Noize from the Editor
Molenda, Michael, Guitar Player
THE MUSIC PUBLISHING COMMUNITY is experiencing one of its unnerving "contractions," where less profitable magazines are either consolidated into the bigger books, kicked online, or cut loose. Future U.S. closed Guitar One and Bass Guitar, and limited publication of Guitar World Acoustic and Guitar World Legends. String Letter Publishing--which publishes Acoustic Guitar--curtailed print editions of Play Guitar! and Guitar Teacher, and moved the content to the Web. In our own house, we've shut down Frets, and ceased publication of the youth-oriented Paul Green's School of Rock Magazine. Even though Guitar Player remained unscathed in the debacle, we can hardly applaud the fact the current market can't support a diverse crop of music-making magazines, and we're saddened the livelihoods of many fine editors, freelance writers, and art directors have been disrupted.
While disconcerting, none of this portends dire consequences for print, but it signifies that publishers must strategize new and compelling ways to serve their reader and advertiser constituencies. Future is reportedly moving more bass, acoustic, and lesson content into Guitar World, and Guitar Player is nearing completion of a six-month study of reader desires that involved comprehensive discussions on current guitar culture. You've seen some of the results recently, as we've used this data to evolve our content: longer and deeper cover stories; diverse front-of-book features that embrace all styles; the popular "Fight Club" series of gear comparisons; new roundup methodologies that often include peer reviewers outside the GP camp; and our "10 Ways" lessons that don't just present music examples, but also conceptual and technical tips for emulating the styles of top guitar stars. …