GT IS GOOD, BUT…
I really enjoy your magazine and think it is great. I do have a few suggestions that would make it better in my humble opinion: 1) Can you make the cover of the magazine the same as the cover of the CD? I find that when they get separated it is difficult to ‘ match’ them up. 2) Further to item 1 above, I would suggest that the CD holder be made an integrated part of the magazine so they can stay together. 3) I really enjoy the 30 Minute Lickbag column, but am disappointed when other columns use a similar approach. For instance, when a column on George Benson has several George Benson ‘ licks’ – I think it would be far more useful and informative to show how George might navigate over several choruses of changes. Licks are great, but a full chorus gives a far better understanding of a player’s thinking and can be mined for licks if so desired. 4) If possible, could musical pieces be on the same page? I find it difficult to study a piece when I have to turn the page of the magazine in the middle of trying to play it. 5) Lastly, can the jam tracks be a part of the audio CD and not be playable only on a computer. Also, please keep the CD and do not move to an internet platform for the audio.
I think your magazine is great nonetheless, and hope to subscribe for years to come. Mario Arena, New York, USA Thanks for your suggestions, Mario. I’ll reply to each one as best I can.
There’s so much in GT every month that we use the CD as the second big cover ‘ hit’. Usually, you’ll find a big technique article as the main cover feature, and a song transcription with an artist shot on the CD – as indeed we have this month with Slash. I know the cardboard wallets have no spine, so an issue number is not readily visible, but why not simply slide it into the magazine itself and then store it on a shelf? We’d love the ‘ inside the mag’ solution, too – it would be so much better for all concerned. But unfortunately it’s much more costly, so I’m afraid it’s a no go.
We try to offer a range of article styles, from full tracks and solos to licks, and so on. Pete Callard often does tab out complete choruses, but sometimes it’s deemed preferable to offer a variety of licks over a variety of chord changes and keys. A lot of readers do actually prefer bite- sized chunks to huge slabs of music, so I suppose it’s horses for courses.
This one kind of contradicts your last point – were we to do all full pieces and not just licks then we couldn’t avoid the turning pages problem. But musicians have been turning pages since notation was invented, so this really isn’t a huge issue, I don’t think.
Again, we’d love to have the jam-tracks on the CD as audio tracks, but sometimes – as with this issue and last – there’s so much on the CD that it’s actually crashing its limits. On balance we feel that as the lessons are the most important aspect of GT ( and the jam-tracks are a freebie extra anyway) that they should take precedence.
The GT CD cover is our second- biggest feature ‘ sell’