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Old 06-23-2017, 11:36 PM   #1
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death of electric guitars? really?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...=.f3f7efcfcf65

what do you guys think of this?
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:45 PM   #2
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I think there's something to the central thesis, but the article is woefully under-written.

The top tier of popular musicians are entertainers first and musicians somewhere thereafter. Incredible entertainers. But the priorities are different - you don't have to have anything more than a microphone and a lyric and a beat to be utterly legit. The guitar god is an artifact from a bygone era.

Still, I think it's a durable artifact. People playing guitars and singing songs and looking cool won't ever go fully away. Gibson might make less money while he Abletons of the world gobble up that slice of the pie. With as fickle as modern fans and the industry and society are I have a hard time believing that Ableton will still be raking in cash and putting out new devices 50 years from now (tho you never know). I imagine there will be 10 year cycles w new products emerging and taking a bite out of the pie. I also suspect that 50 years from now Gibson and Fender will still be making and selling instruments. Maybe they'll be surviving off a smaller pie, but I have a hard time imagining guitars disappearing.

The question about guitar heroes is interesting. There are certainly amazing players out there making exciting music w guitars - especially in more esoteric niches. Certainly far more difficult today to see a person become a 'guitar god' than it was in the 60's. But the Taylor Swift observation is powerful. She makes kids want to play guitar. That's not a bad thing.

For me - it's my hobby and I love it and I'm older than I've ever been. My daughter will hopefully find joy in music and figure out what she loves on her own. In between now and then she'll be hearing plenty of GnR and Boston and Jellyfish and Astronoid and U2 with daddy. Maybe some of it will stick.
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:09 AM   #3
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Rock music and rock musicians have become stale and inward looking. It has lost that forward looking spirit and replaced it with rehashing old stuff and vintage tones. Instead of a means to an end (making interesting and exciting music) chasing tone has become an end in itself. Meanwhile new genres that do look forward like electronic music have come along and taken over the torch.

Other things have changed too. Music is no longer the all defining element that teenagers use to define themselves. Gone are the days that you were either a Beatles fan or a Rolling Stones fan. You can easily cross genres that seemed totally impossible in the past. You can listen to heavy metal on one day and go to a rave the other. Music sales have plummeted thanks to illegal downloads, and streaming just does not generate the same kind of income that record and CD sales used to do (they were probably overpriced anyway). Another things that streaming does is that it makes music into disposable muzak. People used to want to have the record, now why bother to buy the cow when the milk can be had for a fixed subscription. And its not like you always listened equally to every record you bought in the past anyway. Youtube is now where its at, and a guy or girl on youtube can and will nowadays have the following that used to be reserved for rock gods.

I do take solace that other genres that preceded rock are still around and being practiced, even by young artists. And that some of those still manage to attract fame and fortune.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:27 PM   #4
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well i feel like this article exaggerates they points a bit; the sales of GC might be shrinking but it's totally imaginable that people are buying guitars from other means; they might be buying USED gear from those sources, too. Reverb and eBay might offer used gear with better value than GC, whose customer service is terrible (Ive been there, it's horrendous). now vintage guitar market is exploding too because of baby boomers with disposable incomes.

Muad'zin i agree that people are chasing the vintage tones and sounds too much but if we look hard enough I think we can find very innovative guitar players out there. the problem is that they're often too hard to find. they many not be as big as Clapton but i find them much more inspirational than EC. like Nick Reinhart from Tera Melos and Nels Cline from Wilco (and various solo projects of his).

I think these writers have to understand that music became diverse over time which also means that the guitars are used in more context. you can't just say "electronica becoming more popular = interests for guitars are dead" type of arguments anymore. on top of that, people became more aware of cost effectiveness and all that when it comes to gear and they often reach out for Internet for that information. but surprisingly big guitar companies are somehow very reluctant to connect with youtubers to advertise their products. no, I'm not talking about youtube channels for bigger companies like Musician's Friend.
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