Hi! I’m Warren Sirota, and I’ve been a writer and programmer in the music world for quite a while. I’ve written about music and music gear for Guitar Player, Electronic Musician, Musician, BAM, Multimedia World and many other publications. I’m also the author of SlowGold, the Woodshed’s flagship product and the editor of this Woodsheddin’ blog.

I play a lot of guitar (and have been doing so for over 30 years), yet I’m always trying to learn how to play better. Sometimes improvement is accomplished through physical exercises, but just as often through listening, transcription, study and ear-training. After all, it’s one thing to have fast fingers, but an entirely different thing to give them something worthwhile to play.

Django Reinhardt Resources

This is a revision of a page I (Warren) published years ago. It’s almost laughable now, how thin the list originally was. In the intervening time, a Gypsy Jazz Explosion has occurred world-wide, and there are many Django Reinhardt resources available for free or pay, with Django festivals and workshops going on all over the […]

A Gypsy Turn

In an earlier article, “Are You Learning Or Just Copying”, I advanced the idea that ornaments are essential elements of any style, and that copying ornaments from records and applying them to new situations is a great way of evoking the feel of a style. This observation applies especially to jazz in the style of Django […]

Mind-Bending Upstroke Exercises

If you’re like me, you’ve never paid that much attention to upstrokes. Like many flatpick-wielding guitarists, I’ve concentrated on alternating picking technique for most of my playing life. And that makes sense – it is certainly the most versatile, general purpose technique that there is. You also probably have a smattering of downstroke-based ascending arpeggios […]

Practice Tips: Pushing past your physical limits

  Suppose you have a melodic phrase (or any other kind of passage) that you’re trying to learn that is giving you trouble. I’ve encountered plenty of these transcribing Django Reinhardt guitar parts with SlowGold. Figuring out what notes he’s playing is only half the battle for me – the man just plays so darn […]

Working Out Chords

Wes Montgomery – The King of Octaves

This has been the summer of Wes Montgomery for me and my guitar style. I recently was reminded of his great album with B3 master Jimmy Smith, Jimmy & Wes The Dynamic Duo. It inspired me to go order this CD, which I’d heard on vinyl years ago but never bought before. I picked up my […]

Are You Learning Or Just Copying?

Spending as much time as I do – enjoyable time, to be sure – transcribing and playing along with the solos by my musical idols of the moment, I sometimes have to stop and question whether I am making the best use of the (unfortunately) limited time I have for practicing. To begin with, there […]

A Site For Beginning Guitarists and Uke-ists (Ukelists? Ukelelists?)

Hi, I know a lot of the posts here on slowgold.com are for kind of advanced players, but if you’re kind of new to the  world of guitars (or ukuleles), let me commend you to https://coustii.com, where you will find a lot of information geared to you: How to pick an instrument, basic chords, some easy […]

Fix For Windows Setting Issue: SlowGold 8 Improperly Pitch-Shifts Playback Under Windows

If SlowGold 8 plays audio at too high a speed, even if Transform is unchecked, this is due to a Windows setting. The easiest way to fix this is the following, which will work on many systems: Open SlowGold, and, under the Audio menu, choose Preferences. If there is a “DirectSound” choice available for “audio […]

Practice Tips: Pushing past your physical limits

Suppose you have a melodic phrase (or any other kind of passage) that you’re trying to learn that is giving you trouble. I’ve encountered plenty of these transcribing Django Reinhardt guitar parts with SlowGold. Figuring out what notes he’s playing is only half the battle for me – the man just plays so darn fast. […]