No-one plays guitar anymore?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Vyn, Feb 12, 2018 at 3:39 AM.

  1. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    From memory there was a thread on this but I'll be damned if I can remember where the hell it was.

    When I was growing up, through school we had compulsory music classes in first year high. Guitar was a massively popular instrument and more often than not there wasn't enough to go around so the options were either share or play sax or something else. Most of those would then go on to choose music as an elective further on through high school and by the time final year hit, I'd say there would have been around 65-70% retention overall for guitar alone, not including music in general. The standard as well of school bands (ALL of them - rock, jazz, big band, concert band etc) was pretty killer, you would struggle to pick a bad one.

    Fast forward to now. Schools are doing cross-school bands to try and get numbers, music departments are being underfunded as a result in the decline of numbers (which just ends up being a massive feedback loop). I recently caught up with my local high school and the music classes are tiny in comparison to what they used to be. The standard of playing seems to have dropped as well.

    What happened? Has our lovely social media/instant gratification binge killed people's desires to spend time and effort to progress in learning something or is it just not 'cool' to play music anymore?
     
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  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    People are just as into music, it's just fewer people are learning guitar specifically.

    Virtual instruments are the future. Every year they get better sounding, easier to use and program, cheaper to obtain and so on.

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. There will always be great, guitar oriented music in our lifetime.
     
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  3. InHiding

    InHiding SS.org Regular

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    Yeah but a guitar player looks cool, a virtual instrument player looks like horseshit
     
  4. Veldar

    Veldar Is Post-Thrash?

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    Ableton is the new Guitar
     
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  5. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I see kids playing guitar all the time. Guitar shops are full of younger people. Booking a studio practice space is a nightmare because there are so many people, and the waiting rooms are always full. But that's probably because Japan is stuck in the 80s and rock music is still cool.
     
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  6. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    Wow Australian schools sound pretty badass, in my school all we had was a concert band so you had a wide choice of woodwind or brass instruments. Sitting behind first year trumpets was not fun. Not sure about other countries and other states, but in texas football is king and every high school wants the biggest and baddest stadiums, manned with the most lavish and hardcore marching band, so band ends up being pretty competitive and popular around here.

    The problem with guitar is that it just isn't popular anymore. All of the pop music is digital based, and all the kids in my high school (8 years ago, but I'm sure its the same) wanted was to learn FL studio so they can make Kanye beats and rap about their totally-existent-16-year-old-middle-class-white-boy "street cred". Guitar will go the way of the violin or piano or saxophone, still around but just in the background. Who knows maybe when developing areas like Africa really get into the swing of the internet a new generation re-ignite the guitar flame.
     
  7. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    Music programs in general have taken a dump. Largely due to budget. Even when it was more popular, classes aimed at guitar would still only truly benefit few people.

    I try not to worry myself too much what others do. I enjoy guitar so I play it.
     
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  8. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    Kids are making music by the truckloads, on iPhones. I think music education is just ignoring where music making has been going since the DAW revolution in the last 10-15 years, and sleeping on the production side of things. Want to educate kids interested in music? Put 10 macbooks with headphones in a classroom and teach how a hoover bass is made. Teach them the pros and cons of a Minimoog vs. Serum, and what an LFO does. That's what they actually want to know. Don't buy another container of dusty nylon strings and tubas, then close down music education for "lack of interest". Teach a man to play guitar and he will play for a day, teach a man to quantize and melodyne and he will play every damn instrument he can find.

    I listen almost entirely to current pop/alternative music, and there is soooo much guitar everywhere. It's just used by producer-type artists for sound design within a DAW, as it's a great way to add life to an entirely midi-based soundscape. It's less of a "hero" instrument anymore though. I think the guitar is used more in contexts like these today:



    Then there's the absolute celebration of guitar/guitarish instruments that is Despacito, the most viewed video on Youtube:


    Then there's the other side of the discussion, which is the acoustic guitar. Still the reigning king of portable instruments, people like Ed Sheeran and the huge business that is youtube covers show very clearly that the acoustic isn't going anywhere, possibly more popular now than 10 years ago.

    So yeah, 80's pentatonic hot shot shred isn't as wanted anymore. Good riddance. Doesn't mean the guitar has gone anywhere or that kids aren't making music. It's a shame that the kids have to suffer because music education isn't keeping up, though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018 at 9:36 AM
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  9. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    One of biggest guitar/music shops here is closing down soon and so many music schools have already shut down.

    Youtube and Guitar Hero were the best things to happen to guitar IMO. It encouraged so many people to take up the instrument. It needs another revival like that.
     
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  10. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    Speak for Yourself, that’s exactly the kind of stuff I still want to hear.
     
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  11. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    I just realized that people born in late 80's/early 90's could be the last ones who grabbed guitar, because they were almost only hearing the music, or just seeing someone play. Not because of Guitar Hero or Youtube.

    Lot of my friends played or owned some kind of guitar when we were at our early teens. Many of them just stopped doing that and lost intrest for music in more serious way. I'm 27 years old now, and still doing it.
     
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  12. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Well goodness, for the longest time I've been hearing that there's too many bands and too much music to compete with.
     
  13. fps

    fps Kit

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    It's just a pity that music made on computers often encourages less interesting composition than a group of people working together, even as it encourages greater tonal variety and arrangement possibilities.
     
  14. Church2224

    Church2224 Guitar Whore

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    Maybe it is just where I live and how I interact with musicians in my area, plus my massive guitar obsession, but I still see quite a few people playing. I have seen plenty of people still into guitar in my area. One of my best friends is a guitar teacher and his schedule is constantly booked up with people wanting lessons, I see people on campus walking around with guitar cases and playing. Hell I will have my guitar with me at times and people are always asking questions about it. We have two of those "School of Rock" locations in my area that are doing well and I talked to the people in a new music shop the other day and they are doing quite well. On the weekends I go into my local GC for lessons and it almost always busy.

    Not only that, but I went to two clinics back in September/October, one with Misha Mansoor and one with Marc Holcomb, and there were people from all ages there, quite a few of them too. Kids in their teens were oggling Marc Holcomb's PRS Private stock and Misha's Jacksons. Kids were asking questions about band management, composition, guitar tastes, ect.

    I think the guitar/ guitar player market, like a lot of markets have, is just coming out og a slump and is going to start a resurgence again. Millenials are starting to make good money to the point they have disposable income and will be buying more higher end guitars. Plus they are having children and will pass their interests to kids. Custom guitar companies like PRS, Schecter, Jackson and ESP are having back orders like crazy these days. I mean, it is a 12 month wait right now to get a PRS Custom 24 and Jackson is only taking Custom Select orders on a special basis because they have so many work orders. Demand is still there. Gibson is not doing as well but that's....Gibson.

    We are also just seeing more improved economic activity on the market scale again. If we can get better economic activity, I think the guitar market will be doing just fine.

    Give it time. We have seen this before, the market will bounce back.
     
  15. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Then, fortunately for you, there is a 30+ year wealth of people doing it for you to pick through. You could sit for years and still find yourself with a mountain of music to listen to, but, and lets be quite frank about this - it's a style of music to which there is precious little left to add, and the unexplored territory has shrunk to almost nothing.

    It's just not going to be big again. Just like Motown is never going to be big again, or Garage Rock, or Hair Metal. No matter how much it gets sampled or how many "revivals" are put about in the music press, if that style of music is going to be popular again, it's going to be in a different form, not a throwback, but a reimagining.

    Steel Panther are Hair Metal, but really, they're a parody band.
    The Hives are Garage Rock, but really, they're doing it through the lens of Pop-Punk, with a dash of James Brown showmanship thrown in.
    Motown is still motown, but where do you hear it today? Hip-Hop samples and Cee Lo Green records, and throwbacks in pop singles, mixed in with everything else.

    They're great in their own rights, and in forms old and new, but they're not coming back, they're not the same as they used to be, and that's a damn good thing - there's nothing sadder than musicians or music fans who are just stuck in place, running on a treadmill of whatever 10 years of their lives or careers were most kind to them.

    Guitar is just the same. Every established era of guitar playing you can think of is dead, but constituent parts of them all are alive and well, and showing up whereever you care to look for them.
     
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  16. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    Maybe that's why I've been listening to a ton of J-Rock and Metal lately, those guys seem to be good at taking cues from the old school shred guys and putting a 'modern' spin on it. I don't consider myself to be 'stuck in the past' or anything because I still get off on hearing some tasty pentatonic licks, but I do like to hear new music instead of listening to the classics for the rest of my life. For better or worse I think we are just in the age of tons of genres of music co existing, but nothing is going to be completely dominant like it was in past generations.
     
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  17. Albake21

    Albake21 SS.org Regular

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    Surprisingly, what got me into playing guitar (besides music itself) was actually Guitar Hero back in like 2006/07. I know I'm not the only one, as I'm sure others currently in their early to mid 20's like me started for the same reason. I could bet Guitar Hero/Rock Band created many musicians and for that, I can't thank a video game enough.
     
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  18. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    I was starting to play in something between 2004/05. When Guitar Hero came, it was everywhere. I just thinked it was really stupid to just pretending to play and push buttons of plastic guitar like controller. Like it was limiting what to really do with an instrument, so I avoided it because of that and have tested the whole thing... maybe once. I don't mean to feel better than anyone because of that, whole thing just felt pretentious to me, real thing is much better
    :mf666:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018 at 11:47 AM
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  19. Womb raider

    Womb raider Drink from the goblet, the goblet of gore

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    Interestingly enough, GH was what actually brought me back to playing guitar again, but not because I liked the game. I was on a multiple year hiatus from any guitar playing when the game was released (I think it was GH3 or Metallica). I remember playing the game at a party and being infuriated that I could play these songs in real life but give me a plastic guitar with 4 buttons and I just couldn't do it.
    I went home that week and got my dusty guitar and gear from my parent's basement and never looked back.
     
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  20. Durtal

    Durtal SS.org Regular

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    This sounds like a dystopia. I don't want to live in your reality. Why would I want to listen to any of those songs when I could listen to something with blastbeats, riffs and shred?
     
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