After all, Mr. and Ms. Marketing love to launch measured suppositions about why we do what we do. The glitch is that most communities aren’t uniform. Even a cliché such as “The Family of Man” is famously anti-specific, because there are women and children in the mix—as well as, for some people, honorary human units such as pets—and quite a few of those peoples tend to dig different things. (Do you read the Times or the Post? PBS or WB? GP or Frets?)
But, having just upset an entire industry of marketing professionals, I must also remark that I’m amazed how often well-considered demographic research can nail some of the attributes and habits of a particular subculture. This is partly the reason why Guitar Player launched its first-ever manufacturer/editor strategy session at this past January’s NAMM show. The purpose of the meeting was to share ideas about how we can grow the community of guitarists in 2005. GP is feverishly motivated to take a proactive stance, because it is in everyone’s best interest to energize and maintain a vibrant society of guitar zealots, while simultaneously seeding the fields with enthusiastic newbies of all ages. Our NAMM discussion revolved around increasing the magazine’s role in player education, how best to “partner” GP product tests with online peer reviews, and ways to reach outside traditional boundaries and nourish opportunities where the guitar can resonate massively within the larger culture. Now we want your views. I invite you to log onto the forums at guitarplayer.com and tell us what excites you, what motivates you, and what maddens you about today’s guitar culture. Tell us whom you wish to see on our covers. Tell us which parts of the magazine suck. Tell us anything you desire. GP is always evolving, and the next generation of the mag looms near. Be a part of it.