You’ve been getting pretty heavy with the theory stuff of late. I’m looking over some recent issues and your How Music Works cover, this month’s Classical Theory lesson, various mode and chord articles – not to mention Shaun Baxter’s ongoing Creative Rock column – have been pretty intense. I wonder if you shouldn’t lighten things up a little, for those of us not at such a high standard as the people these features were clearly intended for. I know I could buy ‘easier’ guitar magazines, but I like the way Guitar Techniques is presented, plus I respect your tutors and the way they teach; so could you just go a little easier on those of us that love the mag but are easily scared? James, Hertfordshire My experience of editing guitar magazines tells me that people often misconstrue what’s on the cover, as being what the entire magazine is all about. Yes, those articles don’t pull any punches but, to be honest, theory is theory; all guitarists are going to need it at some point, and we try to present it in as easy-to-digest manner as possible. Even if How Music Works or Classical Harmony might have seemed slightly intimidating, the truth is that they are both straightforward concepts. If you took a little time to read them, and play the pieces set down to illustrate each idea, your musical knowledge would expand, things you already do but don’t understand the reasons why they work, and your ability solve all kinds of musical problems, will grow hugely. And remember, we always back up features like these with accessible ‘sound alike’ articles, easy-to-play licks and generally more basic concepts. So please don’t dismiss an entire issue if one feature – even the cover feature – seems a bit daunting; look inside and there’s always a wealth of brilliant stuff for intermediate players ( Twist & Shout being a great example). And anyway, even if you don’t ‘completely get it’ now, put the articles aside and return to them when you feel ready to take such concepts onboard.
STAR LETTER PRIZE
Our friends at Sound Technology are donating a fab DigiTech HardWire pedal to our Star Letter writer every month.
How Music Works and Twist & Shout -