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White people have no business playing the blues ever, at all, under any circumstances. Ever, ever, ever. What the f--- do white people have to be blue about? Banana Republic ran out of khakis? - George Carlin

Author Topic: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP  (Read 1447 times)

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Offline harriet

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 05:23:12 AM »
Proud to be a dinosaur as well! - IMHO difference between an electric guitar and digital one is like the difference between a gas and electric stove where you heat up in predefined programmed increments - hate to think of electric guitars being phased out...

Harriet

Offline alyoung

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 07:05:38 AM »
Guitar heroes ... Blind Blake, Charley Patton, Lonnie Johnson, Gary Davis, Willie Walker, Tampa Red, Booker White (OK, maybe not to everyone, but to me....), Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson,  ... fill in the rest yourself. It ain't so strange, Mark. (Oh, BTW, excellent candidate for mountain dulcimer hero: Karen Mueller.)

Offline Stuart

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2017, 10:45:09 AM »
I hear you Al, but what I think the article was driving at was the lack of high profile guitarists who would cause a young person starting out to say to himself (I'll guess that the majority are younger males) "I want to be and play like so-and-so" and then buy a new Gibson or Fender electric. There may be an element of truth in it--after all, that's probably the main motivation for some people--, but I think that it is overly simplistic. It's a world of individuals and not everyone is the same. People do--and don't do--things for a wide variety of reasons and motivations.


Offline eric

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2017, 11:05:25 AM »
The guy in the video lost me when he said "people are so much smarter these days..." to which I respond: Facts not in evidence, Your Honor.  Also, I have done my best to avoid popular trends since about 1972, which is probably why I'm here.   ;D
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Offline Stuart

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2017, 12:19:38 PM »
That's great, Eric. Good for you. When someone points out some problem or shortcoming with what passes as modern, mainstream culture, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, "Yeah, and I've been reacting against it since the late 60's (or whenever)."

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2017, 06:16:00 PM »
I know for a fact that the electric guitar is becoming extinct because I just bought my first one. Of course I bought it for my son who had started singing songs of a particular band he Likes (PigPen Theatre), and I thought "aha! Now he'll want to learn to play to accompany his singing. Nice voice he has too. Well it didn't quite work out that way and after remaining untouched in his closet for six months I repossessed it. It being a Black and pearl-oid pick guard Fender Sonorian, acoustic electric jobby.
My teaching job being shaky these days I'm preparing for old age busking and just bought a little Cube battery powered Amp as well. Maybe this will be the trend to float electric guitars into the next millennium.
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Offline Rivers

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2017, 05:29:06 PM »
Guitar heroes ... Blind Blake, Charley Patton, Lonnie Johnson, Gary Davis, Willie Walker, Tampa Red, Booker White (OK, maybe not to everyone, but to me....), Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson,  ... fill in the rest yourself. It ain't so strange, Mark. (Oh, BTW, excellent candidate for mountain dulcimer hero: Karen Mueller.)

Right Alan, good point, taken. We have so many guitar heroes, both simultaneously and also swapping them out as we hear something new from an artist we hadn't listened to for a while. It tends to have a smoothing effect on the hero worship. There was so much good stuff being played back before our parents were even born. Around here on this forum it's exceptionally rare for anyone participating to have an abiding fixation on one single player. After about 15 posts anyway.

Everyone coming up today has to find their own way back to it. I think they will, and for many generations into the future. If it's truly great it will always be inspirational and aspirational.

Stuart, yep. The fact that there is no Beatles, Buddy Holly or other superstar playing out today hurts sales. But Fender & Gibson sales graphs have nothing to do with music at an artistic, personal creativity level, obviously. Sales are an indicator and remain a transient, present day problem. Music isn't going anywhere, there are still billions of guitars in the world.

The article confuses sales trends with music, for whatever reason. Maybe a cry for help! Nobody influenced Buddy to play a Strat, or Lennon to play a Rickenbacker(!), or Hubert Sumlin to play an Eko (even more bizarre), and so on.

The article is totally on the wrong tack in my opinion. All it proves without a doubt is that Gibson and Fender need to find new ways to sell electric guitars. Good luck with that, I'd hate to be the senior VP in charge of sales strategy. Customer demand is not under the control of the companies, unless they can come up with something good enough to create its own demand.

So I think they should get right back to basics. A really good strat, a really good telecaster, for a really good price. I'm not really into Gibson electrics the way I play so have no suggestions there. If they favor instrument quality over availability; and people have to wait for it, that's good, the law of supply and demand. The way companies are structured though, where demand planning is based on sales growth, would require some major rethinking. The article does a good job of highlighting that times have changed. When do they ever not?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 06:15:18 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2017, 07:30:51 PM »
The wise-ass comment, "Statistics: How to be confused by numbers," also came to mind when reading the article.

But I'd like to see some detailed year-by-year stats going way back. Maybe that would tell us something. --But maybe not. I haven't paid much attention to Fender and Gibson electrics for several decades, other than the occasional news item that catches my eye.

Perhaps more people thinking of buying a Fender, Gibson or other electric are looking to the used market. People who bought one and don't stick with it can easily list it for sale. But what do I know?

I remember people in the business saying that Woodstock created a bump in the music world. I don't know if there's been anything that has equaled it since, though.

Offline Rivers

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2017, 12:14:46 AM »
If my memory serves me well the real boost was in R&B clubs across the UK and Europe in the mid Sixties. Chuck Berry would be the huge exception. But that was just my local scene. We've just spent a few hours here watching German TV's Beat Club videos, all live. Amazing stuff. If that level of energy and talent was happening today nobody would be talking about the death of the electric guitar.

I guess my point is that real music is out there for the kids with the taste, guts and energy to push it out into the world, it's just a matter of time before someone figures it out. Nature hates a vacuum after all. Guitar sales will follow. You can't create music by marketing instruments, it's exactly the other way around. The article is all about "why won't people buy my guitars, boo hoo". Sorry, that's not how it works, Mr Fender-Gibson. They need to pull their horns in, exercise patience and buckle down for the next upturn. Whining about it on WAPO is counterproductive and just prolongs the agony.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 12:21:55 AM by Rivers »

Offline harriet

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2017, 04:16:48 PM »
Just remarking on Stuart's thought as to the used market - IMHO the used electrics and amps from bygone eras are of interest to players for tone and purist reasons same as buying a vintage acoustic - especially those played by their "guitar gods" whether they be rock or bluesmen like Elmore James, Robert Nighthawk, Junior Kimbrough.  Myself I have tried alot of modern electrics in stores around New York and went with a beat up one with a dearmond pickup. I think I mentioned earlier there are about 80,000 in Ebay and Reverb in the USA alone being recycled.  Be interesting to know the sales there.

Offline Mike Billo

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2017, 10:29:36 AM »
 Upon a second reading of the Washington Post article, I realize that they're relying on sales figures from Guitar Center, Gibson and Fender

  I wouldn't be at all surprised  if sales figures from the many, less expensive, Asian manufacturers and the online retailers that sold them (Musicans Friend, Amazon et al ), told a *very* different story

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2017, 07:01:29 PM »
There's the crux of the issue. Gibson & Fender are TOO BLEEPING EXPENSIVE and not better enough, if at all, than their much cheaper Asian competitors. Add to that the thriving second hand market and the dominating interest in electronically produced music, a-melodic "music", Lyric  & Beat heavy Raps without much singable and therefore Guitar accompaniable melodies (Guitar not needed) and you get a sales drop. Also this is happening at the same time that there is a major rise in interest in acoustically played music, and I'll bet sales of acoustic instruments are rising.
I'd also like to know how much the respective heads of Gibson and Fender pull in relative to what their workers make. Think there's some wiggle room at the top for price cuts? I'll bet so.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Mike Billo

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Re: The slow, secret death of the electric guitar... - From WP
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2017, 07:21:57 PM »
 Right you are, O'Muck

Musicians Friend sells a new Gibson Les Paul for $3,100!
A perfectly good, Epiphone version ( I, personally, love Epiphones), from Sweetwater is $299

90% less!

  I think this is a far more likely explanation of Gibson's reduced profits, than a shortage of "guitar heroes"

 

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