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Thread: Hard times for Gibson Guitars...for Rock n' Roll also?

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    Senior Member The Deacon's Avatar
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    Default Hard times for Gibson Guitars...for Rock n' Roll also?

    Gibson has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    Is this the swansong of the electric guitar? The demise of rn'roll's signature and r'nroll itself? Or will the guitar be there for us for all time.
    It does not matter that Gibson has not made decent guitars since the late 60s...and is just a name.

    It does not matter that CEOS - latest CEO wrecked a Les Paul and claimed the future was the latest model of dreck - and Juszkiewicz have run the company to the ground by treatment of craftsmen . By pushing self-tuning guitars and electronics....People say good riddance. Well enough, but I don't believe that is the root of the problem.

    What matters is that the demand for guitars PERIOD is in serious decline. Not just Gibson. (Fender are in trouble as well.)

    It all started with New Wave electronics -this was simple music where the learning curve was non-too staggering - almost immediate.
    Introconvertable fact is that the alienlifeform of today have no investment of time to master an instrument. There is no craft,no skill. If the youth of today are into spending time on ANYTHING, it is on the making of the quick buck.

    Rudimentary, my dear.

    Do you have to learn scales to do hip-hop?

    Face it, the guitar is difficult and requires expenditure of effort; technical expertise.

    Its not a Roland drum machine, its not Akai 4tracks and mixers.

    The youth-alienlifeform have short attention span courtesy of an environment of twitters,video games et al. They are not gonna learn guitar.

    Also instant recognition and promotion via youtube has superceeded true talent - in the past your group had to pass a FILTER of Taste before being taken on by a label (that is those days when labels were actually run by music lovers). Now any jerk with a kazoo can flood himself over the internet. This is how easily-played Crude becomes a dominant music form.


    Another thing you might consider: has the (electric) guitar lost its cool? Is that why it is no longer a central part of teen culture? Are guitars no longer as rebellious/threatening as they were with , say , Blue Cheer , in '67? Is the fetish gone?

    And ,finally, is R'n'Roll become a thing laughable?
    When us old geezers shuffle the mortal coil....Is this the final downfall of rn'roll?

    Or is there a generation to keep it rolling.

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    Senior Member The Deacon's Avatar
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    Getting it on at Gibson:



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    Senior Member Weird Heather's Avatar
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    I don't think guitar-driven rock music is likely to die out, but like jazz before it, it might become a small niche rather than a dominant form of popular music. However, this could be a good thing for the music - when jazz declined from a dominant form of popular music to a niche taste, it also went through a lot of experimentation. A small group of devoted and engaged fans can be better for a style of music than a large group of casual fans who prefer non-challenging music.

    Of course, this decline is likely to cause problems for guitar manufacturers due to reduced demand. Gibson's recent bankruptcy could be only the beginning. Manufacturers who keep their quality at a high level may be able to weather the storm.

    The recent dominance of easy-to-create electronic music reminds me of something I read years ago regarding world music. It was from one of the large books that came out about fifteen or twenty years ago - it might have been the Rough Guide or Music Hound; I don't remember which one. The author bemoaned the fact that low-end synthesizers were replacing traditional instruments in many countries because they were dirt cheap and relatively easy to play. Casio was a popular brand. The author referred to this as "The Curse of the Casio." I've certainly noticed this trend in popular music from all over the world, but the synthesizers have never taken over completely. Even when they are part of the mix, it isn't unusual for a band to include a few stubborn musicians who insist on playing traditional instruments.

    I suppose I'm like a lot of the older generation - the modern electronic pop music doesn't appeal to me. This music sounds programmed rather than performed and feels emotionally cold or sterile as a result. (That doesn't stop me from checking it out on occasion - I seem to get some perverse enjoyment out of the annual Eurovision Song Contest.)

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    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
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    I belong to a guitar forum and a lot of these questions have been discussed before. While YMMV, here are a number of thoughts we have batted around:


    The Guitar as instrument of composition - Historically, the instrument of the first half of the 20th century for popular songwriting was the piano. Look at all the songwriters of the Great American Songbook - Porter, Berlin, Carmichael, Gershwin.......all pianists. Then after WWII the guitar became more popular because it was a portable instrument in a time (at least in America) when the population was becoming increasingly mobile. You could take your Kent out on a picnic or to the lake house for the summer, but lugging an upright around was a bit of a problem! Thus the guitar became the preferred instrument for songwriting. Now, the preferred instrument is the recording studio. I own an H2. Multi-tracking literally in the palm of my hand.

    Look at what songs were top hits on the Billboard list last year. Take away Ed Sheeran and you'd be hard pressed to hear many guitars.

    What is rock and roll?. A definition that has been used is: "The music that pi$$es off your parents." The rock and roll that many of us grew up on no longer fits that definition. The music that pi$$es off parents now (and many in this forum according to the Kendrick Lamar thread) is rap and hip hop. No guitars necessary! Which genre is selling the most in terms of record/download sales right now? Rap and hip hop!

    Gibson guitars - A problem, not necessarily THE problem with Gibson in the past decade or so has been quality control. If I spend over a grand for a Les Paul, I better not have an issue with a pick up!

    The future of guitar playing - There is a glut of guitars on the market. Lots of cheap guitars made cheaply worldwide. Lots of baby boomers passing away and leaving their guitars to sons, daughters, nephews and nieces, who don't have to go out and buy a new instrument. But the demand for quality acoustics for instance has never been stronger. Look at the rise in the past 30 years of luthiers building quality instruments. And they are getting better at their craft. The top bracing of my C10 is nothing short of revolutionary! 40 years ago I could not have afforded a classical with the bass response it has. Lattice tops, computer generated bracing, crossover acoustics, Godin, Cordoba and the magic that is still Martin - all heading in a positive direction.

    So while the demand overall for guitars might be declining, the demand for quality instruments is strong. The guitar isn't going anywhere, but it will increasingly take a back seat in popular music making.

    *******************

    The above thoughts are not necessarily mine, just things we've discussed in a guitar forum. It is clear that the age of the guitar band is passing. I'm not going to shed a tear over that. It's been a good run, but times change. Personally, for me, I put down the pick many, many years ago in favor of preparation, attack and release. I'd like to see guitar playing in general move back in that direction.
    "He who makes songs without feeling spoils both his words and his music. " ~ Guillaume de Machaut

    "It is insulting to address anyone in a language which they do not understand." ~ Benjamin Britten

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    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    ^ I think the Thrill is gone

    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"
    ÉddïéRÛKíddîngVãrèsë! -I got a dog and not sure what to call it DoggydogdogMcDogface maybe............

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    Senior Member Jay's Avatar
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    Speaking of guitars, R.I.P. Glenn Branca

    Carry on...

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