Wash Post article "Death of the electric guitar"

Wash Post article "Death of the electric guitar"
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Yeah, it’s a click-baity headline but a thought-provoking article, albeit clearly from the perspective of people of a certain age (cough). Worth a read, although if you’re like me and can’t handle bright text on a black screen because of retinal afterimages, it will hurt to read… (I copied and pasted the text into a file to avoid that!)


Death of the electric guitar? I’m not so sure. (Though yes, interesting read).

So he took stats from Gibson, Fender, and PRS, then examined the financial trends of their primary market outlets. Think about what that doesn’t tell us.

Gibson and Fender drop. Big surprise. But PRS doesn’t? This screams ‘rise in boutique luthier sales.’ Why? The insane high end of boutique luthiers are direct competition. Just as good (often better) guitar, comparable price point. And right now, very popular.

How about the sheer volume of pre-owned alternatives available? And the accessibility of guitars on the pre-owned market?

He also surveyed too small of a sample. To look at GC + Sam Ash, then not look at Sweetwater, Vintage King and several other large vendors seemed odd.

Still interesting to read :smiley:


Yep, I don’t agree with most of it either. Interesting though, not the least that it’s even being written about in the WaPo at all!


True that. In articles where I’m not on-board with the opinion, I still find the stats, numbers, and financials worth glancing at.

I’m generally surprised that acoustics outsell electrics at GC. Didn’t expect that.


The Devil’s music will never die! Mwahahahahaaaaaa. :smiling_imp:


One thing I really did like reading in this piece is that many more girls and young women are taking up guitar. Whether that’s because of Taylor Swift or not, it’s a VERY good thing IMO. I really hope that continues.

One other observation. Although it may be true that there are fewer “guitar heroes” these days, it is also true that the younger generation is, to a large extent, familiar with and respectful of the music of the 60s and 70s. I have had the experience many times of seeing kids in their 20s (sorry… at my age, people in their 20s are still kids!) who are very familiar with Motown, late 60s rock, early hard rock, and much more. It restores some of my faith in humanity. :+1:


I would say it happens to me every other time when I can’t get anything to work. It has a pop up screen and wants you to sign up. I left it on for three minutes and nothing moved. I have both a Gibson and PRS and was interested. I have said to my wife on so many occasions lately “do you hear any guitar is this song?” I do know that from experience when trying to view the Post, tons of ads usually take 10 minutes to load. I only have a 4 meg speed here in the boonies




For them to suggest that there are no more ‘guitar heroes’ just shows that they didn’t bother asking any guitarists. I think that there are now far more ‘guitar heroes’ than there used to be, and maybe that’s the reason for their misguided opinion. It used to be that we, as consumers of guitar music, had limited access to info about higher-profile musicians. Only the very top echelon would obtain guitar hero status (thinking Clapton, Page, Beck, Hendrix, etc.) Now, via the internet, we have access to much more information and exposure to many more players, styles and music sources. Now guys promoting themselves via YouTube are becoming ‘guitar heroes’, cultivating a following and influencing other players. No longer do you have to rely on record companies and radio stations to reach your fanbase.

Most of what I listen to will never get played on the radio (especially here in the United States) but many of these bands include players that I would consider as having reached ‘hero’ status (John Petrucci, Ty Tabor, Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Pete Thorn, Adrian Smith, Joe Bonamassa, Rob Scallon for a range of examples.) The ‘guitar hero’ is alive and well, there are just more of them and they have evolved into something a little different.

To paraphrase Paul Maud’Dib… “Long live the players!!!”


Completely agree with this. I’ve come across some great players online who have been significant recent influences. Johnny Hiland is another example.

Major props for this shout-out…! Dune FTW! “Fear is the mind-killer…”


I’'m pretty skeptical of their figures too. First of all, the used market is huge and basically can’t be tracked when it’s owner to buyer. Secondly, as mentioned, lots of new manufacturers seem to be taking a bite out of the big boys now. Everyone on this thread can probably name five manufacturers that now directly compete with Fender and Gibson that others have never heard of. It used to be Fender and Gibson and everybody else; that’s clearly not the case anymore. Music has obviously changed, and commercial radio certainly doesn’t feature guitar music much, especially in relation to Rap, R&B and pop music, so mainstream listeners now are more concerned with rhyming than learning the solo to Sunshine of Your Love. I think with the relatively recent rise of country and country-rock hybrid music sales of Telecaster would be through the roof, since there are usually 12 guitars in each band.