Hello Heartwood Beat Subscribers,

I hope you’re all well and enjoying the start of summer. I’m having fun with my most recent writing project: Creating a beginning guitar course that I’ll offer on my website starting this summer or fall.

Chord Chart Update

I just posted thirty new chord charts, including a trio of toe-tapping Taylor Swift tunes, a round of indie-rock refrains, and a cornucopia of classic-rock crowd-pleasers. Most include strumming diagrams (I know how helpful those are to many of you), and there’s strumming video support for $7/month, too.

U2The Allman Brothers – Ramblin’ Man
America – Horse With No Name
Avett Brothers – Shame
Belle and Sebastian – Judy and the Dream of Horses
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lodi
Taio Cruz – Dynamite
The Decemberists – Down by the Water
Bob Dylan – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Green Day – She’s a Rebel
Steve Earle – Pilgrim on this Road
James – Sometimes
Jet – She’s a Genius
Joni Mitchell – Conversation
MGMT – Time to Pretend
The Mountain Goats – Sax Rohmer #1
Nada Surf – Always Love
Tom Paxton – What If, No Matter
Katy Perry – Firework
Katy Perry – Hot N Cold
The Pretty Reckless – My Medicine
Radiohead – Karma Police
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Storm in a Teacup
Kevin Rudolf – Let it Rock
Amanda Seyfried – Li’l Red Riding Hood
Taylor Swift – Speak Now
Taylor Swift – Teardrops on My Guitar
Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me
They Might Be Giants – Roy G. Biv
U2 – Love Rescue Me
U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
Eddie Vedder – Society

Restringing Tips

Restringing25 years of restringing my guitars have taught me the following tricks. I hope these help you enjoy, or at least zip through, this chore.

1. Clear a table and lay down a towel

You want enough room to rotate your guitar without knocking over lamps, empty beer bottles, etc.

2. Make a restringing kit

Wire cutters
Dunlop Formula 65 Cleaner
Gertlitz Guitar Honey (for conditioning rosewood and ebony fingerboards)
Mechanical Pencil
Rags

3. Clean your guitar after you remove old strings

There will never be an easier time. If you oil your fingerboard, use separate rags for oil and cleaner.

4. Lubricate nut slots with a pencil

Have you ever heard a quiet, high “ping” when you tuned your guitar? That’s the sound of your string suddenly slipping through your nut slot. This is bad: To easily tune your guitar, you need your strings running through that slot like water through a pipe. Les Pauls are notorious for this problem, because their headstock design requires strings to take a sharp turn as they pass through the nut, increasing friction.

To lube the nut slots, just scribble graphite in each nut slot with a mechanical pencil.

Fan Mail

Rob's Totally Awesome Guitar Teaching HandbookEvery few days I get the pleasure of reading praise from a reader of my Totally Awesome Guitar Teacher’s Handbook. Here are a few recent ones that made me smile.

“Rob – in the short amount of time I have been reading your hand book – you have save the musical lives of 10 young students I have been struggling with. Thank you – I can’t wait for class today.”

“Your book is just what I needed. I’ve read it twice and just printed it out today so I can highlight and scribble notes. Now I feel good about turning my garage into a professional looking studio for learning.”

“Thanks to reading and applying the info in your ebook, my site is drawing in a steady stream of new students and I’m loving the journey of building a stronger and stronger teaching practice.”

Learn more about the Handbook here.

Enjoy the music,

Rob