Free Guitars and Video Guitar Lessons Donated to Servicemen and Women Overseas

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Thanks to some good folks in the music business, our brave service men and women overseas will have a merrier and more melodious holiday season this year when they get a free guitar and free video music lessons. Through an extraordinary non-profit called Operation Happy Note, a few lucky troopers will be opening up a package containing a free guitar. Along with that guitar, they'll now have the chance to take video guitar lessons free of charge from Hyannis musician and teacher Scotty West, owner of Absolutely Understand Guitar located in Hyannis.

We're real proud of our humble little course

Thanks to some good folks in the music business, our brave service men and women overseas will have a merrier and more melodious holiday season this year when they get a free guitar and free video music lessons.

Through an extraordinary non-profit called Operation Happy Note, a few lucky troopers will be opening up a package containing a free guitar. Along with that guitar, they'll now have the chance to take video guitar lessons free of charge from Hyannis musician and teacher Scotty West, owner of Absolutely Understand Guitar.

Since 2005, OHN has sent literally thousands of guitars, keyboards, mandolins, banjos, violins and harmonicas to troops serving all over the world. Today they have thousands more requests yet to be fulfilled. Founded by Steve and Barb Baker in their music store in Fergus Falls, MN, OHN is a volunteer organization that sends donated musical instruments to deployed service men and women around the globe.

When the Baker's son was deployed to Iraq, Steve Baker, a veteran himself, decided to send him a guitar to help him pass the time. It made such an impact that suddenly other soldiers began requesting instruments to play as well.

OHN has become so popular that Steve and Barb now receive emails, cards and photos daily from grateful service men and women around the world who have benefited from their hard work and generosity. Many of these can be seen on their website at http://www.OperationHappyNote.com.

This December, the deal gets even sweeter. Scotty West, creator of the Absolutely Understand Guitar Video Home Study Program is teaming up with Operation Happy Note to make his video guitar lessons available to troops all over the world free of charge. Starting this December, each guitar package that OHN ships out will contain a coupon for a free AUG guitar lesson course that troops can download directly from the internet just like downloading a video game or movie.

Scotty West has been playing guitar for 40 years and teaching private lessons for 25. He created a 32 hour-long video guitar lesson program now sold to thousands around the world. When he learned of Operation Happy Note he had an inspiration - wouldn't it be cool if he could do his part for the troops and make his guitar lesson program available through Operation Happy Note!

"Initially, our video guitar course was only available on DVD. The cost of producing all those discs made it impossible for us to provide the program free-of-charge" says Scotty. "But now, through the magic of video download, this cuts our material costs so dramatically that we can provide the program free to OHN guitar recipients who might want to take their guitar skills a bit further." Scotty says he's planning to make it available to the V.A. for disabled veterans as well, hopefully along with a free OHN guitar.

"When the troops receive their guitars from Operation Happy Note, the coupon inside tells them how to get in touch with AUG and register for their free guitar lessons. They can then download the videos anywhere they have an internet connection. They can then play them anywhere they can run their notebook just like they can view a movie or play a video game with no internet connection required. It's a really cool thing!"

The Absolutely Understand Guitar lesson program is a complete education in guitar technique, music theory and ear training, all in one easy-to-use package. "We're real proud of our humble little course" Scotty says. "It's kinda' my life's work. I put everything I had into it. We're thrilled by the response we've had and we're excited to take this one step further. Everybody loves the program and we've met so many nice people through this business. Now we're proud to be able to give something back to the brave men and women in uniform who sacrifice so much for our freedom."

Scotty knows something about life in the military. He's dedicating this initiative to his father, Lt. George D. Dickie Jr. Now 84, George was navigator in a B-24 flying with the 461st Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force stationed in Italy during World War II. After the war, he received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and got a job at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, CT. Says Scotty: "Dad worked in research, testing designs for many of our modern fighter jets. He loves this country and was prepared to sacrifice everything for it. He's my hero and I hope my efforts can make things go a little easier for the young men and women willing to make that same kind of sacrifice today."

Help OHN by donating instruments, money or time to OHN. OHN is a non-profit company supported entirely by donations and volunteer work.

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