View post (An Open Letter to Guitar Tricks)

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Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,602
Registered User
Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,602
04/09/2021 7:01 pm
Originally Posted by: faith83

Please don't answer that GT is just responding to "what people want" and that if I have a particular song I want included, I should request it (which is the answer I got when I emailed about this). That's the excuse that's always used to sidestep taking action on issues of social justice and equality.


To be honest, if Guitar Tricks had a lot more R&B material, I'd be very happy about that. I've seen Prince, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang and The Commodores amongst other R&B acts. The second song at our wedding was the E,W &F song 'September'. It one of my (and my wife's) all time favorite songs of any genre. It's an amazing song. Further, every guitar player could use a lesson on how to comp rhythms/chords from Chic's Nile Rodgers. Amazing stuff.

However, you couched your request within the sphere of social justice. From the above quote by you, you advised by being asked to request a song, that this is what's always used to sidestep taking action on issues of social justice and equality.

If I'm being direct, change comes from you and me. Change is reflected in those people we interact with and those businesses with which we do business. However, a business does not hold the same responsibility we all do as individuals. A business is a reflection of what is asked of it.

On social justice issue, I take action from a very personal level. That is to say that I have a standing monthly contribution to a rescue mission as well as a childrens after school program in a very vulnerable community. I recently built beds for kids that have been placed in group homes due to a difficult homelife. I've also spent time at a food pantry (I mean, sorting canned good but hey, that's what's needed). There's some other stuff but you get the point.

What I'm trying to say is that we are personally a reflection of that which we believe and though we can say to other people or even businesses that we expect them to act in a way that aligns with my beliefs, it's starts with my actions first.

Which leads to the stuff below.


It's not my responsibility to diversify your song catalog, it's yours.

I'll be rather pointed in this regard; you're wrong on this point. As a consumer, you have responsibility to the very thing you've outlined in your post, taking action.

At some point recently, I noticed you added a URL to your profile under your avatar so I went to give your stuff a listen (very nice) and then poked around your site to include your Desert Island picks page...because it is interesting to find out what really musically motivates people. What I say in following sounds like a criticism but it's not.

That is to say that none of the persons within your desert picks are minorities. As a person senstive to social justice, I would assume you'd want to promote the music of minorities. Even if your desert picks would not be exactly or accurately reflected as your favorites. If equity is important, why is that not reflected in your picks? Equity is something you noted in your post and equity is really the equality of outcome. If equity is a priority, then it would be more important for you to promote a great minority artist than artists or albums that are actually your favorites. That's the point of equity, that we all end up the same.

Why this is not a criticism is that while you've set the expectation that others should be taking action, is that reflected in your own tastes? I have no doubt that you enjoy music from many genres and no doubt from people of many, many backgrounds. However, you've told Guitar Tricks to take action wherein you would not be a consumer of the music you told Guitar Tricks to publish (based on your listening preferences).

This is moreso a call to action. That we each have a responsibility to what we believe. You do have a responsibility to ask fot the very thing you ask of others, to take action. That may be as little as requesting a song. It's a very small be honest, much less than the sore back I got building beds from scratch with 2x4's....

I truly don't intend to make this seem like I'm bagging on you. I think you have a heart for things and intend to do well by your fellow human. However, when we start down the path of expecting others to take action, it first matters what we've done ourselves. You may well have done things similar to me with hands on help in communities. I have no idea. However, it is still important to point out that we only function best when we work in concert with one another and not in conflict.