Interesting article

posted on #1
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I came across this article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/the-slow-secret-death-of-the-electric-guitar/?utm_term=.2670f2b25d71
the other day.

Interesting reading but from my point of view the perspective seems a little skewed. First of all there seems to be an increasing gap between the "industry" and the "consumers" with the former supplying a plethora of products and services that the latter neither requests or needs. I that perspective the decline of the major brands is not that surprising. And their reaction clearly indicates that decisions are purely made from a business point of view instead of analysing the needs and requests of the consumer community. So instead of developing new products the strategy has been to buy and sell companies, influencing the market in different ways (when was the last time you read an unbiased review i a guitar mag?), endorsing artists that often have passed their peak of creativity and a lot of other decisions that are easy to understand when reading business handbook but hard to grasp from a informed consumers point of view.

And yes, there is a noticeable lack of guitar heroes around. But i think the ones to blame are the recording and instrument industry for reasons mentioned above. Instruments have evolved very little but so has [popular] music. The guitar hero that really started me off was Rory Gallagher. Where is the equivalent of him today? Or put otherwise, what are the chances for a young artist to evolve to that level? I have been waiting (and searching hard..) for the next great guitarist to emerge from somewhere but it just does not seem to happen. Yes, there are guys like Misha Mansoor, Devin Townsend etc but they have no way the impact like SRV, Joe Satriani or Mark Knopfler had once they became known to a broader public. And that is not because they lack the chops or the creativity.

Comments are very welcome
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #2
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I think it has something to do with hair. The more hair there was, the bigger the guitar heros. Mustaches, sideburns, hairy men - now the yooths shave everything off, and this takes away the guitar hero mojo. Until the fashion changes and being a hairy man comes back guitar sales are going down.
posted on #3
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Posts: 245
Joined: 19.08.13
We don't have guitar heros around?
Well it's easy to listen to some if you are a member of Wikiloops! :)

More generally spoken, long hair can be seen and gives you the feeling of being part of a "elite" to survive, shaved hair can't be seen and gives you the pornografic feeling of being part of a "growd" to survive.

But there a national diffenrences, too. Germans need to burn their heros as soon as possible. Poor heros! Stay anonym.

PS: thanks for the link
Edited by Neronick on 16-09-2017 09:11
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #4
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Posts: 335
Joined: 25.03.12
Nero, you are probably right.
But what I and the article were referring to is the fact that guitar heroes (and other real heroes for that matter) serve as a important source of inspiration, not someone who's name or work is misused for political or business purposes.

BTW: Here is someone that would definitely qualify as a guitar hero and thus defying most stereotypes... (maybe not the hair)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBw08GbrR-g

She's in berlin on Nov 1st for anyone interested
Edited by nilton on 16-09-2017 10:14
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #5
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I think, in ancient times heroes were using wooden cudgels (Is this the correct expression for "Keule"?). Later on they used swords, then pistols.
The peaceful (musical) kind of heroes initially started with monochords (I am just guessing, I really aint that old that I can remember, believe me ;)), then they switched to harps (the ones with strings not the blown ones), violins, brasses and finally to the E-guitar.

In the mid/end of the eigthies I visited a concert of King Crimson in Cologne. My guitar hero Robert Fripp performed a five minute guitar solo. He touched his guitar only for one time in the beginning of the solo. The rest of the time he was adjusting controllers of his huge electronic equipment. The instrument of the guitar hero Adrian Belew partially sounded like an E-piano or like strings. When the concert was over quite a lot of people claimed that they did not understand, why these two guys still play guitar and not a keyboard.
Fact is: also the guitar of Jimi Hendrix did not sound like a guitar sounded in the first decade of the 20th century.

What I am trying to explain: When we talk about guitar heros we are talking about a fashion fad and like Bob Dylan (not a guitar hero but a boaster -in German we would say "Maulheld") sang already decades ago: "The times are a changing".


Neronick is right: There still are guitar heroes (probably more than ever before), but they are no more fashionable and so they do not bear a good investment for the music biz anymore.
Life is.
posted on #6
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Would be very easy to spiral downward about the commercial music scene as it indeed seems to be more than ever about appealing to the lowest common denominator and less about quality. There is certainly truth in guitar heroes or other instrumental soloists not being "in fashion". Will they ever be again? Were instrumental players generally ever that popular compared to singers? They were a bit more necessary before DJs, but that's another sad story.

It may be that Wikiloops is a ship of fools adrift in an ocean of humanity that believes that if music isn't offered by Itunes it can't be good. I'm happy to be here and expect nothing more. Hard to foresee anytime in the future of the music business where taste and creativity will matter more than hype.
posted on #7
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De toutes façons, je n'aime pas beaucoup les "heros" qu'ils soient de guitare ou de guerre ou d'autre chose.
Anyway, I do not much like the "heros" whether they are guitar or war or something else
posted on #8
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Joined: 25.03.12
I realize that the concept of a "hero" has two sides to it. Drawn to its extremes these are on one side a person who has put exceptional effort into his achievements, whose work clearly stands out and who is a true inspiration to others. At the other extreme there is a manipulative and probably psychopathic personality who does just about everything to make a name for himself. I really hope that the guitar-heroes that inspired me are more of the former and less of the latter.

But fact remains: guitar sales are declining and the most probable reason for that is that people are less interested in playing guitar. And the lack inspiration and role models (i.e guitar-heroes) might be a significant factor here.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #9
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Posts: 245
Joined: 19.08.13
When I was pretty young, I just started to learn playing guitar for three month, I went into a store and listened to a record of an unknown artist.
I heard a guitar crying with such an incredible beauty that I shivered. A thought jumped into my mind. I want to achieve this, too. Reach out for this beauty and touch hearts like he has touched mine.
I had no money to buy this record. But I went home, took the four chords I could hardly play and wrote my very first song this evening.
I never stopped till now! Nothing had more influence on my life than this short song of an unknown guitar hero in that store.

But of course I learned some month later what record I have been listening: "Little Wing".
:)

Boys need heros.
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #10
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Julian Lage is one of my modern day guitar heroes....
There is so music accessible these days so you kind of have to search but they are out there and hey, I tend to think more fame for my favorite artists may not be a great thing!
[youtube]pfOWWcQeP3Q[/youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfOWWcQeP3Q
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