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Mike Oppenheim's Guitar Blog

New Videos

Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 7:42am
I finally added a video section to my website. So far it has my playing, instructional videos, and maybe even a cameo of some of my dad's banjo playing...

Mike Op MusicNewsletter

Posted Apr 9, 2013 at 10:58pm
Last month the first edition of the Mike Op Music Newsletter went out, and received a great response! Thank you to all of the subscribers for your thoughts and feedback. If you didn't receive it, here is a link to last months newsletter: Take a look, and if you like it, there's a subscription link on the top left. The next mailing is in on week, featuring new guitar and banjo lessons, videos, and articles.

New Chord Melody Online

Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 12:19pm
Here's a link to my chord melody arrangement of the Lennon-McCartney classic, and modern jazz standard, Michelle.

It's a tune that sits very nicely for solo guitar.


Newsletter, Free Music Lessons

Posted Mar 12, 2013 at 4:50am
In the process of starting up a monthly newsletter for my activities at The newsletters include personal updates, album and book reviews, music articles, and free and exclusive guitar, banjo, and mandolin lessons, only available to subscribers. You can sign up directly by following this link:

Ear Training Resource

Posted Feb 22, 2013 at 12:39am
Fellow musicians: If you're looking to develop your ear and sense of relative pitch, check out this blogpost and ear training resource:

Website Redesign

Posted Feb 18, 2013 at 11:24pm
My website has undergone a major overhaul the past couple of days!

I've reformatted it so that everything is more intuitive and accessible. Lesson info, reviews, articles, mp3s, and notations are now in their own individual and easy to find tabs.

The new layout also lets me focus the blog better than I have in the past. While it will still be the central vein, informing readers of new content and new projects, the blog will take on more of a role as an open forum. I'll be able to share and comment on articles of interest from around the web, and get some great discussions and debates going with you, the audience!

Take a look, and don't hesitate to add any comments, concerns, or thoughts for making this a better experience moving forward.

Guitar In World Music

Posted Feb 7, 2013 at 10:36am
A new article of mine is available at Guitar International Magazine's website. This is the first in a series of articles about the guitar in world music.


In honor of Black History Month, I'll be sharing a series of posts from my previous research on race representations in American music. Here's the first installment, "The Harlem Renaissance and the 'New Negro,'" about the impact of the Harlem Renaissance on American music, arts, and culture.

Guitar International Magazine

Posted Jan 11, 2013 at 11:59am
Guitar International Magazine has recently published two of my articles. The first, "Jazz Improvisation: Licks as a Learning Tool," provides an in-depth method for learning jazz technique and compositional devices through analyzing pre-composed licks. The analysis is presented in two forms; one is a general analysis, not requiring any theoretical background, while the other draws on traditional jazz theory.

The second article, "Indian Classical Guitar: An Introduction and Review of Two DVDs," is a brief overview of some of the essential melodic concepts in North Indian classical music, and, as the name suggests, a detailed review of two performance DVDs. The DVDs reviewed are both from Vestapol Videos. The performers are Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya. The reviews highlight the concepts described in the article, as well as provide background information on the development of the Indian classical guitar.

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my new instructional program the Mike Op Music Beginner Guitar Series! Hopefully this online guitar course will be available for purchase before Christmas. Here's what it's all about:

This eight-part program is intended to get you started with the basic chords and strumming patterns and concepts you will need as you progress in your exploration of the wide world of guitar.

This course is intended for adult and young adult learners. It is appropriate for anyone ages 13 and up. You can expect to spend between one and three weeks absorbing and mastering each lesson.

The focus of the Beginner Guitar Series is to develop a student's tactile ability to play the guitar, impart a thorough vocabulary of the basic open chords, and to provide guidelines for playing rhythm guitar in a variety of musical styles.

Each lesson follows a standard format. The first part of each lesson introduces a new chord and a new strum pattern. These materials are presented in the form of a song. The second part of the lesson introduces a more complex variation of the same tune, utilizing greater rhythmic or chordal variety. The third part of each lesson is a final comprehensive variation of the tune drawing on concepts from the current and previous lessons. The final segment of each lesson is a set of "Finger Gymnastics," or technical exercises, designed to develop finger dexterity, independence, strength, and speed.