Polls Are Open for Summer Cover Competition

C’mon over to the Summer Cover Competition page and check out the eight great videos submitted. Vote for your favorite to help them win a $100 gift certificate to Musician’s Friend, or a free lesson with yours truly.

New Chart: “New Soul” by Yael Naim

Photo credit: www.zoriah.net I just posted a chart for "New Soul," a sweet little tune by Franco-Israli singer-songwriter Yael Naim. "New Soul" ascended to No. 7 in the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2008 when it was featured in a MacBook Air commercial. I imagine Naim was singing that catchy "La-la-la" hook all the way to the bank. As is ...

Three More Charts

In my defense, I said I'd post 30 charts in 30 days--not that I wouldn't do any skipping-and-cramming. I skipped a few days to launch the Summer Cover Competition, and this is the cram. Here are charts for two pop songs--John Mayer's "Half of My Heart" and Sean Kingston's doo-wop inspired "Dumb Love"--and one classic 1944 jazz duet, Frank Loesser's ...

New Chart: “Fires of Edinburgh” by Nick Keir

The Cowgate Arch of George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, 1860 Source: National Galleries of Scotland Commons Here's a special treat for traditional music buffs: A chart for a gorgeous, epic tour of the history of Edinburgh written by the obscure Scottish songwriter Nick Keir. "Fires of Edinburgh" by Nick Keir (the first of the two songs) Transcribing this song was a ...

Competitors, start your iPhones.

I’m organizing a fun competition this week that will give you a chance to share your music with the thousands of people who visit my site every day, and give you a shot at winning either a $100 gift certificate to Musician’s Friend, or a free lesson with me (on Skype unless you’re in Seattle). You choose. This competition is …

New Chart: “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John

30 Charts in 30 Days continues! Up next we have a paradox packaged in a bubblegum wrapper: Mr. John is yearning for those golden days of his youth, when he and Susie used to rock to…the song he just wrote. Careful, Elton–just because no one’s created a black hole while writing a song doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Here’s the …

New Chart: “Roll On, John” by Bob Dylan

Here's a chart for Bob Dylan's mythical ode to John Lennon, "Roll On, John". The song's structure--a long (7:25) series of alternating verse and chorus--is typical of his songwriting in the last decade. It has a similar feel to several of Joni Mitchell's songs on Hejira, namely "Song of Sharon," which is 8:40 of verses, one after the other. Their ...

New Chart: “June Hymn” by The Decemberists

Here's a chart of "June Hymn" by The Decemberists. What a gorgeous song. Lovely bass-strum technique on the guitar, the accordion and Wurlitzer interweave elegantly, and the lyrics are lush poetry. Plus, if you're a high school student with your eyes on a competitive college, this song, and really any Decemberists tune, makes for great SAT prep. English major rock ...

New Chart: “I Got Stripes” by Johnny Cash

Here's a chord chart for "I Got Stripes," originally written out for my student Wesley, the biggest Cash fan I know. Check out his great strumming in his Coffee Shop Jam performance. Part of what makes that groove sound so good is that he's accenting the 2nd and 4th beats of the measure, called the "backbeat." These are the beats ...

New Chart: “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by The Beatles

Photo Credit: www.thebeatles.com I've just posted a chart for the Beatles tune "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away". Many Beatles songs are deceptively difficult. They may sound simple, but then halfway through the tune, BAM! Key change to C#! Or WHAM! Weird diminished chord invented by Thelonious Monk. Beatles fans who just know cowboy chords have a rougher row ...