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Is Guitar A Dead End Instrument?

YYep, here we go. Another attention grabbing title. First what this article isn't is a bashing of guitar based music and the skill and creativity of those playing it. As I'm a guitar teacher and musician it would be madness to suggest such a thing. However after last week's blog post about amp modelling technology it got me thinking about what the aim of all of this is.

The sound of an electric guitar is to me one of the sweetest and most exciting sounds in the world. There are so many moments where a classic piece of music has been the end result of a superb bit of guitar playing with the unmistakable tone that they are far too numerous to mention here. What got me thinking was where the trend in technology is taking guitarists.

I remember when one of the first digital modelling amps came out. They became a huge deal because right away you had near-valve sounding amplifiers all wrapped up in a reliable, convenient, affordable package. Whilst they were still not and are still not 100% accurate they ticked many of the boxes a lot of guitar players were looking for. Many of the high end guitar processors today don't really offer anything new in the sense that they are changing the way that guitars sound. They just offer a more convenient way of being able to achieve the sound that you are after, whenever you need it.

With electric guitars there has not been a great deal of change to the design of the guitar. In the words of Jimmy Page, 'It's just a bit of wood with some strings on it'. There are of course some guitar manufacturers out there who have experimented and in some cases done well with guitars partly or wholly made from materials such as plexiglass, graphite or even aluminium. However there have been no revolutionary changes and there is a good reason why if you take a look at a guitar made in the 1950s it's not that different to many made today.

Why is this? Because people like the sound. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Anyone remember the 'dalek's handbag'? The Roland G-707.....