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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
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.
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?