The future of old instruments and the music they make

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rylie, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. rylie


    Sep 25, 2017
    somewhere stable
    I've played guitar since 1965 bass since 1975
    in that time I've witnessed the interest of people to buy/play guitar/bass
    that was the American music culture then, when guitar gods ruled
    fast forward to 2000 and on:
    are young people buying/playing the same instruments that I bought 40-50 years ago?
    are we, the guitar/bass players, of the past, THE OLD GUYS, the NEW dinosaurs?
    welcome TB opinions on traditional string instruments, the people who play them
    and their future
    zontar and BBQisgood like this.
  2. CB3UK


    Jan 13, 2017
    Lexington, KY
    I graduated HS in 2001. It was popular then. Its popular now.

    The difference is popular music. Its not nearly what it used to be, nor is the guitar being pushed front in center in a lot of it. Top 40 Pop R&B and Rap have taken a lot of that demographic and its just a different world out here now.

    But no worries, plenty of us who are younger carrying the torch
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Stringed instruments have been around for a couple thousand years. I'm sure they'll find a way to be relevant for a few thousand more years.

    I'm sure Leo would have found a way. Others will too.:thumbsup:
    fdeck, BBQisgood, DJ Bebop and 7 others like this.
  4. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    No, we’ve been the old dinosaurs for quite some time. The ‘allure’ of vintage instruments, if that’s what you’re referring to, has faded substantially with younger people, and the definition of what’s ‘vintage’ has shifted as well for those still interested. While it’s just my opinion, consider this: the quality decline in Fender and Gibson guitars/basses that ramped up in the early to mid-70’s gave rise to the reappraisal of those made 10, 15, 20 years previously. The notion of vintage was born, and the idea spread and became big business. Fast forward 20/30 years later, and those instruments from 50’s and 60’s were all bought up, or astronomicaly priced. All of a sudden, a ‘75 three bolt chocolate Strat with a plastic finish that everybody used to turn their noses up at was gleefully sought after by a new generation of players. The original Japanese(and eventially Korean)-made Squiers, the compromise on the impact of “lawsuit guitars”, were never considered by would be serious players. But now, or at least for the past decade or so, they’ve been a hot ticket. Who knew? I would think the boutique instrument scene would sustain itself, by its own rules. The rank-and-file market isn’t demanding, or has an interest in, ‘vintage’. In the big picture, the overall antique market is a bit worried, as there is a lessening interest by younger people in collectable items, or in possessions in general. In posts here, I’ve noticed an increasing apathy concerning vintage or older instruments.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  5. Some years ago stores were selling more DJ turntables than electric guitars. Now it's all computer generated beats that is the rage.

    Guitar based rock bands are still a thing but not front and center so much.
  6. RayWithFlats


    Mar 22, 2020
    on the 1
    “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein.” - Dick Rowe, rejecting the Beatles in January, 1962.*

    You never know what’s around the corner...

    *George Martin actually defended Rowe in his autobiography, saying every single label rejected the Beatles but at least Rowe thought enough of them to have them come in and audition in person.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Times change. 1900-1920 nearly every household had a piano. 1920-30 guys would go door to door to sell accordion lessons. After that it was small wind instruments, trumpet and sax etc (Big Band era). Then the 50's and Elvis etc with guitars (and that lasted a lot longer than many trends).
    You can't discount the computer with a good DAW and lots and lots of loops as a viable trend (Garage Band etc).
    What's next? Your guess is as good as another. (but don't discount acapella groups for fun and portability)
    bassdude51 and mikewalker like this.
  8. I was looking on Youtube and this was one of those pop-ups on the side that call your attention.

    Maybe not directly relevant but there's hope for some of the young to carry on with instruments. And quite a good performance IMO. From 2015.....

    motornap, Rezdog, DJ Bebop and 6 others like this.
  9. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Music is doing fine. So are the instruments that create it. You probably won't like where it's going next, but trends come and go and are reborn a bit different in time.

    Now the BUISINESS of music... That's kind of screwed right now and no one sees any hope in sight.

    And yes. Most of us here are dinosaurs.

    ...Oh and that's my final word on the matter.
  10. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Hate to be the one to break it to you, but if you graduated from high school a generation ago, you’re a dinosaur.

    No hard feelings, I’m not too far behind you and coming to terms with my own dinosaurdom.

    But I think you’re right that the torch is being carried, if only thanks to parents sending their kids to lessons/camps/talent agencies promising to get them a viral video/etc.

    Whether or not that means the ethos and spirit of it is being preserved? wasn’t exactly being well preserved when it was thriving so I wouldn’t sweat it.

    Regardless, people are consuming more music than ever, the technology to produce it won’t be going anywhere. Even if it’s all sample based, someone has to make those samples in the first place.

    Things also move in cycles. Wouldn’t be surprised if at some point the retro aesthetic of playing actual instruments becomes mainstream again.
    dbsfgyd1 and Trabeen like this.
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Honestly there are a lot of other instruments I'd worry about fading away before guitars, basses, drums. I was in the orchestra in high school. Just for fun let's pour some whiskey and reminisce about the different experiences being an angst-filled teenager playing violin in the high school orchestra and being that same teenage bonehead playing bass in clubs with a fake ID. Which of those to concurrent experiences was more fun? Hmmmm?

    Best fake ID for metal?
    Jon Lars and james condino like this.
  12. nonconformist

    nonconformist Guest

    Mar 1, 2008
    Depending on how the country and the rest of the world continues to handle the pandemic, there might also be substantial effects on the delivery, performance, and creation of music. It's hard to have a long rehearsal 'til the wee hours in a basement studio with no windows and not trade air (and pathogens).
    BassChuck likes this.
  13. Holdsg

    Holdsg Father of Pugs Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    I'm a dino
    I play keys and I play bass
    Keys playing continues to be in demand, for most genres.
    I get many more bands interested in my keys playing than bass.
    Keys also had a heyday in pop music in the 80s and are still relevant.
    Bass never really left (unless you count what EDM bastardizes by way of "bass").
    So I am confident that my skills/experience will continue to be needed until I don't want to do it any more.
    But, if a young person came to me and asked me what instrument they should learn, I'd probably say "Protools".
  14. bmusic

    bmusic Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Los Angeles
    I read last year that more girls were picking up the guitar than ever before, and the person they were Most citing as an inspiration was Taylor Swift. You can debate the quality of her music all you like, but if she’s driving young people to pick up the guitar—and clearly out of a desire to tell their stories through music rather than simply to shred—I think that’s pretty cool.

    My son (14) plays drums and bass. My daughter (16) plays bass. My other daughter (20) plays guitar and keys. Aside from a brief flirtation with Garage Band loops (the boy), their musical pursuits have followed the same making-sounds-with-vibrating-wood path as ours. In other words,

    The Kids are Alright
  15. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    WOW! You brought back an old memory that I've not thought about for over 50 years. I remember back in the late 50s when the accordion was kind of popular and some kids in my neighborhood took accordion lessons. And then the accordion became a "dork instrument" and an embarrassing thing to play. And then fast forward to the 90s and the accordion becomes popular again with Tex-Mex and Cajun Music's popularity.

    Yep, what comes around goes around. What's new becomes old becomes new again.

    Violins and guitars have been around for 500 years and are still going strong.

    Les Pauls, Telecasters, Strats, P Basses will be around for scores of more years. Although Rock n Roll may never be as popular as it was in the 50s, 60s and 70s. It will never die.

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  16. Seashore


    Jun 2, 2019
    I know metal is mostly just a tired punchline here, but as a lifelong metalhead and metal player, I'm (mostly) happy to say that "real" instruments and musicianship in the genre overall are going stronger than ever. There's been a trend of bands recording their albums live for a few years and a definite push towards strong performances and skilled engineering as opposed to a punch-it-in and fix-it-in-the-mix mentality. Kids these days are really striving for virtuosity (I don't dig on the wankery but it's cool to see people playing like they mean it). It's also nice to see musicians in their 40s and over still making energetic and vital music, in an arena that used to look like a youth cult. It's a niche, but it's a pretty broad one.
    J-Bassomatic, SpyderX and Charlzm like this.
  17. LeFunk Machine

    LeFunk Machine

    Sep 12, 2014
    IMO, the future is not looking bright for them but you never know, things can do a 360 turn
  18. WestyBassBob


    Mar 2, 2020
    Guitar based pop is definitely not in vogue right now but it seems that the bass is as hot as ever. Plenty of pop stars like to include one in their recordings and on stage and it seems to be a handy way to generate new beats and grooves in conjunction with a keyboard or drum machine.
  19. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    A high school kid at church has a dream of owning a vintage strat or tele, as do his closest friends. He is a different breed of musician, but tasteful and a great kid. He alone has given me hope. There has to be at least a dozen more in the world like him. ;)
    Charlzm likes this.
  20. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    THIS is a vintage collectable. What does that tell you?