Post Guitar Techniques, Future Publishing, Ivo Peters Road, Bath, BA2 3QS. Email firstname.lastname@example.org using the header ‘Talkback’.
I enjoy your magazine a great deal. I have been a subscriber for a while now and had been purchasing it on the newsstand for a couple of years before that. Recently, I was working through Giuliani’s 120 Right Hand Studies and I thought that something similar would be a great monthly feature for your magazine. Say on the idea of your One-Minute Licks column. Picking hand workouts are pretty tedious and if you had a short column each month with a different workout, I think practicing in short bursts would make it less tedious. Thanks for listening! John Rhodebeck Funny how ideas we get from you keen-eyed readers often find their way into the magazine . As soon as I read your letter I realised what a great idea it was, I told music editor Jason Sidwell and he agreed. It might take a little while to organise, so bear with us; but if you see a new feature in the front end in the next few months, called something like ‘10-Minute Workout’, you’ll know it came directly from you.
IN THE SHADOWS
Thank you so much for the Shadows feature in GT261. I’ve been a lover of their music since I first heard Apache on the radio way back when. Although I love all kinds of music and have done so all my life, it’s those days and that music that I hark back to every time I think about what I truly love. It’s hard for young people to realise the impact bands like The Shadows had on us. Before this there was nothing – Michael Holliday singing The Runaway Train, or other novelty songs like In The Middle Of The House by Alma Cogan. When we heard Apache, Kon Tiki and Man Of Mystery this was music made just for us! And we latched onto it like there was no tomorrow. Even when The Beatles came out a couple of years later, although the kids loved it (I did too), their mums did as well, so the effect was diluted slightly. Your feature, therefore, really made my day. Not only did I work through each example with ease, I also went back to that first Shadows album (pink Strat, white Tele!) and relived my lost youth one more time. Thanks, GT, for giving me a great time. Ross Davis We knew this feature would resonate, Ross. One of my best friends (bassist Roger Newell) is a huge Shadows fan, and he has collected almost every take and outtake of every track that they ever recorded. But get this: he was also a Shad for a moment on Marty Wilde’s 50th Anniversary concert at the London Palladium in 2007. Brian Bennett had joined us with Bruce Welch to guest on Summer Holiday, and unknown to Marty I’d got Hank to come along too. At the last moment Hank agreed to play, and so Bruce having replaced our other guitarist, Brian having replaced our drummer and Hank replacing me, Roger found himself doing Move It with Hank, Bruce and Brian, and Marty taking Cliff Richard’s vocal. If you Google it, you can see the moment of realisation on Rog’s face: “I’m A Shadow!” We’d also backed Jet Harris that same night so it made Roger’s year. I’m so glad you enjoyed the feature – and I hope my little story didn’t make you a tad jealous!
A SIDE OF SLIDE
I know from time to time you do feature slide examples in bigger blues features and I believe there was a slide series some years ago by no less than Guthrie Govan. But with all these great younger bands around today – and I’m thinking specifically of Joey Landreth and the Landreth Brothers – is there not mileage in another regular series? I don’t mean so much a style-file type thing, but a nuts and bolts, belt and braces slide series, teaching it from the ground up. Now you might argue that slide is one of those styles that players usually learn as a side show to their regular technique. But surely GT is here to teach us all manner of techniques and theory, and with that in mind a full-blown series would be great for people like me. I know you don’t do interviews, but I’d love to see a 60 Seconds With Joey Landreth to get some insight into his thought processes. And while we’re on the subject, couldn’t Les Davidson include him one month in his Blues column? I think you can probably tell I’m a bit besotted with this band and the way Joey plays. Check them out if you’re not familiar. Mick Ryan To take your first point: yes we do regularly feature slide in the magazine but no, not in an ongoing feature of late. Guthrie’s series was several years ago now, and went from simple blues slide into more complex Duane Allman territory, then on to the more challenging Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth and beyond. Sonny is actually no relation – the Landreth Brothers are actually Canadian – although Sonny did work with the boys’ musician father many years ago. But you are quite right, in that a new slide series would fit with GT right now, especially as groups such as Joey and his brothers are making such waves. We would have to wait until one series finishes before we can slot it in. But we like the idea of the ground-up approach. Several of our writers are big slide fans too. You have the communal GT brain cell well and truly working, Mick.
I have to admit that when GT first stopped using the likes of Guthrie, Dave Kilminster and Jamie Humphries, I felt that it would hit the doldrums and become a shadow of its former self. To be fair you’ve tried a few things that didn’t work that well in my opinion, but these days the range of writers you’ve gathered around you is second to none. Each one of them brings a particular voice to the magazine. Of course, I have my favourites as I’m a blues-rock-jazz guy, but I just wanted to say that GT is as good now as it ever was in those perceived ‘glory days’. Long may it continue. Danny Martin I’m not sure what we tried that didn’t work, Danny, because I think everything we do in GT has merit as a piece of tuition. However, I’ll happily take your compliment on behalf of the brilliant team of folk that contributes so tirelessly to this almost 23-year-old institution. I believe the balance in the magazine is great, but it can always be improved – witness the two excellent suggestions on this very page. So you keep reading and we’ll keep producing it for you!
I’D LOvE A NUTS AND bOLTS, bELT AND bRAcES SLIDE SERIES, TEAcHING IT FROM THE GROUND Up
A few members of GT’s current roster of teachers: the new ‘glory days’!
New series on slide in the offing?