Guitarist - - Feed­back -

I have been a sub­scriber to your es­teemed or­gan for about a quar­ter cen­tury, glean­ing many use­ful tips and part­ing with in­fea­si­bly size­able amounts of money on GASin­duced binges en route. I have even been a con­trib­u­tor back in the day, not to men­tion im­prov­ing my gig-fit­ness on the jour­ney.

How­ever, what are you guys on? You keep blath­er­ing on about ‘wood­shed­ding’ be­ing in­dis­pens­able for im­prov­ing tech­nique and stamina. So OK, I’ve trusted you down the years, and took your ad­vice to heart. I built

a nice solid wood shed in my back gar­den, stack­ing it high with logs from a lo­cal for­est. And I have left my road-worn cus­tom acous­tic propped against it for hours at a time. But still I en­counter the same old lim­i­ta­tions when I come to play it. All of this, I’m sorry to say, leaves me with se­ri­ous doubts about you ad­vice con­cern­ing the sound­ness of in­vest­ing in ‘wood­shed­ding’. Dr Mark Ever­ard, via email Damn – we’ve been rum­bled! In fact, some­one has filled our wood­shed so full of logs that we can’t ac­tu­ally fit any gui­tars in­side at all. And we’re also slightly wor­ried that if we did leave a gui­tar in there to soak up the ‘pos­i­tive waves’ gen­er­ated by the shed en­vi­ron­ment then it might be gnawed by rats or mis­tak­enly taken away to be burned by some over-zeal­ous fur­naces­toker in the bow­els of the Guitarist build­ing. As a re­sult, we’ve de­cided to do all our prac­tis­ing in­doors now in­stead, in the study. But we’ll prob­a­bly keep us­ing the term ‘wood­shed­ding’ any­way be­cause ‘study­ing’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? Oh, wait a minute...


In the past cou­ple of weeks I have seen two coun­try-rock stars in con­cert. Mi­randa Lam­bert hits the stage with five gui­tars, key­boards, drum­mer and a back­ing singer. It swamped ev­ery au­di­ble fre­quency and although she was well-liked by her fan base it was truly aw­ful sound and the vo­cals were al­most in­audi­ble. Con­trast that with Lucinda Wil­liams’s four-piece band in which there was lots of space for the mu­si­cians to shine. Stu­art Mathis on lead plays beau­ti­ful fills and so­los and coaxes the most amaz­ing tone from his gui­tars – it was the best I’ve ever heard. Trevor Barstow via email

Si­lence and space are un­der-used but pow­er­ful mu­si­cal tools. Not for noth­ing did com­poser Claude De­bussy claim that “mu­sic is the space be­tween the notes.”

Are the learn­ing ben­e­fits of the wood­shed over­rated?

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