Guitar Techniques - - Talk Back -

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’

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