FRET BUZZ v1.1 ~ Fender Spring Sale; New Arrivals; Featured Teacher: Steve Weber

Welcome to the new FRET BUZZ E-Newsletter from TFS!
Greetings, fellow Fret Shop aficionados, and welcome to the second installment of the Fret Buzz newsletter! In this issue we have a fantabulous Fender Strat sale, white-hot New Arrivals, and our Featured Teacher spotlight is on longtime TFS instructor, Steve Weber, who is currently accepting new students.

Fender Spring Break Stratocaster SALE-A-BRATION

Fender is kicking off Spring with a killer “Stratocaster SALE-A-BRATION” on the following Strat models beginning on March 15th:

  • Standard Stratocaster – $399.95
  • Blacktop Stratocaster – $399.95
  • American Special – $699.95
  • American Standard – $949.95
  • American Deluxe – $1,399.95

So hurry down to The Fret Shop to check out the latest SALE-A-BRATION Strats that we have in stock, ’cause this sale won’t last long! (see details below)


The 2013 Jacksons Are Here!

Okay, alright…say what you will about “..’dem pointy guitars,” but those of us who still carry a tiny torch for the days of 80’s Shred can’t help but get a little nostalgic when we behold beveled beauties like these.  Sure, their radical shapes and shred-friendly specs aren’t for everyone, but for the discerning Djent disciples of today and Old School metalheads alike, there simply is no substitute for the real deal.  There’s a reason iconic 80’s legends such as the late, great Randy Rhoads (of Ozzy fame), and Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith choose Jackson as their weapon of choice, and it’s the same a reason this new generation of up-and-coming shred dealers rely on them to deliver the goods onstage and in the studio.  Take one of these “adrenaline machines” for a test drive today at The Fret Shop and judge for yourself.

Featured Teacher: STEVE WEBER

Featured Teacher: STEVE WEBERThis Buzz installment’s featured instructor is a longtime fixture at TFS, and my first guitar teacher, Steve Weber.  I took lessons with Steve in my early teens about a year after I started playing, and had it not been for his guidance and wisdom, this impatient adolescent might have given up on the guitar altogether.  It’s been 30 years since those days, and I’m still learning and progressing, thanks in large to the lessons and fundamentals Steve taught me.  I owe Steve a lot for starting me on this lifelong journey of musical fulfillment, and anyone interested in taking up lessons at The Fret Shop would do well to give Steve a call to see if he has an opening that fits your schedule.


Q: What kinds of lessons do you offer at The Fret Shop?

I teach electric, acoustic and bass guitar, as well as vocal lessons for Popular music.  I took classical voice lessons for about one year from Jean Scrabble using the Vaccai method.  I start with scale/interval exercises, then learn songs that interest the student.  I’ve sung solo and group performances all my life.


Q: What student levels do you teach?

I teach all levels from beginner to advanced, with the only exceptions being advanced Classical guitar and intermediate/advanced Bluegrass, which I love, but do not teach.


Q: What techniques/musical styles do you teach?

I would say I can teach techniques related to all styles, save for advanced Classical and Bluegrass.  I offer “Travis style” thumbpicking/fingerstyle guitar as well, although I’ve graduated some [lead guitar] shredders in my time!

Q: What led you to teach music professionally?

Teaching guitar was suggested to me by an old friend, Kevin Webster.  Also, I had two years of private instruction at age 13, and it was all the old, difficult Mel Bay books.  I was good at reading for guitar by the time I started bass at my brother’s suggestion. I later studied Bass under Mr. Marshall (Count Basie’s bassist) at Berklee College of Music in Boston for a semester as well.


Q: How would you describe your approach to teaching?

My approach to teaching is to offer traditional note reading/chords/theory, and to teach students selected songs.  Sometimes if a student cannot play songs I steer them in a more formal direction until they can.  If a student comes unprepared, I’ll select a song for them or teach them some scales or licks to refresh their interest.  Regular practice is a necessity, however!


Q: How would you describe your students?

The students I work with are generally motivated and benefit from the one-on-one lesson environment.  I’ve taught guitar classes and found it impossible to progress beyond tuning 20 guitars and a few chords.  Each student is different and unique.  I teach all ages from about 10 years to 70 years old.


Q: Thinking back to the time when I first took lessons from you as a kid, you gave me the choice to either learn the basics like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” or to bring in recordings of the songs I wanted to learn.  (I opted for the latter.)  All these years later I’m still kicking myself a little for not learning those basics (like sight-reading) as you had recommended.  In your view, how important is good instruction for beginners?

You were ready to rock in the 80’s when you started, Craig.  I think you learned chords quickly and went on to play the music you enjoyed listening to.  Anybody can benefit from learning to read, though it does take perseverance.  If I were teaching in a music school there would be a preset menu of courses to teach with little variance from that.  Teaching a student privately allows them to learn what is not offered in a formal institution, and is the reason popular music students enjoy what they’re learning.  Very young students can benefit from more structured lessons.


Q: What current musical offerings/projects would you like our readers to check out?

For sixteen years I performed with Ground Level Sound as a bassist; we released four albums in that time, and I have some for sale.  We have a live video on YouTube from a song competition at the Roy Acuff Theatre at Opryland.  WOA Records in India has released ‘She’s Alright’ on the GOA Chillout Zone vol.4 series.  Go to Sonicbids to hear the song, and there you’ll find a link to to purchase it and/or the entire compilation.  There’s a few tunes from Ground Level Sound for sale on iTunes; ‘Thank You For Your Love’ and ‘You Stole My Heart Away’ are available as downloads, or you can pick up the self-titled Ground Level Sound CD for sale on the Local Artists rack located in The Fret Shop.

I also play in The Valley Cats, a dance band.  We’re on the GigMasters website for hire, and have played for Concerts In The Park, Panoply and the Spirit of Athens festival.  We have a really good harmony blend and a great pianist, Keith Taylor! Our band website is

Click the links below to hear some examples
of Steve’s playing, or for more information on Steve and his music, visit: and

Impromptu In-store

On Saturday, Feb. 9th, we were treated to an impromptu in-store performance from the vaudeville troupe, Side Street Steppers, from Memphis, TN.  Their torchy, tongue-in-cheek style and wit made for an entertaining afternoon for one and all.  Click below to check out the live footage from their set, and we’ll keep you posted on when you can see them in our neck of the woods again.