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Total Guitar is my personal favourite out of all the guitar magazines available as it appeals to players who are both new to the guitar and also the more experienced players.
I would definitely say that the majority of the time the focus in the magazine is largely on rock or metal music.
Throughout the magazine is a well balanced mix of music reviews, band interviews, guitar lessons, guitar tablature, guitar tips, gear reviews and relevant advertisements.
The music reviews in the magazine are always a good way to find out about new releases you otherwise might not go heard about. I particularly like that with the magazine being guitar orientated you do find a lot of guitar critique in the reviews so for someone like me who appreciates music with impressive guitar work no matter what genre it's based in you know what albums are going to be appropriate for that.
Also a major plus is the CD which is included with the magazine this includes various versions of the songs taught throughout the magazine so you can play along with just the backing track or too the entire song. Also included are video lessons which are very helpful if you have trouble following some of the positioning during the songs which you are learning.
The guitar lessons for both songs and skills are given in both the musical notation format and the tablature format.
I personally benefit from the tablature and it's great that they offer it to you in both ways as learning to read music is extremely difficult and not something that everyone is able to pick up.
Towards the back pages of the magazine you will find a range of gear reviews I have used this many times in the past for reference when picking out new guitar equipment for myself as they tend to be spot on with the descriptions and also the individual ratings given at the end. One great thing is that they balance it out between the high end gear and low end gear because in some of the similar magazines you tend to find most of the reviews are for equipment that is £1,000 plus and lets face it as much as we would all love too that's just not in the price range of every single reader.
The magazine definitely has helped me a lot as a guitar player to expand on the skills and techniques I already had so that I could improve them or learn new things that would otherwise of been difficult for me.
Total guitar is a magazine that is published in the UK that focuses on guitar tuition and news. It appeals to all levels and styles and is comprehensive and is up to date on the latest news in the guitar world.
As a fan of heavy metal and somebody that has been playing guitar for 2-3 hours a day for about 4 years of my life Total Guitar has been with me every step of the way. I have been a subscriber now for about 3 yeas and get it through my door every month.
The news section, which has gear previews and up and coming bands in it is always fairly up to date, though I can't say anything I have read in it, I haven't been able to find on the internet. But each month, I must say has a nice overview is found of what has been happening in the guitar world, which is fantastic as it means I don't have to go searching on the internet everyday to keep up.
Also another main focus of the magazine is band interviews. Although this can vary in how good it is depending on what genres of music you like. At the end of the day is an issue focuses on metal bands and you do not like heavy metal, than you perhaps are no interested in any of the bands featured. THough this is all dependant on content and opinion.
Practical wise there is something for everyone here. From exercises for the technique junkies such as me, to a nice strum along song each month for people who just want to relax with an acoustic. As a heavy metal, blues and punk fan 9 out of 10 issues I manage to find at least 1 song that I at the very least want to learn the main riffs from. In fact most of the songs I know I owe thanks to this fine magazine. I always find the notes on the songs interesting and useful, especially if I am stuck on an exact passage or riff. Also with each song you get the amp settings so you can sound as close to the original band as possible. Though this can be dependent on what kit you have.
Gear reviews are always comprehensive and fare, and are always up to date. With a nice variation of different guitar, amp and pedal companies. My only comment is perhaps I would like to see perhaps some reviews for things such as plectrums, strings and capos, as these are the things guitarists buy the most of. I mean once you have brought your perfect guitars and amplifiers (such as myself) to the point where you can gig, you don't really need advice anymore on what to buy. Though that does not mean I don't find it handy to keep my hand in, to have a good knowledge of gear is essential in this day and age.
Overall each month is comprehensive and insightful. With plenty of content to keep most guitarists happy and wanting to continue to learn. And during the past 6 months or so the magazine have opened their doors to the public taking advice on what content should be included. Which means each month guitarists actually get what they want.
Total Guitar is aimed at guitar players of all skill levels and tastes. It's a great magazine whether you're a beginner or a schooled played, for it also has plenty of guitar-related news, as well as general music information, like music reviews, and best of all, tabs of some of your favourite songs. While the likes of Ultimate Guitar are great for beginners, this is a more packaged and authoritative way to get the best out of your guitar and learn some new pointers with every issue.
What I really enjoy is how it resists the temptation to be condescending or elitist, and ensures not to deign to its audience but instead offer them a helping hand in getting to grips with their axe. The articles are well written while never using overly alienating technical language, and there are also plenty that detail the lineage of guitar playing, which is great if you want a comprehensive background of the instrument too.
The section which details new tips and techniques is probably the best part of the magazine; it separates them into abilities, such as Novice, meaning it's easy to find the part you should try. The language is simple and easy to understand, making most of the techniques a synch to attempt, and then it's just down to your own practising to master them. Even if you're a confident master of the guitar, some of these techniques can help you curb some bad habits and play in a more robust and efficient style (reducing awkward cramps and such).
The magazine also comes with a CD which allows you to play alongside the tab you're trying to learn, which is a great little feature and certainly wasn't necessary. Also, there are short videos which show you the techniques, which is very helpful.
If you want to get good at guitar fast, this is one of the best things you can buy.
I have bought and read many different guitar magazines, but only two really stood out. Guitar Techniques and Total Guitar. After buying this for the second time, I decided that I would subscribe.
Total guitar are very beginner friendly, they have tabs for beginners as well as tons of tabs for hardcore players. With each tab there is a music track to go with it available on a CD, which comes with every issue. If you have never read a guitar tab before, TG have a guide just before the tab section explaining what each symbol means and how to play like this.
Each issue has great advice and tips from well known guitarists, such as Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert, which is really useful as they can show you how to get the same sound as them out of your amp.
There are loads of competitions which are always something cool like new equipment or custom plectrums.
Each issue is well written and explain everything thoroughly, I would recommend this to any guitar player, beginner - intermediate.
Plus if you subscribe now, you will get a string cleaner and a Joe Satriani guitar strap.
A Guide To 'Total Guitar Monthly Magazine' (with CD) - from an experienced guitarist's viewpoint.
Total Guitar is one of the premiere guitar magazines, and is aimed squarely at guitar players (rather than just folks who like guitar music). A cd is always included with each copy -which adds to the appeal greatly.
The magazine is a mixture of interviews with famous guitarists, reviews of new (and sometimes vintage) guitars/ amps/ pedals etc, adverts (generally useful ones -or at least fun to read/ drool over), album/ track reviews (including readers own music that they send in), and most importantly... and this is why most folks buy it... guitar tabs of famous songs and guitar lesson.
I've been buying Total Guitar off and on for years - it's alway there tempting me in the local supermarket when I go shopping, and if there's a particular band or guitar (or other piece of gear) review that interests me I'll get that copy.
It doesn't interest me enough to become a subscriber, and the format can get a little repetitive at times, in my opinion...
...(plus I'll avoid issues featuring bands I think are naff - like the Metallica issue as shown in the accompanying picture to this article (unless they change it -lol!!) which would bore me to sleep with it's macho sillyness -sorry Mettallica /James Hetfield fans but anyone who hunts animals for fun, is in my book, strictly a wussy boy).
But generally Total Guitar is almost always worth reading... and the tabs are a lot more accurate than anything you'll find on the web...
Over all; a pretty good magazine.
Hope you found my review of some help, and good luck with your bargain hunting!!
Total Guitar, as the name might suggest, is a magazine aimed at guitarists of all ages and various styles.
It features news of general goings-on in the guitar world, reviews of albums and equipment, as well as tabs and chords of various songs, (for anyone who doesnt know a tab or tablature is a means of showing which notes need to be played on a guitar, enabling the reader to learn the piece without necessarily being able to read standard notions, or sheet music). It also features lessons to try and help develop your playing skills.
It is published monthly and costs £4.99, which is pretty much the typical price of a magazine of this nature and comes with a CD, which I shall discuss in greater details later on. Occasionally it will also come with a bonus gift, (plectrums, chord-books, etc.)
Years ago, when I first began learning the guitar I would regularly buy guitar magazines. My personal favourite was Guitar Techniques and, whilst I bought the occasional copy of Total Guitar, for the most part I always thought its content and lessons were somewhat lacking in comparison to other magazines.
Times change of course and Guitar Techniques was taken under new management and the content and lessons became such that I found that I no longer enjoyed reading it indeed, I stopped buying guitar magazines all together. It was with some surprise then that the March, 2007 edition of Total Guitar caught my eye, (Id like to say it was because it claimed to have the 100 Greatest Riffs, but the truth is its because Metallica featured and I am prone to buying a magazine that Metallica is mentioned in).
In the three of four years since I last read a copy of Total Guitar, there have been a lot of changes from what I remember the magazine being like changes that to my mind are definitely for the better. (In fact, I was so impressed I actually bought the April issue without any worries of whether it was worth the £4.99).
The articles are well written and easy to read and, assuming youre into guitars and the music that goes with that, Ive also found them to be interesting and informative. Interviews are conducted in a way that reminds me of other music magazines, (such as Kerrang!) and the features are ideal for the magazines target audience.
There are various regular features, such as the standard letters page. One of my personal favourites is the Trail Blazers section, where important bands and guitarists are given credit for their music and the influence they had over aspiring guitarists and musicians. I think this is a great way for younger readers to read about artists that helped shape the style of music today and its also an interesting read for the older readers who perhaps grew up listening to the featured artist.
Another good feature is Learn To Play, which is where the transcription of songs is. This is one of the most drastically improved area compared to what I remember the magazine being like and is a really good means of learning new songs from various styles. Naturally, rock music is quite often a feature, but they also cover songs from other genres, such as blues, punk, pop and various other styles.
Another vastly improved area is the Lessons section. This offers the reader a chance to learn new techniques and styles of playing. There is also a Novice section which is great for people just starting out and need to get to grip with certain fundamental principles of guitar and general music theory. Beyond the Novice section there isnt anything that gauges the difficulty of a lesson and thats a bit of a shame as a simple rating system would help the reader know if they could quickly pick it up or that they might have to spend a little more time practicing it. That said, I generally think that there is something everyone can take away from these lessons regardless of how long theyve been playing and whether they consider themselves a novice, intermediate or expert guitarists. Even if the lessons themselves dont prove too much of a challenge, they are still an excellent source of ideas and new practise material. I for one often find myself bored of practicing a technique with the same set of licks every time.
The product reviews are very well written and also informative, telling the reading most things he or she would want to know. Its also not restricted simply to guitars, (though, obviously a lot of guitars get reviewed). Recording equipment, FX-Pedals, amplifiers, etc. also get reviewed from time to time, so typically youll be able to find useful information about virtually any guitar-related product you might be interested in.
The CD that comes with the magazine features the tracks of the tabbed music, (both full tracks so you can hear what the complete song, minus vocals, should sound like, as well as backing tracks so you can play along as you learn). This is an invaluable way to ensure youre learning the music correctly and they are on the whole well recorded and produced, making listening and playing along easy and enjoyable.
At the start of the CD theyve also included Tuning Notes, which means you can easily make sure the your guitar is in standard tuning, (or concert pitch if you prefer) before trying to play along with the CD.
Also on the disc are video lessons, which allow you to see how certain pieces are played when viewed via your PC. Obviously, this is no use to you if you havent got a PC, (though that does raise the question of how youre reading this review?!) but I think for the vast majority of people this is a useful addition. Again the videos are well recorded and have high productions values, (theyre not simply webcam images or something similar). The one complaint I would have about these is that quite often theyre rather short. I think a little more time could be devoted to showing the playing at various speeds, (which does happen on some videos, but not all) as this would help some people get to grips with certain things quicker.
Another slight issue is that youre supposedly able to play the audio tracks through you PC, though for some reason my PC only shows me the data, not any audio tracks, no matter what I do to try and find them. This might be related to my specific machine though as I havent tried to listen to them on another PC yet, so it may or may not be a regular problem.
Obviously, Total Guitar hold little or no interest for non-guitarists, but for those of you who do play, whether its shredding like youre back in the eighties, or chicken-picking in a country bar, or even just chugging out some simple power-chords, I would recommend buying at least one copy Total Guitar and see what you yourself think. Im not saying this is the greatest magazine in the world, but its certainly more than good enough to learn from and keep up to date with whats happening guitar wise and I for one think Im very likely to continue buying it and using it as a resource to further develop my playing.
Total Guitar magazine is totally awesome, and one of the few magazines out there that I'd say is not a waste of good trees. I have purchased this magazine regularly since I have started playing guitar about 6 months ago and I cannot deny that it has been a great help to me in so many ways. The magazine is usually priced around £5 which is great value for money as it not only contains informal and educational material for guitarists of all levels but it also makes for entertaining reading material. The magazine includes a lot of in depth yet easy to follow sheet music to learn as well an accompanying CD with each issue which you can use as either a guideline to let you know how the peices should sound but it also contains backing music without the guitar parts so you can play along with it making you really feel like you are a playing the peice along with the band. The peices of music included are usually the full songs (without the lyrics) or simply just the best and catchiest parts of the songs. The type of songs included are usually a good mix of the old and the new, the well known and the not so well known although sometimes they have issues dedicated to a certain type of music e.g. punk, metal, blues ect. Apart from guides to playing music already available the magazine also offers invaluable advice for improving your own skills and techniques and if you are in band it gives you useful advice on creating your own songs and every few issues or so they give you tips and hints on topics such as how to get your band signed. Total Guitar is so much more than just a tuition guide though as it tries and tests practically everything to do with guitar playing from plectrums to pedals, from gig bags to the guitars themselves. It also reviews the latest albums and tuitition books every month as well. On top of all this the mag has regular interviews with great guitar players and bands, both old and new
, whom provide you with some of their own personal tips as well as their own personal stories and backgrounds. For each guitarist or band mentioned they also provide you with full details of the type of kit they use. There are some great competitions in the mag which usually include the chance to win guitars owned and autographed by major stars or expensive guitar lesson. There are usually about 5 or 6 competitions in every issue. And I think that just about wraps it up except of course to mention the best part of any magazine worth reading...the letters pages. In these pages you can read the opinions of others about music, guitar products and other subjects. You can also voice your own opinions if you like or even request sheet music or tablature to be included in the next issue. I have tried out a few other guitar mags since I started playing mostly due to one off freebies such as strings, straps ect but TG is really the only mag out there worth sticking with. And if you don't find the music on the free bonus CD's helpful for your playing I think you'll find that they come in handy at least for drunken Karaoke.
Of all the guitar magazines available, Total Guitar is undoubtably the best. It's one of the few magazines I look forward to coming out each month, each issue having a decent amount of guitar tablature. The magazine works so well because of several reasons: CD - The CD on the cover isn't just full of backing tracks for the tab. There's often full songs from new albums, B-sides (Ash's Cantina Band (Star Wars cover) anyone?) and sometimes an oldie. The main bulk of the CD consists of the tutorial tracks which demonstrate how the magazines tab should sound like when played properly. These tab tracks ar usually broken down into a riff by riff approach, allowing you to learn the song in chunks. Finally, there's the product demo's, where a few new pieces of kit, such as Sound FX boxes are put through their paces by a mad guitar axeman. This feature proved useful to me, as I was able to her what my Zoom pedal sounded like before I ordered it via mail order. Tab - The tab itself is both plentiful, meaning that whole songs are transcribed from a diverse range of musical genres, and of a high quality. Songs covered include 'new' artists (Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Travis...) as well as guitar classics (Beat it by Micheal Jackson + Van Halen). The magazine provides for every level of guitar competence, having beginner sections to teach the basics, as well as extremely advanced technique tutoring. Interviews - Some of the best interviews I have read with bands have been in Total Guitar. Since, I believe, the magazines contributors are more open minded than the usual music press, they treat the artists with the respect they deserve. This, in turn, lets the interviewees be more open, making for a better interview. There's no risk of a "Band X are rubbish" type backlash being printed in the magazine. Some of the coverage may be tongue in cheek (tabbing "Hit me baby one more time") but is done
without cynicism, just humour. The little things - It's the little touches that seperate the mag from it's rivals. In each tab of a song, there's a little box explaining what guitar/amp/fx setup you should use to get the authentic sound of the song. The pictures of artists, which are plentiful and rival other non guitar music magazines in their quality, often have quite funny little comments on them. As well as these, the reviews section is fair and accurate and the letters page always good for a read. Overall, it's a very good read, the makers of it are keen guitarists who obviously enjoy making it (this shows through on almost every page), and I hope more guitar magazines aspire to reaching such a level of quality.
Total guitar is the best guitar magazine ever, it has everything a guitarist needs trust me.First is gives you tablature to popular guitar songs and it also has a cd with all the tablature in it. On the cd it has album tracks and the music for the reviews and tablature in the magazine. Then it has all the profesional tunes like Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. On the cd it has things like first guitar solo, riff one and it also has a backing track which has the drums, bass and a second guitar if there is one in it. It also has the music to the techniques in the magazine like a guide to Randy Roads or Jimi Hendrix, at the end of the cd it has demo tracks of old and new songs. The cd has exellent quality and if your not satisfied you can get a new one for free, the sound is great and the backing track was an exellent idea you can learn how to play with a bass and drums. Inside the magazine it has like any other mag would have, advertisments of beautiful guitars and other guitar gear. Then a contents page which has the features, reviews and techniques with the page and cd number beside it. It also has news so why buy any other guitar magazine. It has reviews on new and old bands and tells you whats new in the near future. It then has all the tablature to the best guitar music and it gives you great advice on how to play it and news about the guitarist. You can even write letters to the mag and read what the answer to you letter in the mag. Then it has all the review on new guitars, amplifiers and effect pedals this is really helpful but they are all very expensive and probely for profesionals. Near the end it has the techniques of your favourite guitarist. It has many different guitar techniqus that are very helpful. It gives acoustic and electric guitar techniques.It also has tablature to your favourite tv themes like Friends,bbc snooker theme and other popular tv themes.If you think the mag sounds good wait till you h
ear this, if you are a novice on the guitar it has a little something for you at the end like power chords, struming and finger picking. Then at the end of the mag it has advertisments on guitar tuition and guitars. I have been getting total guitar for about 4 years and it has never let me down eccept now the price is up to about five pounds and sometimes it has tablature to music I dont like. The book is great for learning great tunes and playing along with the backing track, it is very easy to understand the tabluture because it has a couple of paragraphs telling you how to play a particular bit. If you dont know how to read tab or music no need to panic it also tells you how to do that. In total conclusion the mag is amazing and if you play the guitar you will love it, people who buy it will probely say what I have said the book rocks. It is out every month hopefuly forever. It really does make you a better guitarist just like it says, so buy it.
In my opinion this is the best guitar magazine on the shelves at the minute. It's great value as it contains loads of information and comes with a CD of demo's, backing tracks and samples from songs featured in the magazine. The magazine contains interveiws with well known bands as well as those that are up and coming. It has reviews of all the latest equipment from guitars to amps and from pics to effects boxes. The reveiws are well written by people who really know what they're talking about. The best feature of the magazine has to be the guitar TAB. It is a very simple way of writing music down that anyone can understand. There are wide variteties of artists featured every week covering many different styles and abilities. There are sections to learn classical, rock, theme songs and many more. Whether your a beginner or at a more advanced level there is something for you. Previous issues have feature music for songs by radiohead, the manics, blur, reef and many more. A great magazine, good layout and a great reference for guitar players.
Total Guitar is the only guitar magazine worth reading. Others offer this and that, but nothing else is as complete as this. Each issue comes with a CD with around 70 minutes of lessons, tracks and demos, and occasionally a free gift, such as a capo, chord book, or scale charts. Whether you like acoustic or hard rock, there is something for you. Latest news on guitar bands, and reviews on new equipment (not just guitar, but amps, effects etc). Each month there is a number of interviews with both established and up-and-coming stars, which are always interesting. The highlight of the magazine, though, is the sheer amount of guitar tablature (tab). Thankfully, tab is very easy to read. Even someone who cannot read music (myself included) can pick it up quickly. There are lessons on the featured artist of the month, a classic track, other featured artists, lessons in certain styles, covering everything from Punk to Acoustic, and Country to Reggae. I can't think of a style that hasn’t been covered at some time. Whilst you won't be interested in all the lessons, there is always something that most guitar players will want to learn. Only here would you find bands as diverse as Crowded House and Slipknot on the same pages. Whilst some songs are tabbed in full, and have a full backing track on the CD to play along to, not all songs are this fully researched. Sometimes, there will be tutorials on parts of different songs, or just a lesson on how to play in the style of a certain band or type of music. Total Guitar is essential reading for any guitar player, whether a beginner, or a professional musician. I have been playing for a few years, and still look forward to each new issue. In the last few months I have learned a classical piece, and Motorhead's Ace of Spades!
I have been playing the guitar for nearly six years and I consider myself a good guitarist thanks to guitar magazine, 'Total Guitar'. This four weekly magazine contains tuition for every standard of guitarist. It usual contains a novice section featuring basic guitar playing, an advanced section for really accomplished players, a chord sheet of a well known song, a rock section, a 'Riff of the month', and a classic track section where a whole song is transcribed in full. The music is in tablature form making it incredibly easy to read and in each magazine the notation is explained in an easy to understand table. If enjoy playing the guitar or would like to start learning, I strongly recommend buying this magazine which also includes a compact disc so that you can hear what the tablature is supposed to sound like, and a backing track to play along with.
Total Guitar teaches you to play all the very latest music, as well as oldies and classics too. It is full of up to date transcriptions. There are good in depth interviews with top Guitarists and other band members. It`s good for novice Guitar Players as well as more advanced. Every month there is a competition with excellent prizes. Each month there is a free CD which is full of backing tracks indentical to the original scores, which you can play along with. It includes Rock, Blues, Classical & Jazz techniques which means it caters for all tastes. Readers buy & sell ads are handy too, so are the readers questions & answers. You can even record your own Demo and send it in...who knows, if they like it, they might even out it on their free CD ! All in it is a `quality` mag, probably the best in Guitar tuition. (PS. My other half just done the narration for this review & he knows his stuff)