• Open-access, ad-free mission •
Above all, this site seeks to enthuse fellow musical searchers, connecting fresh sounds to the voices, cultures, and passions behind them. It started as a blog for student notes: mainly, I just enjoy expanding and sharing these fascinations. Thus, there is no financial purpose behind any of these resources – everything will remain 100% open-access & ad-free, with no commercial interference, and no ulterior motives to cloud focus: this is intended as a zero-bullshit zone of learning!
Still, I gotta pay the bills somehow. Without ad or paywall income, I rely on teaching and writing to cover hosting costs, ever-rising London rents, etc. Global musical delights should be free to all, untainted by commercial nonsense (besides: who am I to ‘rent out’ these ideas?). Read more about the site’s mission – and here’s how you can help push it forward:
- Donate: Help fund the costs of running this thing (PayPal+)
- Lessons: Relaxed, tailored sessions on the music you love
- Hire me: Writings & recordings (guitar/sitar/tabla/santoor)
- Contact: Hit me up with queries, feedback, suggestions
• Donate •
Aside from hosting costs, donations enable me to expand these resources: ensuring that global musical ideas can be shared freely! The more time I have, the more useful I can make this site…
—What does the money do?—
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any donation-based queries. All funds will go directly towards the open-access publication of projects including:
- Trane’s Scale Mystery: I’ve solved an intriguing puzzle around John Coltrane handwritten raga notes, and want to share his insights along with the bizarre tale behind it all!
- Hindustani Raga Index: Creating the ultimate ‘interconnected learning zone’ for North Indian raga – seeking to preserve these divine forms, and open them up to disparate global traditions
- World of Tuning: A recent ‘megaproject’ demystifying 100+ guitar tunings from around the world – plus DIY capo-hacks, global microtonality, & much more…
—See my full article list for more—
• Online Lessons •
Searching for fresh guitaristic inspiration? Intensify your six-string imagination with ideas from global music and beyond…
Teaching is a lifelong passion. I love helping others find joy in the instrument that has given me so much – and firmly believe that ‘talent’ mostly equates to ‘enjoying the feelings of improvement’. If learning energises you, nothing is a struggle! See my Teaching Page for more, or ask me anything. Educational experience includes:
- 10+ yrs private teaching: one-on-one, schools, workshops, etc
- Mixed-age classroom groups: from 4-11, in South London
- Special Educational Needs: teaching DAW/electronic music
- Zoom guitar lessons: inc. the children of a music professor
- A Kichwa shaman: seeking guitaristic connection with nature
- Hindustani school demos: demystifying sitar, santoor, & tabla
- Guitar World instructor: my Fresh Repertoire article series
- Indian classical musicology: see Living Traditions for Darbar
—See my Teaching Page for more—
(↑ includes your own ‘learning zone‘ summarising all material ↑)
• Hire me! •
Writing, recording, performing, composing…
- Articles & writings: Invite me to pitch something…or get in touch with ideas you want to see me cover (read Articles)
- Recording & performing: Guitar (acoustic/electric), plus sitar, santoor, tabla, fretless bass, hand percussion, etc (hear Sounds)
- Composition & more: Workshops, demos, masterclasses, bespoke tuition, general creative input, etc (see CV)
“I would like to discover a method so that if one of my friends is ill, I’d…play a certain song and he will be cured; when he’d be broke, I’d bring out a different song and immediately he’d receive all the money he needed. But what are these pieces, and what is the road to travel to attain a knowledge of them? That I do not know.” (John Coltrane, 1963)
• Mission & Principles •
Attempting to elucidate some core aspirations underlying the site:
- Interconnect everything! Hyperlinking allows you to ‘choose your own musical adventure’ (just follow whichever link-chains look most enticing…) – this offers a more ‘mind-like’ navigability.
- Primacy of ‘shape metaphor’: Cognitive science points to ‘shape-learning’ as the strongest mnemonic method – and it’s also much less culturally specific than Western stave notation.
- ‘Global music is the 99%’: Aside from comprising most of the world’s sonic variety, global traditions also offer uniquely effective learning tools, typically missed by guitar curriculums.
- Draw from disparate fields: Necessity isn’t the mother of invention – for me, ‘novel interconnection’ is far more vital. Thus, I look beyond music for fresh insights (e.g. hand physiology).
- Bring the humans to life: Music means more if presented with the context of its creation – I seek to animate these messy human tales, ideally centering the artist’s own words.
—What am I missing? Send in your thoughts—
“There’s perhaps no better guide to alternate tunings than George Howlett’s ‘World Of Tuning’: with its compendium of 100 tunings, each helpfully accompanied by recorded samples, details on the intervallic relationships between strings, and bios of the guitarists who invented or popularised them…” (The Wire: Unofficial Channels, Aug 2022)
• Contact Me •
Get in touch with queries, feedback, suggestions, etc…
Spread the word! Go ahead and share things with friends, on socials, in music forums, etc: I’m not gonna give ad companies any of my (or your) cash, so instead rely on readers ‘organically’ spreading the word…
A few general learning principles:
- Listen to lots of different music: feed the brain with good sounds
- Train the ear: this gives you the ‘toolbox’ to teach yourself any style
- ‘Sing inside’ as you play: music is about emotions, not finger muscles
- Experiment freely: constantly create your own patterns & variations
- Enjoy it! Find fun in improvement…then mastery is no struggle
EADGBE tuning tones:
George Howlett is a London-based musician and writer. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and global improvisation. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them.
Recently I’ve worked long-term for Darbar, Guitar World, and Ragatip, and published research into tuning and Coltrane’s raga notes. I’ve written for Jazzwise, JazzFM, and The Wire, and also record, perform, and teach in local schools. Site menu above, follow below, & get in touch here!
everything 100% ad-free and open-access