November 22, 2005

Letter of the Month!

I guess public domain equals fair game, so let me take a crack at it. Inspired: insightful articles featuring artistically fearless and relevant artists such as Jack White, Tom Morello, and our beloved Bjork. Required: soul tingling interviews with persons of everlasting class like Carlos Santana, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and Steve Vai. Tired: advertisements touting “have perfect pitch,” anthems of a groovy generation transformed into advertisements for a greedy nation, and the Oeuvre Easy format delivering post-mortem kicks to the art of a band that should eat your silly souls [Riffs, Black Sabbath, Sept. ’05]. Okay those other two “tired” albums are crap, but Never Say Die! Dude, maybe not as slamming, but there’s a vibe there, and I think you missed it. Man, maybe I have to accept that the soundtrack to part of my youth was less than a masterpiece. This must be what it feels like to be a Night Ranger fan.
Gregory Day
Valencia, CA

Epic October!

Wow! I want to say that the October ’05 issue is awesome—literature that ranks up there with, say, the Rosetta stone or the epic of Gilgamesh. Not only have you covered Yngwie, Holdsworth, and Cray (who words cannot say enough about), but also a lesson from Larry Carlton! All that was needed was something on Jeff Beck! I want to say, it is shockingly refreshing to read that Valhalla’s own Yngwie breaks strings, botches a solo, and improvs during a recording. And to then read Cray mention that he doesn’t always know what he’s playing—I thought these guys broke wind in pentatonic scales! This gives all of us some hope! Also, something mentioned by both Yngwie and again by Dean Ween: the suppression of rock and metal by radio, corporations, and media. (Well, yes, you are media. But you guys are different!) I think more readers/players need to address this. So anyway, thanks for a tremendous issue. You guys really cranked it to “11” on this one. Keep up the excellent work.
Greg Kroeter
Clayton, NC

Sweet! After years of putting up with “guitar” magazines full of alt-rock hacks in hopes of finding real guitar heroes, I have hit the mother lode! Your October issue was like a flood of biblical proportions following 100 years of drought. To have Yngwie, Holdsworth, and John Williams all in the same issue was overload to say the least. Keep it up, and you might actually restore my faith in magazines that claim to be for guitarists. Not since your magazine in the ’80s have I seen an issue so full of the 6-string heroes that made me and a generation of players want to practice for hours every day. Kudos!
John Walker
Billings, MT


When I first heard Yngwie play, I thought, like a lot of other players, that the recording was sped up, as I thought no one could play that fast and clean. In time, I have learned to understand that he is another prodigy, and is unique like other famous players, such as Hendrix. I don’t even attempt to play his music, as it would be an injustice. I was so pleased and encouraged by the fact that someone as good as he is actually admitted he made mistakes, and many times didn’t think he sounded good. I thought to myself, “If a guy like this thinks he wasn’t that good, maybe I shouldn’t get so down on myself when I make a few mistakes while I’m playing.” I might even try to play one of his songs one of these days!
Raza Minhas
Lakewood, CO

I would much rather listen to B.B. play three notes, Buddy play 13 notes, or Eric play 30 notes than listen to Yngwie play 300 notes. When it comes to communicating emotion with the guitar, less is usually more. Enough said.
Nathaniel Burkins
Via Internet

Um, Huh?

I just wanted to note my appreciation for a subtle, but effective, feature added to GP in recent months—namely, the “HUH?” sidebar that often appears as an explanatory footnote for the more advanced terminology used throughout your magazine. Rather than take for granted what readers do and do not understand, GP has fulfilled its commitment to education, all the while never losing sight of the need for a level of specialization appropriate to your purpose and audience. Even in those instances where I already understand the terminology being explained in the “HUH?” sidebar, I always appreciate the fact that the information is there. Thanks for a great magazine and for the continual self-improvement.
Roger Noyes
Williston, VT

Please review that ugly phrase again: “HUH?” This is the worst thing to happen to your magazine in years. HUH? We are not mouth-breathing, drooling idiots! HUH? Every other page: HUH? Almost every article: HUH? I’ve been reading since the mid ’70s without comment. Love the new layout, but how about some respect? HUH?
Tom Krebs
Tujunga, CA

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