Your comments and communications...
POST PUNK PLEA
The Canarios transcription in the August 2016 issue caught my eye. It was the same in October 2001 when Canarios was also published in GT and I quickly and gratefully made my first
purchase. (This was a completely fresh transcription and very different to the 2001 one – Ed). That issue also had a cool Robben Ford lesson by Guth Govan. In 15 years GT has unlocked a lot of what was mystifying to me as a young guitar hack – chords with more than one number, or altered note; aaaagghhh! The best part was discovering other players. I might have learned nothing but I still would have found out about Danny Gatton and Scott Henderson. Your contributors provide outstanding detail and I urge other readers to check the notes that go with the transcripts. All styles get a look-in with GT but there are some players from 80s bands you should look into. Charlie Burchill and John McGeoch perhaps. Anyhoo... Love your work. Chris Mc, Adelaide, SA
Yes, you’re right, Chris. There’s a whole slew of players that came out in the post punk years and who seemed to have slipped through GT’s net. Actually, it’s been mentioned before so there’s clearly an appetite for that style – which I might describe as ‘punk attitude, pop sensibility’. We often serialise styles or eras in the magazine and that whole 80s raft of players would fit perfectly in such a run. Many of our guys are deeply into them too – they’re at an age where they were weaned on The Smiths and U2 rather than The Beatles and Stones. We’ll look into it – I promise!
SAME OLD, SAME OLD
Today I received issue 260 and I was glad the moment I saw on the cover ‘40 Great Blues Intros and Outros – grab a huge new lickbag’. But I have to assert, I know these intros and outros. Six years ago in issue 174... same licks... why do you do that? These are great licks but please don’t copy and paste. I understand that new subscribers or readers won’t know, but faithful readers do. GT is an absolutely helpful magazine to extend musical understanding and get new ideas, and so I subscribed last year. But I’ve been buying it regularly here in a local shop in Vienna, Austria. I hope GT assists us in the future with ‘new’ old and modern licks. Norbert Schwarz
You are right in spotting that the Intros & Outros feature was a re-use, Norbert. But for lots of complicated reasons, which I won’t go into here, we’ve stopped tabbing actual tracks – apart from Bridget’s new arrangements of classical repertoire. So we are concentrating more on the core GT strengths, which are its brilliantly exclusive technique, style and theory articles. Stuff you won’t find anywhere else – unlike tabs, which you can Google in three seconds. However, you are right in pointing out that new readers, and those that only buy the magazine sporadically (which our distributors tell us is most of you – and that applies to all mags, not just GT), won’t have seen it. Also, it seems such a shame not to use a fabulous feature that we printed all those years ago, that’s still utterly relevant today, but that probably 90% of our current readership didn’t see. I’m sure it will have been of great use to many readers out there. We will be running more re-used articles, but carefully selected and always from several years ago so the fewest people possible will have seen it twice. TV stations live and breathe on repeat programmes, but GT will only ever redo articles when we feel they are relevant and will not have been seen by most readers.
I’ve been a GT fan since 1995 when I bought my first issue (#9, with the How to Play It Like... column featuring Jimi Hendrix’s take on Like A Rolling Stone) off the magazine stand at the now-defunct Tower Records.
I’m not particularly keen on soloing per se (though there are many players whose solos I love); I am fascinated by chords and chord progressions first and comping styles second. Over the past several years GT has published many, many feature articles and series on chords, harmony, and the videos often have lead sheets with the basic progressions and how to use them. Lovely stuff! Keep it coming! (The Freddie Green piece this month is especially nice because it shows how he changed his voicings according to the musical context he was in).
Would you mind passing this along to Bridget Mermikides about #258’s transcription of Alonso Mudarra’s Fantasia X?
Hi Bridget: I’ve got all your columns from day one. You’ve re-introduced me to tunes I only heard in their original operatic or piano form, etc – as well as to a lot of music I never knew or had heard without knowing who they were by or what their names were. But this particular issue’s piece – Alonso Mudarra’s Fantasia X – is absolutely brilliant! I’ve got almost every vihuela and Renaissance lute CD there ever was, is, and will be, and I just wanted to thank you for a sterling transcription and absolutely one of the cleanest, most precise and expressive performances of this piece I’ve ever heard (on CD or YouTube). And the recording quality is such that I can actually feel as well as hear how your nails produce the sound on the strings! Kudos!
Ps. Neville: You needn’t print this. I am just so gobsmacked by this latest issue that I finally decided to get off my bum – which is now 63 years old – and write to you guys to thank you for yet another fantastic issue of GT! Though you had some keen competition in the late 90s, you’ve always been the best bang for the buck (or the pound, or the Euro) in the world. I’m a language teacher so I find the How of your writers as stimulating as the What. Thanks to all of you! Allen Balaz, Taipei
That’s such a lovely letter that I thought I would print it, Allen. As you know, I passed it onto Bridget and I believe she replied separately. The people that create features for GT put in so much time and effort. It makes it so much more worthwhile when someone writes such wonderful words. So thanks again – we appreciate your comments.
THERE ARE PLAYERS FROM 80S BANDS YOU SHOULD LOOK AT – CHARLIE BURCHILL OR JOHN MCGEOCH...
Bridget: great touch, tone and technique
John McGeoch of Magazine and Siouxsie And The Banshees