This might seem like a really silly letter, but what often attracts me to the front cover of Guitar Techniques is the guitar in the main picture. You seem to feature a selection of beautiful instruments, either vintage (perhaps pseudo-vintage) or classy ‘boutique’ ones. Where do they all come from – surely you can’t own them all? Are they hired? The last few, in particular, have been gorgeous looking pieces! Damien Barnes Funny you ask that, Damien, as I was just in the process of organising the next few cover shoots and thinking about what to get, and from where. The truth is they come from a variety of sources. Whenever one of the team gets a new guitar – we’re always trading stuff in for the ‘next greatest thing’ – it will generally find its way onto the cover. For instance the red Strat and red ES-335 of recent issues were both mine, having rid myself of various instruments to acquire them. The Les Paul Goldtop from the last issue was kindly loaned to us by World Guitars in Stonehouse, as was the Gibson Byrdland for the ‘Better Chords’ one a few issues back; other times we’ve borrowed pieces from Guitar Village in Farnham, Peach Guitars in Braintree and Vintage And Rare in Bath, as we are friends with these fine institutions too.
The creamy Strat on ‘Pentatonic Power’, and the black Gretsch on ‘Perfect Your Timing’ were both snaffled from Guitarist’s reviews stock. Jason Sidwell’s stash gets ransacked from time to time too, and Mick Taylor and Owen Bailey of Guitarist have both contributed a piece or two. So, as you can see, they come from a variety or sources. I do try hard to make the instrument appropriate for the feature – so, for instance, a Gibson ES-175 would be a little odd on a shred metal cover. But we love getting all these great guitars in, and I’m glad you like the pics too. So it’s actually not a silly letter at all!