Can you please tell me what is the make and model the acoustic guitar used in a lot of your videos ,for example “Don’t Wait too Long” by Madelaine Perouxe . Thanks


it’s a Larrivee L09



I have purchased the course some time ago. However, I have not gotten into it at all as I am somewhat ‘put off’ by the use of Roman Numerals as names for chords. I have no idea what to make of I, II, IV, V, VI etc in relation to chording. Do you have an explanation of what you mean by this.
As I see it ‘suddenly’ appear in the Beginners coursework I would guess that you have an expectation that this would be common knowledge but I am not familiar with it.
Regards, Barry

Hi Barry,

Please check this http://www.spytunes.com/beginner/song-writers-swivel

And this http://www.spytunes.com/beginner/chord-progression

Hope this helps



ok and thanks. I am trying to understand why the Roman Numerals are ‘easier’ than just writing the name of the chord . It seem to me like just another layer of translation a person needs to get through. I am sure there is a good reason that I am just not aware of right now ….
Thanks Again for your kind attention…



No problem,

There is a very good reason for why you should think in numbers rather than names. It is THE detail that will enable you to understand music and the guitar neck.

I’ll give you an example and hope this will clarify:

Let’s say we are in the key of C, the chord C will in context sound as home. So if it’s:

I – VI – II – V that would be C Am Dm G. The C will sound like home, the G will sound like you want to go to C. Try it out and make sure you can hear it.

If we are in the key of G:

I – VI – II – V that would be G Em Am D.

So now the G sounds like home, D sounds like it wants to go to G.

So depending on the number the chord has a different sound in context, the name of the chord, like C, is just what key you are in.

Play the progression in both keys and see if you can hear how they are the same.

Let me know if you can hear it yeah. I can provide more examples if needed.

What’s so important here is how this can be built on.

This concept of numbering chords will later extend to scales where the scale over chord I will sound rested, the scale over chord V will sound like it wants to resolve to I.

If you don’t use this system you have to rely on memorizing letter combinations and specific licks.

It’s like a language, you can say a sentence in italian if you practice saying it, but if you want to speak italian, you have to know the meaning of the words and how to build sentences using grammar.

Hope this makes sense



Yes. Thanks! I really did not understand the reason for this construct. I remember reading a magazine article where session musicians will often given their parts using the Roman Numerals as what they are to play…didn’t get that.
I will go over your course material carefully.


Cool, do you mind if I add an edited version of this conversation to my Faq’s?



It is okay to use our conversation if it would help others



Cool thanks


is the weekly beginner course the same as the one from the old blog?


It’s the same songs but it’s been reworked with many more examples, tab and more in depth explanations.

So it’s a much better version of what I previously tested for free.

Hope this helps.


Hi there,

I came across your website and I’m thinking about buying one of your books.
I have a question: are there any tabs written out in your book? And if so, which book should I buy if I want to play along with (for example) “Dream a little dream of me?”

Thank you in advance for your answer.

Regards, Karel


I don’t do tab as such, instead I aim to fully explain the song.

This is done using Roman Numerals in the Guitar Conspiracy and exercises in Acoustic Finger Style Guitar and Rhythm Guitar. There are exercises specifically for each song.

The ones in Rhythm Guitar are for songs with a pick, AFSG is for finger style.


When you say that you play in a “key”, what does that mean and how is it determined?

Hi, good question and not that simple to answer.

In general, you get a feel for what chord is home in a song.

When you finish a song, the chord that you end on is usually the “home chord”.

This would be the key of the song.

For example play | C | F G | over and over and you’ll probably want to end it on C. It just feels right.

If you have a song you want to know the key of, look at all chords in it and see if they can all be put in a section of the song writers swivel.

If they can, the chord that says it’s chord I is your home chord and what key the song is in.

Saying that, it can get more complicated.

Best way is to use the Roman numerals of the guitar conspiracy and start thinking in numbers, that way you automatically always know the key center.

Hope this helps.