Friday, May 22, 2009


My rock star story is simple. I met Jack White. I thought he was cool. I wanted to be cool too. I signed up for guitar lessons. I started a band. I printed some t-shirts. I made some gig posters. Launched a website. The rest, as they say, is history.

I never intended to be a great guitarist. I only wanted to be a rock star, so I focused on the aspects of being in a band that made me happy and didn’t worry if I hit a bad note once in a while (or for that matter most of the time!)

Since the early days of the Mydols, I have gone from being nothing more than a “trained monkey” on the guitar to knowing several chords and occasionally I don’t even have to look at my fingers when I play! Quite an accomplishment for someone who first learned how to play at age 42.

Well this past week I got a DVD to review that I wish I would have got 7 years ago. It’s Mark Sly’s Secrets. It’s the best DVD on how to play guitar that I’ve ever seen. I watched it with my son, Dylan, who is just learning to play and my husband who doesn’t play at all and everyone LOVED it. Mark really makes playing guitar and fun and as easy as possible. He cuts right to the chase, and reveals the secrets of playing other guitar teachers won’t tell you.

I recently caught up with Mark over the phone. He truly has a great story—inspirational. Mark was on the 48th floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11. (While trying to break into New York’s music scene, he worked as a temp at a bank.) As the building was being evacuated, he got as far down as the 30th floor when he made a pact with God and himself.
The stairway was so crowded and chaotic, he began to give up hope that he would ever make it out alive. He got off and he called his loved ones and as he said his goodbyes, he decided if by some miracle he made it out alive he would dedicate his life to his true passion, music. The next thing he knew, he heard a voice shouting “There’s a stairway over here!” Less crowded than the first one he tried, Mark made it out to safety. He left New York and his banking job and moved back to back to his hometown of Warwick, NY, where Mark started teaching guitar full time.

Mark’s philosophy is simple. Don’t learn to play—PLAY to learn. He taught his students to play the songs they loved—bypassing music theory and such—knowing that if his students got really excited about the music they would want to learn that stuff down the line anyway. And you know what? They did. The more they played to have fun the more fun it was to learn all the theory BS!
If you or your kids are at all interested in playing guitar, I would encourage you to pick up this DVD. I can guarantee you’ll be playing and having fun in no time at all. You can learn more about Mark and his DVD by visiting