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Way Too Much Emphasis On Metal Players in GP?


Dr. Ellwood

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So it seems in the last issue. I don't have a problem w/ that, since some issues seem more blues-oriented, others more classic-rock-oriented, oterhs more jazz-oriented, etc.

 

I'd rather see more diversity and balance in terms of the whole acoustic/classical/electric thang in each issue. Some issues may go more one way than the others, I don't see a problem w/ that. A "guitar" is NOT an electronic instrument. That's the ELECTRIC guitar, and the mag's name is "Guitar Player". However, this is not a good idea in commercial terms. A great idea, I think, in terms of music journalism.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Originally posted by Justus A. Picker:

Too much emphasis on electric players in general with steel string acoustic and classical players taking a back seat, imo. Guess that's the target demographic though.

Doesn't the magazine "Frets" still exist?
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Originally posted by Hard Tail:

Originally posted by Justus A. Picker:

Too much emphasis on electric players in general with steel string acoustic and classical players taking a back seat, imo. Guess that's the target demographic though.

Doesn't the magazine "Frets" still exist?
It was revived a few years ago and is a pretty cool mag. There's also Acoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar and a few different classical guitar rags around too, mostly European.
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Originally posted by ellwood:

I wish they would just do ONE totally Metal issue and be done for the year!!! One issue full of tattoos and piercing,grumpy faces and pointy head guitars and players with black fingernails and chains everywhere.

And what would you do with your issue? :D
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I think it's gotten better in the past couple of years with more emphasis on the master classes and lessons sections. Part of my own problem is that having read it almost since the beginning there isn't a heck of a lot new they can do to amaze me.

 

I like reading about new gear but I'm set in my ways and other than recording gear/software not much is going to appeal to me.

 

It'd be nice if they expanded the reviews of new albums. There is soooo much guitar based music that we just never hear about. There is only so much room though.

 

The over-coverage of metal kinda makes sense because it's such a guitarcentric form. Other genres don't rely on the guitar quite as much. A blues band with piano, bass drums and sax would work, same with jazz. Not so with metal.

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I'm opinionated.

 

Playing guitar leads to guitar playing.

 

Playing with a guitar simply leads to metal or shred where composition becomes sport or achievement.

 

To me that's just masturbation.

 

You be the judge.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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I can't say I am a metal fan at all, but its hard to ignore that there is a good percentage of guitar players that are into metal. In my old practice space, at least half the bands were metal. If you look at the online music ads, half of them are for metal and heavy music.

 

Guitar Player has always been a well rounded magazine. So I don't buy the arguement that I should have to by Frets or Acoustic Guitar to keep up with the major trends and artists in that type of playing. GP still does an ok job covering all styles but sure I wish they covered more acoustic and especially classical players.

 

While classical isn't exactly popular now, worldwide there are more extremely talented classical guitarists than ever before. These are amongst some of the most technicly gifted and most musically knowedgable in the world. I think GP is doing us somewhat of a diservice in not covering these artists more. Some of GP's historical responibilities are to lead us to great guitarists and guitar music. Whether its popular or trendy isn't the point, there is plenty of room for that. I'm not saying every issue has to cover a classical player, but certainly there should be more than there is now. It shouldn't be all about demographics and marketing, there still needs to be a dedication to the great artists out there today of all styles.

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imho, the editors are doing a good job overall. The lessons and licks section is generally pretty diverse. I for one like the fact that the magazine emphasizes electric guitar. As mentioned above, there are several other excellent periodicals which cover the acoustic guitar area.

 

Metal is just one part of the wide spectrum of popular electric guitar. It seems to me that most of the other electric guitar magazines are completely metal-oriented. GP gives it a nod, but mostly features mainstream artists, at least it certainly has over the last six issues.

 

The way I see it, the magazine is "carrying the torch" for the return of the glory days of lead guitar, which is something I'm sure we all can agree would be a wonderful thing.

 

Best to all--

 

Dave K.

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"Frets" mag? Never seen it, although now you reminded me it exists.

 

However, the different types of guitars aren't the only fretted instruments, so still...

 

Yes, I think Guitar Player and Guitar One (yes, THAT mag) are doing the best job I've seen lately.

 

Not to say GP doesn't print mistakes (I saw two in one measure last night while browsing through the Jeff Beck lesson), but it's way better written, I've found, than G1. Again, G1 is even more geared towards kids, it seems, and it is DEFINITELY more metal-oriented.

 

I think I like GP better now than when I started my subscription in 2004. Could be me, could be the mag. Please don't think I'm "putting them down", because I'm not.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Imho, I think GP does a pretty good job of covering most of the popular genres of guitar playing. Sure, they could devote more attention to classical and jazz and other less "marketable" styles. But, they are after all in the business to sell magazines. To do so, you have to balance print space between artistic desire and marketable information. I read GP regularly about 20 years ago and recently started back about a year or so ago. At both times, they were hitting what I felt were the most relevant guitarists at the time.

 

I will add one more thing - GP doesn't go overboard with metal like Guitar World does. I get the feeling that they think metal's all there is!

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Originally posted by ellwood:

I wish they would just do ONE totally Metal issue and be done for the year!!! One issue full of tattoos and piercing,grumpy faces and pointy head guitars and players with black fingernails and chains everywhere.

Well here we go...stereotyping at it's best! :evil:

 

Quite frankly, based on the majority of the threads I've seen you post on here Ell, it surprises me that you have such a narrow minded bias toward guitar playing. Seems to me, all guitarist are artist, regardless of the color of their fingernails, so I'm not sure what makes you so convinced that metal guitarist are ONLY worthy of one issue per year. Because you say so?

 

But to answer your initial thread...No, as a 45 year old Executive of a $250 Million Dollar a Year Company that has no tattoo's, no piercings, no black fingernails, no hanging chains, rarely frowns, only has 1 pointy head guitar (but owns it because it's an Ibanez, not because it's pointed), and has been playing metal guitar for almost 30 years,...I wish they covered ALOT MORE metal guitar. Not that I don't enjoy the pieces and covers on all of the other genre's...I do. I've studied and played them all, therefore I understand them all, and would never assume that one was more, or, less worthy, of journalistic review and report. That would only be denying myself the opportunity to grow as a musician. Maybe you're done growing...I don't know.

 

Guess I was wrong about this site. I was under the impression that the kind of music we played was not the common link, but rather, that we all played the guitar. What a disappointment to find such bigotry.

Kerry
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I think a few mucho metal months are great. Get some of the folks who dig heavier duty forms of music into a quality and class publication such as GP. Once they get into it, they will see how GP has always been "it", and then it won't matter what GP features on any given month
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Originally posted by ellwood:

One issue full of tattoos and piercing,grumpy faces and pointy head guitars and players with black fingernails and chains everywhere.

And that's just the lady who delivers the mail!
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Good comments here gang...

 

First off, FRETS is still published as a quarterly magazine covering acoustic music under the excellent editorship of GP Senior Editor Andy Ellis. Like, GP it is very diverse (covering everything from classical to bluegrass to world to rock to singer/songwriters), and it is focused on "modern" acoustic players who embrace technology and amplification, as well as conventional luthiery.

 

As for the stylistic balance in GP, here's a peek into the editorial planning for each issue...

 

[1] We know from research and reader surveys that, as a group, you cats dig Rock, Blues, Jazz, Metal, Country, Classical, and World in that order.

 

[2] Therefore, we focus the balance of coverage according to reader interest -- along with a few "wild card" options gleened from studying activity on the major guitar-oriented forums.

 

[3] We have committed to making sure that Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Metal is covered in some way in every issue (those are the minimum monthly requirements), with Classical coverage appearing about every quarter and Country, World, Acoustic, and "Other" styles filling in when space allows (or when a major artist in a niche genre releases a new CD).

 

[4] What sometimes tanks our very specific planning is page counts. For example, if ad sales are down a bit (which means total pages may be reduced) or up a bit (which means the ad team may need to "steal" editorial pages for ad content), the advertising-to-editorial ratio changes and some elements may have to be bumped to the next issue. Although we try to ensure that stylistic balance is maintained, the tyranny of mathematics may force us to delete, say, our Blues or Classical coverage for that issue.

 

So...

 

If you do a style inventory on the artist interviews, front-of-book articles, AND lessons, you SHOULD see a pretty balanced stylistic potpourri every issue. The staff looks at every element in the magazine as an opportunity to cover a specific genre -- we DO NOT count the main interview section exclusively.

 

As to the question of metal coverage...

 

We HAVE tried to include one main metal-oriented feature each month for a couple of reasons -- and please note that, in the past, we've ALWAYS covered metal, albeit often in smaller front-of-book pieces or BUZZ features.

 

First > We absolutely need to constantly "green" our readership with serious younger players, and these are the acts this demographic typically responds to. We'd obviously rather have young, ambitious, and accomplished metal players turn to GP for lessons and guitar data rather than GW. Duh.

 

Second > The burgeoning crop of metal players from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Lacuna Coil, and so on are bringing back soloing and technique to heavy music in a big way. Personally, as a 50-year-old veteran, I have been completely excited and energized by these new players, and the staff and I believe these cats deserve coverage.

 

This doesn't mean we aren't just as excited by blazing bluegrass, world, and classical artists. We are. But if Van Halen or Sabbath or Deep Purple kicked your interest in guitar beyond merely listening to actually picking up a plank and playing, then these new kids have got to bring a smile to your face. And, hey, I know by studying MySpace that there are still armies of 30- and 40-somethings playing metal.

 

In closing, GP attempts to cover ALL styles of guitar as comprehensively as a single monthly magazine can. If you want classical EVERY month, we can give you that -- just be aware that the serving may be a main feature one month and a smaller feature the next. Same with any other genre you feel is poorly represented in the magazine's pages. After all, the surveys are just benchmarks, and we can evolve with your desires. The staff can shift content elements on a dime. All we ask is that you do your homework and NOT bag us for avoiding covering a certain genre when there's a lesson or front-of-book or, occassionally, a main feature appearing consistently in the last several issues.

 

CAVEAT: Admittedly, we have backed off on acoustic coverage a little bit to allow FRETS to establish itself in that genre. Even so, there certainly hasn't been an ABSENCE of acoustic articles in GP.

 

Thanks again for your comments and feedback.

 

Best,

Mike

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Originally posted by Hairfarmer:

Originally posted by ellwood:

I wish they would just do ONE totally Metal issue and be done for the year!!! One issue full of tattoos and piercing,grumpy faces and pointy head guitars and players with black fingernails and chains everywhere.

Well here we go...stereotyping at it's best! :evil:

 

Quite frankly, based on the majority of the threads I've seen you post on here Ell, it surprises me that you have such a narrow minded bias toward guitar playing. Seems to me, all guitarist are artist, regardless of the color of their fingernails, so I'm not sure what makes you so convinced that metal guitarist are ONLY worthy of one issue per year. Because you say so?

 

But to answer your initial thread...No, as a 45 year old Executive of a $250 Million Dollar a Year Company that has no tattoo's, no piercings, no black fingernails, no hanging chains, rarely frowns, only has 1 pointy head guitar (but owns it because it's an Ibanez, not because it's pointed), and has been playing metal guitar for almost 30 years,...I wish they covered ALOT MORE metal guitar. Not that I don't enjoy the pieces and covers on all of the other genre's...I do. I've studied and played them all, therefore I understand them all, and would never assume that one was more, or, less worthy, of journalistic review and report. That would only be denying myself the opportunity to grow as a musician. Maybe you're done growing...I don't know.

 

Guess I was wrong about this site. I was under the impression that the kind of music we played was not the common link, but rather, that we all played the guitar. What a disappointment to find such bigotry.

Yep grown enough,now I'm making sure I'm not growing sideways! Oh and on the disappointment you feel, I'm pretty sure you will get over it.

 

"Executive of a $250 Million Dollar a Year Company"...well see there you go then, working for such a small company you could indeed have those black fingernails,chains etc, looks like a missed opportunity to me (executives don't usually miss these kinds of windfalls) do they?

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Ok, this is gonna sound really weird, but I get GP Mag because I like the equipment reviews, ads, new equipment articles, etc. I read through the whole thing but don't find the musician articles to be enough to get my subscription money.

There are those articles though that are a good read, but I've a narrow perspective on the music I like and the articles I'm interested in.

So I buy it for the ads. :freak:

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Originally posted by Bbach1:

Ok, this is gonna sound really weird, but I get GP Mag because I like the equipment reviews, ads, new equipment articles, etc. I read through the whole thing but don't find the musician articles to be enough to get my subscription money.

There are those articles though that are a good read, but I've a narrow perspective on the music I like and the articles I'm interested in.

So I buy it for the ads. :freak:

Me too :freak:

 

I peruse the ads front to back, and then go back and read the articles that I dogeared while going thru!

 

But - all in all- I think Editor Boy speaks the truth...

 

"You can please some of the people some of the time,,but you can't ............."

Lynn G
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Originally posted by Editor Boy:

In closing, GP attempts to cover ALL styles of guitar as comprehensively as a single monthly magazine can. If you want classical EVERY month, we can give you that -- just be aware that the serving may be a main feature one month and a smaller feature the next.

Deal--makes perfect sense. Give it to me!

 

Same with any other genre you feel is poorly represented in the magazine's pages.

These are things you already do, but maybe if you make it more OFFICIAL and steady, since they happen sporadically: Monthly SHORT columns on new jazz talents? And/or maybe a short monthly spotlight section on players of different styles from Europe, Africa, Asia or Latin-America?

 

I'd like to see more of these than the hip ear-candy neopop and punk bands that seem to be spotlighted way too heavily.

 

By the way, in this department: check out the Icy Demons and Man Man--this last one is not ear-candy for some (although it really isn't that challenging for my ears, it seems to be challenging to the rock-oriented types) and neither band is guitar-oriented. Just new music that can be a healthy alternative to Clear Channel. They both have myspace.com sites.

 

After all, the surveys are just benchmarks, and we can evolve with your desires.
I believe you. As I noted before, I think I've seen a change for the better in your mag since first subscribing to it a couple years ago.

 

Thanks for your attention!

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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I read Guitar Player for the articles on good guitar players in all genres (except damned Death Metal).

 

I sometimes don't enjoy reading about some of the Metal players because all the newest featured guy has done is figured out how to shred a bit faster and put down a more punishing riff (how punishing can you get?). I still read the articles on them though. Can't hurt.

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I hadn't bought a copy of GP for maybe 16 yrs- I recently bought the one with Tom Petty- It sure isn't the same as it used to be-they used to have long, in depth articles, but now it seems like they just do an outline of the featured artists. I was wanting more from the TP interview.
"Who's gonna teach the children about Chuck Berry?"
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Well, Marvar...

 

What did you MISS from the Petty feature? What WASN'T covered about his history, approach to songwriting, and guitarcraft? Didn't Mike Campbell detail enough about his own approach to playing guitar in the band? Which/what subjects did we miss -- or that you would have liked us to explore?

 

Longer isn't always better these days, but I DO want to make sure we get the info you want from these artists.

 

So...what could we have done better?

 

Thanks for the feedback,

Mike

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