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-   -   The future of guitar and guitar based music. (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1580077)

Mephaphil 12-28-2012 08:53 PM

The future of guitar and guitar based music.
 
Guitar music is booming right now as it has been for the last 60 years. It has competition but it's right up there. But musical dominance has historically been short lived. The Sax was a very popular instrument for quite a while, the axe, they used to call it. Instruments have their time at the top before they become rarer and rarer.

And with the many ways that corporations can communicate with us now to imprint their product on our subdued minds is it feasible to expect the guitar to be so popular in 50 years as it is today when factoring changing popular tastes, regardless of capitalistic marketing?

Jimi Hendrix will have released his albums nearly 100 years ago in little over 50 years. How much ragtime and delta blues do people listen to now compared to the 30's? And when you add in the influences of other musical styles what kind of styles will be mixed to create new styles in the way we've had Rap Rock, Pop Punk and the like. Dub punk? Garage hop?

Guitar music changes every few years with the evolution of a style that encompassed previous styles. As an example; Indie encompasses punk rock, rock n roll etc. Stoner has metal, rock n roll.

I believe pedals are our saving grace, they enable the guitar to be used in such a unique way and certain artists use them to create unique sounds that encourage longevity as they create new genres.

So UG, the future of guitar, can the big corporations keep their hold on the market as music moves increasingly towards an electronic dominated market? And what combinations of genres seem viable to keep the guitar alive? Pedals, synth pickups, what will be used more? How will the electric guitar be used? What kind of retro styles could come back? Hair metal? Punk? A combination like Hair punk?

Your thoughts are welcome. :)

X

W4RP1G 12-28-2012 09:03 PM

I don't believe the sax was ever anywhere near as popular as the electric guitar. Possibly due to the simple fact that you couldn't change your sounds so much.

Instruments don't always dwindle and die. Look at the piano. It was invented a very long time ago and has been pretty popular ever since. And it's even been greatly expanded upon with keyboards and whatnot.

I don't think the electric guitar will be replaced with something else, in terms of popularity. I also don't think FX pedals will be needed to keep it alive(sounds like life support).

dannyalcatraz 12-28-2012 09:06 PM

Classic rock & classic hard rock, done right, seem to be evergreen genres. I can think of artists in every decade since the 1980s who fit into those categories. The best of them not only keep the genres fresh, but appeal to the people who experienced it in the earliest incarnations.

dannyalcatraz 12-28-2012 09:08 PM

Quote:
I don't believe the sax was ever anywhere near as popular as the electric guitar. Possibly due to the simple fact that you couldn't change your sounds so much.


Before the electric guitar took off, sax was one of the premiere lead instruments, alongside the trumpet. A lot of early rock even after electrics still focused on the sax.

Mephaphil 12-28-2012 09:12 PM

The Sax example should have been explained a bit better. In the 30's and 40's the Sax was pretty cool to play, like the electric guitar of the 60's. It was much more popular due to jazz being everywhere. But now, it's a select few and not many people outside of particular areas play it. Even in the 80's it would be identifiable on a lot of popular, radio played tracks. But now you'll hardly ever hear one, because music has changed drastically over the last couple of decades. It's not long for such a popular instrument to become nearly obsolete for commercial pop music.

When I have kids I'd love to be able to teach them the guitar and have them talk to me about the Clash and Rage Against the Machine etc as they get into the bands I got into when they get old enough, and I don't see indie or blues based garage rock becoming ancient anytime soon, but their kids? Will they look at my Gibson like one might look at a recorder, cool, but outdated in many forms of popular culture?

|Long| 12-28-2012 09:18 PM

The old music is never lost. I listen to delta blue quite a lot yet it was an era of music 40 years before my time. Many people I play with are also into it as well.

When you pick up that instrument, you will search for those musical roots depending on your style. Me, it was Jimi & SRV which slowly reached John Hurt, Travis and RJ.

There are a lot of classic rock I don't listen to or even heard of, but I'm sure someone on this board listens to them daily.

Electronic is on a rise in the mainstream for reasons non other than anything else that has ever been popular - being there at the right time. Dubstep, which is what brought electronic out, is nothing new, but it was 'reinvented ... or redug up to be more correct' and now it's popular. In a few years it'll be at the back end of music and something else will take it's spot.

In guitar driven tunes, hey, I think the Folk genre is slowing gaining ground. With Mumford and Sons penetrating NA, I've seen a large amount of people starting to listen to more folk and blugrass tunes.

W4RP1G 12-28-2012 09:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
Before the electric guitar took off, sax was one of the premiere lead instruments, alongside the trumpet. A lot of early rock even after electrics still focused on the sax.

The electric guitar has far surpassed the sax in popularity levels.

Anyway, I believe it's highly possible that the electric guitar as we know it will someday be completely different. Right now we can see the start of that with the growing popularity of headless guitars, fanned frets, and other interesting deviations from the typical formula. However, progress is slowed by tradition.

I believe the guitar will change(for the better), but in the end many people will still want this particular stringed instrument in whatever form it may take.

Mephaphil 12-28-2012 09:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
The electric guitar has far surpassed the sax in popularity levels.

Anyway, I believe it's highly possible that the electric guitar as we know it will someday be completely different. Right now we can see the start of that with the growing popularity of headless guitars, fanned frets, and other interesting deviations from the typical formula. However, progress is slowed by tradition.

I believe the guitar will change(for the better), but in the end many people will still want this particular stringed instrument in whatever form it may take.


If they end up looking anything like this "rare Les Paul" I'm taking up the tambourine.

http://ottumwa.craigslist.org/msg/3375583395.html

|Long| 12-28-2012 09:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
The electric guitar has far surpassed the sax in popularity levels.

Anyway, I believe it's highly possible that the electric guitar as we know it will someday be completely different. Right now we can see the start of that with the growing popularity of headless guitars, fanned frets, and other interesting deviations from the typical formula. However, progress is slowed by tradition.

I believe the guitar will change(for the better), but in the end many people will still want this particular stringed instrument in whatever form it may take.

You bring up a good point on the changing of the instrument.

I believe they won't look different, ever. Looking at the acoustic scene, there are few builders who 'employ engineering ideas' which, some are quite ingenuous, but they either aren't traditional, or are too costly.

Guitars, like any other market is driven by profits in the mass market. Carbon fiber guitars will never become accepted, even though they are great instruments. Multiscale guitars are amazing, but the cost involved will surely stop the mass market from adopting. And, double tops? Another great idea. Changing the sound hole position to change how the guitar sounds? Again, great.

Alas, tradition is mightier than the sword.

There will always be the market for these niche ideas though as they will be carried on from builder to builder, refined, reworked, but not forgotten.

For progression,

Classical guitar as it's history. They are much more traditionalists than anyone else (no fret markets and side dots?) and have seemingly 'gotten it right' the first time.

Steel strings, haven't changed much.

Electrics? Still the most iconic guitars are the Tele,Strat,LP,SG. When have they ever NOT been?

W4RP1G 12-28-2012 09:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by |Long|
*stuff*

Sadly, you may be right. People are pretty serious about guitar tradition. However, I don't think we can say for certain that people won't demand that future guitars be fanned fret, or that there won't be some push for other advancements. Besides, I'm talking like way down the road, probably after I'm dead and gone. Or at least I hope so, I just started building my own guitars :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
If they end up looking anything like this "rare Les Paul" I'm taking up the tambourine.

http://ottumwa.craigslist.org/msg/3375583395.html

:haha:

KG6_Steven 12-28-2012 10:24 PM

The guitar took a back seat to synths and keyboards in the 80s. Every rock station from that era was playing music from bands clammoring to incorporate these newly popular and expensive instruments. Listen to much of the music from that decade and you hardly hear any guitar at all. Sure, bands like Boston, Aerosmith, Van Halen and others still used guitar, but bands like Asia, Europe, Blondie and Duran Duran were shying away from guitars.

Even today, my piano teacher is proud to proclaim that she can replace the drummer, bass player and guitarist in any band. As a guitar player, I'm not so certain that I agree with her.

Where am I going with this? As someone else stated, instruments come and go in popularity. I think it's quite conceivable that guitar-based music could see another decline in the future. Would it last? That all depends.

JELIFISH19 12-28-2012 10:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
I don't believe the sax was ever anywhere near as popular as the electric guitar. Possibly due to the simple fact that you couldn't change your sounds so much.

Instruments don't always dwindle and die. Look at the piano. It was invented a very long time ago and has been pretty popular ever since. And it's even been greatly expanded upon with keyboards and whatnot.

Pianos and saxophones were both invented around the same time. And that was the mid-19th century. They're not even 200 years old yet. Guitars are older than both of them by many years.

But the reason I think instruments like guitars and pianos never die is because they're accessible. Saxophones are really expensive. If you're poor, you just can't play it. But now that technology has improved, anyone can have a cheap keyboard and learn to play. A really good digital piano is still cheaper than a cheap saxophone. It's also easier to learn piano without lessons or someone teaching you. Piano and guitars are very straightforward percussion instruments. If people couldn't afford a guitar, they would make their own in the form of a cigar box guitar or something similar. The design of guitars were based around what cultures had available to them. Just look at the ukulele. Guitars are very cheap compared to orchestral instruments. $150 is enough to get you started playing it. I think price and ease of use are the main things that keep an instrument around.

karstaag666 12-28-2012 10:36 PM

You wont see much change in instrumentation really other than things occasionally becoming more digital and the odd styles having unique instrumentation (Dubstep for example). Then again we are quite prone to making 'vintage' popular over and over again as corporations sell brands/styles.

The music industry is mostly whatever is put in our faces. One reason pop/electronic music is pushed heavily towards the children/early teen market is because that age group is easily influenced into liking something and is prone to buy a lot (through Mummy and Daddy's wallet). The music itself is relatively cheap and quick to make and therefore you can push more content to buy. Simon Cowell makes a living off it.

As for guitar music (or atleast the styles I tend to enjoy/monitor), the mainstream seems to be doing a full swing into Vintage. You have Black Veil Brides being heavily promoted and they have a fair bit of influence from 80's hard rock such as Motley Crue. You have Heaven's Basement starting to be heavily promoted, a 80's influenced rock band. The Treatment seem to be hitting some limelight too.

More instrumentation/sounds will be invented for sure but I don't see it having much impact on guitar music other than new genres to choose amongst the already existing ones.

Kueller917 12-28-2012 10:42 PM

There was a bit of a wide array of styles that could be done with the jazz instruments, but it didn't spread out too far, at least not in popularity. Even now something like the sax is used primarily for jazz. The rock band instruments were the same ones used when people started going in all different directions. Metal, shoegaze, even outliers like some of Tom Morello's solos. I think that's why they've maintained staying power over time, but I could see electronics and synthesizers overtaking guitar in a few decades. At least as the lead instrument, guitar will still probably remain in bands in some form for quite a while.

Also it should be pretty obvious genres rarely ever die, especially the more recent (few hundred years) ones. However, they do go out of mainstream popularity. It does evolve and its influences stay but it won't be played exactly the same after a few years (I wouldn't want it to anyways).

deadsmileyface 12-28-2012 11:27 PM

This a great thread. Bumping out of interest.

gregs1020 12-29-2012 12:15 AM

during and prior to the 1800s the most renowned instrument was the violin.

the tonal range of that instrument is very similar to that of the modern guitar.

people would wait at train stations to see the visiting orchestra arrive into town.

the "stars" of the orchestra were the violinists.

they carried the melody and most of the rest were the supporting cast.

so essentially the "lead" was the violin.

in most orchestras today it remains the same as it was then as much of the music is the same.

when orchestras cover modern music, it's the violin that plays the guitar parts.

will the guitar one day go the way of the violin and be replaced by electronic keys?

i'd say it already has, certainly in pop music since the late 70s early 80s. (imo)

all that stuff i posted about the violin, paul reed smith shared that with our group when we toured and went to dinner. i have pics for those who doubt it.
he's very into this stuff, great guy. glad to have met him.

Mephaphil 12-29-2012 06:47 AM

What I find interesting, on a side note are the artists who do push the boundaries. Aside from the obscure electronica artists like Squarepusher, Venetian Snares, Boards of Canada and Bjork, who just kills it and is amazing all round with albums where her amazing vocals are backed up only by beat boxing. These guys seem to be completely ahead of their time in all fields and will be looked back at as the important ones when electronica is more mainstream in general, but they aren't as accepted as the mainstream artists who just take risks and don't seem to care.

People like Radiohead, Muse, Billy Corgan. While Muse might be the most popular right now of these three bands Matt Bellamy seems to use effects in such a unique way that it's a glimpse of how people might write in the future.

Billy Corgan has written every album differently from the last and released an electronica album which I think represents his courage and forward thinking. And even while his career isn't as it once was, and he's stupidly accused of playing with cardboard cutouts he still creates new sounds and sub genres. Oceania isn't Siamese Dream, but it's not bad and it's definitely original

Radiohead are ridiculously forward thinking. I have no doubt that they will be regarded as the band who set the gold standard.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

Sometimes it seems like that when you talk to people about artists like Bjork and Radiohead. Bloc party's Octopus uses delay in a unique way. A great track in my opinion.

Who do you feel will be regarded highly as an innovator?

Mephaphil 12-29-2012 06:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs1020
the "stars" of the orchestra were the violinists.

they carried the melody and most of the rest were the supporting cast.

so essentially the "lead" was the violin.

in most orchestras today it remains the same as it was then as much of the music is the same.

when orchestras cover modern music, it's the violin that plays the guitar parts.

will the guitar one day go the way of the violin and be replaced by electronic keys?


The violin has even had something of a resurgence recently. My girlfriend even decided to learn the fiddle and she's actually quite good now. We create some mental stuff, blues based irish folk.... That could be a new genre. Green?

dannyalcatraz 12-29-2012 07:05 AM

Billy strikes me as more of a top notch composer than a guitar ace. Nothing wrong with that, though.

Matt and his compadres seem to be innovative on both sides of that scale. In some ways, muse reminds me of Queen and ELO.

Radiohead I respect more than I like these days. I think I've heard one song off the latest that I actually enjoyed. But they're realizing their artistic vision, so I'm cool with that.

steven seagull 12-29-2012 07:15 AM

FFS, people will have been having this exact same discussion at the beginning of the 70s, and the 80s, and the 90s, and the 00s....

Music changes, fashions change, trends come and go but the simple fact of the matter is there's only a limited number of musical instruments out there and nobody's really inventing anything new. There's millions of guitars in the world and loads of people making music with them, through sheer weight of numbers alone guitar music will rumble along regardless, sometimes it'll be very much mainstream and fall into sync with the trends of the time, other times it won't be quite so fashionable but guitars have reached critical mass, they won't go away in much the same way as skateboarding has been given the last rites at least 3 times in the last 40 years


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