Lesson Material:

NOTE: Much more to come soon. This is merely the beginning of what will eventually be a complete set of course materials available to my students on-line. What you find here may be helpful to you regardless of whether we have covered it during our regular meetings.

I encourage you to take as much from the resources here as you can. If you have any questions about these resources, please make a note of it so that you may present it during our next session.

Part One: the Beginner Guitarist [toggle section]

This section is targeted at the beginner student. For those of you who are new to the StateCollegeGuitarLessons.com student roster, please take a moment to review these exercises. I intend to have a vast collection of tips for beginners listed here, available to you to access at your own pace.


  • the Four-beat Strum
    Use this simple illustration as a guide to get used to the concept of maintaining constant rhythm with your strumming arm. Remember to count: ‘One- and, Two- and, Three- and, Four- and…’, etc.
    [click to view full size]
    four beat strumming
  • ...much more coming soon!


Please take advantage of the musicians' resources below. This page will be updated periodically.

Music Theory for Practical People [hide this section]
Edly's Music Theory for Practical People

Edly's Music Theory for Practical People is available on-line directly from Edly's web site. Have your own copy shipped to you in just a few days!

Edly's Music Theory for Practical People is not a Guitar instructional book, but a Music Theory Instruction book. I've included it among the Guitar Student Resources because it is quite simply the best resource I've used for gaining a thorough understanding of Music Theory.

I believe in educating my students with the fundamental music theory concepts, and there's no better way to get a head start on advanced concepts than to pick up a copy of Edly's book. The name says it all: Music Theory for Practical People is not a stale or boring explanation of music theory. It's difficult to explain to someone who hasn't studied music before, why this book is different-- but it is.

Important: I am fortunate in maintaining private correspondence with the author, Ed Roseman, who asks that I recommend you buy the book from your local music store, which should stock the item. If your music store (e.g. The Music Mart, Beaver Ave, State College, PA 16801; check your phone book for musical instrument stores) does not stock the item, then please request that they special order it for you, or simply order it directly from the publisher. Prospective buyers, please do not purchase Music Theory for Practical People through any resource, other than your local music store (i.e. do NOT purchase through Amazo_.coX, their nominal pricing differences continue to destroy the global publishing business economy. Please research the matter more thoroughly if you wish. I urge you to do right by Mr. Roseman [aka. Edly], as he is a kind, generous, genius who we are fortunate to have as an independent publisher, and extraordinary author). I am pleased to see my students have purchased the book, but disappointed to hear the word "Amazon" (i.e. extrapolate). Thank you for your generous support in this matter!

Prior to using Edly's book, when faced with the challenge of instructing music theory, I could think of a few books which are thorough in their documentation of fundamental theory, but I didn't feel confident in recommending anything to students for fear that the very dry rhetoric in those books would put my students to sleep.

With Edly's Music Theory for Practical People, I am not afraid that I might spoil the student's inspiration to learn when it comes time to dig deep into the most difficult concepts, because Edly has a magical way of making it easy to understand, and fun to read.

PowerTab Software: [hide this section]

PowerTab is a dual purpose software. powertab software thumbnail
It can teach you where to put your fingers on the guitar so you know how to properly play the songs loaded in the editor, and it can also help you to practice the songs by playing the current file at performance speed (so it sounds like the song), or at a slower tempo so you can work on difficult parts more slowly until you're ready to go faster.

Install PowerTab:

If you do not typically download software for use on your PC, it is perfectly reasonable to hesitate at the thought of doing so now-- but please don t be intimidated by the effort of this software installation. Just [click here] and get it now! PowerTab software is a trusted source among the Guitar Instructor, and Guitar Student community alike, so there's no need to worry about your e-mail address receiving SPAM as a result. PowerTab does NOT install AdWare items. Just enjoy. ;)

A-B Repeat Mp3 Player: [hide this section]

MplayMan (aka. mplay man, or m-play Man, or AB Repeat media player) mp3 media player. A to B Repeating Media Player is no longer supported by its original developer, and is very difficult to find anywhere on-line, but I have kept the software installer from an original I downloaded several years ago.

MPlayMan has value as a musician's resource in its ability to play an mp3 from point A to point B-- two points of a track to continually repeat, as selected by the user. For example:
[point A]⇒@⇒1:53
[point B]⇒@⇒2:15
|: (repeating ∞ clip) Duration @ 0:22 :|
). In other words, if there is a portion of music you are trying to learn from a file played in MPlayMan, it can repeat that section over and over, until you hit Stop. It's also a great way to annoy your roommates! wink

Using A-B Repeat:

collapse Show Instructions

Get the setup file:
Download the MPlayMan installer file (A-to-B-Repeat-Player.exe) and save it in your favourite local folder (e.g. My Documents).
Install MPlayMan on your computer
Locate the file you saved. Double-click it to begin the installation process, or right-click and select open. Take note of the following step-by-step instructions so you'll know how to respond to the prompts during the MPlay Man first-run.
  1. Once the installation wizard begins, you should be able to click Next for each step of that process until it is finished. The default options should be what you need.
  2. When the installation is complete, you can close the ‘Finished’ window to exit the installer. Go to the Start menu and look for your new folder containing Donut Studios MPlayMan (most likely at the bottom right of your All Programs list
  3. Launch MPlayMan (click the shortcut from the MPlayMan Start Menu folder, just as you would any program).
MPlayMan: First-run Prompts
  1. MplayMan will ask if you want to put a shortcut on your desktop, but the text is written in German! If you want an MPlayMan icon on your desktop, just click the left button, as shown when you hover the thumbnail below.
    mplayman language illustration thumb
    [ hover for larger image ]
  2. After you choose whether to place a shortcut on your Desktop, MPlayMan will ask you for your preferred language. I select the British flag, for English.
    mplayman choose location thumbnail
    [ hover for larger image ]
  3. You're almost ready to rock. There's only two easy steps left. Now that you've set MPlayMan for your preferred language, it needs to close so those settings will ‘stick’, so it won't ask you anymore.
    mplayman choose location thumbnail
    [ hover for larger image ]
MplayMan: How to Use A-B Repeat
  1. If you chose to put the shortcut on your Desktop, all you need to do now is to go to that shortcut, and restart MPlayMan.
    When it launches again, the final configuration setting pop-up offers to Optimize your system for MPlayMan. You should select DO NOT OPTIMIZE here, unless you're certain that you want MPlayMan to open all of your mp3's and movies, etc. in the future. Check the box so this message doesn't appear again.

    mplayman choose location thumbnail
    [ hover for larger image ]
  2. Now you're ready to try out the A-B Repeat function! All you need to do is load an mp3 (click the upper-left button which looks like three arrows pointing right to browse your system for music), and hit play. While MPlayMan is playing, open the A-B Repeat window by clicking the appropriate button (hover image below for an illustration). To repeat a section of music, set point A and point B by clicking the button near the bottom “Set A”, then “Set B”. From there, you should be able to figure it out. Enjoy!
    mplayman choose location thumbnail
    [ hover for larger image ]
  3. NOTE: you can't set point B until you set point A.
    Note#2: Please do not attempt to contact the software developer. He stopped supporting MPlayMan years ago, so he does not expect anyone ‘new” to be using it. Thanks.

If the MPlayMan images don't display when hovering over the corresponding thumbnails, try reloading the page.

For any Web Design enthusiast readers, the tool-tip-like image containers are created using a very simple Ajax component from the YUI library: the Container.

Gift Certificates:

Guitar as a gift?...What now?

Did someone you know recently get a guitar as a gift, and you're trying to find the best way to compliment it? Guitar lesson gift certificates are an excellent choice for any new guitar owner. Gift certificates are also a smart way to generate interest in learning the proper technique and rudimentary skills necessary for any student to maintain a genuine interest in the instrument. gift certificate looks something like this

Jeff confirms that the statement is true, to the best of his knowledge based on his own experience with this item, however, by using the resources here at StateCollegeGuitarLessons.com, including links to off-site, 3rd-party resources, you are granting a waiver of liability, and agree that Jeff Sabarese is not responsible for any damange, misunderstanding, or otherwise unexpected results from your use of these resources. Please do not install software on your computer unless you are certain it is safe. Please do not use pirated software, or distribute unauthorized copies of copyrighted material (such as books in PDF or CHM format, audio media like mp3's, and video media like AVI's and MPG's). If you find incorrect; inaccurate information here at StateCollegeGuitarLessons.com, or if you question the validity of any content herein, or my right to publish it, please contact Jeff immediately so that he may take appropriate action.

Despite the horror stories you hear in the media, shopping on-line can be very easy, safe and secure. It's much like paying a utility bill over the phone with your credit card, debit card, or electronic check, so the process is probably familiar to you. ‘…there's nuthin' to it!…’
Nearly every major bank-issued credit-card (e.g. Visa® & MasterCard®) provides a fundamental benefit to the Card Holder: that he or she is not liable for fraudulent purchases. (To be certain of your safety in purchasing, just look for phrases like ‘zero liability’, and ‘fraudulent purchase’ in the fine-print terms which typically accompany your monthly statements, or call the issuer's customer service center and ask directly! They'll be happy to hear from you, so be wary of their solicitations.)

The State College Guitar Lessons Resources page was first published on August 26th, 2007, and Last modified: April 21 2022 10:31:57.

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Without Music, Life Would Be A Mistake

- F. Nietzsche