Noize From The Editor(9)

Thanks to eons of behavior modification by my parents, family, and assorted friends, I’ve always tried to be gracious and understanding. I’ll admit to an annoying habit of being quick to tease, but, in reality, I’m usually the last cat to seriously bash another humanoid’s lifestyle choices, political or religious affiliations, personality quirks, or fashion sense. As long as you’re not doing harm to someone, I’m a rabid disciple of the “Live and let live” ethic.

But everyone reaches a limit at some point, and I just can’t take it anymore. Sadly, I must confess that I am viciously opposed to those individuals who practice professional air guitar.

These so-called performers are grabbing media attention right and left these days. They’re profiled on national and international news programs, interviewed for print and Web articles, and one of them has just published a book on the subject. Yeah. It’s funny. So what?

Well, I don’t mind being mocked—clever caricatures are funny—but most air guitarists simply emulate what real guitarists do when they perform with an actual instrument. The whole airhead thing just seems dumb to me—which is why I’m pretty miffed these posers are getting significant promotional cheese when real guitarists have to fight to get on the radio, the iTunes top download lists, and major-market television. I guess I’m baffled why the sentinels of media don’t see air guitar for the silly wannabe gymnastics that it is, and therefore jettison any news coverage to the teeny-tiny niche-market zone. The fact the practice is currently legitimate news is killing me. But, then again, don’t get me started on reality television.

So, call me humorless and vile and out-of-it. But I’m only watching out for the interests of players who have toiled and sweat and bled to develop formidable chops as guitarists. Some buckaroo flailing around, making goon faces, and pretending to tune up and burn down an invisible fretboard doesn’t honor what we all do. And, as the guitar struggles through a cultural era where it is not the national obsession it once was, I certainly don’t want to hear any jokes about the “next guitar hero” being an air-guitar hero.

On a brighter—and more substantial—note, Associate Editor Jude Gold will unleash his thrill-packed Full-Contact Electric Guitar clinic at the First Act Guitar Studio in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 25 at 7 pm. Enrollment is limited to 125. For more information, call First Act at (617) 226-7923, or check Jude will be detailing his unique and exciting percussive techniques, as inspired by everyone from Eddie Van Halen to Marcus Miller to Michael Hedges. Don’t miss it! And if you don’t live in the Boston area, never fear—Jude will publish a companion lesson in the December 2006 GP.