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#2469724 - 02/07/13 11:58 PM Cooks Illustrated
Suntower Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 47
Loc: Seattle
As anal as this may seem, I recently collected all the clipped lessons from 20+ years of articles and scanned 'em into my computer. I learned a lot from them.

I just wanted to say, scanning them gave me a sense of the arc of the magazine. And I gotta say, it confirms what I've thought for a while... the mag is getting less about guitar technique and more about gear/fame/home recording/what my friends like/etc. In short, the mag has gotten less about traditional learning. And I think this is a mistake.

As stupid as this may sound, I think you're reaching a point where you may want to rethink the mission. I've been seriously interested in how Cooks Illustrated works. The thing is all meat and zero filler. It assumes that the readership is serious and it charges an appropriate $. To make it work, they -seriously- repurpose their content 8 ways to Sunday. If you watch carefully, the do a small # of recipes throughout the year. But then they re-package it in an integrated way all over the place with videos, recipes, gear reviews, blogs, web articles, etc. that they then put out as supporting TV shows and books and CDs and on and on. The make a LOT of $ out of not as much raw content as it might seem. But that raw content is all -useful-.

I think you guys should think about getting back to basics. Recognise that your mag has a small demographic and instead of trying to spread thinner, just get more -concentrated-. I'd pay more for a Guitar that was more like Cooks Illustrated--less fluff and more serious technique articles like back in the day, supported by videos and the requisite gear reviews. A few video shootouts (with an occasional this SUCKS to lend a bit more objectivity) wouldn't hurt either.

I've noticed Acoustic Guitar seems to be headed towards this model and though 'Americana' (which is really their focus) ain't my thang, what they're doing with the web videos/books/PDFs for sale are quite good and I kinda wish you'd do more of that as well.

Frankly, I'm sick of 'Jazz Guy' and 'Facebook Friends' and the fact that in some issues there's more about 'how to set up yer laptop' than notated music.

In short, GP should get back to doing what it does best and leave all that other stuff to the vast Interweb. You can't win against 42 other recording or other generic 'music' mags.

Just a thought.

---JC


Edited by Suntower (02/08/13 12:00 AM)
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#2474865 - 02/28/13 12:36 AM Re: Cooks Illustrated [Re: Suntower]
Ole 55 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 2
I clicked here out of curiousity what the reference to Cooks Illustrated could mean, and to my surprise found the topic to be pretty much exactly why I visited this forum.

Every now and then, I find a lesson in the magazine that I would like to work on, and although I am a pretty good tab reader, I would like to listen to audio of the material. Video would be even better. I know this used to be available through Truefire. Frankly, not having audio available on the Guitar Player website makes the magazine look like an out of touch dinosaur.

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#2577265 - 03/04/14 12:56 AM Re: Cooks Illustrated [Re: Ole 55]
xiawei Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 3
I'm a spammer. Hi.


Edited by Griffinator (03/04/14 03:47 AM)

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#2577272 - 03/04/14 01:50 AM Re: Cooks Illustrated [Re: Ole 55]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24507
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Suntower
As anal as this may seem, I recently collected all the clipped lessons from 20+ years of articles and scanned 'em into my computer. I learned a lot from them.

I just wanted to say, scanning them gave me a sense of the arc of the magazine. And I gotta say, it confirms what I've thought for a while... the mag is getting less about guitar technique and more about gear/fame/home recording/what my friends like/etc. In short, the mag has gotten less about traditional learning. And I think this is a mistake.

As stupid as this may sound, I think you're reaching a point where you may want to rethink the mission. I've been seriously interested in how Cooks Illustrated works. The thing is all meat and zero filler. It assumes that the readership is serious and it charges an appropriate $. To make it work, they -seriously- repurpose their content 8 ways to Sunday. If you watch carefully, the do a small # of recipes throughout the year. But then they re-package it in an integrated way all over the place with videos, recipes, gear reviews, blogs, web articles, etc. that they then put out as supporting TV shows and books and CDs and on and on. The make a LOT of $ out of not as much raw content as it might seem. But that raw content is all -useful-.

I think you guys should think about getting back to basics. Recognise that your mag has a small demographic and instead of trying to spread thinner, just get more -concentrated-. I'd pay more for a Guitar that was more like Cooks Illustrated--less fluff and more serious technique articles like back in the day, supported by videos and the requisite gear reviews. A few video shootouts (with an occasional this SUCKS to lend a bit more objectivity) wouldn't hurt either.

I've noticed Acoustic Guitar seems to be headed towards this model and though 'Americana' (which is really their focus) ain't my thang, what they're doing with the web videos/books/PDFs for sale are quite good and I kinda wish you'd do more of that as well.

Frankly, I'm sick of 'Jazz Guy' and 'Facebook Friends' and the fact that in some issues there's more about 'how to set up yer laptop' than notated music.

In short, GP should get back to doing what it does best and leave all that other stuff to the vast Interweb. You can't win against 42 other recording or other generic 'music' mags.

Just a thought.

---JC


Originally Posted By: Ole 55
I clicked here out of curiousity what the reference to Cooks Illustrated could mean, and to my surprise found the topic to be pretty much exactly why I visited this forum.

Every now and then, I find a lesson in the magazine that I would like to work on, and although I am a pretty good tab reader, I would like to listen to audio of the material. Video would be even better. I know this used to be available through Truefire. Frankly, not having audio available on the Guitar Player website makes the magazine look like an out of touch dinosaur.


Mostly good points, well put.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2577354 - 03/04/14 07:42 AM Re: Cooks Illustrated [Re: Suntower]
Fred_C Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2033
Loc: PA
[quote=Suntower And I gotta say, it confirms what I've thought for a while... the mag is getting less about guitar technique In short, the mag has gotten less about traditional learning. And I think this is a mistake.

Frankly, I'm sick of 'Jazz Guy'
In short, GP should get back to doing what it does best Just a thought.---JC [/quote]

I agree with the basic premise of more emphasis on technique and "how to play guitar".

I'm curious, why don't you like "Jazz Guy"? His articles focus on technique and "playing the guitar". Is it because you don't play Jazz?
_________________________
If you play cool, you are cool.

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#2577660 - 03/04/14 08:16 PM Re: Cooks Illustrated [Re: Fred_C]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24507
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Originally Posted By: Suntower
And I gotta say, it confirms what I've thought for a while... the mag is getting less about guitar technique In short, the mag has gotten less about traditional learning. And I think this is a mistake.

Frankly, I'm sick of 'Jazz Guy'
In short, GP should get back to doing what it does best Just a thought.---JC


I agree with the basic premise of more emphasis on technique and "how to play guitar".

I'm curious, why don't you like "Jazz Guy"? His articles focus on technique and "playing the guitar". Is it because you don't play Jazz?


Good question, I wondered about that, myself...
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2587301 - 04/07/14 01:25 PM Re: Cooks Illustrated [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 5992
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
There
s a limited amount of info that can be repeated re: learning any subject, barring new developments.

As a basis instrument the gtr hasn't changed much in 1000 yrs.
Things like steel strings, better construction, etc, have been significant but even those are a century old.
Playing technique is hardly a hotbed for new material.

In the case of gtr, the new developmnts basically have to do with
[1] Actual new technology such as self tuning gtrs or
[2] Affiliated technology such as the massive shift in options musicians have from computers & the Net.

There will always be a market for favorites, reinforcing basics, theory, etc, but the fact is that articles on home recording, etc, are the major focal point of most aspiing musicians today, guitarists or otherwise.

GP, I think, remains the premier wide-ranging & rounded source for guitarists. Most other USA mags are devoted to a particular set (acoustic players, hard rock/metaliers, etc) & my recent scan of Brit mags saw them at a price range of triple the cost of the GP I picked up this weekend & hardly more informative in any way.

In fact the April issue, though flawed in some ways (see my post elsewhere her), had some great stuff: a career retrospective on Albert Lee (mistaken by a young aquanitance as either the original guitarist for Return To Forever crazy or the guy in 10 yrs After laugh & a triplet of articles on one of the real greats, Howard Roberts---tell me you can't find some worthwhile playing info in that set.
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