with others?

What if I’m unfamiliar with a certain chord?

What if whomever I am playing with asks me to do a solo?

What if there are no song sheets to follow?

What if…

There are a billion "what if" scenarios, but the reality is that the overarching theme here is fear of the unknown and that is totally valid.

This is something all #guitargeeks go through at one point or another and, quite honestly, it never totally goes away. The good news is that there are some things you can do to keep that fear at bay and open yourself up to the learning opportunities that present themselves while playing with other folks.

Here are some tips to gain confidence in playing with others and some things to learn that will help you on your guitar journey.

1.) Guilt By Association - Surround yourself with guitar geeks that share the same thoughts, enthusiasm, and approach as you. This gives you the peace of mind that the folks you are playing with are there to support and help you along on your guitar journey.

2.) Open Mind - Go into any situation with other players as a bonus opportunity to learn. So many times the practice room feels like the only place to learn a lesson, but the truth is you can learn lessons anywhere and often the ones outside the practice room are the most valuable.

3.) Ask Questions - There is no rule, that I am aware of, that says you can’t ask questions and that you are magically supposed to know everything without ever asking. When playing with others it’s ok to ask questions about what chords are in a song or what key it’s in. Really any question is fair game and usually, those questions lead to major breakthroughs.

4.) Communication - This is key, no pun intended… hehe. Communication lies at the heart of having an awesome experience when playing with friends. One of the most crucial parts of communication is having the musical vocabulary to do so. Understanding what a key is and how chords work within a key will not only help you communicate with fellow guitar players; it will also help you be able to musically function within a jam which will certainly cut down on your anxiety when approaching a playing situation.

So wrap all of those things up with a nice little bow and you have yourself a launching pad into a world of fun that you will enjoy for years to come.

Wait, wait, wait… what if all those sound good except for that whole communication part...???

No worries, I've put together a free workshop on that very topic that starts on Monday, April 23rd.

In this workshop, I am going to discuss the Foundational Five which will help you not only clearly communicate in a jam, but also give you the confidence to start playing with other folks.

It's super easy to attend the workshop, all you have to do is visit and be sure you are on the waiting list for Fretboard Wizard. That's it. I can't wait to see you there and share in the lightbulb moments that will be happening!

Wow, another round of acoustic infusion from Acoustic Tuesday. Go forth and wave your #guitargeek flag and don't forget to share this episode with your fellow guitar geeks. 

Guitar geeks unite!


Apr 17, 2018
033 - Cancel Save changes Is Cocaine & Rhinestones Your Next Obsession?

Happiest Tuesday to you, my comrade in guitar geekiness!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by

Today we take some time to think of and thank all things acoustic with a juicy list of goodies to help you live your best #acousticlife. 

I know it's spring, but no rain delays are happening so let's play ball... err... I mean dive into some enlightening #acousticlife enhancers. 

I have always loved learning about music history. The stories seem to be of mythical proportions.. especially in country music. Now I'm not talking about Florida Georgie Line here, I mean country music prior to the year 2000. Tales of lying, cheating, stealing, love, smash hits, and controversial songs fill the coffers of country music and there's so much, I have never had time to dig into all of it... until now. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast hosted by Tyler Mahan Coe is one of the most amazing podcasts for any #guitargeek interested in the stories and tales that proliferate country music. This podcast is entertaining, informative, and downright inspiring. Currently there is one season available with 12 episodes and they are all incredible... no joke. I also have to say that the host, Tyler, puts a ton of work into these episodes and it shows, big time. Each one is packed full of information and it is presented in a fun manner that is easy to follow and digest. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast is a true treasure trove of incredible info and stories. Also, on the Cocaine & Rhinestones website each episode has a companion blog post allowing the listener to further geek out. This is a listening and learning experience through and through.    (Segment: 6:56 - 8:45)

Every now and again as guitar geeks, we look for a new piece of gear or accessory. Who am I kidding here?!?! As a #guitargeek it is our moral obligation to be on a never-ending quest for the next piece of gear that could get us one step closer to the elusive magical tone we have an insatiable desire for. There are numerous options for picks, strings and other gadgetry, but the Passerelle Bridge developed by luthier Rachel Rosenkrantz and artist Kaki King takes the cake for an accessory that can turn your guitar into a whole new instrument... as in completely different. The Passerelle bridge is cast out of bronze and sits on the 16th fret of your guitar and changes it into a "Koto" like instrument. Your guitar all of a sudden makes sounds of a dulcet nature and your ability to achieve a magically vocal-like quality from your guitar becomes quite easy. I have been experimenting with the one I ordered and I'm having a blast working with it. When I received it in the mail I had to make some adjustments to the string slots which the included materials did call to my attention, but after that, it was quite easy to begin experimenting with. Overall this gadget offers tons of possibilities which become very clear when watching Kaki King use it on her guitar. - How to Install a Passerelle Bridge - How to Tune With the Passerelle Bridge - Passerelle Demo (Bowen Island by Kaki King)

Every so often an artist comes along, changes the way an instrument is perceived, and then continues to push its boundaries. The artist that I have been listening to this week does just this and does so tirelessly. She is seemingly always trying something new and constantly challenging herself to find new avenues for the six string guitar. The artist that I am referring to is Kaki King; fingerstyle guitar player extraordinaire, brilliant composer, and constant boundary pusher. Kaki creates a beautiful synergy between percussive elements on the guitar and gorgeous melodies carried out with two hand tapping and other unconventional styles. Her newest project has her playing original compositions with an orchestra. The project prior to that, "The Neck is a Bridge to the Body," finds her playing a guitar that has visual projections mapped on its surface... something you have to see to believe. She has a myriad of albums to explore and I strongly encourage you to check them out. - The Surface Changes - Magazine with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra - The making of Glow - Glow (Album) - Legs to Make Us Longer (Album) - Everybody Loves You (Album)

It's tough to get access to small bench luthier guitars. Plain and simple, they are usually a one man or woman operation and being a one-person show limits the number of guitars they can make in a year. Getting to try a small bench luthier's guitars is what #guitargeek dreams are made of though... the guitars are masterfully made, often times somewhat unusual, and thought-provoking. What if I said there was a place you could go to try nearly 100 different small bench builder's guitars? Well, I'm saying it, that place exists and it's called the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase. The showcase is held in Woodstock, NY on October 26, 27, and 28 and you can go there to not only see and try some rare and unique instruments but also attend panel discussions and workshops. There are some real gems among the artists and presenters that will be there; Macyn Taylor, Antoine Dufour, Happy Traum, Courtney Hartman... and that's only a small sampling. This is a must-attend event for any guitar geek so make sure to schedule it.

The question of "Do I have to learn music theory?" comes up quite often amongst guitar geeks. I personally get asked this question a lot and I think you will find my answer insightful and energizing. 

I believe that you will learn theory when you are ready for it. Another way to say it is that you will ask the right questions when you are ready to learn the answer. So don't just go on a mission to learn music theory... it is an incredibly expansive topic and you may not have the right context for all of the items presented. Rather, learn some core fundamentals and allow yourself to swing on the learning pendulum... let me explain. The learning pendulum has two distinct points on it... you can even think of it as a spectrum with one end focused on physical learning (technique), and the other end focused on mental learning (theory). As a guitar player, you will swing back and forth between these two points and that is actually ideal because each end of the spectrum informs the other. Essentially when you are on one side you will learn something that impacts the other developing a new context with each swing of the pendulum. You absolutely must check out this segment from Acoustic Tuesday where I discuss this concept more. I think it will lead to light bulb moments and a new found vigor for guitar learning. (Not to mention, there is also quite the visual created with Miley Cyrus references and all... just sayin). 

To learn even more be sure to check out the free workshop I am releasing on April 23rd, this free workshop will discuss the core elements you will need to grow all of your future music theory knowledge. I like to call these elements the Foundational Five and they consist of the musical alphabet, major scale construction, the chord matrix, chord tonality, and the CAGED system. This workshop is packed full of light bulb moments and all you have to do is sign up. Just visit, sign up for the Fretboard Wizard waitlist, and you will be in the loop for this workshop. 

Talk about an action-packed installment of Acoustic Tuesday... Whoa!

Take a deep breath, make sure to check out those items, and it is imperative that you rest up because next week Acoustic Tuesday is coming in hot. 

Cheers to you #guitargeek and here's to living your best #acousticlife!

Happy pickin'


Apr 10, 2018
032 - Is THIS your new guitar strap??

Greetings #guitargeek!

I hope this finds you sufficiently fueled with coffee and thirsty for some acoustic guitar geekiness to help you live your best #Acousticlife.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by 

A ton is in store for today so off we go to the magical fountain of guitar geekness to indulge in the acoustic infused elixir known as Acoustic Tuesday.

When your guitar hasn't been cleaned in a while it starts to actively collect fingerprints, smudges, smears, and what I like to call guitar grime. Guitar grime is one of those things that can make your guitar look gross. I have tried a bunch of different guitar polishes with varying degrees of success, but one that sticks out in my eyes for its consistently excellent results is Gibson's pump polish. Its label appears to be unchanged since the '70's, but it's what's inside that really blows me away. This polish is exceptional, hell, it even smells good. This polish cleans well and makes your guitar's finish baby butt smooth... seriously... there is a distinct tactile difference in how your guitar feels after using this stuff. Now, I am not saying this is the only polish that does this, but it is, in my opinion, one of the best guitar polishes out there and should certainly be on your radar.

Next up... a guitar geek joke for you...

What do you get when you cross stellar fingerstyle guitarists, a gathering of music lovers, and Takoma Park, MD?

Well, you get the "Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Festival" which is a festival celebrating the American Primitive Fingerstyle guitar movement. I know this isn't a funny joke, but you have to admit that punchline is pretty awesome! This festival is on my list of ones to attend and I am currently working on pulling some strings so I can be there. You get three days of music by some absolutely incredible American Primitive guitarists whom are continuing to carry the torch of this style of music. Never before have I seen a festival dedicated to this style. So if you love American Primitive Guitar make sure to check this one out. Oh, and if you can't make the fest be sure to check out the album: The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose: American Primitive Guitar And Banjo (1963-1974) which celebrates the groundbreaking, inventive approach to traditional music brought forward by the likes of John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho and more. - Festival website - Festival Promo -  A Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Album Promo - A Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Album

This week I want to share with you a Flatpicker that I have been listening to for some time and I feel like he flies a bit under the radar... to a degree. This picker produces beautiful tone with a seemingly delicate touch. It's as if his picking and fretting hand are one hundred and ten percent perfectly in sync. His original instrumental tunes are melodically beautiful and expertly executed. I am talking about the one and only Kenny Smith, whom I was first introduced to through the band that him and his wife play in, aptly named, The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band. In this band setting Kenny shines vocally alongside his wife, and his instrumental breaks are rich with tone, succinct, and inserted into songs with precision. On his solo albums his guitar prowess shines brightly as well as his composition skills. Overall Kenny is a Flatpicker you need to know about and The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band is a band you need to hear. - Randall Collins (Song) - Cruel Willie (Song) - Always Never Enough (Song) - Studebaker (Album) - Always Never Enough (Album) - Tell Someone (Album) - Live and Learn (Album) - House Down the Block (Album) - Unbound (Album) - Kenny and Amanda Smith Store

Back in the 30's National guitars became known for a novelty finish called "frosted duco." This finish was gorgeous due to it's unique character. Since the finish's beauty relied on how crystals grow (no two are the same), each finish was different, making them absolutely gorgeous when done right. Now mind you, this was in the 30's, so how on earth would you get a finish like that on a new guitar or even refinish an old one? Well, you would have to call Rik Besser of B Fanatic Guitarworks. Rik is a specialist in the frosted duco finish and he has dedicated much time to perfecting his craft; so much so that he is responsible for that very finish on new National guitars made today. Rik not only applies this finish to new Nationals, he also helps restore old Nationals, and he even sells some on his site. If you have any interest in resos this is a great place to check out even if it is just for the visual inspiration.

If you look at old pictures of artists playing live shows you will no doubt see some really stellar guitar strap designs. I'm talking some very striking tapestry type themes... think Jimi Hendrix at Monterey or any picture of Eric Clapton in the 70's. Some of those patterns are iconic and that being the case we cannot forget them, and as #guitargeeks we can thank Souldier Straps from Chicago because they are using those very patterns on straps today... but those aren't the only patterns they have. Souldier Straps are made in Chicago and they are crazy comfortable and the custom looks you can create are nearly endless. They use recycled seatbelt material as the base of the strap and the decorations are pulled from vintage fabric. I should also add that the leather strap ends are affixed with a metal ring which seems like a small detail, but it is very important for longevity. One more thing about these straps and this company... I would highly recommend visiting their site, particularly the custom strap designer portion... you can pick colors, patterns, and all sorts of really geeky details. - Souldier Straps Interview - Brown Seatbelt Strap - Koi Goldfish Strap - Zodiac Strap

Our trip to the fountain of all awesome things acoustic must come to an end for this week my fellow #guitargeek, but please don't be sad. Go forth with your newly acquired acoustic knowledge and help more #guitargeeks unite!!!

Keep strumming and smiling until next Acoustic Tuesday and don't forget...

Guitar Geeks Unite!


Apr 03, 2018