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Tillerman88 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 09:58
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

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. 

I can see where you are going at.... perhaps the easiest time for players and the hardest time to composers, who are fearing they're having to be just like genius parasites in order to survive... IMO, they feed voraciously on the song matter of THEIR time in order to engender something new. 
BTW, a simple retrospect provides plain evidence that they have gone through a rough stretch in the past hundred years, facing external obstacles (Hitler and Stalin were amateur music critics) as well as problems of their own invention - “Why doesn’t anyone like our beautiful twelve-tone music?”.......


Edited by Tillerman88 - July 01 2017 at 09:59
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 10:01
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

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. ;-)
 
You are about right.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 10:08
Love it, thanks. ;-)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 10:48
You should check YouTube videos talking about it. Most people heavily criticize the post because it's... well, a big false correlation. Electric guitar has never been so common. Sure, it's not the ~main point~ of music like it used to be in the 70's/80's rock and metal, but it's really present as another rhythm instrument. So in the end that's a pretty fallacious post...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 12:29
There are likely more passionate musicians today than ever before in human history. Concerns about the downfall of music/art/civilization/attention spans/intelligence are understandable but ultimately unwarranted. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 17:51
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 18:58
Let's face it, the guitar is perhaps simple enough to learn to strum a G, C, D or Em and play a three or four chord tune, but every one of you know that really playing the damn thing is almost a ritual of hours of practice every day to become good, and it is an unceasing task (I've played 40+ years and many compositions are still mystifying and beyond my inept fingers). 

You have to really love the guitar and you have to have patience. You have to have patience tuning and stringing and working up calluses. You have to have patience starting a band and meshing with other guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.

I simply believe that in this instant-gratification, iPhone app, YouTube fame in a 10-minute span existence, where no one sits still long enough to read a damn book or watch a movie with actual dialogue and no explodey things blowing up every few seconds, that there is a generation of people growing up that simply have no time to dedicate themselves to such an instrument. The whole preponderance of preprogrammed studio bilge vomited up on whichever stream you happen to prefer is eliminating the need for musical virtuosity, and not just guitar -- any demanding instrument.

Earlier this year, I had the arduous task of taking my 17 year-old daughter to an Ariana Grande/Little Mix concert (at a venue where I once saw the likes of Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, Peter Gabriel and Yes -- it was certainly quite the experience). I enjoyed my time with my daughter, of course, but I was struck by the fact that the backup performers Little Mix had no band, and Ariana Grande's band only materialized from backstage an hour into her set . Her dancers were onstage longer than the band was, and it was almost all preprogrammed. Extrapolate this across the spectrum of current popular music where hip-hop artists spit out tortured rhyming doggerel verse over drum machines and plinking prerecorded pianos and a deejay or two in the back, maybe throwing in a bassist or drummer occasionally, diva vocalists sing karaoke-style to crowds who are obviously oblivious, or guys without any backup and just a turntable or two playing hypno-techno-whatevero.

What will be left of music in another 20 or 30 years? Yes, I know I am a curmudgeonly old fart who is only a few years away from yelling "Get off my grass, you damn kids!" but I don't think I am that far off in my concern.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 19:09
There is little doubt that as a cultural/musical icon the importance of the electric guitar, and therefore new students, has diminished.   This may be due to a break in a tradition dating back to the 1950s of continuous guitar 'heroes' ~ the Les Paul;Jimi Hendrix;Jimmy Page;Eddie Van Halen;Yngwie Malmsteen continuum ~ and a general lessening of the guitar's romantic and, as Davesax points out, challenging image.   The long-held notion that "the guitar is easy to learn but difficult to master" is an understatement.   As any guitarist will tell you, playing an axe physically hurts (and often emotionally discouraging) when one compares one's playing to a Steve Howe or Allan Holdsworth.

The other thing most players don't realize (or deny) is that every player has limits and plateaus that may not be overcome with practice or group playing.   Hendrix had huge hands and was a lefty, things that gave him a big advantage over the average rock player.   Page had been a studio musician and professional gigger since he was a very young man.   Eddie had been playing piano since childhood and he and Alex were jamming together since their teens.   All advantages that are unique and helped them climb the rock 'n roll food chain.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2017 at 21:06
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

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. 






Let me respond to a few of your points. Firstly, the electric guitar is well over a half of a century old now and it's hardly a novelty anymore. 

As you state 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 ?

i would argue that the virtuosity seen in today's megaplayers is one of the reasons that people are moving on to other instruments. to be a bigwig in the guitar world requires total dedication and very few are willing to devote their lives to the love of playing an instrument. the very fact that the electric guitar has evolved into unthinkable technical mastery was unthinkable decades ago and many people most likely feel that the instrument has literally played itself out and it's time for world dominance has had more than a fair run. it will always be around for the rest of time just like pianos, trumpets and every other instrument but the days of its utmost domination have waned i'm afraid. those sales figures in the article are hardly anything to sob about. guitar manufacturers have built up an empire and the industry doesn't know how to keep up with the changing world. 

as i stated earlier there is a trend towards DIY instruments and DIY guitar construction, not to mention that the music world has splintered into a million subgenres since home recording has become so much easier. There is no longer a cohesive arena for musicans to be penned in for their music to be heard. With the rise in synthesized sounds, guitar like sounds are as ubiquitious as food like substances (hello Twinkies). 

another point i feel is relevant is that there have been a gazillion guitars produced over the previous century and there is a HUUUUUGE market for used guitars on the market with a greater emphasis on quality over quantity. add the fact that there are more indy guitar makers and it's no wonder the master of yesterday's game are feeling a pinch in sales. there are just too many factors to make this a simple topic.

however, despite lackluster sales.... the electric guitar is here to stay. hooray Clap

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 00:56
Originally posted by mechanicalflattery mechanicalflattery wrote:

There are likely more passionate musicians today than ever before in human history. Concerns about the downfall of music/art/civilization/attention spans/intelligence are understandable but ultimately unwarranted. 


Let's see. You're 21. I'm 52. 

I've been playing music on a near daily basis for 42 years, which is twice the amount of time you've been alive.

Unlike you, I was actually there during a lot of the musical history you refer to.

Who'd more likely to be correct ?  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 00:58
PS Silly Puppy, you honestly don't have a clue what you're talking about, either. 

Although you're right on the amount of second hand guitars out there, the rest of your post has absolutely no grounding in reality. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 01:11
As The Dark Elf and Atavachron mention above, and thanks to both of them, the guitar is very easy to learn on a *basic* level - strumming a few open chords - but to actually learn how to play it properly takes many years. Apart from the pain aspect of fretting and bending notes, you have barre chords and stretches which are physically very painful. 

On top of that, it takes many, many years to become a PROPER MUSICIAN - if some of the younger audience are listening, here. There are a number of stages - being confined by the physical limitations of learning the instrument, deviation from normal learning and then mastery. Look up "shuhari" as a concept - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuhari - it's the best explanation I've found for what's been a 40 year stint in music. 

The problem is that the guitar is indeed difficult. ( I've handed experienced bassists a fretless bass and watched as their frame of reference disappears, different story. ;-) ) So's the sax, which I of course play. There is no way of getting good results out without a lot of practice, but you CAN buy a modern digital synth and get instant results, coupled with something like an Arturia Beatstep or Novation Circuit.

The problem is that whatever the instrument, you've not short circuited the necessary process of learning required to become a musician, and that process is (after a certain point) not concerned with the instrument you have in your hands. First you learn the instrument, then you master the music, then you just play, to quote Charlie Parker. 

The internet is now full of "musicians" who are nothing of the sort. They are, at best, "players" or even "performers" with no clue and no reference points. And they're quite happy to tell you how wonderful they all are and how they don't have to listen to you crusty old farts. 

Which partially explains the mess the music world is in at the moment. The slow death of the electric guitar is really the slow death of the proper musician. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 01:15
Originally posted by Luqueasaur Luqueasaur wrote:

You should check YouTube videos talking about it. Most people heavily criticize the post because it's... well, a big false correlation. Electric guitar has never been so common. Sure, it's not the ~main point~ of music like it used to be in the 70's/80's rock and metal, but it's really present as another rhythm instrument. So in the end that's a pretty fallacious post...

Best to read the article, this is a fairly serious one by the Washington Post containing facts and figures, such as how much Fender, Gibson and Paul Reed Smiths' profits have slid of late. 

Thank God someone mentioned rhythm guitar. ;-) 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 03:12
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

As The Dark Elf and Atavachron mention above, and thanks to both of them, the guitar is very easy to learn on a *basic* level - strumming a few open chords - but to actually learn how to play it properly takes many years. Apart from the pain aspect of fretting and bending notes, you have barre chords and stretches which are physically very painful. 

On top of that, it takes many, many years to become a PROPER MUSICIAN - if some of the younger audience are listening, here. There are a number of stages - being confined by the physical limitations of learning the instrument, deviation from normal learning and then mastery. Look up "shuhari" as a concept - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuhari - it's the best explanation I've found for what's been a 40 year stint in music. 

The problem is that the guitar is indeed difficult. ( I've handed experienced bassists a fretless bass and watched as their frame of reference disappears, different story. ;-) ) So's the sax, which I of course play. There is no way of getting good results out without a lot of practice, but you CAN buy a modern digital synth and get instant results, coupled with something like an Arturia Beatstep or Novation Circuit.

The problem is that whatever the instrument, you've not short circuited the necessary process of learning required to become a musician, and that process is (after a certain point) not concerned with the instrument you have in your hands. First you learn the instrument, then you master the music, then you just play, to quote Charlie Parker. 

The internet is now full of "musicians" who are nothing of the sort. They are, at best, "players" or even "performers" with no clue and no reference points. And they're quite happy to tell you how wonderful they all are and how they don't have to listen to you crusty old farts. 

Which partially explains the mess the music world is in at the moment. The slow death of the electric guitar is really the slow death of the proper musician. 


I don't think many of us would disagree that the physical difficulties of learning the guitar are significant to get past and that the majority of starters probably give up long before even the first callus has formed on one of their stiff little fingers. As both you and others have pointed out, there may be many sociological reasons for this apart from the instant gratification mindset of dilettantes and the perceived lack of knowledge of their target audience. That said, there must be examples of gifted songwriters and composers who created 'proper music' but could not be described as anything but 'rudimentary' on a particular instrument. I'm thinking principally of people like Ray Davies, Joe Strummer, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Jon Anderson, Peter Gabriel, John Lydon, Mark E Smith. (the list goes on) Some classical composers who either didn't play any instrument or were by their own admission 'lousy' on the one they did: John Mackey, Berlioz, Toru Takemitsu.Tchaikovsky, William Walton, Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt, Christopher Rouse (the list goes on)
It seems to be a particular PA malaise that we are often guilty of measuring the artistic merit of music by the difficulty of its execution. I've never bought into the complex = good equation as there is music that is brilliant and simple and music that is brilliant and also complex. They're certainly not mutually exclusive and it's perfectly acceptable to enjoy both.
As far as guitar playing goes, I'd much rather have a modestly gifted innovator than a virtuoso who can merely replicate everything verbatim that came before (like a historian armed with a sampler) The legions of guitarists who graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood could all certainly play/shred like speed typists but most of their alumni have produced some of the most tedious dross imaginable

We could probably debate all day about what constitutes 'proper music/musician', 'rudimentary' and how to evaluate whether anyone can 'really play' or not. Forgetting about our own lifetime frames of reference for a second, music is changing and our attitudes as creators and consumers will also continue to change. The mess that you describe the music world being in seems both inevitable but transitory i.e. we are morphing from 50 years of A&R men talent spotting artists who then work for record companies to repay their advance to a post-internet model where the artist finally seems to have the opportunity for a commensurate degree of financial and artistic control. (Albeit the market has fractured into millions of tiny little unrecognisable brands) It seems clear that this technology will open up the marketplace to the types of future musicians that we today would not recognise as traditional time served apprentices who have mastered their craft. Whether this is a good or bad thing I can't say but less interference from corporate dictates and more artistic freedom should actually result in more good music?. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that 200 years from now, a Fender Stratocaster plugged into a Fender amp will elicit the sort of response engendered today by a medieval lute.


Edited by ExittheLemming - July 02 2017 at 03:36
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 04:34
No no, not saying "complex equals good", I'm saying that musician equals someone who is capable of actually playing, rather than performing from music learnt by rote. You have to be an improvising musician to understand the concept, I'm afraid. 

This used to be quite popular in the 1970's. Lost art. 

Secondary to the, er, stated fact that the electric guitar is declining in popularity, though. 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 04:52
OK you've now moved on from 'real musician' to the all encompassing 'musician=' Being able to improvise on your chosen instrument is not some sort of litmus test of being a 'real musician'. Many of the finest orchestral players, composers and songwriters probably couldn't improvise to save themselves but the latter two groups wrote the sorts of 'jazz and rock standards' over which those who can, do. Are these people not real musicians?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 05:17
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

...there must be examples of gifted songwriters and composers who created 'proper music' but could not be described as anything but 'rudimentary' on a particular instrument. I'm thinking principally of people like Ray Davies, Joe Strummer, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Jon Anderson, Peter Gabriel, John Lydon, Mark E Smith. (the list goes on) Some classical composers who either didn't play any instrument or were by their own admission 'lousy' on the one they did: John Mackey, Berlioz, Toru Takemitsu.Tchaikovsky, William Walton, Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt, Christopher Rouse (the list goes on)

Hell yeah.... history tells us that the most gifted composers ever coudn't perform their own works more brilliantly than a damn gifted player........ no matter whether mere copycats or unique and characteristical performances. But man ... nearly all of the composers you mentioned were surrounded by one of the best generations of performers ever in the music history!



Edited by Tillerman88 - July 02 2017 at 05:19
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 07:47
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

PS Silly Puppy, you honestly don't have a clue what you're talking about, either. 

Although you're right on the amount of second hand guitars out there, the rest of your post has absolutely no grounding in reality. 


What world do you live in? You must be in a very tight bubble not to experience the obvious. Do you think i'm just making all this up? 

I've personally experienced and verified every single thing i'm talking about but if you want to have a pity party about declining guitar sales believe anything you want.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 08:12
Here's another nice list with videos of musicians (some evern famous) with their homemade instruments.
But of course i'm making it up and faked all these videos myself

Rare And Strange Instruments - Home

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2017 at 08:33
^Sorry man but unusual and strange instruments are an ever present part of musical history, as long as experimental music has always existed as well.... I don't see either any correlation with the thread subject (or the WP article for that matter)
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