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guitar magazines

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Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 50

Do any of these mags give "honest" reviews of guitars and gear? We used to get GP, and while there were many excellent interviews, but seldom was heard a discouraging word in any of their reviews. Also, they only reviewed expensive gear. BassPlayer was about the same. We dropped both.

Compared to the computer and gaming mags that do side-by-side comparisons with both pros and cons, the music mags are not dependable.


I agree completely, most reviews in music magazines are basically worthless. I subscribe to guitar one and I rarely even bother to look at the instrument reviews because they are all praise. I wonder if the companies pay the magazines to publish reviews on their products. I've noticed that the Musician's Friend reviews are the worst I've ever seen. Every item they review is perfect.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

Musician's Friend doesn't do 'reviews' - since it's a catalog, they're marketing blurbs, and you'll never see a bad one.

Magazines try to keep some separation between editorial and advertising, but they're still in a business supported by advertising. I don't think anyone fluffs up reviews, but the publisher will likely axe bad ones from big subscribers, so you won't see them in print. In my opinion, the best idea you'll get of how gear performs is by surfing user reviews on the web.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1162

Yeah, I get GuitarOne as well... I prefer it to Guitar world or any magazine like that because not only are there transcriptions, but there are alot of very useful lessons and a couple reviews. I find Guitar world to be loaded with reviews and advertisement, as well, GuitarOne has more information about HOW to play the transcriptions. GuitarOne also comes with a CD now, which is definitly worth the 10$ I pay for it (10$ for the magazine and the CD, it's probably alot cheaper in the United States).


Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 127

i tend to buy on an issue by issue basic, depending by content.
usually its a choice betweem Total Guitar, Guitar Techniques and Guitar World Acoustic.

Total Guitar - great magazine, mostly pop/rock type songs, but does branch out occassionally.

Guitar Techniques - where i go for some jazz, blues and classic standards and exercises. usually on buy it every few months because it takes me alot longer than a month to play through everything in an issue.

btw - Alan, the current editor has just quit this month to go freelance, so maybe it'll get back to the standard you remember ?

Guitar World Acoustic - its good, but i only get it if it has really great content. mostly i stand in the shop and read it and copy down strumming patterns/chords for songs :p

birthday's coming up next week, so i might ask for a subscription to one of the above.

one the topic of gear reviews, there was a question like this in TG a few months ago. their answer went something like - "we only review stuff we think are worthy of people spending money on"

This is my signature. Fear it.

Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 122

I had been a subscriber to Guitar for the Practicing Musician in 1986,and they covered a wide range of music From David Lee Roth, Iron Maiden,Blind Faith, Steve Morse, Journey, Hendrix and U2.
Then in February of 1995 they change the name to Guitar One(or at least I think they did)still covering a wide range of music including current Artist.

The only thing that bugs me about this magazine is that in the past ten years some songs tabs have been redone as many as four times.
And I also believe that they have shifted more towards Metal.
It is however the only Guitar magazine that I currently still subscribe to, and I do still have almost every issue. back to Dec 1986.

Tokai 12 String

Don't you ever give up on yourself

Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 55

Hey guys,

I have been really considering a guitar mag subscription. And I play acoustic pretty much exclusively. I noticed recently that my guitar teacher has no magazines on his table for acoustic guitars (Even though he plays in an acoustic band). So I was wondering if there's a good one out there?

Some of the above people mentioned "Acoustic Guitar" and "Guitar World Acoustic", but no one seemed terribly thrilled with them.

Any advice/clarification?

"Now people put you down for the way that you lived
But those people never knew you the way that I did
Don't be ashamed of who you were of how you died
I know you just wanted to find the brighter side..." - OPM

- Matthew

Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 144

I buy What Guitar if I have enough money and I see it, I don't make a point of buying it. I buy Total Guitar too, but I'm always more interested in gear than the musical side of things (I'm satisfied with my current musical limits) and it's paying off - God knows how many guitars I've helped fix because the owner didn't know little tricks, e.g. pencil in the nut or a tremwedge. I'd imagine my various shims and trem-blocks have saved a good dozen necks from going the way of the pretzel.

Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 48

GUitar Player. Yes, you should get it.

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