Future Publishing Limited, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA Telephone 01225 442244   Email guitarist@futurenet.com   Online www.guitarist.co.uk

Never Say Die

This month’s mother lode of tips on how to sound and play better (see page 58) got me thinking about which ideas have been the most valuable to me over the years, when it comes to guitar. Perhaps the best, as simple as it sounds, is don’t give up.

I was talking with someone recently who revealed they’d got to a very high standard on classical guitar in their teens and eventually won a place at a prestigious music college. What happened, I asked? Well, they explained, once they got there they met other

students who could play not just the guitar but piano, flute, what have you, as well. Dispirited and feeling less talented than the others, they’d left the course – and regretted the decision to this day. We probably all feel, at one time or another, that we haven’t made enough progress on guitar as perhaps we should. And once those reflections begin it’s easy to start envying other players who are ‘so much better’. Some of the best players I know, including some very well-known ones, have struggled with such self-doubt. It’s probably the dark side of an essentially healthy instinct to be as good as you can be on guitar. However, to start thinking like that is doing yourself an injustice – most players are inclined to underrate themselves, possibly because it’s so easy to get bored with your own playing style (you hear it all the time, after all). Doesn’t mean that others don’t respect what you can do – and some of them probably envy you. That said, though, nothing feels as good as expanding your horizons on guitar and sometimes it’s just a case of breaking off a corner and taking a little-and-often approach.

If you want an excellent place to start, why not try Phil Hilborne’s tuition column this month (page 146) in which he shows you how to reprogram your left hand to play chords more swiftly and seamlessly than ever. And, if you’re one of the many fans of Richard Barrett’s Blues Headlines column, don’t despair – he returns next month after a spell on tour. What, actually out playing guitar? How dare he! Enjoy the issue and here’s to happy times on guitar in 2018.

Editor’s Highlights

Phil X Bon Jovi’s irrepressible guitarist explains why you should never let a difficult lick get the best of you – and why modded Marshall tone is the way to go p52

Jamie Dickson Editor

A Heavy Session Award-Session’s current amps make transistors seem like a very serious rival to valves for tone. Yes, really. Check out Nick Guppy’s review on p20

Alright, Esquire? Don’t dismiss the Esquire as a ‘Tele with only one pickup’. These ballsy vintage beauties have a growl and grit that is absolutely unique, like the ’56 on p140

FEBruary 2018  Guitarist