Arggg....Guitar World

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by TheBlitheringOne, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. TheBlitheringOne

    TheBlitheringOne Banned

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    Does anyone else find themselves constantly furious at Guitar World? I'm not talking about how they usually give the cover to some "legend" that was big in the mid-late 1900s that hasn't made a culturally relevant cd in decades. No. I've come to terms with that. I'm talking about the ridiculous reviews they do about extended range guitars. You know the ones...they post them on YouTube.

    Their on-camera gear review guy is Paul Riario. He is a decent 6 string player. Some of his guitar reviews are inspired, others are meh...but that's to be expected. He does great with amp and pedal demos. But, the moment he starts playing a 7 or 8 string guitar, I find myself disheartened. It's painfully obvious that he isn't an extended range guitarist. He's one of those guys that has messed around with ERGs from time to time. He can manage to make them sound musical but anyone can plainly see that he just can't command the instruments.

    1.
    This makes Guitar World look like complacent idiots. (Yeah, I said it.) If there was a "guitar world" that world would include extended range guitarists. I imagine them getting an ERG in from a manufacturer for a review and looking at Paul asking, "Can you play this thing remotely well for a few minutes while we record you?" He obliges. What Guitar World seems to not realize is that ERGs aren't just 6 strings with extra strings. Think of the difference between a cello and a double bass...the scale lengths are different. The note ranges are different. Yes, there is some overlap and I'm sure many people can play both cello and double bass but they aren't the same instruments.

    I can't imagine that Guitar World cares. If they did, they'd hire people to review ERGs. You're telling me that they can't find someone to do that for minimum wage or freelance? There's this terrible stigma on ERGs...we know it'll eventually go away, but for now we sit around waiting for people to show ERGs in a positive light...then we get Guitar World posting terrible reviews that just make the instruments look inaccessible and sound like absolute crap.

    2.
    It makes Paul look like a corporate weasel. Instead of telling his bosses that he isn't skilled enough at those instruments, he just agrees...knowing fully well that he isn't an extended range guitarist. The comments for his ERG reviews are full of people with negative opinions of his playing. Some are intelligent, others are harsh. Paul and Guitar World pay no heed. They don't care. Does Paul have an inkling of self-respect? He tears up the higher strings and then bastardizes the low strings with some open-string pedal tone nonsense...his hands aren't comfortable on the neck, he stares at his picking hand to make sure he hits the right string...jeesh.

    3.
    It makes the guitar companies look stupid, too. I imagine these companies sitting around deciding who to send guitars out to for reviews and saying, "What about Guitar World? I've seen what Paul can do and what better way to make our instruments look worthy of buying than a really terrible review?!?!?" The rest of the board room smiles and agrees to send guitars to Guitar World.

    You might bring up the fact that even if the review is terrible, Guitar World has a huge audience. Any press is good press, they say. Yet, what is integrity? Is that even a decent business decision? Yeah, the audience is there but bad reviews don't implore anyone. One bad decision can ruin a business, yet you can follow these companies on social media and get updates where they let you know about the new Guitar World review of their 8 string this or 7 string that.

    ERGs may be championed by some very talented artists, but they are being sold by idiots. All I ever hear is how low ERGs are, notewise, yet I never see them in the bass section at music stores. I go to Guitar Center and they're off in the back corner hanging on some guitar stand that is too narrow for the neck, leaving your new guitar all marred up. They're being presented as nonsense instruments by people that already have a bias against them.

    It seems that most 6 string guitarists are happy with 6. Good for them. Let them have their tiny necks and shorter scale lengths. But it's absurd to let them present our instruments to us. I know I may sound a bit too vehement...and yes, I only switched form 6s to 8s a few months ago, but after 18 years of playing guitar, I can say that ERGs are not the same kind of instruments. I don't plan on ever owning a 6 string ever again. I've played a few in stores and they just seem tiny and goofy. And, eventho I obsessively play my 8, 3 months of playing it does not qualify me to be a professional 8 string guitar reviewer. Nor am I qualified, anymore, to review 6 string guitars. I would treat the review like I'm playing some old farts tiny guitar. A 6 would look awkward in my hands...out of proportion and whatnot.

    And that's what Guitar World gives the world every time they review a 7 or 8 string guitar: awkward and out of proportion. I can imagine Guitar World saying that they don't have the cash to employ a bunch of reviewers...well, maybe they'd sell more magazines if they got with the times and quit kissing the butts of legends that don't even want their butts kissed anymore.

    I'm sure there are other points I missed.
    Sorry if this rant bored you because you already know.
    Peace
     
  2. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    I feel you.
    And your disappointment.
    But the biggest problem for me is the musician that has stopped to evolve.
    The musician that found his nice hot spot and doesn't feel the desire to get better.
    That irks me, and that is what prevents people to get the enthusiasm in an instrument that looks similar but that is not the same.
     
  3. Randy

    Randy Taste the Rainbow™ Super Moderator

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  4. Mangle

    Mangle Breaker

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    Yeah, in instances like this, if you admit to a deficiency in your "skillset" it's like releasing blood into the water. What he's doing while choking the sh*t out of the lower end of the scale looks passable to his superiors so saying he needs help or that he doesn't know what he's doing ain't happening.
    People that have "lost it" or who have allowed themselves to get left behind don't usually know it until it becomes painfully obvious.
     
  5. MoshJosh

    MoshJosh SS.org Regular

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    Most of the "non metal" guitar reviews I've seen from Guitar World were pretty good and informative, but I have to agree that the ERG stuff is. . . Not good.

    There are plenty of great ERG players making fantastic videos on YouTube, I don't see why Guitar world can't just reach out to these guys on as needed basis to do reviews. Kind of like sub contacting the ERG stuff if that makes sense. Admittedly I have no idea what that would cost them, but seems like a better option than the current videos haha
     
  6. Nag

    Nag chugs and screams

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    I've always felt that gear demos made by the people who want your money aren't good for reference to start with...

    Look for gear demos and reviews on the manufacturer's websites or official Youtube channels. Most of them are made by artists who actually use the gear they're showing. Quick example, Keith Merrow. He uses Schecter guitars and he's demo'd them rather well. He uses Seymour Duncan pickups and his comparison videos are some of the best you'll find online. Most metal gear brands have a rather big online presence with demo videos because they seem to have understood we metal players are forum visitors and gear nerds, haha.
     
  7. Tr3vor

    Tr3vor SS.org Regular

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    When it comes to looking up ERG stuff, I always avoid channels that typically play blues and stuff like that, because they typically butcher it. Oh boy was I right. I searched up "guitar world 8 string" for the first time ever because of this thread and found this lovely ear melting (in a bad way) demo.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybXZt-K3URE

    Now I'm not claiming to be better than anyone else, if someone handed me an 8 string I would be like "what the hell do I do with this?" I'm just saying I wouldn't want to hear that again.

    But yeah, bigger channels don't typically represent ERGs that well. Remember when chapman got an M80M?
     
  8. Cloudy

    Cloudy Pacific Wood Lab

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    I think Paul gets a lot more crap than he deserves, especially on his 6 string gear demos.

    I do agree though, that he should not be playing the 7 and 8s. Hes a solid 6 string blues/rock player but he butchers the ERG reviews. The TAM10 one was especially cringey, he even mispronounced wenge, "When-ggg"
     
  9. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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  10. Randy

    Randy Taste the Rainbow™ Super Moderator

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    Well, I don't entirely disagree but the alternative point would be that, if he's frequently playing ERGs or metal-focuses guitars/amps, learning to play appropriately tailored licks would be part of his job.

    Yeah, music is a hobby or an art for most people, and Paul seems to be talented at certain styles but if he's being paid to review and demo gear on camera, he should be inclined to already know or learn the skills necessary to appropriately demo the gear he's given. :2c:
     
  11. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    That quote from VacantPlanet sums it up perfectly... Nobody wants to hear blues played through the 666w Dicksmasher, we want to hear something that appropriately smashes dicks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  12. Cloudy

    Cloudy Pacific Wood Lab

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    Totally fair point, it is his job to review gear and he should be doing it well. Time and time again he has failed to produce good quality ERG demos. I think they should can him and hire someone else to do the ERG stuff. He isnt cutting it and hes being detrimental to the brands hes reviewing. Does anyone else want to buy 7 and 8s less when he plays them :lol:?

    https://youtu.be/i1NSgN8uB7I?t=2m1s

    This video completely killed all my Jericho GAS...
     
  13. xwmucradiox

    xwmucradiox sweep.tap.sweep

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    Unfortunately for all of us, GW reviews are the only way we can find out anything about these guitars. There are literally no other resources, reviews, or stores where we can try gear out or hear it demoed.
     
  14. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Paul plays extended range instruments like he's playing a 6 string which is one of his biggest problems. Anybody in the guitar world workplace could pick up an 8 string for a week and be able to demonstrate any new guitars coming in better. They obviously know about the extreme negativity whenever they post one of Paul's "reviews" so it just confirms that Guitar World just don't care. I've emailed them and numerous other guitar magazines about how incorrect their tabs are and they just shrug saying most people won't know or care. Guitar magazines are mostly aimed at beginners and have a constant stream of new customers taking up the guitar so they don't need to put in the effort.
     
  15. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

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    Ah! I agree with everything you said...but, as a professional orchestral double bass player, allow me to take this chance to educate everybody on why I don't just play a big cello!

    The cello/violin/viola are all tuned in fifths, not fourths. The violin's tuning is GDAE, the inverse of the bass's, the cello's is CGDA, the viola is also CGDA but an octave higher, and the bass is EADG. The bass is the only instrument that is tuned in fourths. This is because shifting is rather laborious on such a large instrument, so it is important to be able to play runs of notes while minimizing shifting.

    The technique is also very different, the bow is held differently (even a french bass bow is held differently than a french cello bow, if you adhere to the strictest of technique standards). The bass does not have tuning pegs, it only has the gear-type "fine tuners", and it is technically a part of the violin family in body shape (the cello and viola are in the same "family").

    They are different in so many ways! I do not play a big cello!

    I either just broke your analogy of ERG to 6 string by showing that the bass is even more different, or confirmed it by saying they are different. Oh well. At least I got to talk about my bass to someone other than a curious relative.
     
  16. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-riario-b403358

    His job title isn't "Gear Demo Specialist." According to his job title, he's also the editor of a magazine. We all know how many gear demos he's been in, but is that REALLY all he does? Or is he working on articles for Guitar World's website and printed publication most of his workday, and somebody drags him into the video for a few minutes and shoves an RG8 in his hand and presses record on the camera? Maybe he didn't have time to learn the latest AAL album before grabbin Tosin's sig?

    Does this mean I should refrain from posting videos of me chicken picking on my Ibanez Fireman or Agile Interceptor? :coffee:

    I understand that the demoer should fit the gear being used, but finding somebody new to do a small amount of demos just may not be practical for what is still considered niche in today's market :2c:
     
  17. Low Baller

    Low Baller SS.org Regular

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    If I saw a demo you made and you did an example lick that was chicken picking I would think its cool. The problem with Paul is he just plays the same generic rock/blues that we have heard demoed on every guitar for the last thirty years. If you're demoing gear you have to display its versatility no matter how many strings it has. If I wanted to play blues/rock I know what to get a strat or LP but I like to see versatility in gear. So if he is demoing an 8 string it may be a good idea to learn some djent riffs since that's a big part of the market. But what kills me is when he goes clean more blues rock. It's an 8 string play some jazz walk bass lines with chords, show how you can slap (doesn't have to be Tosin Abasi just even simple octaves with a nice funky seven chord). You can clearly tell he doesn't know any chords for eights and sevens that's one of the best parts of them those big chords that cover so much frequency. It's a shame 8 strings and ERG get written off as a metal trend when metal only scratches the surface.

    The magazine is definitely targeted for beginners which is why they have the same guitar legends issue after issue, Hendrix is sick of seeing his own face on that magazine. But they won't change their format I did enjoy the magazine as a beginner but once I grew there was nothing there for me.
     
  18. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    you mean I shouldnt be playing blues on my 8 string with a Kemper?........... oh god. My metal band have been so polite and patient with me.

    but....does it "Bl0e's?!"

    [​IMG]
     
  19. sevenstringj

    sevenstringj Banned

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    I lol'd pretty hard at this actually. It gets funnier and funnier, too.



    If someone would inform him that he has ring and pinky fingers, he might surprise us one day.


    He's not alone though. I avoided EMG X-series for years because of this sad, sad demo:

     
  20. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    nothing new really. 9/10 gear related demos/reviews on youtube are shit. Pro Guitar Shop are the only guys I can even remotely tolerate (playing wise). Most amateurs record stuff with less than amazing quality and most high profile reviewers process & mix the shit out of it so you can't even tell what it actually sounds like.
     

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