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"Acoustic Guitar" is an excellent magazine, no question about it. A couple of issues ago though there was an article that dealt with other acoustic instruments (banjo, mandolin, etc.). I think the magazine could be even better with a column devoted to other acoustic instruments. How do other readers feel?

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I would be sorely disappointed to start seeing articles on banjos, dulcimers, and instruments other than acoustic guitars in the pages of "Acoustic Guitar." I don't see it emphasizing fingerstyle more than other styles - and frankly, there are many styles in this genre as well. If you truly want to read about other instruments and music I'm sure there are publications out there for these.

I've also enjoyed FJ and appreciate its format. I pick it up from time to time when the articles (or cover) suits me. But I subscribe to AG because of its focus. Lose that, lose me as a subscriber.
Holy Cow! When I started this discussion I didn't mean to offend anyone's ego, especially Barry's! If you check my photos, you can see I am no "tree huger" but rather a peace lover (although it is, I admit, through superior FIREPOWER). Having said that, I do very much enjoy AG and wouldn't drop my subscription, even if there were issues I disagreed with (there's room for everyone). If for some bizarre reason I did become offended and end my subscription, I somehow feel the publication would continue on very nicely, without my presence (or anyone else's for that matter).
I would be able to handle an article once in a while but for me I am a beginner on guitar and do not need to venture out into other stringed instruments at this time. I am not opposed to learning something about another stringed instruments but more than once a quarter would use space that would benefit me more if it was on acoustic guitars and related items. I would have to reconsider renewing my subscription if the magazine ventured to far off course. For those that state attempting to start another magazine and make it financially viable, that is not my concern. If a magazine with multiple stringed instruments would not sell then what will happen to this one if it moves to that format? Putting information about many things in print because they are similar does not increase the interest of every person interested in one item. I also understand ads are the reason these magazines exist as the price we pay would not support the magazine by itself. But if I have to glean the information on acoustic guitars from a mass source of ads for instruments I do not play then I might as well just go to the WEB and do a search. If I were an advertiser I would hesitate on purchasing space in a magazine that would be unlikely to be seen by my prospective customer due to other ads crowding it out or to pull that same customer in a direction different from the product I manufactured. There is already a magazine for electric guitars, in fact several of them. I do not purchase those nor do I subscribe to them even though I do own electric guitars.
The AG site has places for other stringed instruments and that should fill the need for the readers of AG.
I don't see a problem with covering other stringed instruments, maybe an article a month, with a picture of one, near the back, like the unusual guitar one that's featured. It is a guitar magazine, though, as the name would suggest!

I would like to see some of the instruments from India covered, for example. I recently saw Ravi Shankar, touring with his daughter, and several students, and the instruments they played were incredible! I don't even know the names of them, but they sounded fantastic!
I think an occasional focus, or heads up about other instruments would be great, but I agree that a regular section introducing different instruments would be too much. The mandolin article was good, and would make a guitarist feel comfortable picking one up at a store and fooling around with one. I think that if it had focused a bit more on how the mechanics of playing mandolin are different than guitar, it would have been helpful to almost anyone, even if they had no interest in the instrument.

My subjective, biased suggestions on how to improve the mag (and make me a subscriber)

1. Deeper artist interviews.
-The technique stuff is great, but I enjoy reading about artist influences, struggles, and inspiration.

2. Less focus on alternate tunings.
-I find the whole topic dull ( it seems like 4 to 6 issues a year are dedicated to this topic)

3, More focus on actually using the instrument in its primary role (as a rhythmic, support instrument behind vocals).
- the flashy stuff is great, but so many people out there know all the tricks, and can't hold a beat, or support vocals.

4. A regular singing article would REALLY interest me.
- I think most guitarists out there want to have some singing under their belt, or at least want to get better at it.

5. Equal attention paid to pick and fingerstyle applications.
- how to use the techniques as well as how to do them.
I agree with:

"3, More focus on actually using the instrument in its primary role (as a rhythmic, support instrument behind vocals).
- the flashy stuff is great, but so many people out there know all the tricks, and can't hold a beat, or support vocals."

I've been attending Bluegrass jams where this is very obvious. Of course this skill is probably best learned by playing with others at something like a Jam. Rythmic support behind vocals is kind of difficult to address in a magazine in my opinion.

you are probably right about #3, though an "unlock your strum" article could do the trick. Focusing on metronome work and the fundamental strums (8th note & 1/4 note) then moving to some mixed strums, and syncopated patterns. add that to some slash chord training, and a lot of playing with others, and recordings. So many people strum without knowing what they are doing, and I've found breaking it down like this has been very helpful for me and my students. Never seen an approach like that in any book, or magazine.
How about a new magazine "Acoustic - Anything But Guitars"?
I agree with you James, but the question remains, is there a market for such a publication? The publishing industry is taking a hit big time, due to the internet, I suppose. The reason for any business is to make money. I hate to be pessimistic, but after viewing the responses from the discussion I started long ago, guitar players like any group of people with a particular interest, are wrapped up in their own little world of debating for example, tone woods, who has the best strings, what type of guitar they should play, their next purchase, etc., etc. I just don't think a market exists that would be profitable enough to justify a new magazine.
Other Acoustic Instruments and associated things that might float a person's boat might be a good name for it. Acoustic Guitar magazine is good the way it is and that's why I subscribe to it. There are other guitar magazines that have ended publication in the past few years and it would be a shame if AC suffered the same fate.

Just my thoughts.

I completely agree with all the positive things that have been written about the magazine but here are just a few more thoughts. There is always room for improvement in every aspect of life. Complacency breads mediocrity. Failure to grow spells failure.

I'll still subscribe to AC, but think I'll go to the internet when I develop an interest in a topic/field that isn't being addressed in any publication.


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