Review of Breedlove Solo Concert

NOTE: I’m not a professional review. I do not get compensation or free products from manufacturers. I only review products that I purchase and use in real situations. The only money I make from reviews is from Google Adwords, over which I don’t have editorial control.

Welcome to my review of Breedlove’s Solo Concert guitar. More than a review, it’s also a story. A story of how I purchase a guitar. Maybe you can learn something from it, or maybe you’ll be entertained, or maybe you just want to skip to the darn review.

The Quest

And so it came to pass that it was time to buy a new guitar. If you’re like me, you don’t need a reason to buy a new guitar, you just need a justification. Hey, it’s a sunny day, I’d better buy a new guitar. Oh look, it’s raining, better buy a new guitar. It’s Monday, better buy a new guitar. Friday, new guitar… Since I’m not rich (and I don’t want to become poor), I’ve learned to resist that temptation. So when the time comes that there really are good reasons to purchase a new axe, I don’t mess around. I revel in the experience, but I also research as much as I can to make sure it’s a good purchase.

I needed a new on-stage guitar. Maggie, my Martin 00CX-AE was on her last legs. I had always had a love-hate relationship with that guitar and some of the manufacturing defects finally caught up to her, making her unplayable and unfixable. Aggie, my Larrivee, is a beautiful and sweet-sounding dreadnought, but I wanted one with a cutaway for those face-melting acoustic solos, and I feel cautious using her on stage because she seems too vulnerable to scratches and dents. I needed what they call in the car world a “daily driver.” A guitar that was durable enough to take on stage in the dingiest of bars, but that would still let me sound my best. So, justification found, I set out to buy a new guitar!

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Chorderator for iPhone and iPad

The Guitarator suite of apps continues to grow. Today I’m excited to announce the availability of Chorderator for iPhone and iPad. It contains all the same functionality of the Android version, but now for iOS devices!

  • Look up any chord, any tuning.
  • Listen to any chord shape.
  • Save chords into Lead Sheets for easy reference.
  • Share chords and Lead Sheets with your friends.

Purchase Chorderator in the App Store:


Things a Guitar Can Do That a Piano Can’t

After many years of playing guitar, I recently started teaching myself piano. It has been a challenge and great for reminding me what it was like to first learn guitar. I'm already seeing how learning piano will help my guitar playing.

The piano is a really powerful instrument. With ten fingers, you can play ten notes at once, or more if you use the sustain pedal or you mash two keys with one finger. It can play both higher and lower than a guitar - at the same time! Unplugged, a piano is louder. And there is tons and tons of music for the piano - a lot of it classical, but going through ragtime, jazz, some blues, and even some rock.

That got me thinking. Why is the guitar the indisputable queen of instruments in today's popular music? Folk, blues, and especially rock and roll? What is so special about the guitar that makes it so perfect for rock? I love Billy Joel's music, and Jerry Lee Lewis kicked ass, but numbers-wise, guitarists leave pianist in the dust. Why is that?

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Skip to my Lou – easy fingerpicking

As promised, here is another easy fingerpicking song: the old children's song, Skip to My Lou. It's a melody almost everyone knows, and in terms of chord progression, you can't get much simpler than this. This arrangement is in the key of D, and it's composed of only two chords: D and A7. In addition to making it easy to focus on the fingerpicking technique without worrying about a complex arrangement, the simplicity of the chord progression leaves a whole lot of room for improvisation around the basic melody, if you so desire.

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Guitarator Toolbox now available for purchase

The beta test period has been completed for the Guitarator Toolbox application software. For $17.99, you can download it today at

The Guitarator Toolbox is an application for Microsoft Windows that allows you to look up any chord or scale you can dream up, find the proper fingerings in any tuning, and hear what they sound like.