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How to Guru

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How to Guru

Since Aug. 23, 2012, the Readers Recommend column has been written by volunteers from the RR community. Many of them have posted in the Spill about their experience and how they went about the job. Future gurus might want to read these accounts to gain some insights from these experiences.

My own approach is to do up a spreadsheet and enter every song nominated with a rating and then to take all the ones rated as ten and winnow the list down to a final A and B List. The handy thing about a spreadsheet is you can re-order them, so after all the nominations are in, I just re-order the list according to ratings bringing all the ones rated 10 to the top. Then I add another column and go through the songs rated 10 and decide whether thy should be A, A or B, B or dropped. The ones I picked as definite As go into the A List. If there are not enough of them, I go through the ones listed as A or B and select the ones needed to fill up the A List. Since I have no qualms about long B Lists, I often produce long B Lists as sometimes I have 50 or 60 songs rated 10.   My columns usually have a narrative thread so I order the songs to fit a narrative. The narrative is derived from the songs themselves. I don't usually have one in mind when I take up the reins of the guru. Often the nominations surprise me and new ideas develop on where to take the column so I try not to go into the writing with a preconceived idea. While personal taste does play a large part in my selections, they are not always songs I like best but songs which fit the topic particularly well and which I like. Occasionally I'll select songs I don't like that much but which are brilliant for the topic. The vast majority of songs I select are ones I have never heard before. - Marconius7



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