A Bleak Outlook on Guitar Music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Eulogist, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Eulogist


    Nov 3, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    maybe it's just because i've been around it for so long, but i'm starting to think guitar bands are on the way out. i'm sure there will always be guitar-based groups around, but the market is totally saturated with it now. I'm wondering what, if anything, will be the next instrument/medium/sound that will be the guitar's successor. We may not see it in our lifetimes. But I need to figure it out and start playing it. what do you think?
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
  3. nah, methinks that the theremin is gonna be the biggest,

    closely followed by death metal kazoo...

    then a new series: 'accordian academy' will take the world by storm, in close competition with the age-old art of yodelling :)

    Guitars Forever!!
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it's quite clear, we're already living in it!! In fact the vast majority of music produced for recordings nowadays, is not with guitars, but rather with sequencers, drum machines, digital workstations, samplers etc

    So - 99.9% of Rap,Hip-Hop, R&B is like this and all the most popular music across the western world is made using sequenced music production facilities.
    Guitars don't come into it - unless they are on samples!! ;)
  5. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    So should I stop working on my bagpipes and didgeridu opus?
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    "Guitar music is on the way out, Mr Epstein..." - famous last words from the man at Decca :)

    I think this is a slight exaggeration. There is still very popular music that isn't all sequenced/sampled - take Robbie Williams for example, and Jamiroquai.

    It's mainly Hip-Hop and R&B, as you say, that are prone to this.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it's probably underestimating - you have managed to name 2 artists out of literally thousands who are playing to sequenced music.

    So - if you just take the UK charts - all the Rap, Hip Hop, R&B - plus all the pop, dance tracks. So - stuff like Kylie Minogue and her sister, all the SClub7 and similar - the boy bands, the girl bands - the juniors, the Euro-Pap records, stuff from Ibiza, etc etc.

    This is the stuff that is popular and sells records and the vast majority of it is pre-programmed and/or sequenced.

    If you look at any typical charts, the guitar-based tracks stand out as the rare exceptions - not the rule.
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B & dance/club - yup, sequenced/sampled all the way...

    But, a lot of the records you might just call pop - the aforementioned S Club, and Westlife, and all those girl & boy bands, as well as other artists that don't fit into the above categories are something of a hybrid - they're not completely sequenced and sampled. You will find real guitars, and real drums to some extent.

    What I don't like is the fiddling they do with some of the vocals. In the mastering process they correct the tuning and stuff, and they make it sound too perfect! I don't like the sound, it's unnatural.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - you may hear the odd sound that may once have been a guitar, but I can assure you that these records are produced entirely though digital recording and manipulation of the sound.

    The Trumpet player in my band has a brother-in-law who is a big-name producer and has written and produced hit singles for Celine Dion and Cher as well as several hits for SClub?.

    He works with Pro Tools and even if there was a bass or guitar part - he would just sample small phrases and then sync them in using Pro Tools to create the whole line as a "perfect entity" - digitally manipulated, to/with a midi click.

    He can hear this now and pointed it out to our band as we were doing some recording - virtually every chart single uses the same techniques for creating the music used - and as you say - making sure the vocals are "digitaly perfect" as well!! :(
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I think the genre in which you are talking of will surely die because the styles being shoved out there right now are all the same, people will get sick of it and move on.

    I want more originality, which ain't gonna happen in pop-rock-heavy anytime soon. It's all like McDonalds music, not taking many chances, sounds like the "creed" types.

    The industry standard is to sell music that keeps the lights on...Product!
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Akai MPC4000s and Roland Handsonics will rule the music world.
  12. What people don't get is a drum-bass-guitar-synthesizer combo can still offer loads of possibilities.

    The sequenced, cut and paste stuff is the music industry at its... usual low level. It's cheaper, faster, easier to SELL. Plus only looks and bodies matter now.

    BSB ruined it for instruments in pop music. Actually the bass guitar in in MUCH worse shape than guitars.

    I just don't listen to much new stuff anymore save the indies...
  13. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    Bruce is 100% correct and I agree with him totally.

    In 50 years analog bass and guitar will be what organ or double bass are today.
  14. digitally edited or not, it's still a guitar or bass, or voice for that matter.
    unless it was sampled off a sample CD or someone else's record, someone would have to play that small phrase.
    and when they play live, they'll usually use a live band- see Avril Lavigne, Pink, Robbie Williams, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the Spice Girls/solo artists etc.
  15. ps. re. hip-hop there's real bass on the Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Pras- played by producer Jerry Duplessis.
  16. Given that there is an entire world of MIDI control and electronic signal processing that almost all electric instrumentalists have never even considered, I don't think that the flexibility of an electric stringed instrument is going to peak anytime soon.

    Whether people are going to be willing to expand into the new possibilities is another matter.
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I'd like to add that, I think most production Pop music will be processed not unlike what you have all been talking about. Heck, most of it is already.

    But for originality, I'll take the near beginners in the garage for Rock 'N' Roll every time because, the already made sampled tones can't anticipate the logic/illogic of each humans approach to instument playing.

    Great songs are not always about hitting the exact right notes. The most intense and fresh music is almost always less than perfect. That possibility that it can fall apart, that human frailty, the emotion.

    The most memorable songs and musicians are always bending the rules, that gives music style.
    Now whether it makes into the hallowed halls of production pop or radio play is another question.
  18. David Watts

    David Watts

    Aug 12, 2002
    I think predicting the imminent demise of guitar music is premature, to say the least.
    I don't care how talented an engineer Bruce's, trumpet player's, brother in law is, would you pay to see him use pro tools live?

    I think this is the reason keyboards seem to become popular again every 10-15 years, or so, and then fade away. It sounds cool for a change, but it's damn boring to see a guy standing alone onstage playing 6 different keyboard synthesizer sequencers. Invariably, such a trend is followed by another guitar band phase. Guitars bands are just more sexy and thus more entertaining.
  19. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I agree with this statement for the most part. The music industry tends to work in cycles. I see right now as a sort of early 70's or early 80's type situation. There is no real dominant genre. Sure there's great stuff coming out, there always is, the thing is that mainstream music is in between "phases". The way I see it, the trend the last forty or so years seems to be: band comes out with new form of music that is easily accessible (ex.: The Beatles, Nirvana etc.)->industry capitalizes on this newly popular genre/sub-genre by releasing many extremely similar bands (ex.: can we say "Creed" anybody?)->market becomes saturated with similar artists to the point that market becomes bored with that type of sound (ex.:I think we're here right now personally)->a very different type of genre begins to take control of the market in a similar fashion as before->rinse and repeat.

    At least that's the way I see it. As always, I could be wrong.
  20. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    >>>But for originality, I'll take the near beginners in the garage for Rock 'N' Roll every time because, the already made sampled tones can't anticipate the logic/illogic of each humans approach to instument playing. <<<

    I think that will still happen.....just not with the instruments that we're familiar with.

    A 'virtual garage' come to mind with kids making music over a digital network.

    Or maybe kids will get together with their laptops, palm pilots, or by then 'wristwatch size processors and make music with those tools.