As an aspiring guitarist, I find the following Wisconsin State Journal article somewhat disturbing. But I don’t believe it means the end of the guitar as an American icon. Sure, popular music (stuff made with computers, synthesizers, and samplers) does not have as much guitar in it anymore. But the guitar is still common in real music. This covers jazz, country, blues, rock, and metal (yes, there are other forms of real music, but I don’t consider pop music real to begin with).
Even then, guitars are still apparent in some pop music. Sheryl Crow and Dave Matthews play the guitar. John Mayer is a blues guitarist gone popular. But these seem rare in today’s “Top 40” culture. I was young and stupid once, and I listened to popular music in my youth. Today, I am a living, breathing musician who appreciates musical and writing talent. That’s why my musical influences include Lennon and McCartney (and I can’t wait to see Macca play at this year’s SuperBowl), Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, and Joe Walsh.
It’s also no secret that I’m a Metallica fan (or a Metallicat). Their intense, guitar-driven riffs and mind-blowing fast solos keep me wanting to learn how to master the guitar, or at least play like Kirk Hammett (as I’ve said, when I grow up I want to be him). For the handful of us that are purists, it is difficult to convince us that guitar in music is dead. Itâ€™s very unfortunate that popular music has essentially put it to rest. I think it goes to show that the recording industry still controls the music that we listen to.
So if youâ€™re like me and an aspiring musician (or an accomplished one), appreciate the talents that you have. Perhaps chicks will again dig us. Iâ€™ll continue to enjoy playing for as long as I can, and Iâ€™ll never tire of the great original sounds that come from the guitar.