Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NEW! Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo, 2nd Edition

We are pleased to announce the release of our new 2nd edition of Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo. Lots of changes and updates, new size, 4 and 5 string banjo chords, and we also have an iPad version.

Book Description
Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo, Second Edition is an updated version of the original popular chord chart book for the beginning music player. Essential Chords contains fingering charts for guitar, mandolin, ukulele and banjo chords and a variety of other music charts for playing rock, folk, country and blues music. Now in a new, larger size, updated and with new 4 and 5 string banjo tunings, this is the perfect resource for every player.

Simple, clean, easy to read fingering charts for all players showing the 7 basic Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo chords, A-G for Major, Minor and 7th chords. Includes the I, IV, V chord progressions for each key. Plus movable Guitar fingerings for barre chords, arpeggio scales, and soloing scales for folk, country, rock and blues, and movable Mandolin arpeggio scales. The charts are designed to be easy to read and follow.

Essential Chords includes blank sheet music and chord box pages for each instrument that you can photocopy. Each sheet music page has the lines spread apart for ease in writing down your music.

Chord and Music Charts in the Book
• The Seven Basic Guitar Chords, Major, Minor and 7th

• The Seven Guitar Keys with I, IV, V and V7 Chords

• Guitar Barre Chords
• Major Movable Soloing Scale for Folk or Country Music for Any Key

• Minor Pentatonic Movable Soloing Scale for Blues, Rock or Latin Music

• Movable Arpeggio Scale for Any Guitar Key

• Guitar Power Chords

• Diminished Guitar Chords

• Augmented Guitar Chords

• Sus2 and Sus4 Guitar Chords

• Mandolin Chords, Major, Minor and 7th
• Mandolin Two Finger Chords

• The Seven Mandolin Keys with the I, IV, V and V7 Chords

• 2 Finger Mandolin Chords for a I, IV, V Progression

• Movable Arpeggio Scale for Any Mandolin Key

• Ukulele Chords, Major, Minor and 7th

• The Seven Ukulele Keys with the I, IV, V and V7 Chords in First Position

• Banjo Chords, 5 String, A, C, Double C, D and G Tunings Major, Minor and 7th

• Banjo Chords, 4 String, Standard, Celtic/Irish and Chicago Tunings, Major, Minor and 7th

• Blank Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo Sheet Music and Chord Boxes

Available at Amazon.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vamping and Getting Different Sounds on Your Guitar

We received this question today here at Acoustic Music TV:

I have a question ---- is there a way you can show how chord progression applies to vamping for playing back up chords to songs in different keys and maybe give examples or explain how this would work?

As I play the banjo.

HI, and thank you for your question. I know a little but not that much on vamping. What I tend to do is to find the same chord in a different place on the guitar or mandolin and play that, which are the instruments I play the most, I also use the relative minor chords, those work pretty well also for a different sound.  To play relative minor chords you play the chord that is 3 half steps down from the root of any major chord, this is the relative minor. So for G play Em, think G, F, Em, for C it is Am etc. This is sort of chord substitution but you get the idea. You can mix all this stuff together to create progressions and new sounds.

I also tend to sometimes play the opposite chord to the key that is being played. So if everyone is jamming and playing the G chord part of the song I might play the D chord in the Key of G or the C. This doesn't really work if we are playing the song in order with all the correct chords but does work if we just start jamming on the song, like if you are playing the verse over and over again and people are just trying different things. I switch it up, throw in a different chord in that key.

The other thing I do is play the movable arpeggios scale for the key. I just play little made up patterns. Once you know the scale then you can play any of those notes and it will sound correct. Great for making up a quick solo that isn't the melody of the song and it sounds correct. I have those charts in the Essential Chords for the guitar and mandolin but never made one for the banjo. I should work on that. You might be able to figure out what they are for the tuning you are working in.

Another thing I do is play a lower sounding version of the chord for the verse and then a higher sounding version of the chord for the chorus or to just throw in a different sound. Lets take a G chord, normally I would play it in the 1st position and it would sound fine, but I could also play it up on the 7th fret on the top three strings. It has a much higher sound but it is still a G chord.

hope this helps, great question

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Double C Tuning Chart for 5 String Banjo

Here is the last of the new banjo chord charts, this rounds out a collection of five tuning charts for the banjo. D, G, A, C-Standard, and Double C. These will be a great addition to the revised edition of Essential Chords coming out soon. Every chart in the book will now also have a matching Key chart, highlighting the I, IV, V and V7 chords. Along with an expanded page size and some other tweaks it should make for a great update. Here is the Double C banjo chart
5 String Banjo Chord Chart for Double C Tunings, g C G C D. As always we love comments and suggestions. Make sure you are signed up in our mailing list so you can get the details of when it releases. We will be offering a special gift with each book. And just a hint, once this book is done we will be working on a version for left handed players. A little late getting it out but it is coming.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Banjo Chord Chart, C Tuning, or Standard Tuning

Below is another chord chart from the upcoming Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo. This is a 5 string Banjo chord chart in C Tuning. This summer I learned basic banjo with Riley Baugus at the Summer Acoustic Music Week camp run by WUMB in Boston. The camp is held twice each summer on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, great time. Riley was excellent, I also took his Round Peak Banjo class which was really interesting on the music of the Round Peak area of North Carolina. Anyways here is the second of 3 new charts.
5 String Banjo Chord Chart for Standard C Tuning from the upcoming 2nd edition of Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo. Make sure you are on the list for notice of the special offer when the book goes on sale.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New 5 String Banjo Chords, A Tunings

Oh, it has been a while, we have been very busy and haven't been able to do much blogging, but we have some great news. I have been hard at work on a new revised version of Essential Chords book. I have increased the size a little, up to 8.5 x 11, trimmed up the pages and added a bunch of new banjo chord charts. I went to guitar camp this summer and took a class in banjo and learned about some chords I should add. I still have work to do on the book but this will give you a sample of the A tuning chords for 5 string banjo. The book is coming, getting closer every day, we are also going to have special offer when the book goes on sale. I will let you know as we get closer.

5 String A Tunings banjo chords, a E A C# E. Each chord sheet will now have a matching Key sheet with the 1, 4, 5 chords.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Acoustic Music Week, SAMW, and iPad Chord Book

I have been so busy lately working on a ton of projects. One that is just about done is an iPad version of my Essential Chords book. I have basically rewritten then entire book because I discovered something about my book and iPads. Ebooks seem to work best when each page is the same direction. If you have seen our Essential Chords book you will see some pages are vertical and some pages horizontal, well that is cool and it works nice but not on an ereader. You end up having to turn and turn the ereader as you chase the page around the reader getting it to read correctly. So what I have done is reconfigure every page back to a vertical format.

The second thing I have done is to add in tons of new charts especially banjo chords. I have tried to set up each instrument with the basic chords and their 1, 4, 5 chords for each key so you can figure out the basic structure. So the Key of A has the 1 chord, the A, the 4 chord the D and the 5th chord the E and also the 7th version of that chord, so E7. I have now gone through all of the 4 instruments and done this for each key. Including the banjo for both 5 and 4 strings. It took way longer than I thought, but it is just about done. I had promised to make a left hand Essential Chord book but I needed to fix this first, and it took a while. Now I can convert this book over to a left hand version.

Ok number 2, SAMW, what is this? SAMW (WUMB - Summer Acoustic Music Week) is just the best adult music camp, this will be my 10th or 11th time, I can't quite remember. It is run by the Boston folk radio station WUMB and is held up in New Hampshire, in July, and again in August. About 100 students, 20 faculty, classes, workshops, performances. Songwriting, playing, sound, performance, great swimming and dancing. It is a great time. Next week I am off for a vacation of playing music.

Anyways when I get back I will be figuring out how to release the new iPad version, it came out pretty cool and get to work on the left hand version and a bunch more ideas.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Ideas Coming from Acoustic Music TV

Hi, just a quick post, some new ideas that we are working on, a left hand version of our chord book and an iPad, e-version also. More details coming but those are in the works. Also a cool idea on the iPad version

Winner for Setting Up Chord Fingering Boxes

Thank you everyone who voted or sent comments on the design for our chord fingering charts for a new book we are working on. It looks like Style A with the root chords is the winner, A total of 42 people voted with 35 going for A. We had a great idea sent in on adding in root and note numbers instead of chord names, so we will be doing that. We love comments, they really help

thank you all

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Question on Chord Fingering Boxes, A or B?

Hi all, ok we are working on the layout of the chord pages and a question came up on the design of the Chord Fingering Boxes. I originally thought that I would highlight the root notes of a chord in red. The root note of the A chord is A, the other notes are C# and E. The illustration above shows the chord fingering box for the Mandolin A chord. Some like the root notes highlighted in red and others didn't. I would love you to select your favorite, A or B. The numbers indicate which finger.

Please select your choice in the poll over on the top right corner, A or B, thank you

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mandolin Photo Chord Book, Initial Design Concept

Thanks everyone who made comments and voted on my mandolin chord pictures, Photo A's view was the clear winner but there was also a strong vote for using both photos in the book. Above is an image with my first pass for the page design of the new chord photo book. I would love any comments on it good or bad. I will reshoot the photos but they will be along this line. 
 The thought is to include a variety of ways to show chords, pictures, fret board, chord box, staff lines and TAB lines.  FPO means for position only, I don't have that image at the moment but that is where one would go.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Photo A and Both Are Winners for the View Poll

Thank you everyone who voted on the photo poll to help us figure out which view we should show for our upcoming chord book project. I took a picture of an A mandolin chord from the top and from the front. Posted them here on this blog and on Facebook and the top view won by a big margin. Coming in second was the option of showing both views the top and from the front.
Total of 53 votes
35 people for photo A from the top, 66%
6 people for photo B from the front, 11%
17 people for both photos, 32%

These images will be shown along with chord fingering illustrations in a new expanded chord book I am working on. We also had some great comments on the poll and especially on can we adapt this project for left handed players. I will keep you posted on the project progress.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Which Photo Works Better for Showing a Chord A or B? Click on the Poll at Right

I have started working on a new expanded chord book which will include new photos of all the essential chords along with fingering charts, TAB and notes on a staff. It is a big project and will take a while to pull together but I have started.
Because there are so many photos I want to get them right so we are asking for your help before I start shooting them. We are starting with the mandolin and the above photos are of the A chord.

Which type of picture do you think works best, from the top (Photo A) or from the front (Photo B), you can click in the poll to the right?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mandolin Moveable Arpeggio Scale for Any Key

Page from our Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo book of our moveable arpeggio scale for any Mandolin Key. This chart allows you to use arpeggios for doing solos. This movable chart will work for any key as it can be moved up and down the fret board.

Songs for mandolin, (amazon affiliate link)

Easy Songs for Mandolin: Supplementary Songbook to the Hal Leonard Mandolin Method (Hal Leonard Mandolin Method: Supplement to Any Mandolin Method)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele & Banjo Video

We have been working on videos for our books for YouTube, Facebook and the blog, here is our latest for our Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele & Banjo book.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Banjo Chords with G Tunings from Our New Book, Essential Chords

Banjo Chords for G Tuning. A page from our new book Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo. Banjo tunings usually come in one of two tunings, G or D. We include a fingering chart for both in the book that show the major, minor and 7 chords for the banjo. You can see all of our chord and music fingering charts at www.acousticmusictv.com.

Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo: Chord Fingering Charts for the Major, Minor, and Seventh Chords, Keys, Barre Chords, Arpeggio ... Scales, Blank Chord Boxes and Sheet Music

Time for Stats on Marketing Essential Chords, April

Ok I have been working hard on the marketing of my new Essential Chords Book for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo, sales are up on Amazon.com, page rank is up, progress all around. I have also been very busy putting together the different materials I will need such as images and videos. I have loaded up some author videos on my Amazon author page, and I need to finish the text for the YouTube video and I will get them up.

Ok Stats on Essential Chords and the older book Notebook Music Chords,
Amazon sales of Essential Chords for March, 3 copies
Amazon sales of Notebook Music Chords for March 4 copies, marketing one book has sparked the other, sales are about 1 a week, the goal is to get them to 1 a day.

Sales rank on Amazon for Essential Chords went from 1,175,775 to 1,273,564 on March 31, and then today to 300,000, in the last two weeks it jumped as high as 185,000, I guess these move around a lot
Notebook Music Chords went from 871,112 to 713,168
Sales on Lulu.com for Notebook Music is 6 books and 1 pdf sold, little confused but I think it is for the year. Need to move Essential Chords to Lulu.com also

CafePress sold 5 music items, increasing the traffic on AcousticMusicTV increases sales on all the items.
Traffic on AcousticMusicTV.com our main site has jumped from 95 a day to 159 a day
on this blog, it has gone down a little 43 down to 35, bounce rates are in the 50s%

Tasks complete, videos shot and edited, need to be put up on YouTube, page images made and loaded on the Facebook page, Flickr and Google Picassa, weblinks on all, keyworded captions on all.

To do: write video copy and upload book videos, then cross link to all sites, update email list graphics and fix the AWeber account and the autoresponder emails, add graphics and more post to blog, get new sheet music books on AcousticMusicTV.com and the blog, make graphics for sheet music books.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

J. Bruce Jones' photostream

Essential Chords Front CoverEssential Chords Back CoverEssential Chords, Banjo Blank Chord Boxes HorzEssential Chords, Banjo Blank Chord BoxesEssential Chords, Ukulele Blank Chord Box HorzEssential Chords Ukulele Blank Chord Boxes
Essential Chords, Mandolin Chord Box HorizEssential Chords, Mandolin Blank Chord BoxEssential Chords, Guitar Blank Chord Box HorzEssentia Chords, Guitar Blank Chord BoxesEssential Chords, Banjo Blank Sheet MusicEssential Chords, Mandolin and Ukulele Blank Sheet Music
Essential Chords, Guitar Blank Sheet MusicEssential Chords, Banjo D Tuning ChordsEssential Chords, Banjo G tuning ChordsEssential Chords, 7 Major Ukulele KeysEssential Chords, Ukulele ChordsEssential Chords, Mandolin Arpeggio Scale
Essential Chords, 7 Major Mandolin KeysEssential Chords, Mandolin Chord ProgressionEssential Chords, Mandolin 2 Finger Chords HorizEssential Chords, Mandolin 2 Finger ChordsEssential Chords, Mandolin Chords HorizontialEssential Chords, Mandolin Chords

New Images from our Essential Chord Book for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, and Banjo

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Building a Marketing Plan for Essential Chords Book

I looked up Marketing Plan on Wikipedia to see what officially makes one up. And they wrote this,
"Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, a marketing plan without a sound strategic foundation is of little use." 
Not really sure just what that means, I think my strategy is to sell my book. I am not sure what I wrote in the Marketing Plan post yesterday is really a marketing plan but it will have to do. I have been online since 1996 doing all kinds of activities. I have tried all kinds of methods to get people to come to my websites and buy my stuff. Some works, most doesn't. I know that if you want the best chance of success you need to write good content, make it clear, and give readers clear paths to your products, and be in lots of places, do this and you at least have a chance of selling something if it is something that they want. So that is what I will be doing as I push my book out into the world.

Yesterday was crazy with getting everything set up and loading up images and such on a bunch of different sites. Today I loaded up Essential Chord promo images on my Google Picassa account. I also set up an excel spread sheet of all the tracking and visitor numbers so that I can watch what is going on. If you don't track it you have no clue.

I don't have a clear step 1, 2, 3 kind of thing, I know that I will jump around the Plan but having a written plan will differently help keep me on track and give me a list of tasks. Let me know how you market your books and music, it is a journey.

Ok off to do more stuff.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Essential Chords Book Marketing Status

Ok, big day today, the marketing has begun for our new Essential Chords Book, so far I wrote the marketing plan and task list, set up a Facebook Page at Acoustic Music TV on Facebook, shot some promo images and made a cover for the web, gone through and established the base line stats for what the book is doing today on all the places it is sold or mentioned, and built a book page here on this.

My hope is that by putting the marketing plan out on the web it will give me more incentive to do all the tasks that need to be done and help keep me organized. Lots more to do, but off to a great start.

Here is the link to our book on Amazon (affiliate link)
Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo: Chord Fingering Charts for the Major, Minor, and Seventh Chords, Keys, Barre Chords, Arpeggio ... Scales, Blank Chord Boxes and Sheet Music

Marketing Plan for Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele & Banjo

We have started the marketing for our latest book, Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo, and thought it might make for an interesting study. I have been using the web and social media for quite a while now in all kinds of areas but this will be the first for promoting my own book.  Our book is up on Amazon.com and starting to sell, I have just built a Facebook page, we have a website, this blog and several other sites. So below are the notes from the Marketing plan. Going public like this help keep me on track and see what we can do.

Task List for the Marketing Plan for Essential Chords Book

To increase the sales of Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo Book on Amazon and other sites.
Goal to get the sales rank under 500,000 and ultimately under 100,000

Essential Chords  Current sales are about 1 book a week, with a sale rank of 1,175,775

Notebook Music Chords  Current sales are about 1 book every 2 to 3 weeks, with a sales rank of 871,112

Build a wagon wheel of promotional sites, images and video that bring traffic into AcousticMusicTV.com and out to Amazon. Show the features and benefits of the book. Mostly updating and adjusting current set of sites for the new book and adding promotional material out on the web. Try to add in additional books into the stream.

Promotion will be for Essential Chords book, which is an updated and renaming of the previous book Notebook Music Chords, I won't be taking Notebook Music down but will watch it and see what happens to it.

Baselines for Measuring Progress
Establish the current base line visitors numbers for, you have to know where you start to see if anything works, here are the current stats as of March 19.
  Sales on Amazon of Essential Chords in March, 1 book a week,
   Sales rank on Amazon for Essential Chords March 19, #1,175,775

   Sales on Amazon of Notebook Music Chords in March, 1 book every 2 weeks or so
   Sales rank on Amazon for Notebook Music Chords, March 19, #871,112

   Sales on AcousticMusicTV for Cafepress music items, Jan-March, 3 items per/month, $6 average, watch for increase traffic to boost gift sales.

   Sales on Lulu for Notebook Music Chords in March, 3 units since mid February

   Sales of Guitar and Mandolin sheet music books on Lulu, 0 sales

   Scribd, 40 reads/month
Basic Google Analytics as of March 19
   AcousticMusicTV.com, 95 visits/day, visit 3 pages, bounce rate 52%, Top Keyword- Mandolin Chords, Google
   AcousticMusicTV blog, 43 visits/day, visit 1.73 pages, bounce rate 57%, Top Keyword-Banjo Chords, Google
   NotebookMusicChords Blog, 15 visits/day, visit 1.8 pages, bounce rate 59%, Top Keyword-2 finger mandolin chord, Google

Marketing Materials
Make a basic set of graphics for Essential Chords, cover, couple of interior, some instruments, etc
Shoot some basic book promo pictures
Pull together the basic book description
Create picture files of pages and book for Flickr, Picassa, Facebook, blog

Finish Essential Chords Major Chords sampler book for promo

Make up book graphics for the website

Edit customer quotes that have come in for Notebook for use as needed

Set up Facebook page for acousticmusictv, what name should the page be?
Update AcousticMusicTV.com with Essential Chords Book
Take down current AMTVWeb site and replace with new sampler, replace cover on email sign up boxes

Set up a book page on blog, AcousticMusicTV.blogspot,com and NotebookMusicChords.com
Set up Hub Page, Squidoo Pages

Email List
Fix the signup on web site and the 2 blogs
Take down current autoresponer series and update with new book and links
Develop some email blast to list

Make promo videos for all three books, the chord book and the 2 blank sheet music books, put on YouTube, websites and blogs

Other Stuff
Reconfigure and upload Essential Chords to lulu.com, paper bound and spiral bound, connect to bookstore
Take down the Notebook Chord book on scribd, put up the Essential sampler book
Set up a free pdf version for anyone who buys a physical version of the book

Social Media
Post about the process
Post on Facebook different pages, videos, lessons,
Post on Twitter different stages of the process and other posts
Cross link everything

Track the Analytics, Amazon, Lulu and Facebook visitors and sales.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reading a Guitar Chord Box

We have been busy creating several new books which you will hear about shortly. Including a redoing of our Essential Chord book and two new blank manuscript books, one for guitar the other for mandolin. I thought I would put up some of the graphics from the resource sections in those books. Below is one on how to read the guitar chord boxes that you see next to staff line.

Our latest book on Amazon, Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo
Essential Chords, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo: Chord Fingering Charts for the Major, Minor, and Seventh Chords, Keys, Barre Chords, Arpeggio ... Scales, Blank Chord Boxes and Sheet Music