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#1
I'm not even going to go into orchestral or big band instruments, although every instrument is awesome in its own way. I'll just stick with the big four commercial instruments, guitar, bass, piano, drums. It seems that everywhere I go, the number of guitar players completely outweigh the number of bassists, pianists, and drummers combined (no this isn't a NEW observation either so I don't need any assholes coming in here saying "Where have you been?". Before I got to school, I figured "oh well, this is a jazz program, so most of the kids will be horn players or piano players, there will be very few guitarists". How naiive was I, there ended up being about 5 guitar players for every other instrumentalist, and each ensemble had 2 to 3 guitar players.... in a JAZZ ensemble, something is wrong there.

Do kids just not think these instruments are cool or something? Why is it every 13 year olds instinct to pick up a guitar and not a bass for example? I guess its understandable, most 13 year olds don't really have the ability to break down a piece of music and study each instrument individually. They hear the screaching guitar on top and want to be that guy. But youd figure that eventually they would realize, hmmm well everyone in the world is trying to be a guitarist, maybe I'd have more success as a bassist or pianist or drummer.
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#2
In most cases the kid probably isn't thinking about being 'successful' they're thinking they want to impress their friends or they just want to play the (generally) more recognizable part of the song.
#4
Guitars are very accessible; portable, versatile, relatively easy to learn and be semi-proficient with...Pianos and drums you can't really 'bring along,' drums are intrusive so a lot of parents don't allow them, and bass...well, I can appreciate bass, but not many people request a song and then say, "no, I want to hear the bass line."

Edit: I play all 4, so I'm speaking from a well-rounded standpoint. And I tried to be as P.C. as possible about bass, excluding the "guitar-for-dummies" cracks. I know there's more to it than that.
Last edited by TimboSlice at Jan 7, 2009,
#5
ts i completely agree with you. people need to explore pass the guitar, it seems like everyone plays the guitar.
#7
Quote by KeineZeit
In most cases the kid probably isn't thinking about being 'successful' they're thinking they want to impress their friends or they just want to play the (generally) more recognizable part of the song.

^ Agreed.
I think people want to learn guitar cos its seen as something that can easily make you look cool. It doesnt take a major lot of skill to play a decent song on guitar, wheras, piano takes years to start sounding decent.

btw, I play piano and bass
#8
Really? My jazz ensemble has an excess of trumpet and saxophone players. I being a trumpet player myself. The music program at my school is really good. 2/3rds of my school is enrolled in it. Public school to.
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#9
i think its because the guitarist is usually the one who gets the most fame and what not

people just want that.
#10
Quote by amaranth_todd
^ Agreed.
I think people want to learn guitar cos its seen as something that can easily make you look cool. It doesnt take a major lot of skill to play a decent song on guitar, wheras, piano takes years to start sounding decent.

btw, I play piano and bass


that too
#11
You all make good points, but I'm not talking about the kids that play wonderwall or hey there delilah just so they can get pussy. I'm talking about the real musicians that study music and perfect their craft, possibly those who go to school for it. You'd think if you were that far along in your music education you'd realize the value of having something not so common be your main focus.
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#13
I depends on taste of music, too. I mean, how many people (apart from me) go around liking piano concertos and stuff? <-retorical question
Last edited by amaranth_todd at Jan 7, 2009,
#14
i played piano for 8 years before i picked up the guitar, and im 15... also about guitars being the cheapest instrument, my parents bought my piano for 25 bucks at an auction cause no one wanted it lol, guess that just brings up the point that if it were a guitar on auction, it probably would have been bought by sumone
#15
Quote by trey-col89
You all make good points, but I'm not talking about the kids that play wonderwall or hey there delilah just so they can get pussy. I'm talking about the real musicians that study music and perfect their craft, possibly those who go to school for it. You'd think if you were that far along in your music education you'd realize the value of having something not so common be your main focus.

i tend to think that real musicians stop thinking inside the "guitar box" so to speak. i think of myself as a real musician and although i can't play a flute or violin to save my life, i know how to arrange and orchestrate for those instruments so that although i may initially write a song with the guitar or bass as my basis i can usually hear additional instruments in my head immediately and generally know how to write their parts in so that i can use keyboards/vst's to get them onto a track.

i think most musicians who write a good song for the purpose of a good song have this ability.
#16
Quote by trey-col89
But youd figure that eventually they would realize, hmmm well everyone in the world is trying to be a guitarist, maybe I'd have more success as a bassist or pianist or drummer.


Well, why didn't you realize that? Why are you guitarist after all?
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#17
Quote by Arch Enemy 65
Really? My jazz ensemble has an excess of trumpet and saxophone players. I being a trumpet player myself. The music program at my school is really good. 2/3rds of my school is enrolled in it. Public school to.

Geez, your music program must be pretty good then. I considered our music program at school excelent, but we only have 20 people in the school band

Or maybe you have a really tiny school
#18
Because guitar is all over the media.

Guitar Hero, Guitar Center, the guitarists getting the girls (even though it isn't true, it is depicted to be that,) guitar this guitar that.

Drums are probably the second most popular because drums are one of the easiest to just make noise on.

Don't get me wrong, drums aren't easy, but you can get a 5 year old kid to pick up some drums sticks and play We Will Rock You.

Kids think bass is "the stupid easy solution" because of Guitar Hero.

Kids also think piano is corny, which is a little bit more understandable. Most kids are forced to play their parents.
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#20
Quote by amaranth_todd
I depends on taste of music, too. I mean, how many people (apart from me) go around liking piano concertos and stuff?

me.....

But in all seriousness, I enrolled in my university's jazz program as a guitarist, naiively. I figured, well its a jazz program so the majority of the students will be horn players and what not. And as a guitarist (who had never really been in a professional kind of jazz ensemble setting, whose main background was more in blues than jazz), I was more than happy to just comp away for the lead players. Boy was I wrong. The first day:

How many of you play horns? A few hands go up
How many of you sing? All the girls in the rooms hands go up
How many of you play piano? 3 hands go up
How many of you play bass? 3 hands go up
How many of you play drums? 5-6 hands go up
How many of you play guitar? 15-20 hands go up including mine and I was shocked (although I really shouldn't have been). Not to mention I was kind of embaressed, since I thought I was a pretty accomplished guitarist for my age, but I guess to everyone else it was more like "oh great another bunch of musically illiterate guitarists".

And so I was listening to Return To Forever about a half hour ago or whatever, listening to the amazing musical prowess of all the guys in the band, and figured I'd make this thread.
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#21
The guitar is the sexy instrument, everyone wants to be the lead singer/lead guitarist, I doubt many grow up thinking they want to be the back up vocalist and bass player. However, at least for me, the guitar was like the gateway drug of musical instruments, as soon as I learned that, I had to learn piano, and drums and bass. But the guitar is the thing at the forefront of everything, easily heard easily seen, easiest to learn, so that is probably why most kids start with that.
#22
i can play basic piano, read some sheet music, and i played bass for 4 years, learning slowly. through rockband how to GET RYTHM on drums, and i play acoustic and electric guitar..... quite frankly, im a well rounded musician, but i have so much more room to improve
#23
Quote by DarTHie
Well, why didn't you realize that? Why are you guitarist after all?

Ah how right you are, hence why I am changing my major to piano either this semester, or at the end of this semester for next year. All I knew was that I didn't want to stay a guitar major and was torn between switching to piano or bass, I'm pretty good at both of them (but not as good on either as I am on guitar), but I've decided that I'm going to become a piano major. Theres just more opportunity for everything regarding music if you play something besides guitar.
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#24
Quote by trey-col89
Ah how right you are, hence why I am changing my major to piano either this semester, or at the end of this semester for next year. All I knew was that I didn't want to stay a guitar major and was torn between switching to piano or bass, I'm pretty good at both of them (but not as good on either as I am on guitar), but I've decided that I'm going to become a piano major. Theres just more opportunity for everything regarding music if you play something besides guitar.


Of course. Sorry for kind-of attacking you.

But who would 12 year old kid choose:



or





Guitar is easy to transport, cheap, great for sing-alongs... Who can beat her?
Actually many bassists I know first played guitar.
Quote by Johnljones7443
my neew year reslosutions are not too drikn as much lol.

happy new yeeae guyas.
#25
I wish everyone would stop saying the guitar is easy though... I am taking piano classes now and I can't believe how easy that thing is to play. Sure playing some classical beauty piece is hard no matter what instrument you are on, but you don't have to worry about playing clean on the piano which to me is the hardest part of electric guitar...

for example, can i sweep pick quickly and in time, yes i can... can i do it with no extra noises at all when im plugged in? NO, very few people can
#26
I think most people pick up the guitar 'cause they want to look cool and perhaps gain some skills that they can sell later...Also popular culture is making the guitar into more of a symbol than an instrument...Kids spending like 200 bucks on guitar hero instead of buying a real guitar
That's why I only play the keyboard
#27
Coming from someone who plays Guitar,piano,bass,drums,saxophone, etc. I wouldn't say any one instrument is harder than the other.

You can't say "guitar is harder than piano" because that's simply not true. There are different levels of playing, and different styles. Either one is going to require work. Some areas of the instrument are just faster to pick up than others.

There are loads of younger people playing piano. But you won't see them unless you head down to your local piano hall and check it out. A lot of these guys will turn to rock in a few years time. I started out with Beethoven before I discovered Zeppelin. And I still love my Beethoven. He was the rockstar of his time, if he was alive today, he wouldn't be playing classical music, he'd be playing crazy music that a lot of people would pay good money to see.

The guitar craze definitely has been dominating for a while, but piano in rock music is not dead and hopefully more people will be inspired to pick up the piano. A lot of people kind of see it as this big classical thing but if more people realized it can be both beautiful as well as gritty and raw, then maybe we'd have more 12 year olds playing piano.

I think having guys like Jack White and Matt Bellamy reaches out to that kind of "guitar or die" mindset and probably inspires a lot of people to check out the piano. At that age it's all about who's doing it.
Last edited by ChrisBG at Jan 7, 2009,
#28
I play guitar cause I like it. I played violin for three years before touching a guitar with any real intention of learning on it. After playing with some guitars and some other musicians, I became enamoured. It was easier than violin, could sit down and just have fun. It was a great idea to buy one, and six months later, the 300+ hours I've put into it have not been wasted.
#29
Well I'm glad this thread aroused some serious responses and it wasn't useless drivel.

Now, I don't want anyone to think that I'm dissing guitar or its musical merit. I still love playing guitar, it was my first love and I still love it. I still enjoy putting on a blues rhythm track and tearing up a solo like I was Clapton or Hendrix, but it really stops there for me. I really feel like its almost impossible to do anything as a guitarist in the context of your local music scene or with a band or even just finding bandmates in general. Just because theres SO many guitar players around, some that can really play, and some that can't, its almost impossible to find a drummer, bassist, and piano player that caters to your style or that you're compatible with. So I figured it would be in my best interest to become one of those valued musicians that are so hard to find. Bassists, pianists, and drummers in general are three in a hundred, the other 97 play guitar.
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Last edited by trey-col89 at Jan 7, 2009,
#30
Definitely.

The big one is bass players who understand how songs work, not just play tabs, and can contribute on a songwriting level. Which is why I think bands with bass player slash keyboardists is cool.

I definitely think there are a lot of guitarists out there but what really sets them apart is songwriting. Not chops. I mean, there are guys everywhere that can shred 100x faster than hendrix ever did, or clapton, or whatever, but at the end of the day, it's songs that's the key to real success.
#31
Quote by Mackk123
i think its because the guitarist is usually the one who gets the most fame and what not

people just want that.


This. It's easier to pick up than being a singer (the #1 spot for egomaniacs).

The piano sounds amazing in pretty much any genre, I'd actually rank it higher in terms of sound over a guitar. A guitar sounds better though in the types of music I play.
#32
Quote by ChrisBG
Definitely.

The big one is bass players who understand how songs work, not just play tabs, and can contribute on a songwriting level. Which is why I think bands with bass player slash keyboardists is cool.

I definitely think there are a lot of guitarists out there but what really sets them apart is songwriting. Not chops. I mean, there are guys everywhere that can shred 100x faster than hendrix ever did, or clapton, or whatever, but at the end of the day, it's songs that's the key to real success.

I agree with everything you said. A bass player that can think for himself in the context of a song is invaluable. Its so great when you can just give a bass player a lead sheet and he can just string the changes together fluently and cleanly with barely any practice.

And I totally agree with the songwriting bit as well. Lightning fast chops gets old after about 5 minutes, but great songwriting stays fresh no matter what. Give me a 2 minute Beatles song over Yngwie anyday.

And to Kenny77, I agree with piano sounding better than the guitar. The reason I love piano is because its basically a full orchestra all rolled into one instrument. You have the melody with the right hand, the bass with the left hand, and the percussive element depending on how hard and at what time you hit certain notes or chords. Its hard to play guitar just by itself without getting boring or sounding empty, but piano always sounds fresh and full.
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Last edited by trey-col89 at Jan 7, 2009,
#33
I'm making my kid play piano if they like it when I have kids. They'll learn theory, and get control of their fingers. They'll be ready to play guitar/bass or drums.
#34
This is why it can be really hard to start a band. I can't find a bass player for the life of me. I'm a decent guitarist, but I have about 4 friends who play guitar. I know I could be useful in a band, but there's almost no one to find in my area.

I wish I could find a funky poppin' and slappin' bass player at my school.
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#36
You'll find that threads in Musician Talk get discussed much more intelligently than those threads in, say, the Pit. Compare average IQ to 110 vs. simply.... 10. I hardly ever go there.

Quote by trey-col89
I'm talking about the real musicians that study music and perfect their craft, possibly those who go to school for it. You'd think if you were that far along in your music education you'd realize the value of having something not so common be your main focus.


From my experience in an honours music program in a Canadian university, I think the most common instruments were, roughly in order:

-piano
-voice
-orchestral strings
-guitar
-others

My theory behind this is based on a combinations of family expectations driving personal expectations and the individual's motivation for getting into their instrument.
To overgeneralize a lot, (which I know is dangerous, and often unfair), kids tend to start piano at a very young age. Their parents sign them up, and they start to get good at it. This feeds their self-esteem and they choose to continue it on their own initiative. (or attrition happens due to the parents desires being incongruous with the kid's desires...) Because they are now self-motivated, they don't mind spending hours a day practicing and become damned good at it. Enter music program to take music professionally. An extra dynamic at work is that if the parents are musicians, they are statistically likely to encourage an instrument like piano. Most of the keyboard players I know have been playing pretty much their whole lives.

By comparison (and continue to overgeneralize), a kid turns 12 or 13 and notices that the guys who play guitar are considered cool and get girls. They take up the guitar and also notice that playing in rock bands means a lot of partying. They don't really have any pressure to get all that good at it because tabs will help them out to a level where they're good enough to play some Green Day songs in a band and get everything that their extrinsic motivation requires for reward. All is good as a teenage guitarist. As soon as the extrinsic rewards are just as easily attained without the effort of guitar playing and the challenges of putting bands together, etc., there is less reason to play, so the attrition rate around the age of 18 is enormous. I know very few guitar players over the age of 25 that are active players.

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#37
Quote by MDoggDX316
This is why it can be really hard to start a band. I can't find a bass player for the life of me. I'm a decent guitarist, but I have about 4 friends who play guitar. I know I could be useful in a band, but there's almost no one to find in my area.

I wish I could find a funky poppin' and slappin' bass player at my school.

Thats why you should take up that role of the funky slapping bass player. I mean sure, it'll take a little while to get the technique down, but if you understand guitar (and I don't mean play it, I mean UNDERSTAND it), you should be able to develop your bass playing rather quickly. That way, you'll be a little closer to achieving your goal of getting a band together AND in the future, you should definitely be able to find a band to be in because everyone needs a good bass player.
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#38
Sounds like that music course isn't really serious. If you went to a school where they required auditions, you wouldn't be swamped with guitar players in the music program.
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#39
Quote by Punk Poser
Sounds like that music course isn't really serious. If you went to a school where they required auditions, you wouldn't be swamped with guitar players in the music program.

You're partially right, its not as serious as say Manhattan School of Music or whatever, I just go to a state school in upstate New York, but a university level program is just as serious as any other.

But you're also partially wrong, as one of my best friends goes to Berklee in Boston as a bass major and I hear the exact same thing from him. So that leads me to believe that is not just the level of the program you're in.
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#40
Guitarhero

Guitargods.

They are far more prominent. You don't have nearly as much drum or piano "gods\'.

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