• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Do you think guitar music will ever be great like it was from 1954 to 1979?

Sérgio

Active member
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
654
Self explanatory title, but let's get a little bit more into this.

Of course, we still have some great blues-influenced guitar heroes, like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jared James Nichols, Art Menezes, Joe Bonamassa and a handful of others. But I mean - no offense at all to contemporary artists - I have them all in my Apple Music playlists, but sincerely, I can't name many songs by anyone of them. If any.
I listen to everything, it's cool, they play really well, some are definitely as good or better than Clapton, Page or whoever, but the music is just not as breathtaking as it used to be.

Of course, streaming and internet advertising takes away a lot of the "hey, the Rolling Stones released a new album, let's take a trip to Tower Records and buy it!" feeling and that impacts the circumstance of music as a product a lot. Just as CDs and MP3 began to destroy the pleasure of owning, touching and looking at a vinyl record, cover art having been reduced to basically an ID of the disc.

This ain't just me speaking, I've read several references to this, articles and forum threads...

So, what do you think? How do you see this picture? Will guitar music ever rise above again or are we forever doomed with streamed "plastic" music?
 

ourmaninthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
6,606
I doubt if I have enough years left on the planet to fully appreciate the music from the years you've stated Sergio, let alone grieving the new stuff that supposedly isn't as good.

I do like that famous quote from Jackie McLean...." one does not know what is new, until one knows what is old "

In my alphabetical study of Jazz, after 30 years- somewhat of a beginner really, I'm up to C .....

;)
 

goldtop0

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,208
Yes the guitar was king in popular music in the era you've stated, it drove the sound with the improvement and variety in amplifiers.
That boom time will not be repeated in this digital age..........it'll be kept alive...... but as for anything new and exciting we'll look to the younger artists like Joe B and Josh Smith etc to excite our senses with their wonderful playing.
Like you I don't hear or 'get' the new tunes.........maybe I'm just too long in the tooth :LOL:
 
Last edited:

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,141
From those "Rock School" groups that came in the studio every year, those kids are well aware of Classic rock and oldies. Some of them are really good too. AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Allman Bros, Pink Floyd. Yeah they are fans.

Now for the rest of the world, digital division defines the genre of choice.
 

Shelkonnery

New member
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
16
The thing is guitar driven music was very new at that time. Exciting.
There is a great range of guitar based tunes from '54 to '79, from Link Wray to Chuck Berry to Pink Floyd to Black Sabbath.
Lots of novelty, musicians were really exploring and expanding. But that wil eventually get old.

Those classic tunes you mention were totally aligned with the zeitgeist of their time.
That's what renders them classic/timeless.
They are filled with meaning and attitude that represents their essence and time.

Nowadays guitars and bands projects are bourgeois.
Almost a luxury to an extent.
Good/cool guitars and amps and drums are way expensive for punk kids on a budget today.

So now that young rebel energy is found elsewhere.

But that is an understatement of all artists the came after that.
Guitar has always been present in many genres to this day.
Just because it's not on Johnny Carson everynight, doesn't mean there aren't some great fresh guitar music being made and played.
It's just not dudes ringing endless bends on Les Pauls :)
 

vintage58

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
3,941
There hasn't been a truly exciting new electric guitarist in a long while. Instead, the closest there is nowadays to something like that, is just a wide field of technically proficient but nonetheless yawnworthy parrots who've simply put in a lot of time meticulously studying the playing of earlier innovators.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,217
Guitar music is still being and guitar music is still great!

Perhaps our memories are selective. Just as "plastic" music exists today, it also existed in great abundance from 1954-1979: Pat Boone, Tom Jones, The Carpenters, Disco in general, and others. It's not that they're bad music, they're just not "guitar" music. (C'mon, Tom Jones is great fun!)

We've had 40 years to sort it all out.

Guitar music is still a major force. Post 1979: The Police, Guns 'n Roses, Nirvana (Grunge in general) Metallica, Killswitch Engage (Metal in general), The Black Crowes, Phish, Aquarium Rescue Unit (HORDE & jam bands from the '90s) ... many more

As for the past few years ... Wolfmother is super fun guitar rock! (Wolfmother is a bit derivative, but I love it!) I also like Super 400 - a power trio from Albany, NY.

Guitar music is still out there. I think that the heavy metal kids are out at the front with new tones and techniques while writing deeply interesting songs. They're also gear heads and into cool guitars and expensive amps. Don't forget, Taylor Swift is selling millions of acoustic guitars too!

Guitar music is still being and guitar music is still great!
 

bratpack7

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
242
I think there will always be good guitar music, but it will be a niche market. The young generations coming along have moved on to other things.
 

OldStrummer

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
117
I kind of think you answered your own question without knowing it, Sérgio. Let's not confuse guitar players with guitar music. You already mentioned mentioned some of the contemporary guitarists, which suggests that the artistry isn't dead. Much of the focus on this forum revolves around rock music. Ask a jazz guitarist who has replaced Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Bucky Pizzarelli and their ilk, and they will readily reply with names like Julian Lage, Lionel Loueke and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Who?

See, that's the problem. It's not that there aren't prodigies and guitar phenoms out there, it's that people aren't paying attention.

The Guardian ran a story just a couple of weeks ago:
Why bands are disappearing: 'Young people aren't excited by them.' We reading this have a more-than-passing interest in guitars and guitar music. For us, we'll always find great guitar music. But the days of the 'arena rock' concerts with three-dollar entry fees has left the station.
 

Ivan May

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
121
Guitar music really hasn’t been the same since the Eighties.

I’m an amateur guitarist, and even though I am no Tommy Shaw, I count him as an influence. Doesn’t automatically mean I can join Styx because I can sing high like him.

Then again, when I think of guitar music, clearly bands like The Black Keys, Styx, The Who, Journey etc. are good examples of guitar driven bands.
 

johnreardon

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
544
The answer to this question, I believe, would depend on your age. As someone who started playing guitar late 50s and played in a group, throughout the 60s, my answer would be 'NO'

However younger 'millennials' may think differently.

But does it really matter?.

It's not a competition. As long as people enjoy listening and playing music, then it's a good thing.
 

Aloha_Ark

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
120
Great guitar sounds can be mesmerizing and addictive. While the number of new, technologically advanced guitars are few in number, the vast array of guitar pedals and processors is seemingly unbounded. I enjoy listening to Samantha Fish, Gary Clark, Jr., Kid Andersen and many other guitarists. They seem to be very appreciative of those that came before them. We might not hear another SRV, BB King, Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Les Paul, etc., in our (remaining) lifetime, but as long as the gods of the past are revered, there will be new demigods to succeed them. I would never underestimate human imagination. It part of our nature, and genetics is supposed to afford the human race endless possibilities. The world keeps losing great songwriters. That is a nagging worry, as virtuoso performers will always exist. Songwriting takes even more talent than playing. Think of what the world would be like without a Brian Wilson?
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,086
I don't think the attention span exists anymore.

Too many things competing.

Things which didn't exist back then.
 

ch willie

Active member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
882
There are great guitarists out there, but they don't necessarily play in the classic rock mode. I listen to bands such as Fleet Foxes, The Weeks, KS Rhoads, Haim, Soccer Mommy, etc... Indie bands. Classic rock is dying--bands such as Foreigner and and Kansas have one original member each, so those bands have been dead to me for quite a while. The era is over, and only imitators will stick to the genre. It's hard to be original when you're trying to ride a genre that's seen its day, a genre which created great masterpieces that no one can live up to. It's not impossible for a sons/daughters-of-classic-rock to rise to the top of the milk jug, but we're in a different age now. Will an indie band create tunes that great? Maybe they've already done it, but we're just not listening to that genre.

I'm glad the era is over, and I'm glad that guitarists have taken music into different places. Try this:


 
Last edited:

bern1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,157
Will there ever be another time with a Django Reinhardt or Oscar Aleman? Or Clarence White and Tony Rice? Prince? Another time with Armstrong, Beiderbecke and Berigan? Another Ellington or another Mozart?

While we’re waiting, I’ll take H.E.R. And others like her, making real original music in the golden age of opportunity for all to be able to do it thanks to the power of modern recording and the internet. Along with the talent of course.

I like Kenny Wayne Shephard as well.

We are living in the golden age of opportunity in the music arts. Sure there is a lot of noise but the real deal is out there too. As it always is.
 

fakejake

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
1,251
I grew up in the 90ies, they were a pretty awesome time for guitar music:
Nirvana, Guns 'n Roses, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, Placebo, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers....
 
Top