Skip to comments.Why my guitar gently weeps (The death of the electric guitar industry -and why you should care)
Posted on 06/22/2017 4:29:03 PM PDT by Drew68
The convention couldnt sound less rock-and-roll the National Association of Music Merchants Show. But when the doors open at the Anaheim Convention Center, people stream in to scour rows of Fenders, Les Pauls and the oddball, custom-built creations such as the 5-foot-4-inch mermaid guitar crafted of 15 kinds of wood.
Standing in the center of the biggest, six-string candy store in the United States, you can almost believe all is well within the guitar world.
Except if, like George Gruhn, you know better. The 71-year-old Nashville dealer has sold guitars to Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift. Walking through NAMM with Gruhn is like shadowing Bill Belichick at the NFL Scouting Combine. There is great love for the product and great skepticism. What others might see as a boom the seemingly endless line of dealers showcasing instruments Gruhn sees as two trains on a collision course.
There are more makers now than ever before in the history of the instrument, but the market is not growing, Gruhn says in a voice that flutters between a groan and a grumble. Im not all doomsday, but this this is not sustainable.
The numbers back him up. In the past decade, electric guitar sales have plummeted, from about 1.5 million sold annually to just over 1 million. The two biggest companies, Gibson and Fender, are in debt, and a third, PRS Guitars, had to cut staff and expand production of cheaper guitars. In April, Moodys downgraded Guitar Center, the largest chain retailer, as it faces $1.6 billion in debt. And at Sweetwater.com, the online retailer, a brand-new, interest-free Fender can be had for as little as $8 a month.
What worries Gruhn is not simply that profits are down. That happens in business.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
"Now, its more electronic music and kids listen differently, McCartney says. They dont have guitar heroes like you and I did.
No guitar hero. Less interest in guitar. The demographic that played the guitar is getting old and dying off.
They can play video games so they can pretend to be playing guitar, baseball, football, etc.
Being good on guitar requires practice and discipline.
Not much of that being encouraged today.
EDM/Hip-Hop fan, I take it?
Gibson was persecuted by Obama regime: non-union and quasi-conservative, as I recall.
I agree with you. I am old but not dead yet.
I quit electric years ago but I still please a lot of people playing my Gibson Hummingbird.
In my 66 years I've taught a few people how to play. It's been fun so far...
You’ll have to pry my Martin D-1 outta my cold dead hands....(actually, oldest son will have to do it, as I promised him he could have it when I’m gone).
Rock ‘n’ Roll is dead. No more Elvis, no more Chuck Berry, no more Rolling Stones, no more The Beatles, no more The Animals. Males have been emasculated, and all we have are divas and fruits.
Apparently you don’t know about Joe Bonamasa, Derek Trucks, and a big resurgence of interest in American folk, which is guitars, various fiddles, etc.
Quality acoustic guitars are still selling fine.
If there's not another piece of music recorded for the rest of my life I won't feel cheated.
The wheels grind slowly, but exceedingly fine. The British Invasion is frequently credited with firing the fatal torpedo (in the form of the electric guitar) into the hobby industry and ultimately sinking it
albeit slowly. Looks like the world of "let's pretend" on hand-held electronic devices is returning the favor.
My 14 year old son is killing it, he plays drums, guitar, and bass and records his own stuff. He doesn’t quite have all the recording stuff down, but he is getting there. We can’t afford high end guitars for him, but he is doing well with what he has. It helps that his dad always had instruments lying around.
I first started playing the guitar in 1992. I still rock out on my fender telecaster for at least 15 minutes a day and often more. I have a 36 year old Gibson Les Paul too but I mostly just admire it these days. The tele is more playable IMO. I run the tele into a Vox wah wah and then into a very affordable Fender half stack and not much else.
I played endlessly as a teenager, in bands and whatnot. I lived and breathed the electric guitar. I lost interest and gave it up when I was in college and wound up selling (mostly pawning) all my gear.
As I entered my mid 30s, I found myself with the disposable income to purchase all the stuff I coveted as a teen. Now at 48, I now have a nice collection of top-shelf American-made Gibson Les Pauls, Fenders, Martin acoustics, British Marshall tube amplifiers and on and on. It's a nice collection of beautiful instruments that I'm proud of.
I just don't really have the time to practice so much these days. The skills aren't what they used to be.
People look at my gear and ask if I play. "I'm not so great at playing guitars." I reply, "but I'm really good at buying them!"
Joe Bonamassa. If anyone can bring back guitar he can.
10 year old blind boys sings and plays the blues
One of the contributors to the lack of customers is the HOA which wants total quietude in the neighborhood.
Thus, the death of the garage band. There aren’t any anymore.
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