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What´s wrong with guitar players?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CoolHat, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Why is it that the guitarists can´t see the beauty and superiority of custom-made instruments? I mean we bassists (or at least TBers) can appreciate the quality and originality of custom basses, but guitarists are just obsessed about vintage Strats and Les Pauls. They spend huge amounts of money for old factory-made guitars when they could have extraordinary and unique instruments made by top luthiers for a fraction of the price. Mind you, I´m talking about players here, not collectors.

    And it´s not only the vintage market:where is the originality in guitar design? 99% of contemporary guitars are straight derivatives of Strats or LPs and the 1% that has some originality is instantly rejected as "freaky" and "ugly" by majority of players.

    When I think about all the stunning designs I have seen here at TB it makes me want to shake all the guitarists of the world and say:"Stop living in the past! I love Jimi and all, but isn´t it time for you to create new icons and give all those talented luthiers a chance to be a part of that"

    Uh, was that a rant or what? Feel free to comment...
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The "old factory-made guitars"(e.g. pre-CBS Fender)were made in shops by some very skilled craftsmen of that day...that, to me, smacks of today's boutique builders(i.e. Sadowsky, Suhr, Pedulla, etc).
    So, for me, as long as the product is made with love, I'm "OK"...I know that sounds corny as Hell, but consider a pizza made by a Pizza Hut employee vs. the pizzas I remember made by the owners of a Mom n' Pop store. Big difference...
    IMO, the same holds true for instruments.

    I like my pre-CBS Fender, my '78 Music Man, & my '78 Schecter 'cause they have some history on them. I also like the ones I assembled & put together for the same reasons. Again, corny as Hell, right?

    About guitar design...the instrument has to be ergonomic. How has the flute, piano, etc been re-designed over these past few centuries?
  3. I don´t, athough it might sound like it ;)

    I am just wondering why guitarists seem to be much more conservative than bassists. I mean, if you post here a picture of, say, a Jerzy Drozd bass, almost everybody would be admiring it´s beauty. Others would maybe say that it´s not to their taste, but even they would appreciate the workmanship. But if you sent the same picture to a guitar forum, you´d get responses like "That´s the ugliest thing I have ever seen!"

    Of course we bassists like old classics too, but we seem to be more open to bolder designs. I mean even if a guitarist decides to invest in a custom-made instrument by an independent luthier, it is almost certain that it will be Strat or LP copy. I mean if (and when) I bought myself an unique instrument, I would want it to look unique too!
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    The history of the guitar goes back further than the history of the bass. Tradition is a big part of it. That's why it's Martins, Gibsons and Guilds for acoustics and Fender and Gibson for electrics.

    Look at the bright side, if guitarists were as willing to try new things as bassists, we probably wouldn't have so many great bass designs. Tobias, Pedulla and a bunch of other builders started out by making guitars and switched to making basses when they found that public to be more willing to accept different ideas.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sure, but the P-Bass design is older than the Les Paul or the Stratocaster.

    I think the main reason is that bass has benefitted more from technology improvements over the years, thus bassists are more open to newer designs (in both instruments and amplification).

    Guitarists DO often buy custom axes, it's just that many are in the vein of a Sadowsky or Lull bass a variation on a classic Gibson or Fender design. For example, a friend of mine recently bought a hand-made custom Telecaster.

    Sadowsky also makes guitars, you know. Schecter, Charvel and Jackson all started as custom builders. There's also a decent market for custom built jazz guitars (Sadowsky has just introduced one!).
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    This is a complete myth!!!

    The people slapping Fenders together back in the 50s and 60s were no more skilled than those doing it today. Certainly they were not working at the level of today's small boutique shops in terms of wood selection, fret dressing, etc.

    The goal was always MASS PRODUCTION.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Needless to say...I disagree.
    FWIW, neither my '64 P-bass nor my '64 Bassman amp looked/felt like it was slapped together. Some very neat point-to-point wiring in that amp, IMO.

    Maybe I'm off my rocker-
    Generally, one guy started & completed the instrument. How many people worked in Leo Fender's shop...4 or 5 guys?

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