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February 22, 2020
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Friday, 23 February 2007 05:57
By Larry Dobrow
For serious six-stringers, Guitar Player is the Robert Fripp to Guitar World's Richie Sambora (I say that as a guy who does not consider Bon Jovi the musical embodiment of pure evil). GP takes the task of educating and informing its readers quite seriously, serving up the best-rounded mix of riffs and tips of any guitar mag I've surveyed in recent months.

The cover of the December issue lets readers know they're in for something a bit more expansive, showcasing Allman Brothers/Government Mule mainstay Warren Haynes and extending shout-outs to Wes Montgomery and Ike Turner. The topical diversity extends throughout the issue, whether a "No Guitarist Left Behind" appreciation of Jim McCarty or an evaluation of the Steve Miller catalog from a guitar-guy perspective (please fire, with great prejudice, the copy editor who missed the beyond-blatant typo in the mention of FM radio mainstay "Rockin' Me" -- it's "Rock 'N Me," goldarnit). The mag also devotes considerable space to lesser-known and eminently worthy players like Kaki King and Liona Boyd, affording each ample opportunity to discuss her craft.

What I like best about Guitar Player is that, for lack of a more elegant way to phrase it, the mag doesn't fuck around. As opposed to the usual maelstrom of sidebars and punny section names and lower-case headlines, it presents its every item with a minimum of fuss. "Feedback" contains letters, "Rants & Raves" contains reviews, etc. On the contents page, the mag shoots for clarity above all else: "Page Hamilton resurrects Helmet with a punishingly heavy new album." Me, I don't need meticulously worded story teases and exclamation points; I need to know whether a story will be worth the 107 seconds I may or may not devote to it. In this regard, Guitar Player delivers.

The expansive Q&A features work pretty well, despite PROVOCATIVE INTERVIEWER statements like "Your guitar tones are gargantuan." Overall, however, the writing stands out as Guitar Player's major weakness. Especially in its reviews, the mag limits itself to simple, passive declarations ("'Until We Felt Red' is a lush and surprising album," "'Tribute' is a masterful and electrifying celebration of rock guitar"). The piece on Carver's 60th anniversary comes across as the print equivalent of an infomercial, while the front-of-book "Songwriting" introduction to Andy Rinehart doesn't make a whole lot of sense at times: "Rinehart has written hundreds of songs, but has only published a handful, because his selection process goes far beyond satisfying the requirements of craft." Snuh?

To sum up, then: Guitar Player is the publication for serious, involved players, Guitar World is the one for beginners / mainstream fans, and Guitar World Acoustic is the one for those who would attempt to bag floozies at a campfire with a sensitive rendition of "Southern Cross." Rock on.


Daily Video Lesson

Daily Video Lesson
  • 02:41 - 01.10.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    A five week long, cross-country tour featuring some of the best known and most respected figures in rock and blues has been set to celebrate the legacy and music of Jimi Hendrix. Presented by Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., the Hendrix family-owned company founded by James A. “Al” Hendrix, Jimi’s father, entrusted with preserving and protecting the legacy of Jimi Hendrix together with musical instrument giant Gibson Guitar, this year’s Experience Hendrix Tour represents a dramatic expansion beyond last year’s seven sold out performances.

    Featured artists who will be performing music written by and associated with Jimi Hendrix include blues giant Buddy Guy, contemporary guitar greats Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Eric Johnson, Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos as well as Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.
  • 01:53 - 26.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and Italian distributor M.Casale Bauer proudly announce the grand opening of the Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy. It is the third such international exclusive Fender guitar destination, joining the elite Fender Custom Shop Lounge (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Fender Showcase Tokyo (Japan).

    The Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy is in Bologna, Italy, and is housed in a building by California-born Italian designer Gretchen Alexander. The showroom is located near the offices of M. Casale Bauer, Fender’s Italian distributor since 1962, and was created to provide Fender dealers, their special guests and artists with a comfortable place to find, try and buy some of the most beautiful guitars in today’s market. The showcase features an impressive array of high-end guitars crafted by the master builders of the Fender Custom Shop and provides artists and dealers (and their VIP clients) with access to some of the most unique high-end Fender instruments ever made available in one place. The showroom houses an unparalleled selection of Fender Custom Shop instruments, as well as Bauer’s personal collection, one of the largest and most valuable in the world.
  • 03:41 - 23.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Los Angeles, CA – World-renowned Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will  release Center Stage, a live concert DVD on October 14th via Favored Nations Acoustic.  
    The full-length concert DVD follows the recent release of the Center Stage  double CD, both having been recorded live for the PBS television series “Sierra Center Stage.” Filmed in eye-catching high definition, every element of modern technology was used in production, creating a stunning package, both aurally
    and visually. 
  • 00:09 - 19.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Montreal, Canada- September 16th, 2008: Renowned guitarist Daryl Stuermer will be giving Godin Performance Clinics in and around Quebec and Eastern Ontario from September 29th to October 3rd 2008.

    Having performed in studio and toured the world with both Phil Collins and supergroup Genesis for years, Daryl is a player who is on top of his game and has the chops to prove it. Performing as the Daryl Stuermer Duo, he will be accompanied by keyboardist Konstantin Efimov during the clinics and will also be giving attendees his perspective on playing live, recording, technique, and his gear, by fielding a Q&A session after each performance.
  • 09:29 - 03.06.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (June 2, 2008) -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Groove Tubes LLC. Among other assets, FMIC purchased the Groove Tubes brand. Groove Tubes company founder Aspen Pittman will continue in a consulting role.