Tell us what’s going on in your musical world.
One of the things that I like about Guitar Techniques is that it gets me to play genres that are not in my pop or rock comfort zone. I even try to play some of Bridget Mermikides’ classical pieces, with varying degrees of success. But sorry Bridget, I am NOT filing and polishing my fingernails to a perfect shape and length, when a pick, Strat, and Marshall amp at low gain (with the occasional finger) can be sufficient to play the music of composers such as Bach or Sor. So maybe you could start including some electric guitarfriendly classical compositions (with amp settings).
GT also does a great job of catering for that incredible guitar music period from the ’50s to the ’70s. Not so well covered is the last great guitar music period: the 1990s, and alt-rock in general. There are vast numbers of guitar books on pop, blues, jazz, rock, and heavy metal but on a recent trawl of the Internet I could only find one guitar book that covered 1990s alt-rock bands (Alternative Rock Guitar: 2001). The ‘90s bands that this book covers makes for an impressive list: Nirvana, Radiohead, U2, REM, Smashing Pumpkins, The Stone Roses, The Pixies, Sonic Youth (but no MBV or Slowdive). The pre-’90s alt-rock bands that this book covers include: Velvet Underground, The Smiths, The Police, and Joy Division.
Of course, covering these bands would also mean covering lots of guitar pedals. If this is a step too far then how about an article on the most essential guitar pedals for various musical genres? You often ask guitarists what pedals they use yet I have never seen an article on guitar pedals in your magazine. Mark Beatty, Swindon In regard to playing classical music on electric, I believe it can sound lovely. The clarity of single-coil guitars really lends itself to fingerstyle pieces, especially with some lush chorus and a dab of reverb or delay. I think it’s the kind of thing where the piece dictates the sound you choose, and I’m all for people working such things out for themselves rather than relying on us to tell them. You’re not the first to mention the dearth of alt-rock and ‘90s stuff in the magazine. We really should look at it more closely. Perhaps Martin Cooper could devote a mini-series to it within his ongoing Rock feature. Your list would be a great starting point! Funnily enough, we’ve been pondering the idea of getting some gear into the mag. The worry, of course, is that it takes the place of music, which is the reason we exist: that said, the music is nothing without the instruments. So we may either do a ‘What’s cool this month’ type round-up of guitars, amps and effects; or maybe do amps one month, electrics the next, acoustics then pedals. Recording is another topic that many readers say goes hand-in-hand with learning the instrument – especially with so many computer and DAW based systems around today. So, if it doesn’t detract from what we do best, you may begin to see a bit of gear advice discretely included within GT’s pages. I’d love any readers to let me know if you like or loathe this idea.