TALKBACK

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

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.

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