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.
KEEP TAKING THE TABLETS!
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