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The slow, secret death of the six-string electric...


klangmaler
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Yup, everybody likes what they like. Best way to guarantee that a kid will have no interest in music (or anything else for that matter) is to force it on them....

 

This isn't true, at least in my case. When I was kid of around eight, I basically had guitar forced on me. I had no idea whether or not I liked the thing, and may or may not have even picked it up if it wasn't forced on me. Either way, I'm glad the decision was made for me because it's become something that's stuck with me for basically my entire life from the point I picked it up until now. It could have went a different direction...

 

Besides, what's the worst that could've happened if I didn't like it? I suppose if it was continually forced upon me (which it wouldn't have been), I might have gone off and become a mass murderer. :ph34r:

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Like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, you mean, those no-guitar pop bands?

 

 

As far as I'm concerned, neither of those acts fall into the "pop" category. Now we can argue over what the definition of "pop" is if you want, but that seems rather pointless...so much so, I've already lost interest.

 

There's really nothing to argue about, "pop" is short for "popular." It's not genre specific, although it has gotten more so than it once was. There was a time when even instrumentals by bands like The Ventures and Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass were Top 40 hits. In the early '70s, a prog rock tune like Yes' "Roundabout" or Kansas' "Point of Know Return" were in the Top 40. By today's standards, that stuff wouldn't be considered "pop," but it was at the time. Needless to say, times have changed a lot and musicians are just inconsequential pawns in most of today's pop... if they're involved at all. 

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Hmmm, so the Beatles and the Stones aren't pop acts? Tell that to their screaming fans.

 

But like you pointed out, doesn't matter.

Well if that's the only yardstick used to designate one as a "pop" artist, then everything is pop music, making it a truly meaningless designation. Mozart had lots of fans, and so does Metallica...therefore, they're both "pop" music?

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This isn't true, at least in my case. When I was kid of around eight, I basically had guitar forced on me. I had no idea whether or not I liked the thing, and may or may not have even picked it up if it wasn't forced on me. Either way, I'm glad the decision was made for me because it's become something that's stuck with me for basically my entire life from the point I picked it up until now. It could have went a different direction...

 

Besides, what's the worst that could've happened if I didn't like it? I suppose if it was continually forced upon me (which it wouldn't have been), I might have gone off and become a mass murderer. :ph34r:

 

Ironically, I had the opposite. A guitar was all I wanted but **poof**: piano, then brass instruments for quite a long time. When Bill had earned enough money to score a guitar and afford lessons then the magic happened. Downside: I can sight read and notate bass clef like a champ, treble I still have to pause. Every Good Boy Does Fine, FACE :O

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While I agree with the title of the article, I DO NOT agree with the reasoning.  There are more new guitar players, or guitarists in general than any time in history.  In the past few years there's a whole gender of rock guitarists popping up that was almost non-existent  10 years ago.  But what has changed is a combination of lack of need or care about "high-end" pricey guitars and looking for the "holy grail" of tone.  The want a guitar that's playable.  You don't need to spend more than a few hundred bucks for a decent guitar anymore.  Will it last?  who cares.. if it falls apart they'll get another.   Sorry, but that's the hard truth.   There are of course exceptions to the rule, always, but I've been to NAMM and purposely sat back and watched "the kids" and what they go after.  Honestly it's impressive and inspiring to see that they could give a rats patoot about what "hero" played what guitar...  they want what they can play and what they think looks cool.  It's truly inspiring.... and mind you...  if a kid is at NAMM, they are not "typical" because they are there because a family member or friend etc.. is in the business.    That makes in more poignant.  They have been likely exposed to the best of the best, all the hype, the artists... and yet... they just want what they want.    

No, I do not think the Electric Guitar is going anywhere...    The companies that are smart, are already making, or working toward making, quality affordable guitars.  What we will see are less and less of are the guitars in the $1000+ range on the rack...  but...  there are literally millions of these instruments out there already.   They will find homes, switch homes, etc..  

 

And lets give a nod to the local luthiers..   The guys that make a few guitars a year.   THAT business is booming and on the upswing like never before.   I believe because many younger players, who are the exception to the rule and are looking for tone, and woods etc etc..  recognize that they can have a better quality guitar built to spec than many of the high-end "production" guitars on the rack, for equal or in most cases, much LESS money.  If they are discerning enough to care about build quality...  names like Fender and Gibson mean nothing to them.

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While I agree with the title of the article, I DO NOT agree with the reasoning.  There are more new guitar players, or guitarists in general than any time in history.  In the past few years there's a whole gender of rock guitarists popping up that was almost non-existent  10 years ago. 

 

 

While I agree with your premise regarding guitars, I think you'd have an extraordinarily hard time supporting the idea that there are more new guitar player or guitarists in general than any time in history.  Particularly when you look at the absolutely MASSIVE surge in guitar sales and music stores in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  Every kid wanted to be the next Buddy Holly, or The Beatles, or the Monkees, or Jimi Hendrix, or The Clash.  Those were social movements in society which you don't see now.

 

But I would agree that the article may be off in it's measurement of guitar sales because the variety and sources of guitar sales is so broad at this point.  In the end, however, it's the music that's popular to the masses that determines the interest in music.  A good example is all of the "American Idol" type shows that spotlight singers.  You don't see any "Guitar Idol" shows out there, do you?  In fact, I'm not sure the Guitar Idol game is doing so well right now.

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Don't get discouraged if at some point they tell you they aren't interested in music.  Both of my sons were exposed to music and to me performing with bands from the time they were very young.  They liked it at first but at some point their interests diverged into THEIR interests not mine.  Neither took up music seriously, but my youngest did become a professional dancer...so at least the performing bug got to him....

 

Agreed, it's the music theory and education that I think is most important.  I would certainly hope that they would continue to pursue it as a hobby if not professionally. 

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And lets give a nod to the local luthiers.. The guys that make a few guitars a year. THAT business is booming and on the upswing like never before. I believe because many younger players, who are the exception to the rule and are looking for tone, and woods etc etc.. recognize that they can have a better quality guitar built to spec than many of the high-end "production" guitars on the rack, for equal or in most cases, much LESS money. If they are discerning enough to care about build quality... names like Fender and Gibson mean nothing to them.

Amen...THIS is where you should spend your money if you're looking for genuine craftsmanship and attention to detail. It's a labor of love for those guys, not an assembly line. I've known only one personally and professionally for about 20 yrs now, and he estimates that he spends about 150-200 hours per instrument. I waited almost 2 years for mine. For me it was likely a once in a lifetime purchase. It wasn't cheap in '99 when I got it, and I can't afford today's price...but I'd rather have that one guitar than any 10 Gibsons or Fenders on the planet.

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There's one in this old thread... you'll have to scroll down to it

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/27641-ot-something-new-to-plug-into-the-helix/?fromsearch=1

 

Don't have any others handy at the moment, but this will give you an idea.

 

Is that a Bill Lawrence pickup or two I see in there? The middle pickup looks like one. I remember seeing a pickup like the bridge but I can't remember if that was a Bill Lawerence or not. Been a long time since I've even heard the name! Never tried them but they always got rave reviews.

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Is that a Bill Lawrence pickup or two I see in there? The middle pickup looks like one. I remember seeing a pickup like the bridge but I can't remember if that was a Bill Lawerence or not. Been a long time since I've even heard the name! Never tried them but they always got rave reviews.

Bridge: Duncan Parallel Axis

Middle: Joe Barden...I forget the the model

Neck: Don't laugh...I pulled it out of an old Carvin guitar that I bought second hand years ago cause it has a great sound, but I haven't a clue what it is, lol.

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It used to be that in order to make guitars on a medium to large scale you required a dedicated staff of luthiers and a lot of elbow grease. Then along came computer and robotic aided production, laser etching, near flawless reverse engineering, and the rest of it, and the barriers of entry that formerly included extensive knowledge of guitar-making required to be a major quality guitar maker reduced dramatically. Guitars can now be made quickly en masse in factories by people who would have little chance of constructing a quality guitar by themselves but can run a machine on a production line This has probably flooded the market to some extent.

 

Guitars have been morphing slowly to try and keep up with the evolving technology and shifting styles of pop music. We've got synth guitars, Variax, and lately we have seen several options for guitar add-ons that provide MIDI triggering pads and other innovations that broaden a guitar's potential role, and notably, require it to be played in entirely new ways. Maybe the next Edward Van Halen doing with this technology what Eddie did for tapping will help popularize these new technologies added to the guitar. I expect at some point some of these add-ons will be offered stock as built-in options. There are software alternatives that are also adding new capabilities to the guitar. I think there will always be room for the classic basic electric/acoustic guitar designs as well, even if demand decreases. It has been a long time since Beethoven and people still play the cello.

 

Some interesting devices/software to add on to a guitar:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/source-audio-hot-hand-3-universal-wireless-effects-controller?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CL29mKW55tQCFcmPswodJAEGDQ&kwid=productads-adid^156717928496-device^c-plaid^143209124442-sku^J01119000000000@ADL4MF-adType^PLA

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GuitarWing?product_id=GuitarWing&campaigntype=shopping&campaign=aaShopping%2520-%2520Core&adgroup=Guitars%2520-%2520Electric%2520-%2520Other&keyword=%5B315663918608%3A*%2520%2F%2520custom%2520label%25202%2520%3D%2520%22in%2520stock%22%2520%2F%2520product%2520type%2520%3D%2520%22guitars%22%2520%2F%2520product%2520type%2520%3D%2520%22electric%2520&placement=google&adpos=1o1&creative=55280653081&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CMqfmsq15tQCFctLDQodz8sJDA

 

https://www.acpad.com/

 

https://www.jamorigin.com/

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 It wasn't cheap in '99 when I got it, and I can't afford today's price...but I'd rather have that one guitar than any 10 Gibsons or Fenders on the planet.

 

Amen...   And you'd be surprised at how affordable custom, really nice custom guitars can be had.  Not cheap, but not any more than a new production line guitar unless you go over-the-top with options.  

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Every kid wanted to be the next Buddy Holly, or The Beatles, or the Monkees, or Jimi Hendrix, or The Clash.  Those were social movements in society which you don't see now.

 

I agree on the "hard to tabulate aspect"..   However, if you look at YouTube, it's like all there are is young guitar players... 1000's upon 1000's of them.  I think it just just depends on where you look.  And... maybe more importantly...  most of those guitars (I think it's safe to say just most) sold in the 60's 70's and 80's are still in service, on top of the plethora of new guitars out there.

 

That's the premise for my comment about more now "playing" then ever.  There are just so many instruments out there, it's mind boggling.  Ovation, a smaller one of the big guitar makers, was making 600,000 instruments per year in the 80's.  That's just one company, and they're still cranking them out.  Fender, PRS, Gibson, Ibanez, Yamaha..   I think it's safe to say that if spread out evenly, a good portion of everyone on earth could have a guitar at this point..   Remember, the brands I mentioned aren't even the tip of the iceberg..  think of all the brands that have come and gone worldwide...  There are a LOT of guitars out there.

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Yeah, and it's not like guitars wear out from normal use. Unless you're smashing guitars on stage, about the worst you can do to a guitar to affect its playability is wear down some frets a bit.

 

The first guitar I bought, over 30 years ago, was the only guitar I played - almost daily - until about two years ago. It looks a bit worse for the wear (let's call it "naturally relic'd") but still plays as well as the day I bought it.

 

I finally got some new guitars to play last year. Inexpensive Chinese-made but pretty high build quality. On par with my old Yamaha, but half the cost - not factoring in inflation.

 

30 years from now, all of them will still be solid guitars. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll still be playing them. If not, maybe my grandkids or great grandkids. But the fact that someone will still be playing them isn't good news for the guitar-making industry. Doesn't mean rock is dead, tho

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