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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The slow death of the electric guitar
    Posted: June 30 2017 at 07:06
Interesting article in the Washington Post about the decline in sales of electric guitars.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/the-slow-secret-death-of-the-electric-guitar/?utm_term=.014142a4f217
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2017 at 07:33
I'll keep loving the electric guitar, whether it's dead or not ;)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2017 at 08:41
Oh, me too. 

Well, can I remind readers that there was a saxophone craze in the late 20's ? ;-)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2017 at 09:04
Originally posted by Meltdowner Meltdowner wrote:

I'll keep loving the electric guitar, whether it's dead or not ;)

Same. Wink

But this thread can turn into a very interesting discussion nonetheless.
Categories strain, crack and sometimes break, under their burden - step out of the space provided.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2017 at 09:53
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:


Well, can I remind readers that there was a saxophone craze in the late 20's ? ;-)

Wasn't there another saxophone craze in the 80's? :D


I think it's a general problem and not specific of electric guitar. In a world of endless distractions and immediate rewards, do young people really want to learn an instrument? I was already an exception fifteen years ago and we didn't have smartphones back then... only addictive video games :P
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2017 at 10:17
Always so concerned with the death of musical paradigms when it's the death of journalism they should be concerned with.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2017 at 10:59
The electric guitar isn't dying, it's just fading from its absurd overuse. It's a fantastic instrument, no doubt, but after decades of various genres, mainly rock and metal, using practically nothing else, it's become almost tiring. Likewise, youths hardly ought to be judged by how closely they adhere to past generations. Yes, they no longer have "guitar heroes". So what? The inevitably finite era (1960-70's rock) ended and others took its place. So here's to a great instrument that can finally take its place alongside, not in front of, supposedly lesser instruments, and may musicians continue to make great music using whatever instrument they can, not just the one in fashion.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 02:55
Strange, all I can hear now is clueless kids making "beats" using Korg Volcas, Novation Circuits and cracked copies of Fruity Loops Studio. 

Perhaps 100,000 brainless EDM tracks where either the same four bars of (inappropriate) drums is played through the entire track is progress ?


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 03:09
My personal view is really, this. 

Even if you're not an aficionado of the electric guitar, then you might want to see its' decline in sales as a worrying indicator about modern music. 

Guitars take a long time to learn to play - you can fake it with a few easy chords at first, but to actually properly learn to *play* - no one plays any more - takes many, many years. We're not in the late 1970's (more's the pity) and people have other distractions. If it comes down to "spend years learning guitar" or "buy simple to play instrument", most people go for the latter.

The fact is, 95%+ of people who buy musical instruments (and this is from a lifetime of playing music never actually learn to play them properly but get away with making noises on them.

And that's the way we're heading.

With no decent musicians coming forward to replace the 1970's generation who could actually play, coupled with an audience who wouldn't know proper music if it bit them on the backside (and Joe Public is really not bothered about whether something is "music" or not) being a competent musician nowadays is like being a Michelin starred chef and having to work in a burger van.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 05:15
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

Strange, all I can hear now is clueless kids making "beats" using Korg Volcas, Novation Circuits and cracked copies of Fruity Loops Studio. 

Perhaps 100,000 brainless EDM tracks where either the same four bars of (inappropriate) drums is played through the entire track is progress ?

 
Hell yeah ... people today claim they can do whatever flies on their 'drive-thru' heads when it comes to music haha .. 'just go for a huge electronic emulator and your da man!' At one side we have those who sponsor electronic hip-hop everywhere.... while on the opposite those avant-gardish electronic music alien niches flourishing​ on every internet corner......... so the question remains 'ad nauseam': what we get in the middle of the road?....yeah!
The overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis restrains people from rewinding the news record archives to refresh their memories...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 05:28
"The slow death of murder" 
Classical music isn't dead, it's more alive than it's ever been. It's just not on MTV.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 07:05
I think the decline is a result of two things. Firstly there are so many masters of guitar now that there isn't a lot of room left to stand out from the crowd. Secondly, it's refreshing to see musicians taking up new instruments that have been neglected instead. The electric guitar will never die. Once it declines in popularity to a certain point there will be a revival.


BTW this forum is EXTRA irritating today. It's taking me 50 friggin times to refresh just to post this

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 07:47
Hi Silly Puppy...... er, well, that's confusing. 

I'm 52 and have been playing since I was 10. I can tell you that there are fewer "masters of guitar" now that they're virtually nonexistent. And the decline of the guitar industry is due to lack of *popular* demand, unless these masters of guitar tend to buy a couple of thousand guitars each. Which doesn't seem to be a logical explanation. 

Musicians are, indeed, taking up new instruments. Extremely badly. The world has changed a lot since I started playing, and not for the better. The *general standard of musicianship* has cruised towards rock bottom. Guitars are difficult to learn. So people don't bother. 

By the same token - with lack of demand - more and more guitar manufacturers are jostling to get a slice of the market from Fender and Gibson. Underdemand and oversupply. Not a comfortable situation. 






Edited by Davesax1965 - July 01 2017 at 08:01
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 08:39
I respectfully disagree. There are more masters of guitar now than ever before in history. There are so many that no one stands out. Personally i love those guitar gods who master every aspect of guitar playing. That means they can tackle metal, rock, prog, flamenco, classical, jazz and still incorporate a healthy dose of creaetive avant-garde. Just a few examples include Buckethead, Matthias IA Eklundh, Marty Friedman and Bumblefoot (all on PA) but there are many more. You might have to dig a little deeper to find them since these guys are rarely featured on the front page of guitar magazines.

While some newer instruments and not always being mastered to perfection, it is a trend that will develop and improve as time goes on. There is also a huge trend of homemade instruments being invented. The problem with commercial guitars is that despite the myriad visual styles and extra features, they bascially are the same instrument with only a few musical variations. I agree that there is a sea of mediocrity out there but there is a huge underground wealth of innovative musicians waiting to be discovered. 

I would also argue that guitars have been eclipsed by keyboards as well. There is a wealth of cool electronic music out these days with much of it being completely without guitar. Personally i love all music despite being a guitarist myself, but i'm also a bassist, drummer, vocalist etc so i don't get hung up on any style or instrument as a holy grail. It's all good in my universe but if you want to find the cool stuff you have to a) not compare to the past and b) dig beneath the surface and c) have an open mind about what is and isn't innovative. Sometimes it's not obvious as to why something is incredibly original because of no frame of reference

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 08:46
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:



I'm 52 and have been playing since I was 10. I can tell you that there are fewer "masters of guitar" now that they're virtually nonexistent. And the decline of the guitar industry is due to lack of *popular* demand, unless these masters of guitar tend to buy a couple of thousand guitars each. Which doesn't seem to be a logical explanation. 

Musicians are, indeed, taking up new instruments. Extremely badly. The world has changed a lot since I started playing, and not for the better. The *general standard of musicianship* has cruised towards rock bottom. Guitars are difficult to learn. So people don't bother. 

By the same token - with lack of demand - more and more guitar manufacturers are jostling to get a slice of the market from Fender and Gibson. Underdemand and oversupply. Not a comfortable situation. 


^Too romantic a view of reality man.... 
And romanticism is tragically murdered by our contemporary popular trends, ending up completely wiped out from the music scene!..
I agree though with today's murderistic popular demands. And yes, times changed....now music industries having to promptly fitting themselves to the ever changing popular demand instead of dictating the trends........ 
The overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis restrains people from rewinding the news record archives to refresh their memories...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 08:47
Uh huh. 

Been going in music shops since.... 1976, personally. You must live in some special part of the world. 

The guitar industry is not kept afloat by "masters of guitar", it's kept afloat by the general public buying guitars, and the figures show they're not, don't they ? Clue. Read the article.

Could you name me some "cool electronic music" by any chance ? 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 08:48
Originally posted by Tillerman88 Tillerman88 wrote:

Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:



I'm 52 and have been playing since I was 10. I can tell you that there are fewer "masters of guitar" now that they're virtually nonexistent. And the decline of the guitar industry is due to lack of *popular* demand, unless these masters of guitar tend to buy a couple of thousand guitars each. Which doesn't seem to be a logical explanation. 

Musicians are, indeed, taking up new instruments. Extremely badly. The world has changed a lot since I started playing, and not for the better. The *general standard of musicianship* has cruised towards rock bottom. Guitars are difficult to learn. So people don't bother. 

By the same token - with lack of demand - more and more guitar manufacturers are jostling to get a slice of the market from Fender and Gibson. Underdemand and oversupply. Not a comfortable situation. 


^Too romantic a view of reality man.... 
And romanticism is tragically murdered by our contemporary popular trends, ending up completely wiped out from the music scene!..
I agree though with today's murderistic popular demands. And yes, times changed....now music industries having to promptly fitting themselves to the ever changing popular demand instead of dictating the trends........ 


Interesting, you seem to be simultaneously agreeing and disagreeing with me. ;-)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 08:56
To quote Silly Puppy

"There is also a huge trend of homemade instruments being invented."

Namely what ???? 

I *have* recently made my own homemade modular synth at component level. I don't see enough people doing it in the UK to fill a Greyhound bus, though. Less than a few hundred may *buy* modules or pre built modular synths (world population of modular synths - 3 to 4,000) (guesstimate) but hardly anyone gets a soldering iron out to make one, unless you're weird and skint, like me. 

I certainly don't look out of the window and see the people around here industriously hammering up their own flugelhorn/dulcimer/sackbut combinations. 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 08:59
As for "cool" modular synths..... 90% of people who own modular synths have beards, cow pat haircuts and a pug called Hugo. They're usually in New Media. They can't actually play, but make stupid noises which they brand "experimental". Most musicians would classify them as "talentless noise". This is not cutting edge so much as toilet edge. 

It has all been done before and was done better the first time around. 

Pass the guitar, please. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 09:27
Starting again.... helps to read the article....

Electric guitar sales are falling as the general public are buying other, easier to play instruments, if they're playing music at all. At a time of decreased demand, Fender and Gibson, who are seeing profits fall, are under increased competition as other guitar manufacturers enter the (diminishing) market and try to shoehorn their guitars in. 

That's the simplified version. Anyone want to disagree with Fender, Gibson, the Washington Post and common sense ? 


Edited by Davesax1965 - July 01 2017 at 09:28
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