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Author Topic: Washington Post - Slow Death of the Electric Guitar & why you should care  (Read 1303 times)
JOYCEfromNS
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« on: June 29, 2017, 11:43:20 PM »

Well I think we saw the writing on the wall for acoustics too a long while ago.

Interesting article HERE
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 11:49:15 PM »

Well I think we saw the writing on the wall for acoustics too a long while ago.

Interesting article HERE

I saw this a few days ago.  A good read...  not that I agree 100% with the basic premise or many of the points, but still, a good read.

Ed
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 12:09:27 AM »

Like most media pieces I take it with a grain of salt as they are trying to sell papers.  I don't believe the electric is dead or even close to it.  Just going thru a little climate change.  Interesting read though. 
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 01:13:18 AM »

Perhaps the marketing and star manufacturers aren't doing the job they once did. There are still lots of great players, they aren't being used by the "big machines" to make fortunes like they once did. Now an artist is producing their own works with the new recording machines and some savvy, but they are not getting exposure which inspires beginner's to press on.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 04:11:46 PM »

Well, when was the last time you pulled up next to a car at a red light and the driver was playing air guitar?  Used to happen all the time.  No good new guitar bands ...... do not want to start an esoteric argument about how many great new bands are on alt radio.....
The 60's and 70's ...... guys wanted to be those guitar players.  Things go away.  In the 50's, guys collected baseball cards and idolized baseball players.   Every guy had a baseball glove.  Bet not many have them now. 
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 05:10:36 PM »

The problem {if there really is one} is there are no real record labels selling guitar bands.There on youtube doing there own thing.
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 06:18:51 PM »

The problem {if there really is one} is there are no real record labels selling guitar bands.There on youtube doing there own thing.

Just my point. The big labels used to have artists trapped in contracts so it was in their interest to promote the band. All about $
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 11:42:14 PM »

Perhaps the marketing and star manufacturers aren't doing the job they once did. There are still lots of great players, they aren't being used by the "big machines" to make fortunes like they once did. Now an artist is producing their own works with the new recording machines and some savvy, but they are not getting exposure which inspires beginner's to press on.

There are many new great guitar bands but the points above all apply as well. That article is not well researched.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 12:36:36 AM »

All I know is what I see.  And I see new music schools starting up even in very small towns like the one I live in with < 13k population.  I also see a whole bunch of talented kids playing the guitar on the internet, both acoustic and electric, and like the article says Most of them are girls...  very, very talented girls and young women that just seem to take right to it.  Some are already great songwriters and I recognize some that are destined to be famous.  Here in Texas, new bands seem to be proliferating, but the managerial aspects of controlling their futures is declining because many of them can and do, forge ahead all on their own.  So the internet, and all of the affordable recording equipment available to young musicians these days is making their startups a lot simpler.  There are even strategists that hold seminars and explain to them up front about the total importance of having a huge social media presence and how it will accelerate their advancement.  Kids are paying attention to this stuff too, and they are using all of the learning tools available to them on the internet.  I am FB friends with a bunch of them and I follow their progress, which some of them are exponentially excelling at implementing. 

Meanwhile, I keep selling guitars and enjoy playing for as long as I am still able.  We old Boomers may be aging out, but I think it is far from being over...
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »

Thanks Andrew,

Well I think we saw the writing on the wall for acoustics too a long while ago.

Interesting article HERE

I read this and thought...

Maybe I should have sold the electric guitars first...

Nah they are way more fun.

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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 04:42:21 AM »

I gotta say again, what a terribly 'researched' article.  So many assumptions made that aren't backed up by facts.

Assumption 1 not backed up by facts:  Guitar solo heros - since there aren't as many now as the music styles drove in the 70's and 80's = death of electric guitar.

Wrong.  Author is right that the guitar solo is no longer a standard feature in pop music;

Name one Beatles killer guitar solo or the Beatle's guitar hero worship song.  The Beatles had great riffs, but very little in the way of blistering solos.  The Beatles were hugely responsible for the surge in guitar sales at the time.  Epiphone was sure glad for the Beatles.  The lack of pop-culture worship of soloist wizardry does not equal a death of the electric guitar.  Here's the actual reality; there are thousands of guitar wizards across the planet today that only YouTube users know about.  Guitar solo wizardry has become somewhat of a commodity.  Long ago, that wasn't the case.  There are under 10 year old kids that can play anything that the guitar hero's of olde were know for - they didn't invent it, but they can play it.  Pick any killer solo, with the words '10 year old' on a Youtube search, and you are almost assured some kid has a video posted of him or her blazing through an Eddie Van Halen solo and doing an insanely good job of it.  You'll also find all the tablature and notation you need, the signal chain, etc.  We used to have to pay for all of that in sheet music, magazines, etc.  Ability to record a video of a kid doing a burning solo - that's in your pocket. 

Assumption 2:  Financial trouble at Gibson, Guitar Center, Fender = slow death of the electric guitar.  Again wrong.  Bad business decisions, among other things, drive Gibson's problems.  Not a lack of interest in guitars.  Gibson and Fender both (Gibson more guilty of this) have such a fear of moving away from their 4 core models and marketing them.  If it isn't a Strat or LP, or Tele, or SG - then it's not worthy of investment; just figure out ways to make them cheaper overseas.  Gibson and Fender both equipped the world's low cost country's abilities to make decent quality instruments for next to no money; which that is what enabled the millions to afford cheap guitars not branded Fender or Gibson.

Assumption 3:  Gruhn's sales down = slow death of the electric guitar.  Again wrong.  I've been to Gruhn Guitars new location in Nashville.  One of those Mecca experiences like shopping at Elderly Instruments in East Lansing, MI.  Elderly has affordable stuff, Gruhn does not.  By affordable, I mean something that a kid can buy and learn on.  I loved being at Gruhn, but that was as a 40+ year old man.  They have a great selection of expensive instruments.  They cater to the professional musician at his store, and he can afford to do that being in Nashville with all the pros and the wannabe pros.  If it wasn't for Gruhn, I wouldn't know about the 8 string baritone that Taylor has on the market.

Assumption 4:  Kids learning 30-50 year old songs at Schools of Rock instead of newer songs = death of electric guitar.  There are loads more resources for learning older songs than brand new ones.  Lot's more lessons, lots more YouTube videos on how to play the older songs, etc.

Not an assumption, but shows the author's lack of understanding of Rush and perhaps his past-pop-culture only view of guitar in general:  "Rush’s prog-metal is not for beginners, with its time shifts and reggae twist."

It's clear that the author has listened to exactly one Rush song in his lifetime:  "Spirit of the Radio", and he heard it at his visit to a School of Rock.  Name another Rush song that has a 'reggae twist'.  Would you EVER characterize Rush, in a single sentence opportunity, as stating it has a 'reggae twist'?  Did he mistakenly mix up Rush with The Police?  There's hardly more than 20 seconds total of reggae in that 5+ minute long song, and quite possibly the only famous 20 seconds of anything reggae in all of Rush's decades long discography.  For that matter, 'metal'?

There is no death of electric guitar - I would guess it's more popular than ever, it's just not controlled by a select few companies; same as music in general.  Same as GM, Ford and Chrysler learning the hard lessons of having to compete with global competition. 

Album Oriented Rock is not as popular since the early 80's; AOR lends itself to longer songs and therefore room for a guitar solo - well, that's probably not coming back.  But neither are video arcades, shopping malls, the Big 3 dominance of the auto industry, etc.  But do people still play video games, buy stuff, drive cars?  Absolutely, more than ever.  The types of things that are in these categories has spread out with less dominant character, but by no means are any of them going away.  This is what happens with more and more individual choice.

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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 06:14:08 AM »

Well, I think the article makes valid points.  Why is GC having such problems?  No one is buying their wares.  Of course, the internet might have something to do with that, but for sure, guitar sales, esp. electric, are down significantly.  Why did Larrivee stop making electrics?
From my point of view, new music sucks.  When kids pull up next to me with radio blaring, I roll up the window.  Woman .... supposedly divas..... wailing like they are in pain, inane rap with booming bass and moronic, obscene lyrics .... no thanks.
Then again ....JMO
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 01:25:07 PM »

From my point of view, new music sucks.  When kids pull up next to me with radio blaring, I roll up the window.  Woman .... supposedly divas..... wailing like they are in pain, inane rap with booming bass and moronic, obscene lyrics .... no thanks.
Then again ....JMO
Steve, you sound like an old man.  bigrin
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2017, 03:38:34 PM »

I have yet to see the statistics that show overall electric guitar sales are down.  Difficult to gather that info, my guess.  What kids blare on the radio is also not an indication of whether or not people are buying and playing guitars.  Why Larrivée quit selling electrics might have something to do with their price point in a very saturated market. Very few kids would have been buying them or parents buying them as Birthday or graduation presents.
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 04:44:18 PM »

Even good music to listen to made by youngsters is presented in such different fashion these days.  Many kids produce Youtube music videos from their bedrooms and sometimes gain a million or more viewers.  Lots of 4 or 5 song EP's being released on itunes instead of full length albums too.  Even more single releases.  A lot easier to market yourself without a lot of overhead these days.  Bands seem to be able to fill their calendars with gigs from their followers without need of a management company.  None of these things were true when we were coming up, and I think it was just so much more difficult to get discovered...
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 04:53:28 PM »

Well seeing as the Larrivee's mentioned at the Vancouver guitar festival that they are going to start making electrics again this year, I don't think they feel the electric market is dying. That's all that matters to me. I started squirreling money away, and convincing my wife of my need of a Larrivee electric once I heard this at the festival.
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broKen
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2017, 05:37:11 PM »

I have yet to see the statistics that show overall electric guitar sales are down.  Difficult to gather that info, my guess.  What kids blare on the radio is also not an indication of whether or not people are buying and playing guitars.  Why Larrivée quit selling electrics might have something to do with their price point in a very saturated market. Very few kids would have been buying them or parents buying them as Birthday or graduation presents.

Yep, also there is a glut of used guitars changing hands. Those exchanges don't make it in sales statistics.
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2017, 05:40:15 PM »

Even good music to listen to made by youngsters is presented in such different fashion these days.  Many kids produce Youtube music videos from their bedrooms and sometimes gain a million or more viewers.  Lots of 4 or 5 song EP's being released on itunes instead of full length albums too.  Even more single releases.  A lot easier to market yourself without a lot of overhead these days.  Bands seem to be able to fill their calendars with gigs from their followers without need of a management company.  None of these things were true when we were coming up, and I think it was just so much more difficult to get discovered...

Thanks for repeating my point, which may have been a little "blunt". 
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2017, 07:07:38 PM »

It might just be time for electric guitars to lose favor...  they had a long run.  Some of the new dj gear and controller surfaces are pretty cool, and what these youngsters do with them is pretty well done and innovative.

As far as new music?  That I'm not especially fond of it is part of a he point, I think...  just like the blaring guitars of my generation being very different than the music of a generation or two before me.  That loud thumpty thump might just be the kids way of saying sit down and shut up old man.  That I get it, or like it has nothing to do with an artist producing their art.

Ed
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2017, 08:17:20 PM »


As far as new music?  That I'm not especially fond of it is part of a he point, I think...  just like the blaring guitars of my generation being very different than the music of a generation or two before me.  That loud thumpty thump might just be the kids way of saying sit down and shut up old man.  That I get it, or like it has nothing to do with an artist producing their art.
Well put 
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