TOO MUCH BLUES!
Yet again the latest issue is all about blues (Blues Workout, GT236). Don’t you guys think we’ve had enough of it by now? I mean, those five notes can only go so far! What about all the other great styles of music that are out there? And what about articles that are just about guitar ‘technique’ or ‘theory’ and not related to blues every time? Well, Marty, first of all no issue is ‘all about’ any particular style of music. We aim to be as broad as possible, and cover as many styles and levels as we can, each and every month. However – and I’ve said this time and time again – the issues that sell the best (and help keep us in business) tend to be blues related. The issue you mention was the best selling for over a year, and we have to keep a commercial eye on things in order to stay viable during tough times for magazine publishing.
But, out of interest, I’ve just gone through that particular magazine and here’s what it contained: 12 pages of blues in the cover feature (which it could be said was a general fretboard workout anyway) and another three-and-a-half in our monthly Blues column; nine pages of gypsy jazz (Nuages); eight pages on using passing chords (a bona fide ‘theory’ feature); nine pages of classical guitar (Bizet’s Carmen and Carlos Bonell’s video); three pages with six cool licks in all styles (30-Minute Lickbag); three pages of modern ‘classic’ rock (Kings Of Leon); five pages of neo-classical rock (Creative Rock); two pages of Chops Shop (technique study); five pages on British R&B (Spencer Davis /Steve Winwood); four pages of straight jazz (Blue Note Anniversary); three pages of Paul McCartney’s fingerstyle and ‘thumb and strum’ (Acoustic); plus two pages on reading music (more theory).
Can you now honestly tell me that this issue was ‘all about blues’? Or that there’s a guitarist on this planet that wouldn’t extract something of value from it? We try hard to be balanced, and I really don’t mind fair criticism - it helps us do better - but please do us the honour of looking beyond the (yes, quite possibly bluesy) cover, where you will see a readers’ digest of broad and brilliant guitar tuition from the finest tutors and players out there - at a fraction of the cost of one guitar lesson!
Johnny Marr: highly creative, original and able