a guitarist's occasional blog
I hope this finds you safely at home and in good health.
I wanted to let you know that all of my own work is currently on hold. The Multnomah Arts Center is currently closed until at least April 28th. I'm also not teaching out of my home studio. My wife works in healthcare and is our primary source of income. But other than her work, my family is strictly following guidelines for social distancing and sheltering at home to try to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
I have a tremendous amount of concern for my colleagues. Many professional musicians operate completely independent of any regular employment. It's a constant hustle to the next gig or teaching opportunity. All of these gigs are now wiped from the calendar for the near future. It's going to be incredibly difficult and stressful for them.
There are ways to help if you are in the position to give:
In regard to that last bullet point, The Alberta Rose Theaterin Portland is offering a series of twenty streaming concerts for $100. I can think of no better way to support a great local venue and some of our favorite Portland musical artists, and also to keep the economy moving along a bit. Get a ticket and enjoy a huge amount of wonderful music.
Please stay safe and do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Try to keep yourself busy doing things you love to do with the people you love at home. We all need to tend not only to our physical health, but our mental health as well.
I look forward to getting back to music with you!
The blog is alive!
Seriously, I've been so busy in the the real world that I haven't had much bandwidth for being online. For the time being, I'm going to be using this space as a resource for my students.
We have a new session of classes beginning in April at Multnomah Arts Center. Download the Portland Parks and Recreation Arts and Culture Guide, or call the arts center at (503) 823-2787.
I'm teaching the following classes:
4:00pm ~ Beginning Youth Guitar
5:00pm ~ Continuing Youth Guitar
6:30pm ~ Beginning Adult Guitar
7:30pm ~ Continuing Adult Guitar
4:00pm ~ Beginning Youth Ukulele
5:00pm ~ Continuing Youth Ukulele
6:30pm ~ Continuing Adult Guitar
7:30pm ~ Songwriting
I am also available for private guitar, ukulele, music theory, and songwriting lessons in my home studio. Please use the contact form on my website.
By the way, for anyone who is wondering "Where did he go?", I am completely off of social networking and happier for it.
As you can see, my blog has been sleeping the past six months. I've been very busy teaching a whole bunch of new classes at Portland's Multnomah Arts Center!
It's been a long time since I was in a situation like this where I am surrounded by so many other talented, enthusiastic, and hard-working students and artists. Years ago, I had the good fortune to teach children's music at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. This experience has a similar feeling.
I've been giving most of my energy to my songwriting, ukulele, and guitar students here all winter and spring, and I expect to continue to do that. But I've also managed to carve away at some of the distractions that have kept me from this blog. My intention is to get this rolling again, and to get back to posting about guitars and guitar playing a couple times each month.
In the meantime, if you are interested in private or group class guitar/ukulele/songwriting instruction, please get in touch with the Multnomah Arts Center at 503-823-2787.
"It's been a happy Thanksgiving, and I'm feeling fine. I've got a belly full of turkey and a head full of wine. I grab one for the road, and I head out to the shopping mall!" ~ from "Black Friday Stomp"
Here is an original song that you might enjoy adding to your gig this coming weekend. It's a little bit of satire on the upcoming holiday shopping madness.
"Black Friday Stomp" appears on my A Whisper in this Town CD. I was inspired to write this while reading Steve Goodman: Facing the Music by Clay Eals. The biography reminded me of the need for adding more variety (humor!) to my own set when performing. I also have a companion song called "Fourth of July: Made in China" that will likely get me in some trouble down the road!
This one is fairly easy and straightforward. Strum quarter notes aggressively and throw in occasional upstrokes. When I play it, I add a capo to the third fret. This puts the song in Eb instead of C. Perform it in whatever key works best for your voice.
The "G7#5" chord means that you play a D# instead of a D in your G chord. The easiest way is to play ~ (fret/string) 3/6, x/5, 3/4, 4/3, 4/2, x/1. "x" means to deaden the string. Otherwise, you're just pounding out cowboy chords.
A Whisper in this Town on iTunes
Chuck Cheesman writes hopeful, loving, and sometimes funny songs for people of all ages.
All materials ©℗ Chuck Cheesman
Banner photo by Gina Dazzo