On emailing guitarists…

Of course you’re free to like and dislike whomever you choose, but I feel like Beato gives away lots of great information for free, even if he does have a book to sell.


Yeah I was gonna say, I’m not Rick Beato’s mum so I don’t really feel the need to come here and stick up for him, but I certainly haven’t had the experience that he only talks to people who want to give him money.

It is possible that he is not like that, but he makes such an impression on me.
I’ve sent a lot of mails in last few months to various well-known musicians *
and I have received a few answers from several of them, we have exchanged a few letters etc but some of them wrote back only that I have to pay 100 $ for the conversation!!!

Ricke Beato has never reacted to any of my many questions
so we can guess for what reason.

There are people who do not convert everything into money and their opposite.

  • Joscho Stephan,Jorge Strunz,Rob Tardik,Dan Haerle…
    George Garzone!!!
    He even gave me his latest DVD Triadic Chromatic Approach with an autograph :slight_smile:

With all respect, this seems like a pretty uncharitable interpretation to draw just because someone isn’t replying to your email. You have to keep in mind, when you email someone you’re asking for their time, and they’re under no obligation to give it to you.

I think in any profession some people are naturally inclined to enjoy talking shop with anyone who asks, while others like to keep more professional separation. Nothing wrong with either. But…if you emailed a doctor out of the blue with questions and he replied “happy to help, would you like a paid consultation?” it would be crazy to conclude that he’s only in it for the money, no?

I can understand how with something like art / music — or any field that tends to be passion-driven to a pretty high degree — it’s easy to assume others will share your interest in conversation for its own sake, but what you may see as a friendly conversation, others may see as the sort of work they normally get paid for!


I can only repeat what I have already said :slight_smile:
I am not an oracle who preaches revelation of truth.

I’m not talking about what he really is,only what impression he made on me.
(and it’s not about one letter but a lot of comments and letters).

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This is actually one of the big reasons we started the forum. We used to get so many emails, all asking very similar questions, and after a while it’s like there are only so many times you can write the same thing to hundreds of people. After a while you start feeling like a vending machine, just dispensing gumballs to everyone. It’s a little dehumanizing, actually!

You can imagine, the more well known someone is, like Vai or even Beato as he has grown in popularity, the harder it gets. Vai must get an avalanche of emails and I can’t imagine he can respond to any substantial fraction of them.

Also, just as another thing you may not have considered, but I can tell you this first hand, there are a few things that immediately stick out as strange. One, if you get multiple emails from someone repeatedly even though you haven’t written back. Or two, if you get a super-long emails from someone you don’t know, sometimes with links and videos and questions all numbered out. Both of these can make a strange impression and can make it less likely that you will write back, even though you might have written back to a single email, or a shorter one. I’m not saying you did this, but I’m just telling you, having been on the other end of this, if you build even a small public profile, you’re going to get requests from all sorts of people and sometimes, you might not want to write them back if they seem a little strange or demanding.

So anyway, now with the forum, this makes a lot of this much more straightforward. If I respond to something, it feels like it’s building something useful for everyone. And the super long posts or multiple unanswered posts on the same topic that might seem a little over the top - those issues sort themselves out on their own because people can modulate based on the responses they are getting.

We spend a lot of time on here answering and asking questions, but it has actually solved some challenging problems for us that we are happy to have solved.

Just some thoughts from the other side of this.


"Dear Steve Vai,

You are the most amazing guitarist ever. Because of you, I named my dog ‘Little Stevie Vai’. In fact, he was the one who insisted I write this letter. j/k

Anyway, I’m going to be in the Los Angeles area in a few weeks, and I was wondering if you’d like to spend some time with someone who truly understands your music on the deepest level. Nothing crazy, we can just grab a burger, and if you end up inviting me to your studio, so be it! j/k By the way, judging from Google Earth, your lawn is looking amazing!

To show how committed I am to your music, I’ve enclosed a vial of my blood. If you could return some of yours, that would be so amazing. j/k I know that would be a big imposition, so I’ll settle for a lock of your hair in the heart-shaped locket I’ve enclosed.

I’ve also enclosed a USB stick with a small sampling of 4 hours of my experimental instrumental music, and I’d love to get your detailed notes on it. I think if we did a collaboration, it could really be magical, but we can talk about that more when I get to LA.

Looking forward to that locket!

Your Number One Fan"


Oh god. We’re crying. This is awesome.


I’m going to use this as a template for when I email any famous musicians in the future.


Frylock, please stop hacking my emails :wink:


If we’re throwing two cents in:

  • I’ve always been impressed by how responsive and thoughtful Troy and CTC have been to the few emails I have sent. In fairness, I am a paying member but I have a hunch they’d be like that either way.

  • If a large part of someone’s income is from teaching music (which is essentially them taking time to either talk about music or prepare teaching materials/videos etc) then it follows logically that they would want to be paid for an interaction. I wouldn’t fault them for that, but I also don’t think it’s a great business practice unless it’s accompanied by something like “I’d love to chat with you about this, but my time is so tight right now that I think it would be best if we scheduled a lesson to go over it.” It makes logical sense but it has to be handled with care because of people’s expectations.

  • Personally I think what’s smart is to respond briefly but use it as an opportunity, i.e. here’s a bit of the answer, but for more information my book goes into a lot of detail, that kind of thing, and keep the response short and sweet. I can understand not responding at all, but it’s bad public image and can lead to some anger like we see in this thread

  • I can understand not responding at all if the questions seem a little…weird…and also in proportion to the volume of emails a person gets. I’m sure Johnny Guitargod probably think it’s a better use of his time to be making content, practicing, or being with his family than responding to a stranger’s emails. But it is certainly nice and good practice to be responsive.

  • +1 to @Brendan 's point about the expectation that these guys should want to talk music for free, but yeah when you make your living talking about music, you have to make careful decisions or you’re up until 3AM every night answering emails and don’t have a personal life or any time to play your guitar. Only so many hours in a day!

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Don’t disagree with any of this, and most reasonable length non-crazy-sounding emails get answered, subscriber or otherwise, unless we just screw up and miss something - which definitely also happens on occasion and probably when we don’t intend it.

You might be surprised how many players we reach out to simply don’t bother to respond to us. I don’t take it personally. Not everybody swipes right on us on Gui-Tinder. But it’s a thing, this non-response, and it exists at all levels of famosity and probably includes people you think of as cool people based on what you may know of their public persona.

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Amen. Troy and the others are very responsive on this forum… Not only does Troy respond… but he does so in quite a bit of detail. I think he’s as fast at typing as he at picking.


worth noting that some people just suck at organizing their inbox! It’s a real thing!

@Hanky_Pooh I’m also curious what kind of stuff you were contacting them about?

Hmm that’s pretty odd! Especially since you were straight up asking for lessons.

Good topic this.

I’ve emailed a fair few number of guitarists over the years, mostly with gear questions, and have got a reply about 90% of the time.

There was one time I emailed a guitarist and teacher of guitar to ask him some further information on a topic we had been discussing on a forum. He didn’t reply - no problem, I thought, it’s not that important. He did, however, decide to stick my email address on his mailing list and started spamming me info about his bands upcoming gigs. I was not impressed at all!!


I guess I got lucky. Steve Stevens used to hang around a forum called Hugeracksinc, when it was still going, and he would have answered loads of gear questions. Steve Lukather was on there too.

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Re: Rick Beato: I found that video he did where he talks about “jazz for rockers” incredibly helpful. I basically had names to give chords I’d been playing without really knowing the names (just that they sounded “jazzy”) and tripled my chordal vocabulary in about an hour. No money changed hands but I’d buy him a beverage of his choice.

I’ve had some lucky exchanges with some names (some were sent to me unsolicited happily) but most of the email I get is bimbo spam from tasmania.

Keep in mind that Beato does a lot of live streaming where he takes questions. Probably the most of any YouTube music guru that I’m aware of. You might have a better chance of getting questions answered by him if you can hop on one of those sessions, if the topic he’s discussing is related to what you want to know.