Troy Grady Magnet

Troy Grady Magnet on Kickstarter!! | Arvada Guitar

Troy Grady Magnet on Kickstarter!

Troy Grady Kickstarter

Woo Hoo!!!  If you are one of my students, you should know the name Troy Grady by now! (“TroyGradyTroyGradyTroyGrady!“). Well I am super excited to let you know that Troy finally has his “Magnet” back on Kickstarter!  The Magnet is Troy’s brilliant device designed to hold your cell phone just above your guitar’s strings to allow you to closely video your picking hand to determine good and bad techniques.  Troy has built an empire around this device by bringing in the world’s best pickers to capture their technique for the world to see and analyze.  Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?

Well, I think it is.  I have been playing and studying guitar for about 40 years now.  In all that time, the vast majority of exercises and techniques have focused on the left hand (of a right handed guitarist).  Almost NO ONE has focused on the intricate techniques of the right hand employed by master guitarists.  Troy Grady was the first guy in my reckoning that has dedicated his life and study to right hand technique.  Thank you Troy!

A quick search of YouTube will bring up some of the most informative, entertaining guitar technique videos the world has to offer.  Just type in Troy Grady!  I suggest typing in “Cracking the Code Episode 1” to get started.  But Troy has many one offs that I have found infinitely useful and informative like “4 Fundamental Movements“, “Bulletproof USX wrist motion” as well as in-depth looks at the traditional Guitar Pick, the 351, and the Jazz III.

So I am super excited to get my hands on some magnets for both me and my students to use!  If you are a guitar player and have a cell phone, $49 is a small price to pay to be able to see and understand something you otherwise might never have known.  I wish this opportunity was available 40 years ago when I started playing guitar.  Again, thank you Troy Grady! And thank you Scuzzy, for turning me onto Troy those couple few years ago.  “Have you watched Troy Grady yet?”  “Have you watched Troy Grady yet?” “Have you watched Troy Grady yet?”…



Excited to join the Arvada West Choir at SWACDA in Little Rock! | Arvada Guitar

Just a quick note to say how honored and excited I am to be joining Chris Maunu and the Arvada West HS Women’s Choir on their trip to Little Rock, Arkansas, to perform for the South West American Choral Directors Association conference this week!  Hundreds of choirs across the country submit recorded audition tapes to be evaluated by a blind audition committee. A small number of choirs (only 6 HS choirs) are accepted to perform at this conference to demonstrate excellence in choral music in the US. So this is another pretty big deal for Chris Maunu and the AWest choirs!

Arvada, I hope you know how lucky you are to have a truly world class choral director at Arvada West High School!

Reaper DAW is a great, highly functional alternative to Pro Tools | First.

Wait, did I say Pro Tools First? Forget that. Get Reaper!!! | Arvada Guitar

So I have been a hard-core Pro Tools fan since 1994.  However I have also been a hard-core Pro Tools / Avid hater since about 1995.

Pro Tools is indisputably the industry standard recording software used in every pro recording studio worldwide.  The studios may also use other software, but if you want to be compatible and competitive in the industry, you better be running Pro Tools.

But at the same time, Pro Tools is extremely expensive in comparison to other DAWs, they often release production updates to their software that feel more like Beta versions, and the fact is that compared to many other DAWs, they offer less functionality for that expensive price.  They have also forced users into various paths that either limit their functionality or cost 4 times what their lower performance systems cost.

Well, I got pretty excited when they released Pro Tools | First.  A free, trimmed down version of their flagship software that could give my students a taste of the real world.  And, you know, I even overlooked the bugs / functionality changes that suddenly occurred between updates.  But when Avid announced that they were going to begin CHARGING money for Pro Tools | First, AND they were going to a subscription based format, and jacked the price to actually OWN the software to incentivize users to use the subscription service, well, they pretty much lost me.

I will definitely be buying Logic when I get my next computer upgrade.  But for now, I am running Reaper.  (update, already got Logic – still evaluating)

I learned about Reaper through a student a couple years ago.  I wasn’t really impressed with the interface, but I figure that is simply a matter of getting used to it.  People who use something other than Pro Tools tend to not care for the Pro Tools interface, though I find it very clean, streamlined and user friendly.

Did I mention that Reaper is only $60 for non professional users?  Yeah.  $60.  Sold.

For my use in teaching, Reaper is great.  A default slider for playback speed is right in the main window.  Nice.  Set that to .8 (80%) and just drop songs into Reaper and they play back at 80% speed.  Really nice.

Not the biggest fan of the plug-in window, but who cares.  It still works.  And it only cost me $60 instead of $600+++

Forget Pro Tools.  Get Reaper.

Reaper DAW is a great, highly functional alternative to Pro Tools | First.

Reaper DAW is a great, highly functional alternative to Pro Tools | First.








Arvada Guitar

Another great day of lessons at Arvada Guitar | Arvada Guitar

Wow, yesterday was just a really cool day in the studio and I wanted to share.

First off, I worked on a recording project with a student who is making an EP.  Fun!

Then I worked with another student who is focusing on soloing and music theory in preparation for his own recording project.

Then I worked on “I love you” by Billie Eilish with a student.  Very cool, super moody and intense song.

But here is where it REALLY starts to get fun…. 🙂

I worked on some K-Pop (Korean Pop, for those not “in the know…” 🙂 with a 12 year old student.  Gotta love BLACKPINK Stay!…

Then I worked on some super heavy, drop tuned 7 string metal with another student.  Rivers of Nihil, A Home!

And I finished up the night with a tasty CCM tune, Mighty Warrior by Elevation Worship!  Love the Jesus Jams!


Now that is a cool day of teaching right there!  Thanks to my most awesome students who continually keep me up on the latest tunes!


Arvada Guitar

New Songs: Q2 2019 : Songs added to the Teaching List! | Arvada Guitar


Slammin, as usual!  Busiest summer I have ever had here at Arvada Guitar.  So, a little behind on my maintenance duties.  Thanks to my awesome students who keep bringing me killer new songs to play!  Also thanks once again to Chris Maunu and the Arvada West Choirs for allowing me the honor of accompanying them for the 6th year in a row.  Some cool new song adds, thanks to the AWest Pops 2019 Concert.  Here is what we added to the Arvada Guitar Teaching List in Q2 of 2019.  Gee, looks like there’s a few! 🙂

Songs added to the Guitar list…

I Just Want To Make Love To You – Foghat

Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young

Million Reasons – Lady Gaga

One Voice – The Wailin’ Jenny’s

Bury Our Friends – Sleater-Kinney

Hold Back The River – James Bay

Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives

Jumpers – Sleater-Kinney

Caught Up In You – 38 Special

Gimme Three Steps – Lynyrd Skynyrd

You’re Somebody Else – Flora Cash

Cadillac Cowboy – Chris LeDoux

From Eden – Hozier

Gentle On My Mind – Glen Campbell

Shake Me – Cinderella

You and I – Viktor Tsoi & Kino

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley

It’s Not Me It’s You – Skillet

Modern Day Cowboy – Tesla

Nobody’s Fool – Cinderella

I’ll Be Your Man – The Black Keys

Gold On The Ceiling – The Black Keys


Songs added to the Bass list…

Somebody to Love – Queen

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, as performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Ain’t No Man – The Avett Brothers


Songs added to the Vocal list…

Let It Be – The Beatles


Songs added to the Soloing list…

Somebody to Love – Queen


Why is Guitar so difficult to understand?

Why is guitar so difficult to understand? | Arvada Guitar

Why is guitar so difficult?

I have been noticing a trend among some of my recent new students. Several of these students are also piano players. And they have been having a difficult time getting their head around the construction of the guitar. After some pondering, I created this graphic to help illustrate some of the differences between a guitar and a piano. Not sure that it helps, but it does definitely inform!

Piano, brass and woodwind instruments all share a particular characteristic: they are two dimensional. The notes/keys are arranged in a line.

The guitar, however, is a 3 dimensional instrument. It has both X and Y axes. That can seriously complicate one’s understanding of the instrument.

And for a Piano player, wow can it get confusing. A guitar is basically a set of 6 different keyboards, one for each string. But each string / keyboard is offset from the other. So rather than the keyboard tower at Arvada Guitar, which is nicely lined up to facilitate performance…

Arvada Guitar Keyboard Tower

… we end up with a set of 6 keyboards, each staggered like this:
Why is Guitar so difficult to understand?


Wow! No wonder people find the Guitar to be confusing!



Vox Amplug 2. The Best Guitar Amp for under $50!!!

Best Guitar Amplifier for Under $50!! Vox Amplug 2 | Arvada Guitar

Is it possible to get a decent guitar amp for under $50?  Yes it is.

I think I have found the best guitar amp for under $50. “Under $50?!?” you ask? Yes indeed. In fact, its $44.99.

The Vox Amplug 2 is a small device that you plug directly into your guitar. Then plug in your favorite ear buds and you are good to go.  You can even connect a music player like your phone, iPod or iPad to jam along with your favorite tunes.

Boy, I wish I had this when I was learning to play!  My first amp was a headphone amp too, but it had NOTHING.  No tone, no effects, nothing.

Oh yeah.  1978 baby!!  11 yrs old and rocking my first, awesome, Global bass!

Well the Vox Amplug blows away those giant old cans.  The Amplug 2 has 3 different amplifier modes, each with increasing gain and a variable gain control. You also get 9 selectable effects; 3 different variations each of chorus, delay or reverb.  And the whole thing takes only 2 AAA batteries!!

The sound quality BLOWS AWAY the two previous IK Multimedia iRig’s that I have tried.  Both the original iRig ($40 + Amplitube models) and the iRig HD ($99).  Both of which were prone to ridiculous feedback that made them unusable and high gain.  I am an Amplitube user in my ProTools rig and love it.  But these iRig interfaces are just too cheap and poorly made apparently. IMHO, of course…

But the Vox Amplug is killer.  Sounds great and has lots of options built in.  The model I have played through is the AC30 version.  But they also have Classic Rock, Metal and Bass versions.

So can you really get a decent practice amp for under $50?  Yes you can.  The Vox Amplug 2!  And you can find it right here at Sweetwater Sound!




145 vs. – SheetMusicDirect Wins!! | Arvada Guitar

So my students know that I almost always create my own charts and tabs for songs.  Primarily because almost everything I find online is… well, wrong.  I know.  I have said it so many times that I too am tired of hearing it.  But its true.  Sometimes I am wrong.  For sure.  But very often tabs, charts, even published music you pay for is just plain wrong.  And it doesn’t take a musical genius to figure it out.  If a 12 yr old guitar student sitting next to me can agree that the recording sounds one way, and that the written music sounds wrong, then, well, I don’t know what to say.

I mean, I feel for the transcriber.  I really do.  I imagine it’s some poor slob in a warehouse of cubicles, sitting there with headphones and a ridiculous quota of tunes to transcribe in a day.  He is probably really busy.  Maybe he has indigestion.  He might just be deaf.  I don’t know.

Anyway, every now and again I will go looking for a published transcription either to speed the process, or facilitate what I think might be tricky.  So this week I had one of those days.  I’m working on In The City by Joe Walsh.  Very interestingly it was apparently written and originally released in the soundtrack for the movie The Warriors, if you remember that cult classic!  It was then subesquently released on the Eagles album The Long Run.  Also very cool.

Anywhoo, so I found two different tabs on two different sites. (SMD) is my usual go to for published music.  But many of my students and colleagues use (MN) so I decided to check that one out too.  Well, unfortunately, they only let you see the first page of the score, right?  So I am looking at these two scores online, comparing them, and boy, I really don’t want to spend $10 to buy them both but I figured, “what the heck.  It’ll be a good test”.  Indeed it was.

First off, the SheetMusicDirect version had two different guitar lines notated, though they both appeared to be the same.  But that is often a good sign.  But the MusicNotes version  “appeared” to be more “professional” with the chord symbols and such at the top.  SheetMusicDirect on the left and MusicNotes on the right.

But it was really when I started to dig that things became clear.  One of the specific things I was looking for was the exact voicing of the chords in the chorus.  At first I thought I was just hearing major triads, and essentially an A Form major chord being moved up to D at V and E at VII.  Well thats apparently what the dude in the cube at MusicNotes thought too.  But when I saw the SheetMusicDirect chords, I knew they were right.  And a close investigative listen to the recording agreed.  Look at these two different versions, again SMD on the left and MN on the right.

Not even close.  I knew I was hearing notes that didn’t fit that straight major triad.  And I also knew that the 4th chord was not the same as the 2nd chord, though they are similar. The MusicNotes guy phoned it in.

But it gets worse when we look at the solo.  The solo played on a slide guitar.  You know, slide guitar, where they very often use Alternate Tunings to accommodate the linear nature of the slide itself.  Well, look at the front page for both the scores.  Again, SMD on the left and MN on the right.

Well, the guy at SMD got it right.  He noted the Alternate, Open Tuning for the slide guitar.  At MN?  Not so much….  So then we get to look at what these guys thought was being played in said solo….

First off, the SheetMusicDirect score includes all the fancy giant slidey things before what I would call the actual solo (First giant circle on the left).  The MusicNotes version conveniently omits that part.  Im sure  because the guy who was tabbing for standard tuning had no way of notating it.  But then look at the solo part.  Ok, they both get the 17-17 moves right.  But if you know the song at ALL you don’t even have to touch a guitar to see that the MusicNotes version isn’t even close to what Joe was playing.  I mean really?  Who thinks the solo sounds like an E Major triad descending?  The MusicNotes score is OBVIOUSLY WRONG.  Whereas it also takes about 2 seconds to look at the SheetMusicDirect score to know it is EXACTLY CORRECT!

Finally, I will return to that cool little arpeggio that slides from D to E in every verse.  Again, SheetMusicDirect on the left and completely CORRECT.  MusicNotes on the right and sadly once again wrong and lamely notated with no indication of the legato slide.

Ok, so in conclusion, this is only one score.  I cannot vouch for the accuracy of every score on, nor can I imply the inaccuracy of all the scores at  And of course, neither one of these places commissioned the transcription.  This stuff comes from the publisher.  Though I am very confused as to how the publisher would have released one awesome copy of the score and one completely crappy version as well.  But clearly in this case, SheetMusicDirect wins hands down and at only $2.99 for the score is a WAY BETTER option than MusicNotes which is very wrong and very expensive at over $8 for the online version, the PDF and tax.

There you have it. vs.  SheetMusicDirect wins!

1.24 K

Time for AWest Pops 2019! | Arvada Guitar

Hey All!  Its that time again!  Going to be playing the Arvada West High School Pops Concert for the 6th year in a row!  Its going to be awesome (as usual)!  We get to play Bohemian Rhapsody again, as well as Somebody to Love by Queen.  I’m sure they are both going to be amazing.  Lots of other cool tunes this year too! Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara, Ain’t No Man by the Avett Brothers and I am especially looking forward to Hold Back the River by James Bay. Fun guitar part!  Too bad he tunes his guitar funny and I am going to have to play it in Standard Tuning.  Makes it a little harder.  But oh well.  Fun nonetheless.

And super happy to be once again playing with my good friend and amazing drummer Mark Rudesyle.  Thanks for playing Mark!!

Show times are Friday May 10th at 7pm, as well as Saturday May 11th at 1pm and 7pm.

Tickets are ON SALE NOW!!! And apparently hundreds are already sold, so if you want to go, don’t wait!  Im sure all three shows will sell out again as usual. You can get your tickets online here.

Come on down!  Its going to be a blast!!!


Arvada Guitar

New Songs: Q1 2019 : Over 20 of new songs added to the Teaching List! | Arvada Guitar

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 1000 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

Sorry, sorry!  Been SUPER BUSY so far in 2019!!  I’ve been setting new records for the number of lessons taught at Arvada Guitar in a week and I can finally say I think I am at my limit with 30-35 full hour lessons per week!  Yikes!  Did someone say “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”?

So, we’ve added over 20 new songs to the Teaching Library in the first quarter of 2019.  A couple standouts are Tennessee Stud, All Right Now (finally I know how to properly play that guitar part!  Super easy but sounds deceptively difficult!) and Like Light to the Flies by Trivium!  Wow, never thought I would be learning and teaching a Trivium song but we can do it with the use of TECHNOLOGY!  The song is pretty ridiculously fast.  But with ProTools | First I can slow it down to a definitely doable speed.  Pretty cool tune.  Still not a fan of the screaming though….


New Songs added to the Guitar List

Imagine – John Lennon

Helplessly Hoping – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Breaking the Chains – Dokken

Bang a Gong – T. Rex

Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town – Pearl Jam

Feels Like Rain – Buddy Guy

Like Light to the Flies – Trivium

Rockin’ Into The Night – 38 Special

My Proud Mountains – Townes Van Zandt

What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

Drift Away – Doby Gray

Lean On Me – Bill Withers

?????????????? ?????? (Sentimental Chat) – Alexander Suchanov (Russian Folk song)

Lets Be Still – The Head and the Heart

Tennessee Stud – Jimmy Driftwood / Billy Strings

All Right Now – Free

Easter – Marillion

Million Reasons – Lady Gaga


New Songs added to the Bass List

Somebody to Love – Queen

New Songs added to the Vocal list

Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town – Pearl Jam

Lean On Me – Bill Withers

New Songs added to the Soloing List

Somebody to Love – Queen

All Right Now – Free


Best Snow Day Ever! Thanks to Discord and my awesome students! | Arvada Guitar

Wow!  What a great snow day!!  The roads were treacherous so 5 out of my 8 students today decided to load up Discord ( and we had our lessons online from the toasty warm safety of our homes!  Only one hearty die-hard die-hard chose to make the drive – U Da Man David!

Technology and the Interwebs are truly an amazing thing!  Thanks to all my awesome students for taking the time to load up the best video chat software available – Discord (  It was a unanimous success approved by all!

What an awesome snow day!

Ditch Skype and get Discord!!! (


Arvada Guitar

New Songs: December ’18 : Songs added to the Teaching List! | Arvada Guitar

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 1000 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

A bit of a light month, with Christmas and Weddings and such.  Gonna say we hit 1000 songs even though that may never truly be known….


Songs added to the Guitar list….

What Are You Listening To? – Chris Stapleton

Tennessee Whisky – Chris Stapleton

Imagine – John Lennon


Songs added to the Bass list….

Supremacy – Muse

Django – Arranged by Mike Tomaro


Songs added to the Vocal list….

The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby & The Range

Hey Jude – The Beatles




New Songs: October – November ’18 : 29 Songs added to the Teaching List! | Arvada Guitar

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of nearly 1000 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

Ok, I have come to a conclusion.  It just might be too hard to figure out exactly how many songs I teach.  Right now, today, the Guitar Instruction list sits at 992 songs.  But, I know there are duplicates.  Slowed down versions, pitch corrected or transposed versions, alternate versions of the same song by different artists, etc, etc…  So while I do expect to see that number top 1000 before the end of the year, we may never really know how many songs I teach….  Fact is, that list does not include the Bass Instruction list or the Vocal Instruction list.  And there are tons of songs in the Worship list that are not included in the Guitar list.  So I am probably well over 1000 songs already.

And in the last two months, I have added ANOTHER 29 songs to my teaching arsenal!!  Can another teacher in the Denver Metro say that I wonder?

Also a big uptick in Country-ish tunes these last two months!  Interesting!


Songs added to the Guitar list….

Keep It Between the Lines – Sturgill Simpson

Turtles All the Way Down – Sturgill Simpson

Who Are You When I’m Not Looking – Blake Shelton

Aint No Rest For the Wicked – Cage The Elephant

Shake Me – Cinderella

What Do You Do For Money Honey – AC/DC

Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones

Reckless Love – Cory Asbury

Shallow – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

Supernaut – Black Sabbath

The Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden.   huh? This wasn’t already in the list?  Incomprehensible

Hot Rod Lincoln – Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

I’d Love To Change The World – Ten Years After

You Really Got Me – The Kinks

Georgia Law Man – Poor Man’s Poison

Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie – Johnny Cash / Colter Wall

Holden Oversoul – Widespread Panic

Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana

Keep the Wolves Away – Uncle Lucius

That’ll Be the Day – Buddy Holly & The Crickets

Songs added to the Bass list….

The Dark Side – Muse    –I also believe I have the first note-for-note bass tab in existence for this song, as we started working on it before the album was even released…

Muscle Museum – Muse

The Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden     actually requested by a bass student.

Right Now – Van Halen

In Your Eyes (feat. Charlotte Day Wilson) – BADBADNOTGOOD

Encore – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Fear of the Dark – Iron Maiden


Songs added to the Vocal list….

Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Bublé


Guitar Pro 7 Muse The Dark Side Bass Tab only at Arvada Guitar!

Muse – The Dark Side – Bass Tab | Arvada Guitar

Just kind of excited to announce that we have completed a note-for-note bass tab of Muse’s brand new release, The Dark Side.  Very cool song with groovy vibe.  Pretty neat to be tabbing a song from an album that has not even been officially released yet.  Just another one of the awesome benefits we provide to students of Arvada Guitar!

Come see why Gene Crout and Arvada Guitar is the fastest growing Guitar / Bass / Voice / Production instructor in the Denver Metro!

Arvada Guitar

New Songs: August – September ’18. Getting Close to 1000 Songs in the Teaching List | Arvada Guitar

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 950 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

Sorry this post is a little late.  Wow, we are adding TONS OF SONGS FROM MANY GENRES THIS YEAR!!  Super double wow!  We’ve already added over 60 songs so far this year and we are quickly approaching MORE THAN 1000 songs on our Guitar Teaching List!  Now, the fact is, between the Guitar, Bass and Voice lists, we are surely over 1000.  And I do know that there are some duplicates in the list, especially since we may have a SONG, SONG SLOW, and SONG TOO SLOW copies in the list.  So I am waiting until we are OVER the 1000 to make sure there really are 1000+ songs there.  But its coming!  And we are adding new songs every week!  Come see why Arvada Guitar is quickly becoming the top place for Guitar, Bass, Voice and Audio Production Lessons in the Denver Metro!

Songs added to the Guitar list….

The Bottle Let Me Down – Merle Haggard

Times Like These (Acoustic) – Foo Fighters

White Liar – Miranda Lambert

We’re Going To Be Friends – The White Stripes

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Where Is My Mind? – The Pixies

Squeeze Box – The Who

Husbands and Wives – Brooks & Dunn

Tick Tick Boom – The Hives


Songs added to the Ukulele list….

Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole


Whew!  Getting closer to that 1000!!

You can also see the songs added in June & July Here….

You can also see the songs added in April & May Here….




Arvada Guitar uses EX Drummer for Guitar and Bass instruction!

EZ Drummer is the latest addition to Arvada Guitar’s tools for learning!

EZ Drummer is the latest addition to Arvada Guitar’s tools for learning!

We already told you how we are doing all our tabs in Guitar Pro 7, so that they are note for note perfect with no “chicken scratch”…

We also told you about how Pro Tools | First has been getting tons of use for pitch correction of old, out of tune recordings (so we don’t have to retune our guitars!). We also use it almost daily to slow down songs so that students can relax and focus rather than frantically chase a song that is too fast…

Well, now we are using EZ Drummer to create drum tracks for jamming and improvisation!  Super high quality drums, with super high quality MIDI loops performed by actual drummers, makes spontaneous jamming even more exciting!  The perfect tool for improvisation, scale exploration and technique refinement for both bass players and guitar players.

Come see why Gene Crout and Arvada Guitar is consistently being rated the best guitar instructor in the Denver Metro Area!

Arvada Guitar uses Pro Tools | First in lessons. We teach Guitar, Bass, Voice and Audio Production featuring Pro Tools HD!!

Are you aware of Pro Tools | First? | Arvada Guitar

Did you know that Avid is offering a free version of Pro Tools?  Its called Pro Tools | First and I am finding it extremely useful for teaching and learning!

Of course, I am already a Pro Tools user.  Fact is, I have been using Pro Tools since version 2.0, circa 1993.  But I normally do not have my main Audio Digital studio rig running during lessons unless we are recording or its an Audio Production lesson.  So on my iMac that I use while teaching at Arvada Guitar I have downloaded Pro Tools | First and use it very regularly in lessons.  I can correct pitch issues for older recordings. I can apply EQ filters to assist in hearing and transcribing parts.  But most importantly, I can quickly slow down songs when students are learning and can’t keep up with the original recording of a song.

This is SUPER helpful to students.  Not only does it take pressure off so they are not chasing the song, but it keeps them playing WITH the song which is supremely important.  Everyone learns parts outside of time, meaning at a very slow pace with no determined or fixed tempo, while they are learning a piece.  But to continue doing this after you have the basics down is a disservice to the student and the song.  Playing with the song enforces the all important reality of staying in time with music.  You must keep the tempo, you must listen to your band mates and stay with them.  As the saying goes, “Timing is everything”.

All you have to do is drag the song into a Session file, open the Tempo Ruler window and drag the tempo line down.  Viola!  The song slows down.

So, I strongly encourage all my  Arvada Guitar students to download Pro Tools | First.  Its free.  Its cross platform.  And it will introduce you to the indisputable #1 recording software used in virtually every professional recording studio around the world.  Go get it. Hit me up if you need some help finding your way around.

Get Pro Tools |First Here!

Arvada Guitar

New Songs: June – July ’18: Thanks to my awesome students!!

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 900 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

Well, its been another great summer so far!  I just love when students ask for new songs!  Not only does it expand the Teaching Library for all my students, it also brings fresh new songs to ME!!  Yay!  And of course, when I discover a new song and learn it, it goes in the Teaching Library (Hourglass and Little Gift from Umphry’s McGee).

So 17 new tunes into the library in the last 2 months!  Keeping it solid!


Songs added to the Guitar list….

Your Mama Don’t Dance – Loggins and Messina

Travelin’ Soldier – The Dixie Chicks

Quizás, Quizás, Quizás – Gaby Moreno

Why We Build The Wall – Anaïs Mitchell and Billy Bragg versions…

Hourglass – Umphry’s McGee (MY NEW LOVE!!!)

Little Gift – Umphry’s McGee (AGH!!! UMPHRY’S!!)

Two Steps Behind – Def Leppard

Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams

Lost Highway – Hank Williams

Long Gone Lonesome Blues – Hank Williams

I’m So Lonely I Could Cry – Hank Williams

The Bottle Let Me Down – Merle Haggard, as performed by Vince Gill and Paul Franklin

Songs added to the Guitar Soloing list….

Blue Morning, Blue Day – Foreigner

Blinded By The Light – Manfred Mann

Songs added to the Bass list….

September – Earth, Wind and Fire

Gunslinger – Avenged Sevenfold (like to show up in the Guitar List soon too….)

N.I.B. – Black Sabbath

Arvada Guitar

New Songs: April – May ’18: Thanks to the AWest Pops!!

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 900 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

I don’t know that I can really keep this up, but it has been a great start to the year.  19 new songs in Feb and March.  Another 16 in April and May…

Songs added to the Guitar list….

California Stars – Billy Bragg and Wilco

Trouble So Hard – Paulo Nutini

Dreams – The Cranberries

Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

Janie – Off With Their Heads

Worry – Northcote

Lay Down Beside Me – Don Williams

Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes

You Will Be Found – Dear Evan Hansen

Songs added to the Bass list…

Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens – Bass

Long Black Train – Josh Turner – Bass

Praying – Kesha

The Hanging Tree  – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Glory – Selma – Bass

No Roots – Alice Merton

This Is Me – The Greatest Showman

Arvada Guitar

New Arvada Guitar Skype Lesson Distance Record Set! 6729 Miles! | Arvada Guitar

Well, as you may or may not know, I have been successfully teaching online via Skype for well over a year now.  I have done lessons from my studio in Arvada, CO to Erie, CO (21 miles), Colorado Springs, CO (80 miles) and Salt Lake City, UT (521 Miles).  My previous distance record has been to my student in London, UK at a whopping 4,683 miles!  But today, we set a new record:  6,729 miles!  6,729 from Arvada, Colorado to Punta Arenas, Chile!  Wow, thanks Valerie!  I don’t see this one being beaten anytime soon!  Unless of course there is anyone in Russia or China who would like to sign up for lessons.  Let me know!  Im down!

Arvada West High School 2018 Pops Concert Program

2018 Arvada West Pops Killed…. again…

The 2018 Arvada West High School Choir Pops concert has come and gone, and once again killed it! Man! SO MUCH FUN! Pretty awesome jamming with a few hundred kids singing their hearts out. Also pretty cool stepping outside one’s comfort zone, playing songs from many generations and many styles. Thanks so much to Chris Maunu and the Arvada West Choir for allowing me to come back them up!

Here’s what I got to contribute this year:

Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry – Electric Guitar
Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens – Bass
Long Black Train – Josh Turner – Bass
Mister Sandman – The Chordettes – Electric Guitar
Praying – Kesha –  Bass
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day –  Electric Guitar
The Hanging Tree  – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Bass
Dreams  – The Cranberries – Electric Guitar
Best Day of My Life – American Authors –  Electric Guitar
Glory – Selma – Bass
You Will Be Found – Dear Evan Hansen – Electric Guitar
No Roots – Alice Merton – Bass (Super cool tune, super hit at the show, definitely now in the Bass Guitar Teaching List)
From Now On  – The Greatest Showman – Acoustic Guitar
River in Judea  – AWest Staple – Bass
This Is Me – The Greatest Showman – Bass

2 Nights and a Matinee, 14+ tunes, about $10K worth of gear and a whole lot of fun!  Looking forward to 2019!!


Gene Crout of Arvada Guitar performs with the Anima Chamber Ensemble

I am super excited to be performing with the Anima Chamber Ensemble this weekend, April 28th and 29th, 2018! “Deep Heart’s Core: A performance that brings to light some of the most beautiful choral music and poetry in the repertoire.  Rekindle your love for old standards and discover newer works to capture the heart.” Please check out the Anima Chamber Ensemble website for details of each performance.  I hope to see you there!


Arvada Guitar

New Songs: February – March ’18. Tons of new songs at Arvada Guitar!

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 900 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

Boy we have added a TON of new songs to the Arvada Guitar teaching library in the last couple months!  Much thanks to all my students who keep bringing me awesome requests!  Many tunes have made it to the Gene Jams list, but not all.  Students, if there is a song you want on the list and you don’t see it, let me know!!

Songs added to the Guitar list….

Classical Gas – Mason Williams

I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett

Chandelier (Piano Version) – Sia

Guitars, Cadillacs – Dwight Yoakam

Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith / Stevie Winwood

The Lake Isle – Ola Gjeilo         (I’m going to have the honor of performing this tune with the Anima Chamber Ensemble on April 28th and 29th! Fun!!  Check out for more details)

?????? ???? (Winter Night) – ????? ? ??????? ??????           (Rats! I can’t get WordPress to display the Title and Artist in Russian! Traditional Russian Folk song based on a poem from Doctor Zhivago.  Thanks Dmitry!)

Dirt – Phish

Arpeggiator – Fugazi

Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

Already Gone – Eagles

Peaceful Easy Feeling – Eagles

Witchy Woman – Eagles

Cry To Me – Solomon Burke / Marc Broussard

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

Blue Sky – The Allman Brothers Band

Calling You – Blue October

Don’t Be Denied – Neil Young / Widespread Panic


Songs added to the Worship list…

O Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship

Cannons – Phil Whickam

Great Are You Lord – All Sons & Daughters

Tremble – Mosiac MSC

Via Dolorosa – Billy Sprague


Songs added to the Vocal list…

Try – Colby Caillat

Fight Song – Rachel Platten


Songs added to the Bass list…

Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Kinks




Arvada Guitar has a 20% Discount Code on Guitar Pro 7 for our students!

20% discount on Guitar Pro 7 for Arvada Guitar Students

Arvada Guitar is proud to announce that we have been given a 20% Discount Code for our students on new purchases of Guitar Pro 7!

Arvada Guitar started using Guitar Pro 7 for all our guitar and bass tabs and it is awesome! A great tool for learning to read standard notation, for composing and arranging your own music, and of course for finding and using guitar tabs online. Guitar Pro 7 is the format used on websites like Ultimate Guitar, Jellynote, Music Notes and

Please contact Gene directly if you are a current or former student looking to purchase Guitar Pro 7. (Sorry, not going to post the code here and have it get used up in 30 seconds by internet trolls. :).


New Songs: December ’17 and January ’18

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 850 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

New songs added to the Arvada Guitar teaching library in the last couple months…

Everything Turns Grey – Agent Orange
Creep – Stone Temple Pilots
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot
Cat’s In The Cradle – Harry Chapin
Taxi – Harry Chapin
Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne (been teaching this on guitar for years. Finally made it in the Bass list…)
Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits

Arvada Guitar says NO to Guitar Center!

Just Say No to Guitar Center

Well, its official.  I have absolutely no reason to ever set foot in a Guitar Center again.  I’ve been pulling back for years, but now I am done.  There is simply no reason to patronize the Walmart of Guitars anymore.

Last year, I already said I would stop sending students / Parents there.  I sent a parent to get a $40,  3/4 size Yamaha guitar that we found online for their 6 year old.  They had no idea whether the child could do it or would stick with it.  Obviously we were not expecting much from a $40 guitar.  But it HAD to be better than the toy guitar they started with.  But the parent walks in, asks for the guitar and the teenage salesman immediately tried to upsell them to a $149 guitar.  Lame.  Super lame.

Well, today I tried to exchange a 20′ Monster guitar cable that I bought at GC some years ago.  The cable failed and as it is guaranteed for life by Monster, the procedure WAS to simply bring the broken cable in and swap it out for a new one.  “No questions asked”.  Well, apparently not anymore.  According to GC “people were cheating and cutting off ends of cables and returning them for new ones”.  Well, uhh, excuse me, that must be YOU GUYS AT GC!  Cause when I bring the cable back, I bring the whole cable back.  No bs.   But apparently it must be like the time I bought the brand, new software package from GC only to get it home and find that the Registration Code had already been used.  Hmmmm.

Well, if Guitar Center can no longer provide ANY CUSTOMER SERVICE WHATSOEVER, whats the point in shopping there?

And now they are my direct competition, by offering extremely compelling (sarcasm!), high quality [sic], Guitar Lessons in a Closet! Yay!  Yes, you too can get awesome guitar lessons from your local pimplyfaced teenagers inside a well, equipped (NOT), darkened closet!  FUN!!

Lame, lame, lamest. Done.

I can buy all my gear from Sweetwater Sound and get actual support as well.

I can get my strings online.

I will buy my guitars from Drum City Guitar Land, Wildwood Music and other local shops.  Never from GuitarMart anymore….




Arvada Guitar

US Law says you CAN carry your guitar onboard a plane!

Thought this was worthy of a share.  Posted on last week.  The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 states the following:

(a) IN GENERAL—Subchapter I of chapter 417 is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘‘§ 41724. Musical instruments
‘‘(1) SMALL INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.—An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if—

‘‘(A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and

‘‘(B) there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.


Some important caveats, but the next time the guy at the ticket counter tells you no, whip out your copy of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and tell him to Rock Off!

Click to access CRPT-112hrpt381.pdf



Can you really learn with Rocksmith?

Well, I’ve heard about it for years, wanted to check it out, and now I am going to do it.  I’ve had at least two students come to me after attempting to learn guitar with Rocksmith.  After a few futile months their wives said “why don’t you get some lessons from a teacher”.  Now, of course, they have several songs under their belts and are doing great.

But whats the deal with Rocksmith?  They say on the box “the fastest way to learn guitar”.  Well, we’re gonna find out if that is true.  Can you learn guitar with Rocksmith?  Is it as effective as working with a teacher?  Is it a good resource for guitar players?  And most importantly to me, are the songs accurate?  Do you really learn how to play the song the way it was originally played by the artist?  One of the most offensive things to me are Easy Guitar books that supposedly teach you how to play a song and then leave you to figure out later that what you learned isn’t even close to how the song should be played.  Interpretation is one thing.  Rewriting songs so that they can all be played with open chords or a capo is another.  Call me a stickler if you want but when I play a song I want it to sound like the song.

So, here we are with our fresh new Rocksmith Remastered.  I’ll let you know how it goes….


Guitar Pro 7

Guitar Pro 7

Guitar Pro 7

Arvada Guitar has (finally!) obtained Guitar Pro 7 and will begin using Guitar Pro for creation of all tablature effective immediately.  No more chicken scratch.  No more inaccurate rhythms and timing.  I have been looking at Guitar Pro for some time and have finally taken the leap, based on input from two students (Thanks Dom and Harrison!!) who have found Guitar Pro to be an invaluable tool both in their own song writing and production, but also in their music reading ability.  So I’m in.    I am also going to be looking into both the Affiliate program and the Educational program to bring best possible pricing to all my students.  Stay tuned!!


Whats going on!?!

There is LOTS going on around Arvada Guitar!  We have things to share about ….. Guitar Pro 7….. and Rocksmith Remastered…. OH, OH!  And about Audio Digital!!  Uh, huh…. just wait…. its coming…..

Bass, Voice, Theory, Audio Production Lessons and More at Arvada Guitar

New Songs: November 2017

“….Currently teaching from an ever growing list of over 850 songs from the 50’s through today!…”

New songs added to the Teaching Library last month….

  • Sultans Curse – Mastodon
  • Old Man – Neil Young
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Feeling’ Alright – Joe Cocker
  • The Man Who Sold The World – David Bowie
  • The Man Who Sold The World – Nirvana
  • One – U2
  • Lola – The Kinks
  • Falling – Iration
  • Time Bomb – Iration
  • Radio – Alkaline Trio

Any Minute Now!

Ok, its been a busy year, but I am finally getting to posting consistently at ArvadaGuitar / Facebook.  This is basically a test to make sure I have connected properly.  More soon!