Guitar Techniques - - Talkback -

What am I do­ing wrong? I played the ‘moder­ate ad­vanced’ tunes Wel­come To The Jun­gle and Brent Ma­son solo­ing with no prob­lems at all, but am find­ing bar 31 of ‘bluesy fu­sion’ style from GT233 im­pos­si­ble – and this is only rated ‘moder­ate’. Your rat­ing sys­tem for a tune’s dif­fi­culty is to­tally duff. Get it right GT. Apart from that, bril­liant mag. Jimmy Oliver

Any rat­ings sys­tem, ours in­cluded, is fraught with difficulties; we know that. The tu­tor sup­plies a rat­ing to us that he or she thinks is ap­pro­pri­ate for the piece. But very of­ten what’s ‘moder­ate’ to a fab­u­lous mu­si­cian (ie the tu­tor) is ‘ad­vanced’ for oth­ers (ie many read­ers – or me!). So we usu­ally tweak what­ever rat­ing they have given, in or­der that there’s a de­gree of con­sis­tency across the mag­a­zine and that ‘moder­ate’ does mean moder­ate to the av­er­age reader. And even say­ing that is daft – be­cause what’s av­er­age? Also, you high­light a point that cer­tain styles are more tricky to cer­tain play­ers – one could ar­gue that straight shred­ding con­tains less trick­i­ness than a Robben Ford piece with all its har­monic com­plex­ity, slip­pery tech­nique and so on. What’s more, some­thing that is in­deed moder­ate over­all, might have one bar that’s a pig to play; but should that mean we rate the whole thing as ad­vanced? It’s a bal­ance thing: we have to give some idea, hence there be­ing rat­ings in the first place, but it’s not that sim­ple – we’ll try to do bet­ter.


I wanted to send my thanks from the other side of the globe to you and the whole GT team for your ex­cel­lent mag­a­zine. I look for­ward to its ar­rival on my iPad ev­ery month. I’m a mid­dle-aged wannabe who first got bit­ten by the gui­tar bug while sit­ting in a car­a­van parked in the back yard of an Aunt’s house in

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