Buying your first ukulele

hendrix ukulele

You’ve always had that burning desire to learn “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” just like Israel Kamakawiwoʻole or maybe you just want to strum “You Are My Sunshine” around a campfire  – what’s your first step? Unless you plan to win a Grammy for air ukulele you’ll need an instrument. Read on. I’ve played for many years. I can help you save time and lots of dough on your first instrument. (Want lessons? I teach via Skype and in Ottawa, Canada. Contact me here.) Continue reading

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The Virginia Women’s Music Festival 2018. And barbecue chicken. And hearts.

IMG_20180526_112846There’s an amazing movie on a loop in my brain. My foot taps to the beat of a great song, my mouth waters at chicken hot off the grill, women’s laughter surrounds me, and if I could, I’d draw big red hearts all over this blog post. There’s more. Read on. Continue reading

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The women’s music book, she lives!

I just signed the contract! It’ll be published in 2019. What book? One about women’s music of the seventies and eighties that I started in 2011. It’s been a long road, one where four-wheel drive and a lot of snacks were needed.  Continue reading

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The perfect set: Intros, stories & other tips for musicians on stage

We’ve all seen that performer in concert who has a great voice and musical chops but runs off at the mouth between songs. Or doesn’t talk to the audience at all. If you’re Miles Davis you can get away with that. For anyone else, read on. I’ll help you avoid the mistakes I made in my early years of touring.  Continue reading

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Four essential chords for beginning guitarists

jamie anderson low res

It’s more fun to master a song while you’re learning the guitar than it is to do an endless series of drills. Drills can help, of course, but in the end,  it has to be music. We aren’t playing football here. Like I’d know anything about football. Anyway … here’s a video that will teach beginning guitar players four chords, a strum pattern and a song. Keep reading and you’ll find links to other songs that use the same chords. Continue reading

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Myths about women’s music and culture: they shoot men at women’s festivals, right?

Um … no. There are a few other myths to bust, so let’s get started.

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Five tips for learning a new instrument this year

Does your list of resolutions always include music lessons? And is it like that gym membership you bought and used … once? Here are five ways to help you stick with learning an instrument.  Continue reading

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Meg Christian Made Me Gay

Meg Christian 3Well, not really, and I’m more likely to say “lesbian” but it’s a play on the title of a recently published book about LGBTQ music, David Bowie Made Me Gay, by Darryl W. Bullock. It’s well-written and I was delighted to find a chapter devoted to women’s music. He interviewed Alix Dobkin and Cris Williamson, two artists important to the genre. Score. However, I found a couple of errors, one where he used an article I’d written as a reference.  Continue reading

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That bedspread covered in musical notes is perfect for your musician girlfriend! Well … no.

bedspread with notes


It’s the season when the buying frenzy can make idiots of some of us. Here is a list of gifts NOT to give to the musician in your life. I’ve thoughtfully included gifts you DO want to get. You’re welcome. Continue reading

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Find a music teacher who isn’t just casing your house

music teacher 2Are you ready to pull that ukulele out of the closet and learn some chords? Is Junior bugging you for a guitar? I’ve taught music privately and in classrooms since 2000. If you want guitar, mandolin or ukulele lessons via Skype or in my studio in Ottawa, Canada, contact me. If you live elsewhere or if you want flute lessons – you do NOT want to hear me play flute — here’s how to find a music teacher. Continue reading

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