My wife and I had dinner with some friends recently. They have a son that is 26 and they were talking about how he thinks the guitar is dead. He thinks that electronic music is the future. He is a musician and has some awesome stuff on Soundcloud and he created all of it with just his computer.
This got me to thinking……is he right? Do other people agree?
Is the guitar dying?
I also had a conversation with the owner of my favorite local music store recently (support local non big box music stores when you can) and he was talking about how they are selling a lot less guitars to young people.
We talked about how kids these days (did I really just say that?) are into electronics, their phones and tablets. And you have to admit that there are lots of cool apps that do let you create some pretty neat music. I use a looping app and a drum machine app to practice to.
More evidence that may supports the idea that the guitar is dying includes:
Citing the decline in the sales of guitars from the big guns (Fender, Gibson) and the debt that big box stores like Guitar Center are in, the article goes on to say we need more guitar heroes to inspire the younger generation to pick up a guitar.
But I am not buying it. The guitar is not dead. I talk to people everyday that love playing the guitar. I teach folks in the RLG membership how to play guitar. I see the folks at our local monthly bluegrass jam. I see the huge number of guitar websites and youtube channels.
There are just so many great choices for music. And it is all accessible at the end of your finger tips, on devices that are always with us. It is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.
Just because the big guns are losing money right now doesn’t mean the guitar is dead. I think a lot of folks, including myself, like to buy quality used instruments.
Just because technology is awesome, does not mean the best, most expressive, most accessible instrument in the world is dying.
There is simply nothing as great as playing an acoustic guitar. The wood, the metal, the feel, the experience. There is just nothing like it.
I know the guitar will survive. As long as there are people that have something to say and are looking for a way to say it, there will be guitars.
As long as people want to entertain and be entertained, there will be guitars.
And as long as there are young kids that are curious, like my grandkids, there will be new guitar players.
There are modern day guitar heroes of this generation like Jack White, Gary Clark Junior and John Mayer, just to name a few, that are carrying the torch.
Not to mention Ed Sherran who is inspiring lots of folks to pick up the acoustic guitar and sing about their lives, loves, hardships and experiences.
“Popular music” may currently favor non guitar oriented bands and music. But it all comes back around.
The classic combination of an acoustic guitar and a voice will never go away. Throw in the bass and drums and you have perfection. And by the way, weren’t synthesizers and drum machines going to replace bass guitars and drums?…..
The digital experience will never replace the sound of a guitar. A computer will never replace the experience of physically playing the guitar to express creativity.
So show your guitar some love, pick it up and learn something new. Keep the guitar alive!
Invest your time and money in learning a new skill that will last forever. You are never too old to learn! And just like many years past, the guitar is the perfect instrument to begin your musical journey with.