Guitar talk

Guitar lessons and sources.

Guitar Talk: Autumn 2021

Autumn is here and the weather is wonderful. It is good to see people out and enjoying the nice weather. I hope you had a great summer. There are a couple events coming up this week. We have a winner for Essential Listening, and I have some new video freebies for music lovers.


Highway 59 Revisited

On Thursday, September 30, Professor Steve Davis will be presenting Highway 59 Revisited The Blues In East Texas at The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble. I have taken history classes and heard him speak about local music. He is wonderful. I encourage all my friends to be there.


Live Music at The Kingwood Farmers Market

On Sunday, October 3, 1-5 PM, I will be performing at Kingwood Farmers Market.

Kingwood Town Center Park

8 N Main St, Kingwood, TX 77339

I would love to see you there!


Congratulations to Shubhra Misra for providing the best answers to Essential Listening in our last Guitar talk. The Artist was Jeff Beck performing Definitely Maybe. The answers were researched and expressed very well. I learned a few things reading his answers!

Here are Shubhra’s  answers to the questions:

Who is Jeff Beck?

Jeff Beck is an English musician/songwriter/guitarist.

What style(s) of music does Jeff Beck play?

Jeff Back plays primarily rock, jazz and blues.

How does he get those sounds on his guitar? What is unique about this song? What devices or gadgets does he use to get his sound?

On this particular song and most others, the use of his right hand and his fingers (varying attack), including his use of the tremolo/vibrato bar to adjusting the tone/volume knobs, and the left hand with the slide. This song could very well be the literal “while my guitar gently weeps”! The emotional content of this song, all from Beck’s phrasing, tempo and sounds, from the weeping, and screaming to the ambiguity in the interlude is what makes the title so apt. Aside from the melody and Beck’s playing, from a harmony perspective, I think the mix of major and minor chords makes this song unique. I don’t know much about his amp and effects set up, and I’m sure there is quite a bit, but I don’t think there is much – most of what I hear from Beck seems to come out of straight out of his guitar.

What famous musicians recorded with Jeff?

Endless list, from Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Roger Waters, Brian Wilson, Bon Jovi to Toots and the Mayals and Johnny Depp!

What brand of guitar(s) does he use?

Typically, a strat or a tele but also Gibson Les Paul and others.

What kind of amplifier does he use?

I had to read up on this, and it obviously varied depending on the stage of his career, but included Vox, Marshall, Fender Twin Reverb and many others. The clear progression has been from the “dirty” Yardbirds-era sound to a “cleaner” sound.

Where was he born and raised?

Surrey, England

Name two more songs by Jeff.

I’ll pick two that are covers and maybe not as well known but my favorites – His interpretation of Nadia and his interpretation of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.

What other instruments do you hear on Definitely Maybe?

Drums, bass, electronic piano/keyboard

Do You like this song? How would you rate it on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being fantastic.

I think this is fairly mediocre even within Beck’s repertoire. 6/10.

Is there another song by Jeff that you like better?

The entire playlist/live performance at Ronnie Scott’s!

From Brian:

There are only a couple observations I would add: Jeff uses a wah wah pedal  to produce a crying effect throughout the song. The Jeff Group is the studio band that played on Donavan’s recordings, most notably Barabajagal .

When speaking with Shubhra about the song, he told me his father was a fan of Jeff Beck when we was growing up in India. That impressed me. Someone from India and the USA were digging the music of a British cat at the same time. That shows that music is the universal language and knows no borders.


This month’s Essential Listening: Los Endos by Steve Hackett

The questions: Anyone is allowed to participate. Email the answers to

  1. Who is Steve Hackett?
  2. Who wrote and recorded the original version of Los Endos and what album is it on?
  3. What kind of guitar is he using?
  4. What is unique about his guitar?
  5. What does Steve have in common with Eddy Van Halen?
  6. What other instruments do you hear and see on this video?
  7. Do you like this song? Rate it 1 to 10 with 10 being awesome.
  8. Is this the first time you have heard Steve Hackett?
  9. What other songs do you like by him?
  10. What song from any artist would you recommend to be featured as Essential Listening?


The Andalusian Cadence, also known as the Runaway progression is one of the coolest chord progressions you’ll ever learn. I have created nine videos on the subject.


How to play Aloha ‘Oe on the ukulele.


How to play The Beatles classic, Yesterday, on guitar.


Learning the notes on the guitar.


Music Theory for Guitarists

Phone: 281.386.6982


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Breaking Up Is Hard to do was a big hit for Neil Sadaka in 1962. It was a beautiful melody but, it was a done in a “do wop/bubblegum style” that was popular at the time with teens. Years later he did a blues version with him singing and playing piano in a slow, soulful, blues style. It is absolutely marvelous. I never get tired of this song.

In the first video we have the original from the early 60s. The second video is Neil’s blues version years later. And, the third video is my solo guitar arrangement.



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How To Play Yesterday

I learned how to play this arrangement of Yesterday, by The Beatles, in 1977 from my guitar teacher, Manuel Padraza. Here I am sharing it with my students 40 years latter. That speaks volumes about the longevity of this classic.



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Baritone Ukulele: How To Play Beautiful Dreamer

The Tab: Beautiful Dreamer in G level 1



The Tab: Beautiful Dreamer in G level 2

Spring 2021

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Spring is here and the weather is nice. It is good to see people out and enjoying the sunshine.

Last month I started a series called Essential Listening. I shared two videos of the classic Cavatina, by Stanley Meyers, and asked my students to answer 10 questions about the song. The response was great! I had many students that replied in writing and others with an aural response.

Also, I offered a prize (a guitar cleaning kit) to the student with the response that pleased me the most. I had many great responses, but the prize goes to Ciera Staton for her effort. Congratulations Ciera!

The first one was a learning experience for me. I would like to do the next one differently:

1. I would like to have written answers in text so I can copy, paste, or manipulate your text allowing me to put it in my blog (with your permission of course).

2. I would like an aural response also.

Please email me your answers instead of texting.  email Brian:

This months song is :


An assignment for students:

Listen to Definitely Maybe no less than two times from beginning to end. Leave all devices and siblings in a different room. ABSOLUTELY NO DISTRACTIONS.

The questions:

  1. Who is Jeff Beck?
  2. What style(s) of music does Jeff Beck play?
  3. How does he get those sounds on his guitar? What is unique about this song? What devices or gadgets does he use to get his sound?
  4. What famous musicians recorded with Jeff?
  5. What brand of guitar(s) does he use?
  6. What kind of amplifier does he use?
  7. Where was he born and raised?
  8. Name two more songs by Jeff.
  9. What other instruments do you hear on Definitely Maybe?
  10. Do You like this song? How would you rate it on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being fantastic.
  11. Is there another song by Jeff that you like better?

The student with the best answers wins a prize. If you are not presently a student you are encouraged to participate but only students are eligible for the prize.

Something for beginner guitar and ukulele students:


Something for beginner ukulele students:


Something for intermediate guitar students: A playlist of 23 Classic Intros


Something for those interested in classical guitar:


Donner guitar review:

email Brian:

How To Play Jerusalem Ridge On Mandolin




Essential Listening: Cavatina

An assignment for students:

Listen and watch both versions no less than two times from beginning to end. Leave all devices and siblings in a different room. ABSOLUTELY NO DISTRACTIONS.

1. Which version do you prefer?

Questions about your preferred version:

2. Who wrote the song?
3. What year was it released?
4. What movie made the song famous?
5. Who performed the version you like?
6. Tell me a brief history of the performers of your preferred version.
7. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being fantastic) how would you rate this song?
8. What style or genre of music is your preferred version?
9. What instruments are used in your preferred song?
10. Do you have a song you like better than this one? What is the title and who recorded the song you like?

The STUDENT with the best answers wins a FREE guitar maintenance kit.



My 2020 Experience and Freebies for You!

Humble Music Center is no longer in business. We have been in business since 1972. I joined them in 1979 at the age of 25. Elaine Garland Mitchell, with her multiple talents, was the person most responsible for the store’s longevity. Her brother, Gene Garland,  accompanied her with his repairs and unique sense of humor. “Ringo”  Rod Robert, Elaine’s son, added his multiple talents to the mix. Dale Webb, Misty Webb, and Chet Garland also contributed to the stores success.

Thank you all!

The best part of my career has been making friends and developing relationships with our students, customers, and associates.  A very special thanks to everyone for supporting us all these years and making it possible.

Even though this chapter is over, I will continue to teach in person and online. God has blessed me with family, friends, health, and a good life. I intend to continue teaching, performing, and creating as long as possible.

Thank You!

Brian Turner

aka Dr. Brianstine


2020 has certainly been unusual. In March my business dropped 80% almost overnight. I had some students that switched to online lessons but most were put on hold. All gigs stopped and Humble Music Center went out of business. That is the negative side of my 2020 experience. Otherwise, a lot of positive things happened in 2020. First, I had already made a goal on January 1 to create 100 videos on YouTube in 2020. When my work dropped off I immediately started making videos. I reached my goal of 100 before the end of April. I now have a total of almost 400. Second, I had been thinking for a long time that I wanted to raise chickens. When I went to Walmart in March and there were no chickens on the shelves that settled it. My good friend, Glenn Miller, volunteered to help me build a chicken coop. We built it and I bought eight pullets (baby chickens) and began raising chickens. One chicken is older than the others and she gives me an egg every morning. The others are still young but they should start producing any day now. Third, realizing small businesses could be in trouble in 2020, I converted part of my garage into a studio, with the gracious help of my friend Kris Rives. I teach some of my students and create videos in my new studio. I am also doing lesson house calls, teaching online, and teaching one day a week at Music and Arts. My lessons have come back substantially. I also picked up a gig at the new Chachi’s Next Door, which is in the same location of Cafe Du Bois, where I performed for years. I am usually there on Saturday nights but it is an outdoor gig so I only play when the weather is good. I know all of this pales in comparison to what many have been through this year. My prayers are for those that have had their health affected. We pray and hope it passes soon.

This month I have some freebie videos for guitar, ukulele, bass and cuatro students. If you watch till the end you will have links to the next levels. If there is a particular lesson you would like to see send me a comment. I hope you enjoy!

Beginner Guitar:

Intermediate Guitar:



Puerto Rican cuatro:

Freebies April, 2020

Record Your Lessons Plus Freebies

Hello to All!

The best advantage of teaching online is that you can, very easily, record your lesson as we go. Also, you can do it from the comfort of your home, with a more flexible schedule, and I create custom videos to supplement your lesson. These are some of the things we all learn from the fast changes we’re seeing lately.

As the sayin’ goes, “A lot of water under the bridge since we last met”. I pray you are all faring well during the lockdown. I know life has changed drastically for many of us. I pray we get trough this soon. I would love to correspond with you and hear what you are up to during this time. As for me, some students have elected to hold off until we can meet in person, while others have elected to take lessons online. Fortunately, I had already been teaching online for years so I was somewhat prepared. But, my wife is a school teacher, so they had to scramble to come up with a plan.

What I have been doing is creating videos. On January 1 of this year I set a goal to produce 100 videos this year. Of course I did not anticipate the lockdown, but since the lockdown I have created over 60. I really enjoy the process of making videos. It seems like I learn something new with each video. I am amazed by the tools available for us on our computers in the comfort of our homes. I have also organized my playlists and worked on the look of my YouTube channel. In this edition you will find several of my new videos. I have added some extra videos since many of you are home more. I tried to include something for everyone. Notice the last (but not least) video is guitar student and content creator Asher Rives. Be sure to visit his YouTube channel and say hi. I hope you enjoy the videos.

If you are interested in lessons you might want to consider the online option.

Advantages to learning online

It is easy to record your lesson
Custom videos to supplement your lesson
The comfort of your home
Flexible schedule

Regardless, I would love to hear from you!


Just one more thing: reviews, subscribes, and such helps immensely. I would be very grateful for your support and a special thanks to those that already have.

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How to play Say A Little Longer by Bob Wills

How to play Stay A Little Longer by Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys

Friday’s Freebies


Friday’s Freebies