Guitar Shortage?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Merc, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    Feb 17, 2020
    As to the "classic" rock, I think it is hard to predict what music will be popular in the future.

    My son is 31 now and I rarely played music when he was growing up so he was pretty much free to listen to whatever he wanted, and mostly liked the stuff that was popular at the time for his age group.
    But at some point he (and his friends) discovered Led Zep and the James Gang and Aerosmith and AC/DC and the Doors and many other high-quality bands that we now call "classic."

    To me, the quality and complexity of that music is what makes it so good and still viable today. The lightweight stuff is forgettable but Led Zeppelin will rule forever! LOL!
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  2. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, I have 12 rolls of TP and a couple dozen guitars, so I guess I'm good to go ...................
    Tadhg likes this.
  3. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    Anecdotally, the flow of buyers for the extra pedals I have laying around has definitely been slower lately than it was a few months ago. I'm not in a rush or anything, but there are now about a dozen pedals taking up floor and shelf space that could be put to better use. Usually pedals move on Reverb for a good price in hours, not days.
    audept likes this.
  4. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Well, they’re still working on another Stimulus or whatever package. Despite that most should be using it for bills, I imagine some will make its way to gear whenever it does drop.
    G5422T likes this.
  5. Tadhg

    Tadhg Gretschie

    Aug 8, 2019
    Qld - Australia
    My son enjoys U2 (loved going to their concert last year, his second concert, 9 years apart - the last time they headed down under), loves Coldplay. Thanks to Marvel he discovered Sabbath (Iron Man - yes, that obvious), AC/DC (same, but he's explored further) and Zepplin (why did it take 3 movies before Immigrant Song?!).

    My daughters are younger, but on the school drive or family holidays we always play 'weird' playlists, designed to be stuff they'd never choose themselves. Not sol they'll enjoy it, just so they'll be exposed to it. Some will stuck, some won't (not all of it is stuff I'd choose to play), but if you don't hear it, how do you know if you like it?

    I feel that not exposing our kids (and grandkids) to the widest possible variety of music across all eras is neglecting them to musical poverty.

    My son was given an acoustic the other week (an acquaintance rocked up at the door - "I'm moving, we've no room, do you want this?"); the reaction was awesome. :cool:
    audept and Merc like this.
  6. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    My older cousin took me to see Iron Maiden on the Seventh Son tour when I was only in sixth grade. That live performance was life changing for me. Exposure to music and live shows when possible are the way to go.
    Tadhg likes this.
  7. richopp

    richopp Electromatic

    Feb 9, 2009
    Possibly some are. I recently purchased an acoustic GUILD for messing around the house. I made the mistake of buying it online, and it is terrible. I will never play it, and compared to my 1980's GUILD 12, it is, well, to be kind, not very well made or anywhere near what I expected from GUILD. and learn, I guess. It did take 4 weeks to arrive, however, so that could indicate some shortage of some kind for less-than-good guitars.

    As for electrics, I wanted a used Les Paul for a while. They have hundreds of them listed on places like ebay and the prices are all gigantic. I never thought it was worth the asking retail price, but used some are more than retail and none are what I would call a "bargain" by any means. I gave up on that idea. Evidently people who own them think they are worth more than I do. It amazes me that literally hundreds and hundreds of them are for sale every day and the prices remain way high for non-vintage, regular production used ones. Whatever...

    new6659 and Merc like this.
  8. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    I think we’ve all had an online purchase without playing and regretted later. Sometimes we never learn or just roll the dice again due to price or availability. They wouldn’t take the Guild back?

    That’s a very nice Vette. Is it yours?
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    When Fender sold the Guild brand to Cordoba, I spoke with a classical guitarist that had nothing good to say about the new owners, based upon experience with their classical line. I know that they acted very concerned regarding complaints of weak bridge pickups in the Newark Street lineup, but later told us owners to pound sand. I'm not impressed with Cordoba and, tragically, wouldn't be surprised if they lower the standards of the brand.
    Merc likes this.
  10. gretsch-to-go

    gretsch-to-go Electromatic

    Oct 2, 2019
    Palm Coast, FL
    I'm still seeing the smaller local music & other small business brick & mortars going under from economic shutdown. The local bike shop went under last week & closed after decades of operations. They still had a lot of bikes. Online sales seems to be where it's at. I think alot of larger businesses are reigning in their distribution channels and territories are expanding for those they keep.

    A few years back I worked at Trac-Fone, they did the same thing. Analyzed their distribution network and right sized it to eliminate the underperforming brick & mortars. That kind of back fired on them, because they created a new competitor out of it. Those that were eliminated as Trac-Fone ended up selling their competitor's products. So they eliminated the "underperforming distributors", but their competition took market share from them. Double edged swords, win one battle, lose the war. Trac-Fone is big enough that it didn't effect exec pay appreciably, they just got rid of FT staff and contracted/outsourced their corporate office. I was a contractor in that, they kept stringing employment out for their purposes and dumped labor without any ST or LT obligations. The old temp to perm hire shell game. That was mid 2015-early 2016. 3 month contract stints, went thru 3 of those and they don't renegotiate wage along the way once you see they are never going to make good on the hire perm part of it. The truth is eventually exposed of what they're pulling. Lesson there, if they aren't offering it walking thru the door, they never are, that's the honeymoon and as good as it's going to get.

    Anyway, I think they have the capacity to make as many guitars as consumers can buy. I do know in 2019 Guitar Center had so much inventory, a lot of what they had on the racks weren't new inventory, many of the guitars I looked at, & the one I eventually bought were at least 1-2 years old from SN date of manufacture for some models. Many were rotated inventory for date of manufacture, like grocery store inventory is for date of expiration. FIFO/LILO inventory accounting.
    Tadhg, G5422T, Merc and 1 other person like this.
  11. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Gretschie

    Nov 18, 2019
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    This reminds me of something I wonder about sometimes - Who's buying all the guitars that are made? There are many guitar stores around the world filled with guitars, and presumably they continually sell enough to pay the bills & their employees. Is there really a continual demand for guitars? When I try to imagine how many guitars there are in guitar stores around the country (and world), and all the casual musicians there must be (and of course pro musicians) to buy them, it seems mind-boggling.

    I've heard of guitars sitting/hanging in a store for years before they get purchased, too..
    new6659, Merc and drmilktruck like this.
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I've wondered the same thing. A decent guitar will last quite a while, yet new ones are sold every day.
    Runamok, Merc and CalicoSkies like this.
  13. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Gretschie

    Nov 18, 2019
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    I was surprised when I tuned to my local classic rock station several years ago and they were playing Nirvana. To me, that was always alternative/grunge and isn't classic rock.. My parents played music a lot when I was growing up (and they both play guitar), so I guess I was influenced by that. I've wondered how much music I might play around my kids growing up and if they'd like it or not.. I'd probably play a lot of the same classic rock & other stuff I listened to when I was growing up, which will be even older when I play it around my child(ren).
    Merc likes this.
  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    The fact is, anything and everything changes over time. Society changes as the older generation thins out, and eventually passes away entirely.

    I have a friend that is 65 and his wife is 61. To him, John Glenn will always be an astronaut, to her, Glenn was a senator. To him, Paul McCartney will always be a Beatle, to her, he was the guy in Wings. When the Beatles were on Sullivan, I was watching it live. A lot of the people who were watching that night have left us.

    When I was 16, Stevie Wonder had a song called If You Really Love Me, which got a fair amount of airplay. I loved that song, and when it quite getting airplay, I became aware that the bright new world of my generation wouldn’t be bright and new forever. I was always a Chicago fan, but that would be like being a Benny Goodman fan, in my father’s timeline. I’m a rare exception, in that I’ve seen Benny Goodman, but most people my age were barely aware of him. If I had children, they would have heard Chicago, but it would have been Dad’s old music to them, and they would have rolled their eyes when I played it.

    Classic Rock might last a bit longer, because it is essentially the last Pop/Rock music to be produced with live drummers and no click track. That means a lot, at least to me. I have pretty solid timing, but playing to a click always been like walking in wet cement. Humans are timed by the beta waves coming off our brains. That is our “system clock” and it is a living thing.

    When we play music, we are timed by the living clock in our heads. It’s a very accurate clock, but it is not the absolute tyrannical beat of a click track. There’s room for expression, IMHO, even at the base level of our internal, biological clock. If you study speech patterns, you will notice that speech is very rhythmic. Compare that to computer generated speech and tell me which you’d rather hear for an extended time period.

    When the Click became king and more and more of the music became dominated by drum machines, sequences programmed into synths, etc. the soul of the music was lost. The humanity was lost. If you quit listening to Pop & Rock, early in 1983 and started listening again in Spring of 1984, you would have been shocked. I know, because I did that very thing. I had been listening to classical music, Jazz and during the workday, an AM station that played music for the ‘60s. Music of the mid ‘80s hit me like a fast moving brick wall. It sounded so artificial, so stilted and so predictable. It was the apex of Synth Pop and it durn-near liked to have killed me. When we hear music from that era now, we are hearing the distillate; the examples that withstood the test of time.

    It’s not just the beat, either. A lot of ‘60s and ‘70s music was harmonically complex. More than a little of it had at least a degree of Jazz influence. There was an interesting mix of Rock, R&B and Jazz which came through, and another strain of music that combined Country and Rock in a pleasing way. (Keep in mind that the best selling album of the 20th Century was the Eagles Greatest Hits, up through ‘75.)

    I have noticed that a lot of Classic Rock playlists taper off sharply beyond 1982, or so. It was a time of seismic change in the industry, and I suspect that music of the ‘60s and ‘70s will wear well over time.

    However, I don’t think that Classic Rock will regain the market clout it once had. In the ‘70s, a lot of young men wanted to be like their favorite Rock stars and saved up for a Les Paul or a Strat. I sincerely hope that situation returns, but I don’t see it happening to that same extent right now. A friend who teaches guitar has told me that many of today’s students don’t want to approach guitar to as great of depth as their parents’ generation did.

    There is one other factor at work here and I think it may be of very great significance. The ‘70s were a time of economic uncertainty. There was unemployment, inflation and even concerns about product shortages. During such times, people tend to be more interested in creativity. Most of the last 40 years have been times of economic growth. Perhaps music just didn’t seem so important, any more.

    There is a Rick Beato interview with Eric Johnson which I found quite interesting. One thing they talk about, is how music has gotten simpler. Johnson poses a question which I think is quite apt; does music fill the same role that it used to. Paraphrasing loosely here, he wondered if contemporary music was just a beat to be played in the background while people worked on computers. I think he had a point. Perhaps the experience I had the first time I heard Chicago, Santana, James Taylor, etc. is no longer desirable. Maybe music has become just background noise for a very busy world, a pulsing beat that serves the function the white noise of a fan might serve in a noisy environment. If so, we have lost part of what it means to be human.
    Penguin, new6659, Merc and 1 other person like this.
  15. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    When I was in high school and college and even later, I sat down purposefully to listen to music. Other than look at the record jacket and lyric sheet I wasn’t doing anything else. Now I’m almost always doing something else, driving in the car, walking the dog, working on the computer.

    In the past the stereo was a focal point of my room, dorm room, family room, etc ... Now it’s on my phone and computer only. More of it is easily available, but that has made it less precious. I visited record stores regularly and was elated when I found something I had been looking for. Now I can find even obscure songs immediately.

    AFAIK my son has always listened to music this way. Maybe other young people still experience music the way I did but I suspect not.

    It’s background music, incidental music, soundtrack music. It no longer stands on its own except when played live. Sadly with COVID-19, that’s been taken away too.
    Penguin and new6659 like this.
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    All points well taken. I know that listening to music doesn’t have the same place in my life that it used to. Most of the music I listen to is either YouTube videos (which is the easiest way to nail an obscure songs) or music I play on my iPhone while taking my daily bike ride. In some ways, it is what I dreamed of; being able to listen to anything I want, at any time I want. These are things I thought I wanted, but the computerized lifestyle that came with it is not so much fun.

    I am no fan of hypnotism, and not advocating it in any way, but I have read that hypnotism relies upon distraction to a great extent. Our Internet age is an age of distraction. I think that we no longer have the freedom from distraction required to listen to music the way we did back in the day. Our modern life has so many things competing for our attention, that our way of relaxing has had to change as well. It’s only mildly hyperbolic to state that the distraction of phones that follow us everywhere, continuous emails, texts, alerts popping up on computer screens, etc. have limited our attention spans.

    Until roughly 150 years ago, to listen to music, one had to be in the presence of a musician. Player pianos and gramophones were the first way of recording and replaying music. Player pianos were a way to hear a song, well played, on demand and with the sound quality of a musical instrument, which was far superior to a wax cylinder. The progression since then has been ever upward towards more music and ever less effort required to listen to whatever we like. In a relatively short time, listening to music went from a rare event to being ubiquitous.

    So we have more access to music, and less undivided attention to give to the music we hear.

    Over 40 years ago, I gave up TV, with no regrets. I’m giving serious consideration to giving up smart devices, because I think that they have the same potential for monopolizing our attention that broadcast TV had, back in the day.
  17. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    I like to push back on these pessimistic stereotypes. Have so many people already forgotten about what the previous oldies said about the downfall of music because of Elvis? Heck, I knew jazz musicians in high school who thought all pop music, including rock, was background music/opiate for the masses.

    Anywho, my son hates playing piano (so he says) and doesn't listen to music.

    The other day he pulls me to the piano and plays a song. He had learned 2 of the songs form his video games by ear.

    Although, one anecdote does not establish a trend, for me or anyone else.

    I find that most criticism of music "these days" is really just griping that young people don't listen to what old people do. It's egotisticql judgment.
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    What I’m talking about are the trends. There are plenty of people who are not part of the trends, but that’s not what makes the money move. 45 years ago, I bucked the trends, and while most players my age were playing the harder edged material, I was listening to Johnny Smith and Jim Hall. But that wasn’t the path to fame or riches.

    This thread started with someone noting that there seems to be little stock of new guitars, something I had observed myself. I made a comment that I felt that Classic Rock would have less influence in the future, and I stand behind that. Genres come and go. Ragtime is still great music, but it’s hardly driving the recording industry, or the instrument industry. The same could be said for all sorts of musical genres.

    Music is not likely to die, as long as there are humans alive. We are a musical species and even our speech is somewhat musical. Nonetheless, it has changed and as synthetically produced rhythms become ever more prominent, music, which is to say music marketed to the youth market, does take a step away from the human element.

    There’s also the sociological aspect; music reflects the mood of the times. The relative placidity of life in pre Civil War America probably played a role in Stephen Foster’s popularity. The music of the 1920s was of a time just after a horrendous war and had an entirely different vibe. Our time is quite different from the world of the ‘70s, when I was gigging as part of my income. The music reflects that.

    I have to both agree and disagree with you, somewhat in the same breath. Every generation thinks that theirs was the last to experience good times, and I must concede your point that some of this comes down to people criticizing something new.

    However, music is being created differently than it was in the past. Songwriting is done in a manner similar to the way computers are programmed. Snippets of music are played for focus groups and their reactions are gauged. The ultimate “composer” selects various snippets and assembles them into a finished product. It’s not so much songwriting as it is formulating hits. Such music is crafted to elicit certain responses from a certain target group. It’s happening in youth market music and it’s happening in Country.

    All well and good; hits make money and I can’t fault anyone for seeking to make a living with their talents. But such music may not have the staying power of music written in a more conventional manner. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors is not my favorite album, but it is good, solid, salable Pop and 43 years into its existence, it still generates interest. The Mamas and the Papas was roughly 55 years ago, and still appeals to listeners, in great part because of its amazing quality. I just don’t see how Pop written on a formula and employing a synthetic rhythm track could hope to achieve such longevity.
    TubeLife and G5422T like this.
  19. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    "I just don’t see how Pop written on a formula and employing a synthetic rhythm track could hope to achieve such longevity."

    It won't. It's like canned food.

    Open it up, eat it up, and on to the next can of stuff.
  20. Tadhg

    Tadhg Gretschie

    Aug 8, 2019
    Qld - Australia
    That first paragraph - isn't it crazy how such a short period of time - 4 years - can make such a massive difference in perspective?

    There's genius in your paraphrasing. I think it's accurate, too. I realized about 15 years ago that I didn't appreciate music in the same way that I had perhaps five years earlier. So I started playing tv news and documentaries as my background audio whilst working, saving music for when I could give it my focus. It made a difference.

    The last 100 years have seen incredible change in music. 140 years ago, you could hear music, but it was fleeting, gone once it was played/performed. Edison gave us recording, over time that became more widespread. Then radio came along. By the 50's, radio was common, but broadcast video wasn't. So it defined a few generations of youth culture. Now, apparently, YouTube, then Instagram, Snapchat and now TikTok are the defining media for youth culture. I think that's a large step backwards. And DrMilkTruck's right - music's more available, more ubiquitous, less precious.

    I think you're often right. And there's definitely a change in how we consume media. I look at my kids (15, 11, 8), they consume music differently than I did. At the same time, I'm very pleased that all of them have their own Spotify preferences, and I can stretch them.

    But beyond egotistical judgement, sometimes older people's feelings are just about what's popular at a point in time. For much of the last decade, a lot of the innovation and development has been in rhythmical treatments, with far less emphasis on melody and harmony. That doesn't suit me - rhythm's great, but I NEED melody. So I can't listen to some metal, or some rap. But other stuff in the same genres can be great - it's all about melodic and harmonic content for me. I don't care about a 'drop' (common in EDM - my son's mates love 'drops', and he's a little bit sucked in by it).

    But some of the newer stuff coming out is reaching back to older styles and returning to melody. Even if it's not traditionally produced. I'm especially thinking of work by Finneas and his little sister Billie Eilish. Pick and choose, you can hear influences from Sinatra to The Doors through to their contemporaries. So I'm happy to see young artists like them - people who recorded their albums (Billie's winning the big four Grammys this year at the age of 18) at home, themselves, for themselves, based on their own feelings, who then found an audience. It's not the traditional label/record deal method, but it's absolutely relying on connecting to people in the same way that the best of the albums from the old system (which can be romanticised, not because it was good, but because it still allowed through so much good music, as well as generic rubbish) relied on touching people emotionally.

    Think we're a fair way off topic, but it's a great conversation...
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