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Dendy Jarrett

Guitar Center Article - Could this trend be true?

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In this coming edition of Make Better Music, we have an article about a 13-year-old guitar prodigy. However, according to this article, kids are too lazy to learn. To some degree, I agree that "instant gratification" has become the SOP. What do you guys think?

 

Article: https://www.dailynews.com/2018/03/20/guitar-centers-1-billion-in-debt-reveals-truth-about-musical-tastes/

 

D

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Like the sax before, and the trumpet before that, the guitar is past its peak. Oh they aren't going away completely, they are just not the instrument every boy who wants to impress a girl sees as a tool for 'amore'. The inflated guitar bubble is over, now it's back to normal like it was before the bubble.

 

Guitar as the ultimate opposite-sex attracting instrument belongs to the Baby-Boomer generation, not the Millennials.

 

Yes, Instant gratification is also a factor, computers make things easier, and like all generations,the easy tools displace the older, more difficult ones. Automatic transmissions replaced stick shifts, remote control TV tuners replaced the get up and twist the knobs to change channels or adjust, digital imaging replaced film, and so on. As humans, we look for easier ways to do things. If we didn't, we'd still live in caves with fire for light at night.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

 

 

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Laziness probably factors in at least much as ever, but I think that distraction, temptation also play a big role. When my son, now 11, discovered the kitchen laptop and all it's gaming and endless viewing it was pretty much all he could think about. Minecraft in particular. Not just his own building but watching Youtube channels about the same. All day long if I let him. Everything was weighed against his Minecraft time. Constant bargaining for more time. Getting up before everyone else to get busy with Minecraft. He had been taking karate, and was in great shape. He was doing well, and was a leader. Sensei had some issues though-which made quitting a little too easy. Then he plopped down in front of the computer, gained some weight and a nearly constant battle had begun... and I'm having to remind him to greet the dog he absolutely loves that's sitting waiting at his side in the morning. The dog gets a minute or 2 and then back to Minecraft.

 

Then one day about a year ago, in a flash of brilliance, my wife spilled hot chocolate all over the laptop. Problem solved. He got back everything else in life that's possibly worth a boy's attention. We have not replaced the laptop. He has lost most of the weight, we're making good progress on the violin, and the dog rates as it should now, etc.

 

It's likely we'll be getting a new computer rather soon. It seems necessary for home school, scouting, and I do want him to be comfortable with computer stuff and to be 'with the times' to some degree. We were caught off guard before, but new non negotiable rules and conditions are already in place. No Minecraft for one.

 

I'm bit reluctant though. I like having my son back. If he gives me too much trouble....I just might spill my beer. :)

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When my son' date=' now 11, discovered the kitchen laptop and all it's gaming and endless viewing it was pretty much all he could think about. Minecraft in particular. [/quote']

 

My grandson who is 9 and lives with us was the same way, but instead of Minecraft it was "Battle for Wesnoth." All he wanted to do. One day during an 'update' it went away. Plus there is a timer on the computer, so its one hour a day only.

 

Have to keep an eye on him. He is in TAG at school, but had to serve a two-day in-school suspension. Seems he was able to hack around the testing program on the school's Mac laptops so he could go to Google and check his answers (not that he needed to - he is a smart fellow - sometimes too smart for his own good).

 

Not sure if he will ever get into music. He hasn't really shown any interest (even though I play guitar and several other folk instruments and his sister plays flute). But the computer holds a fascination for him that is very hard to shake.

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Towards the article.... as I've said before, the tools we have now that are practically at anyone's disposal foster laziness. There are quite a few people in the popular music biz who would not be were it not for the many ways they can be made listenable, to the broader public's ear anyway, thanks to quick fix tools. They have an image and maybe a personality and that's all they really need.

Cred to Bruno Mars. While he unabashedly stands on the shoulders of his influences and comes quite close to knicking them, at least he can really sing and play some instruments and near as I can tell he does so crutchless.

 

But at the end of the day, whether someone's only skills are manipulating sequences and arpeggiators etcetera, or they are singing and playing guitar without a net, they still have to have something to say...that hasn't been said over and over already hopefully. It's common now for song formulas with minor twists to create new albums, and for small changes in tempo, articulation, beat accents to rate as a whole new genre, sub genre. But is there any truly fresh, new ground being covered that sees much light of day?

 

Yeah there's laziness about. A little bit different so it can rate as what's new-but not so different that it poses much of any risk seems lazy to me. But methinks the wave done crashed and rolled up on shore too. Whatever it is that brings the next wave doesn't seem to be capable of producing one. And we're down to the leftover retro ripples, a popular music culture that ever more isn't really that much about the music, and we may be waiting for a very long time for that to change...if it ever does.

Edited by RockViolin

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Guitar just isn't driving the music of today the way it did when I was learning, however, in this area there are still 20 times more guitar players than other rock band oriented instrument players. Maybe it's just my perspective but it's not necessarily difficult to learn some cowboy chords to accompany yourself or hit a distortion pedal and play some power barre chords. No one could argue that modern learning resources are phenomenal as compared to when I was learning in the 70's; scratching the needle across records, trying to get tuned to cassette tapes, tablature didn't exist and the current rock recordings books only showed chords.

I'm sure the most inspired and dedicated children will continue to work at guitars and keyboards just because some people are apparently born to do it.

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Guitar just isn't driving the music of today the way it did when I was learning' date=' however, in this area there are still 20 times more guitar players than other rock band oriented instrument players.[/quote']

 

You have to put this into the context of what "music" means these days. Looking at what streams on Spotify, Hip-Hop is at the top of the "chart" with Latin pop and hard rock high up. Rock, indie, and alternative are, according to a Washington Post article leading up to the Spotify IPO, all in the doldrums and get far less stream-play than Hip Hop. And when was the last time you heard a guitar featured in a Hip Hop song? Of, for that matter, in a Latin pop song, even though guitar used to be a staple of Latin music.

 

So, if someone wanted to write an article about the loss of popularity of guitar in pop music, I guess there are statistics that can prove it. That's not to say that there aren't still plenty of guitar players, it's just that those who are "making music" that people listen to aren't using guitars to do it.

 

 

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So, if someone wanted to write an article about the loss of popularity of guitar in pop music, I guess there are statistics that can prove it. That's not to say that there aren't still plenty of guitar players, it's just that those who are "making music" that people listen to aren't using guitars to do it.

 

 

There's certainly no lack of guitar players in this area but where are the keyboard programmers/players??? The band I'm trying to exit is really struggling to find my replacement it seems.

 

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There's certainly no lack of guitar players in this area but where are the keyboard programmers/players??? The band I'm trying to exit is really struggling to find my replacement it seems.

 

They're all raking in the cash making EDM on their kitchen table. No gigging, no smoke, no beer spilled between the keys, no drummers to not show up on time, and no bass player complaining that he can't hear himself in the monitors.

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Ah Ha! Lazy keyboard players right there no doubt. Hang on a sec...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...dang lazy kids playin in my driveway again.

 

Nah, I think that what I was trying to say in my previous here and there posts is that it's everything else. I think it's more likely that inspirational electric guitar players have faded from view and that over time that's having it's effect. And yeah, as easy as it may be to bang out a few power chords, it's even easier to load the power chord patch and press a key or 2. But there's still plenty of work involved in making some music that has appeal and impact...music that has a chance to rise above the din happen.

 

The electric guitar has been top of the heap for a long time. My elder brother gave up the violin for the guitar in 1969. It was about 20 years ago when I was in a major gear seller's lobby and a colleague's son walked in taking obvious delight in announcing he was quitting the violin and getting some boxes to make electronica with. Perhaps the electric guitar's time has come as well. It was the primary instrument of rebellion for quite a while, but that was somebody'e dad's or grandpa's rebellion now.

 

My house sits on grounds that once were the location of a piano factory. Like many others it couldn't keep up with the Victrola, I suppose. I wonder how much talk of laziness there was...

 

 

 

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Maybe my experience mirrors the world at large. I started off with guitar. About a decade later, I started playing keyboards. When drum machines came out, I got involved in programming parts. Then samplers, and that took away from "guitar time." Then loops started appearing, along with programs like Ableton Live and Traktor.

 

So I still play guitar, and still consider it my primary instrument. Its percentage of my personal "instrument market share" is quite a bit less, but that doesn't make it any less important.

 

That's me with the saxophone. It's still my primary instrument but time that used to be exclusively for sax and flute is now shared with bass, guitar, keys, wind synthesizer, drums, writing Band-in-a-Box styles, sequencing backing tracks, and running a side business for Band-in-a-Box aftermarket style and song sets.

 

There was a time when I used to be able to take apart my saxophones, polish them, and reassemble them as well as practice. I don't practice much on the sax anymore, other instruments need it more, and I haven't taken apart a sax for polishing since the 1970s.

 

But I am a guy who added guitars recently. In the past 5 or 6 years I bought two brand-new USA Parkers, one a custom job. But as far as I can tell, Parker has gone belly-up :( too bad, they are fine guitars.

 

I am a player, not a collector so I suppose barring an accident, those two Parkers should last for decades.

 

Notes

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But I am a guy who added guitars recently. In the past 5 or 6 years I bought two brand-new USA Parkers, one a custom job. But as far as I can tell, Parker has gone belly-up :( too bad, they are fine guitars.

 

According to their web site (http://www.parkerguitars.com/) they are revamping their line for release sometime this year. Maybe there is still hope! :lol::lol::lol:

 

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Maybe my experience mirrors the world at large. I started off with guitar. About a decade later, I started playing keyboards. When drum machines came out, I got involved in programming parts. Then samplers, and that took away from "guitar time." Then loops started appearing, along with programs like Ableton Live and Traktor.

 

So I still play guitar, and still consider it my primary instrument. Its percentage of my personal "instrument market share" is quite a bit less, but that doesn't make it any less important.

 

I'd been playing the violin for almost 20 years when I purchased my first drum machine. ( 1988 I think it was. I walked into a music store in Columbia, SC and grabbed an Alesis HR16. There were 2 guys standing at the counter when I walked up to pay and one of them said to the other, "See I told ya, those things are flying outta here." The other guy just looked at me and shook his head. Shame, shame...written all over his face. ) smiley-happy

 

Anyway, I had the violin pretty well in hand for my needs by the time large amounts of time started going in other directions musically. Time that would have been spent being upwardly mobile by most classical musicians went to my project and all that entailed. Music was about all I was about though, and I did a lot of violin playing even so.

 

I was checking out a workstation the other day...7000+ arpeggiator patterns. I suppose it's possible someone who can't locate middle C, let alone play a scale or, gasp, an arpeggio, will blow some minds. Or is it?

 

Choosing an easier path doesn't necessarily have to come with a *lazy tag. But someone might be lazy IMO if they go into it knowing their intonation issues could be remedied with some, even just a bit more care and practice and they just let the software handle it. The clock met be ticking hard for some, but I think that for many it probably isn't ticking that hard. smiley-wink

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, a time limit is the way to go, and is one of my non negotiable conditions. I'm toying with the idea of letting him have Minecraft. He did do some cool stuff with it and I hate to deprive him of something he enjoys so much thats really rather harmless in the grand scheme. Perhaps an opportunity to teach him some balance. A fine line between passion and consuming obsession though. Good luck with your grandson.

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