Guitar talk

Guitar lessons and sources.

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.

Subscribe to Brian’s YouTube Channel

Write a Google Review for Brian

Guitar Lessons By Brian Web Site

Brian on Facebook


How to play Say A Little Longer by Bob Wills

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

Fridays’s Freebies #7: Chords 3, Hotel California, Joel White, and The Fretboard

Guitar Chords level 3

There are 7 basic chords in each key. Each chord is given a number name usually designated by Roman numerals. For example , in the key of C, C is the I chord, Dm is the ii, Em is the iii, F is IV, G is V, Am is vi, and B dim is vii. Majors use upper case and minors or dim use lower case Roman numerals.

The exercises in this playlist are in the keys of C, G, D, and A. These keys are more guitar friendly because they require only a few partial barre chords. The remaining 8 keys require full barre chords and are discussed in upcoming lessons. When discussing keys, there are 2 things they all have in common: 1) All 12 keys are in alphabetical order. 2) The I, IV, and V chords are major. The ii, iii, and vi chords are minor, and the vii chords are diminished. This is true for all 12 keys. What they do not have in common is the amount of sharps (#) and flats (b). The videos below provide diagrams for the chords and accompaniment tracks.


Hotel California on the Puerto Rican cuatro

The classic song by The Eagles seems to have universal appeal. The rhythm track for the intro and verse was done on a 12 string with a capo on the 7th fret. The cuatro sounds great on songs that use a 12 string.


Joel White, guitarist for The One O’clock Lab Band at The University of North Texas

Joel, and his dad Eric, dropped in to visit during the Christmas holiday. If you have not heard of The One O’clock Lab Band, it is the number one band at UNT and is considered one of the best in the nation.  I recorded Joel playing the Peanuts classic Christmas song. I recorded it on my phone and we only did one take! Joel will be traveling to New York City in January to perform at the Lincoln Center. The concert, featuring the top 10 college jazz bands, will be hosted by the legendary Winton Marsalis. Joel will be graduating in May. My how time flies!


Learn the Neck

Understanding and memorizing the notes on the entire fretboard is essential for mastering the guitar. This playlist has 4 videos with 4 methods for knowing the fretboard.


Guitar Talk:

and receive tabs, exercises, scales, chords, and sources that I use when teaching my students. FREE! Plus, you will receive Friday’s Freebies loaded with free lessons for guitar and cuatro.

Friday’s Freebies #6: Suzy Q, Both Sides Now, Cuatro Scales, and Ask Asher

How to play the intro to Suzy Q

Suzy Q is a song by musician Dale Hawkins recorded late in the rockabilly era in 1957. He wrote it with bandmate Robert Chaisson, but when released, Stan Lewis, the owner of Jewel/Paula Records and whose daughter Susan was the inspiration for the song, and Eleanor Broadwater, the wife of Nashville DJ, Gene Nobles, were credited as co-writers to give them shares of the royalties.

Hawkins cut Susie Q in a radio station in Shreveport Louisiana. Susie Q captured the spirit of Louisiana and featured guitar work by James Burton, who also worked with Ricky Nelson and later with Elvis Presley, among others.

Creedence Clearwater Revival released a version on their debut album in 1968. The band’s only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty, it peaked at number 11. This song was one of their first big hits. The album version clocks in at 8:37. The single is split into parts one and two on its A and B sides, respectively. The jam session during the coda is omitted in part one. Instead, it fades out with the guitar solo right before the coda, which fades in with part two on the B-side.

Fogerty told Rolling Stone magazine in 1993 that he recorded Suzie Q to get the song played on KMPX, a funky progressive-rock radio station in San Francisco, which is why it was extended to eight minutes.


How to play Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now is one of the best-known songs of Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.  First recorded by Judy Collins, it appeared on the U.S. singles chart during the fall of 1968. The next year it was included on Mitchell’s album Clouds (which was named after a lyric from the song). It has since been recorded by dozens of artists, including Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, Neil Diamond and many others. Mitchell herself re-recorded the song, with an orchestral arrangement, on her 2000 album Both Sides Now.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Both Sides Now at #171 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.


My solo arrangement of Both Sides Now is in Spanish tuning (also known as open G tuning). For best results learning the song use the tab and watch and listen to the video at slow speed. You can slow You Tube videos down in the settings in the top, right corner of the screen (three dots usually). The notation duration (stems, flags, etc.) aren’t totally accurate because the syncopation is too tedious to write out and I know most people will use the tab anyway.



How to play the C major scale on the Puerto Rican Cuatro

The major scale is the most essential scale in the western hemisphere. The video and web page below explains various ways to play the scale.


The C Major Scale on the Cuatro


Ask Asher #5: Tips for buying your first guitar



Guitar Talk:

and instantly receive links to tabs, exercises, scales, chords, and sources that I use when teaching my students. FREE! Plus, you will receive Friday’s Freebies loaded with free lessons for guitar and cuatro.




Friday’s Freebies #5

We still have four weeks until Christmas with enough time to learn a song.  Learning a Christmas song to share with your family would be a wonderful gift.


A Christmas song for beginning guitar students:

What Child Is This?

What Child Is This? is a Christmas carol whose lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix, in 1865. At the time of composing the carol, Dix worked as an insurance company manager and had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to this carol that was subsequently set to the tune of Greensleeves, a traditional English folk song. Although it was written in Great Britain, the carol is more popular in the United States than in its country of origin today.

What Child Is This? slow tempo
What Child Is This? normal tempo


A Christmas song for intermediate guitar students:

Silent Night

There’s a wonderful story about the carol Silent Night. Supposedly, the song was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818, just a few hours after it had been written. The Austrian priest, Joseph Mohr, was in desperate need of music for the midnight mass because his church’s organ was broken. So, he penned these lyrics and brought them to the organist Franz Gruber, who composed a simple melody for a guitar accompaniment. But as nice is this tale sounds, it is not entirely true.

Joseph Mohr actually wrote the lyrics to “Silent Night” several years before, in 1816. Regardless of its origin, the carol has proved to be immensely popular. It was first translated into English by hymnodist Emily Elliot in 1858, and again by John Freeman Young in 1859. Since that first performance, the lyrics have been translated into over 100 languages, and merrily sung by carolers all over the world.


Spanish Tuning

What does Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, The Black Crowes, The Moody Blues,  and most of the acoustic blues players from the Mississippi delta have in common? Spanish tuning! Spanish tuning is usually, but not limited to, open A or open G. If you are familiar with the A chord then you will know the sound. Basically. you tune the guitar to sound like an A chord played open. Therefore, the open notes are EAEAC#E low to high. Open G is the same intervals a whole tone lower. Therefore, the notes are DGDGBD low to high. I prefer G because there is less string tension. The advantage of open tuning is the open strings are used extensively to our advantage and barre chords are much easier. In this lesson we have Silent Night using Spanish tuning in the key of G. I hope you enjoy!




A Christmas song for Puerto Rican cuatro students:

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad is a Christmas song written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer and songwriter Jose Feliciano. With its simple Spanish chorus (the traditional Christmas/New Year greeting, “Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad” meaning “Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness”) and equally simple English verse “I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart”, it has become a classic Christmas pop song.



Friday’s Freebies:

and instantly receive links to tabs, exercises, scales, chords, and sources that I use when teaching my students. FREE!



Friday’s Freebies


Friday’s Freebies