TALK­bACK

Post Gui­tar Tech­niques, Future Pub­lish­ing, Ivo Peters Road, Bath, BA2 3QS. Email neville.marten@fu­turenet.com us­ing the header ‘Talk­back’.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Your opin­ions - tell it just like it is...

LACK OF SONG tAbS?

I’ve been a col­lec­tor of GT for many years, and it has al­ways been an ex­haustible re­source for play­ers such as my­self (begin­ner to in­ter­me­di­ate) and sea­soned play­ers alike.

Re­cently, my cousin gave me his back cat­a­logue of GTs, stretch­ing back to is­sue 1. One thing that stood out dur­ing those early days was the num­ber of tran­scrip­tions that were in­cluded, songs that gui­tar play­ers could re­ally get their teeth into. In re­cent is­sues, it ap­pears that this has been lost to ‘tech­nique’.

Ob­vi­ously, I un­der­stand that the clue is in the ti­tle, but the whole rea­son I got into gui­tar was be­cause I wanted to play tracks by my favourite artists. There is a clas­si­cal tran­scrip­tion ev­ery month but this genre doesn’t re­ally ex­cite me. Re­cently, how­ever, SRV’s Tightrope and Sa­tri­ani’s Al­ways With Me, Al­ways With You re­ally stood out as is­sues I was keen to buy and I looked for­ward to get­ting them nailed. I un­der­stand that there’s a fi­nite amount of ma­te­rial you can in­clude, but as a sug­ges­tion you could team your main tech­nique fo­cus of that month to a track – say a funk track to ac­com­pany strum­ming or a metal track for pick­ing tech­nique. This would make GT a lot more ap­peal­ing. Chris Went

HIS­tORY RE­PEAt­ING

My first gui­tar teacher in­tro­duced me to GT some­time around 2004. I still think the GT team is do­ing a great job, but there a few things are both­er­ing me. I un­der­stand that print me­dia is hav­ing a hard time and that this led to a few changes. I pre­ferred the old de­sign and found it more classy. The old CD sleeve was bet­ter too, be­cause you could pick a cer­tain is­sue out of the shelf in an in­stant. Things like this are a bit sad but they do not di­rectly touch the stan­dard of the lessons, fea­tures, work­shops etc of the mag.

But what is re­ally, re­ally an­noy­ing me is that fact that in the last is­sue you reprinted a com­plete fea­ture that was al­ready in GT in 2009, in its en­tirety. Ob­vi­ously I am talk­ing about the Rock­a­billy work­shop. For a long time reader and sub­scriber this is a bit of a punch in the face. Please ex­plain why you do this! Is some­thing like this go­ing to hap­pen more of­ten in the near future?

I hope GT will keep its high qual­ity stan­dards and you guys keep up your great work be­cause it was and mostly it still is great fun to work through. Chris­tian Thiess Th­ese two top­ics are closely linked so I’ll re­ply to them to­gether. First of all I’m glad that you still like GT, Chris, as our guys put an aw­ful lot of work into it.

Over the years mag­a­zines’ looks evolve as styles change; GT has a slight re­fresh ev­ery few years to re­flect this, as it’s sur­pris­ing how mags can sud­denly look tired if not kept up to date. But each to his own, of course. The CD sleeve change meant we could con­tinue putting the bud­get into what goes in each is­sue, and onto the disc it­self. Plus this sleeve doesn’t break like the old plas­tic ones used to, so many read­ers pre­fer it for that.

Re­gard­ing tracks: in the early days GT’s en­tire con­tent was copy­right ma­te­rial. It al­lowed us to in­clude a plethora of styles, bands and gui­tarists at a time when YouTube didn’t ex­ist and so of course it was mother’s milk to gui­tarists. But in the end - for rea­sons in­clud­ing the In­ter­net - we’d whit­tled it down to just one. Re­mov­ing this didn’t bother me though, since it’s im­pos­si­ble to sec­ond-guess what sin­gle track our read­ers might want; plus, any tune you could de­sire is avail­able in sec­onds on­line. The pos­i­tive side of los­ing tab is that what we now have in GT is unique.

Re­mov­ing the track did mean we had pages to fill, so the re­use of older ma­te­rial was log­i­cal. GT has a broad mix of read­ers: sub­scribers, reg­u­lars who’ve bought it for years, ca­sual pur­chasers, and many more re­cent con­verts. Not ev­ery­one buys the mag ev­ery month, mean­ing we have a fan­tas­tic archive of stuff that most read­ers never saw, just lan­guish­ing in the vaults. Hence reusing care­fully cho­sen fea­tures didn’t trou­ble me ei­ther; all the se­lected ar­ti­cles were from be­fore our dig­i­tal is­sue ex­isted, and those read­ers get it with syn­chro­nised mov­ing tab and au­dio - a big bonus.

Changes aren’t made willy-nilly. I re­sist any­thing that smacks of a re­duc­tion in qual­ity - we have never stinted on writ­ers, or the cal­i­bre of our con­tent. Most of our tu­tors write only for us, so this is very ex­clu­sive con­tent in­deed. And just think about it; one pri­vate les­son with a GT tu­tor would cost many times the price of an is­sue that’s packed with other stuff too.

This year GT will have been go­ing 23 years and I hope that, by keep­ing evolv­ing - and main­tain­ing the qual­ity - it will con­tinue to thrive for many more to come. I also hope that you de­cide to stay with us too, Chris­tian.

But of course we’d rather use all-new con­tent. So the good news is that, from an is­sue or two’s time hav­ing done a bit of jug­gling, the re­peats will end - un­less no other op­tion is avail­able.

SPE­CIAL EF­FECtS

I have al­ways used the gui­tar as a tool to write and per­form songs and not ap­plied much fo­cus to learn­ing the in­stru­ment it­self. I started sub­scrib­ing to your magazine a cou­ple of years ago, de­ter­mined to en­joy the gui­tar in its own right and have en­joyed im­prov­ing my tech­ni­cal abil­ity a lot more than I thought I would. One thing I strug­gle with is mas­ter­ing gui­tar ef­fects. Cho­rus and dis­tor­tion are about as ex­per­i­men­tal as I get. I have looked around for books ex­plain­ing how to mas­ter th­ese ef­fects or at least get the ba­sics down, but haven’t re­ally found any­thing. I won­dered if you had any rec­om­men­da­tions or whether this could be a po­ten­tial fea­ture (an ef­fect each month)? David Hall Dario Cortese did a fine series for us years ago on the use of ef­fects, but you could be right that it’s worth an­other look. There’s so much that we want to get into the mag that it might take a while – per­haps one big fea­ture would cover it. And of course there are so many great ped­als out there now...

ONE LES­SON wItH ANY Gt tu­tOR wOuLd COSt mANY tImES tHE PRICE OF A mAG tHAt’S PACKEd wItH OtHER StuFF tOO

Ste­vie Ray Vaughan’s song Tightrope was tran­scribed back in is­sue 252

Ef­fects: should we cover them in the magazine?

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