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Tim35

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depends I guess.

 

I see quite a lot of younger guys doing acoustic duo and solo gigs around here. some of them posses talent years beyond their age.

 

at the same time, yea, many of us Dinosaurs are still out there doing what we've been doing since the turn of the last century...

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I'm not sure I agree. Look at the ukulele. Making a super comeback from near extinction. 5 string banjos - resurrected by Pete Seeger and The Kingston Trio. I just think the guitar, which is more versatile than both of these - will always be popular. Yes, as has been discussed here - many potential players will seek out the dark side of computer created 'music'. But I don't think technology will eliminate the acoustic guitar for people who want to feel, touch and hear music that is completely their own. And fiddle with it - try different bends, slides, hammering, picks, strings etc. I personally don't see how a computer can offer the subtitles of an acoustic guitar. Even an electric guitar can't.

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No...I dont think the acoustic will disappear...but I do think the demand for how many are currently being sold wont be there...which was my original opinion in my post.I agree that there are a few young folks who are great and playing acoustic...I have a friend who plays acoustic and is in his last year of college so yes they are out there but not in our numbers. That was my original point...the demand wont be nearly as high for new and used acoustics as it is with people our age.

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I am guessing the OP has not ripened enough to the point he remembers the first onslaught on acoustic guitars - the Beatles on the Sullivan show in early 1964. This was followed by scores of folkies abandoning their acoustic instruments for electric guitars or, in my case needing to initially go a cheaper route, slapping Dearmond pickups across the soundholes. Acoustic music, of course, had never gone away (Rounder Records which kicked off in 1970 is evidence of that alone) and starting in the early 1970s coffee houses came roaring back. Every weekend I would run up to the Town Crier Café in Hopewell Junction, NY to see the likes of U. Utah Phillips, Roy Bookbinder and Fats Kaplan, Woody Mann, the Wretched Refuse String Band and such.

 

The other factor to be considered is competition. Well into the 1960s Martin and Gibson owned the high end market. The bread and butter of the powerhouse Kay and Harmony companies remained the el cheapo instruments. And it was Kay and Harmony, not Martin and Gibson, which bit the dust not because they could not build a good guitar but because they were unable to compete with the flood of cheap MIJ instruments that began showing up in the mid-1960s. I once saw an interview with somebody who had worked at Kay (which went belly up in 1969) who said it cost the American company more to buy top wood than it did for the Japanese to build the entire guitar.

 

These days you can get a whole lot more guitar for your money than you once did. There is far more competition, at all levels of quality, then we saw. If Gibson and Martin are offering guitars at bargain basement prices (at least for them) it is a recognition of the fact they no longer own the high end market. If there is an elephant in the room it is the incredible number of used guitars on the market. But I somehow doubt Taylor would be producing over 70,000 instruments a year (with Martin not far behind), if there was not a market for those instruments.

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I sure as heck wouldn't buy a guitar for resale value...

 

I am lucky... but even with guitars worth about $10k, as an emergency source of funds they amount to spit. Houses rent here for $4,000 a month. Mortgaes are what? Healthcare costs are? Tuition costs?

 

No... Buy em because they bring you joy, and nothing else. TPBII is the outlier I think.

 

 

But no, I dont think the acoustic guitar is "dead". We are just in an ebb. The world will increasingly develop, and markets will become more fertile. There will be demand. Maybe just not in the US through big box stores.

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Zombiewoof...yes I watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and lived through the 60s Donovan etc.....everyone is missing my original point and that is why I may be leaving the group...you cant even offer an opinion without an argument....my point is 90% of kids these days are interested in rap...no acoustic needed...we were all interested in vast amounts of acoustic music...Beatles, Stones, CSN , Neil, on and on......the demand for the millions of acoustics will not be as high for future generations because of the music they listen to...

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I don't see an argument here my friend. Just the usual round about discussion: agreements, disagreements, thoughts on vaguely related issues. It's all good natured.

 

I think us old guys have our reasons for loving acoustics and those reasons will likely die out with us. And because of us, the market is aflood now with great acoustics... and we remember when there were virtually no great new acoustics on the market.

 

But, as the others have talked about, there's no telling what will influence the musicians of the future. The younger generation may find their own reasons for digging acoustic instruments. I remember many years ago when MTV (of all places) did that "unplugged" thing; it shifted musical tastes somewhat - if only for a while. Or acoustic music might just die. An interesting thought to ponder and certain to generate a wide disparity of opinions among the good people of this forum.

 

I picked a little last night (acoustic of course) with some regular picking buds - I'm 57, and my buds are 45, 23, and 19. So maybe there's hope.

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I'm sorry my geezer brothers, but music, acoustics, Fender, Martin, and Gibson will all be fine without us. Really. The only thing that will be missing after we are all gone is yet another thread like this in yet another forum. Again.

 

rct

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The only thing that will be missing after we are all gone is yet another thread like this in yet another forum. Again.

 

rct

 

It will be replaced by guys bragging about how cheap they got this or that guitar because our widows sold them based on what we had told them we paid paid for them.

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It will be replaced by guys bragging about how cheap they got this or that guitar because our widows sold them based on what we had told them we paid paid for them.

 

Mine will be sold by sramt lawyers in nice suits. After getting their substantial cut the proceeds will go to one of the wolf programs or something at Yellowstone. Like the rest of our earthly goods, nobody will be getting mine cheap!

 

rct

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There is no argument that the demand for acoustic guitars was fueled by popular trends such as the Folk Music Revival that burst out in the late 1950s. Back then you could not go anywhere without running into somebody with an acoustic guitar slung across their back. That is what I got caught up in. The first time I played in front of people was 1963, sitting on a stool with a 1930s Martin archtop a friend of the family had given me for my birthday. And I would imagine that demand dropped after the folk music thing started to fade.

 

Me, I might just be the bane of the guitar industry as in almost 55 years I have never purchased a new guitar.

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Things go in cicles and I think it's the same with guitar. There may be a lull but it will pick up again. People get a certain Joy from physically holding things. Books were going to be obsolete and replaced by tablets, didn't happen. Vinyl records have made a huge comeback. There's something to be said for the sight, feel and sound of a guitar over pushing a button to create music.

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I think we old guys 50+ are then end of an era for acoustic guitars...I also think companies such as Gibson and Martin realize this and are trying to wring every last dollar out of it. If you are buying a guitar for resale value I would think it isnt worth it.....most young people arent interested in acoustic music. Imagine how many acoustics (and electric!) Guitars are going to be for sale when we are gone....just think if you could transport yourself 25 years in the future you could pick up an awesome Gibson ot Martin dirt cheap!

 

Sorry for the bad english below...

 

I really disagree somewhat... Not that much young people listen classic music/orchestra/symphonies...

Still old violins prices increase... why would it be different with guitars ?

There will always be people playing these instruments, and even more people to listen. There is just nothing like real acoustic music. It has something fascinating to hear the sound coming mechanically from the instrument.

 

Same comparison can be made with watches, quartz never killed mechanical/automatic luxury watches business.

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I think we old guys 50+ are then end of an era for acoustic guitars...I also think companies such as Gibson and Martin realize this and are trying to wring every last dollar out of it. If you are buying a guitar for resale value I would think it isnt worth it.....most young people arent interested in acoustic music. Imagine how many acoustics (and electric!) Guitars are going to be for sale when we are gone....just think if you could transport yourself 25 years in the future you could pick up an awesome Gibson ot Martin dirt cheap!

 

Disagree 100%, but alas, we are all entitled to our opinions, right? Who actually goes into buying a new acoustic with the intent or expectation of resale value in mind?! Thinking of selling the guitar before you even buy it? If that's a criteria of yours, it's not a knock at the manufacturers, but more of the fault or personal issue with the buyer. As far as young people not interested in acoustic music, I don't think it's as dramatic or dire as you may think. Maybe with the very young who are just going along with whats on the radio, etc., but believe it or not there are genres/sub-generes that are as popular or more popular than they have been in the recent past like modern country, Americana, Alt-Country (regardless of what your own personal opinion is of these genres, they are pretty much thriving) and a resurgence of the classic country stuff means that people are still wanting acoustic instruments. People are always dying and guitars are always popping up for sale. Sure, the market for vintage instruments isn't what it was a number of years ago when there was a boom and prices were inflated, but things happen in cycles, and to think that there simply wont be a market for said instruments is just ridiculous. I agree that the baby boomers are dying off, and these guys are the ones that mostly fueled the market for these vintage instruments because they wanted to relive their youth, own something from their childhood, said instruments were said to be superior to anything currently made along with the flood of reissues "authentics" or whatever marketing term you'd like to apply for those who couldn't afford the real deal. But keep in mind that we are already experiencing certain highly regarded and prized materials used in acoustic guitars either becoming extremely rare, protected, expensive, etc., which in my opinion will keep many guitars fairly collectible, desirable and expensive. I'm guessing that even certain guitars that we regard as just run of the mill, or nothing special may start becoming more collectible and desirable as more and more materials become more and more scarce. So even though the current population of people who have been driving the market are dying off doesn't mean that there isn't going to be a totally different population of players or a different number of reasons that will keep the market going. Think outside the box.

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Certainly not true in the UK. Currently our biggest musical export and one of the most popular contemporary acts on the planet is Ed Sheeran. Young bloke with an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal. Tours on his own, plays arenas and sells close to eight figures whenever he puts an album out.

 

Everything is a cycle as has been pointed out. If anything, electric guitar bands have all but disappeared due to the cost of rehearsing up and recording a band in this music industry of vanishing margins, and recording is becoming much more geared around home studios and cottage industry labels/self releasing, due to the quality of home DAWs and the ready availability of distribution for anyone with an MP3 of literally anything.

 

The end result of this is more young acts are making music rooted in electronica and hip hop, but more and more young people are turning to acoustic guitars and making more organic music. Sure, there are very few of them playing traditional/folk/roots stuff, but that stuff has been done to death anyway. Leave it to the argumentative purists in the folk clubs to bicker about "the tradition".

 

One thing is for certain, other than old(er) stagers like me, there aren't many working musicians who will own an SJ200 or similar in the near future. I see tons of young players with lower end Taylors and modern Guilds, some Epiphones and Takamines etc, but nothing really high end unless a family member plays benefactor.

 

That's the bottom line-young pickers are resourceful and know you can get a killer working instrument for under £1000. It's not guitar music that's dying amongst young players, it's the market for high end instruments.

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Sorry I said anything folks ...bye...

Sorry we did not catch your original point or points. this topic is on the short list of discussions when acoustic guitar playing boomers talk guitars.

 

Most replies tried to disagree as politely as possible where we are reading the forum on our phones and might not be able to give a studied reply. Feel free to put the thread back on track. there are many side topics on this, as you can see.

 

points or "observations" all welcome, right or different

 

 

Interesting what Jinder feels about the shift away from high end guitars back to the guitar taking a back seat to the performer/performance

 

Stick around Tim, theres plenty of room

 

and I agree about the acoustic guitar or even the guitar not much a part of the pop popular music that is in the youth culture white kids listening to gangsta rap dont be a wannabe, kids

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Chart

 

^^^ That's a link to a google image search result. I can't get the image to display in the post, but it's a chart of acoustic, electric, and combined sales, 1990-2015.

 

Poking around in the Tubes, it looks like acoustic guitar sales dropped off sharply sometime after 2005 (chart is not real specific, but the drop appears to coincide with the '08 economic crash), then rebounded some and show no recent decline.

 

My impression is that the last ten years or so there's been a resurgence of interest in acoustic music. Lots of indie folk and other stuff out there, some of which pulls a mainstream audience. Mumford, Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran, etc.

 

@Tim35 - No one is harshing on you, just offering different information and POVs. That's to be expected.

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I've seen some discussions here that were just on the edge or over, but this one sure seemed restrained and polite to me. I'm not sure why the OP was so annoyed. For my 2 cents - I'm a boomer (64) and my parents never liked very much of what I ever listened to. The Moody Blues, or Crosby, Stills, Nash just didn't do it for them. They were waiting for the return of Benny Goodman and his Orchestra. I don't like what my daughter listens to very much, but I'm lucky enough to have a son who plays sax and likes listening to jazz as much as I do. It is interesting that nobody in my family would turn down a chance to see Billy Joel or Jimmy Buffet - they seem cross-generational.

I'm kind of rambling here but I guess there's no surprise that kids found/like something different than their parents. When has that not been true?

I don't have a crystal ball either regarding the future of acoustic guitars, but it sure seems like a healthy market to me. Martin and Taylor both turn out tons of medium to expensive instruments and there have never been so many really good small producers (Collings, Froggy Bottom, Bourgeois...). They all seem to be making money. Gibson is struggling (I think) a little bit but how many different versions of a J-45 can they actually keep selling?

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My son in law is 35 and he liked my 1974 J-50 so much that I gave it to him. Meanwhile, the grouchy old men around here rarely have anything good to say about guitars from that era. So I think there's still hope. Here he is with my 7 year old granddaughter and the little Gibson Maestro that I gave her, so I'm already working on the next generation (that's my '65 J-50 on the right). :)

 

violet+clint.jpg

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Chart

 

^^^ That's a link to a google image search result. I can't get the image to display in the post, but it's a chart of acoustic, electric, and combined sales, 1990-2015.

 

Poking around in the Tubes, it looks like acoustic guitar sales dropped off sharply sometime after 2005 (chart is not real specific, but the drop appears to coincide with the '08 economic crash), then rebounded some and show no recent decline.

 

My impression is that the last ten years or so there's been a resurgence of interest in acoustic music. Lots of indie folk and other stuff out there, some of which pulls a mainstream audience. Mumford, Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran, etc.

 

@Tim35 - No one is harshing on you, just offering different information and POVs. That's to be expected.

 

Would be better if you could see what guitars people are actually buying. Did the economic crash coincide with higher end guitar sale losses, and once sales went back up in latter years were people buying more "budget" guitars like the stuff from Yamaha, Recording King, etc. or were they buying your higher end stuff from Gibson, Martin and the elite boutique builders? I ask because even though people may be buying more acoustic guitars, it doesn't mean they are buying the higher end stuff necessarily.

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