Here’s another article from America stating that guitar rock is on its way out and has been for more than a decade. Read and discuss.
It’s proven fashionable in recent years to declare the death of the guitar in commercial music. I wish I could debunk this sad tale, but the numbers back it up. Even worse, the data tells us that the guitar experienced a long, slow death.
At the end of the ’80s, rock accounted for more than 40 percent of U.S. music sales, and guitarists still strutted the stage like kings. Yet by the year 2000, rock had fallen below 25 percent of the market, and rap artists were proving, week after week, that hit songs didn’t need any guitar. The subsequent rise of electronic dance music (EDM)—which is now a $7 billion business—further marginalized that once-dominant instrument.
But perhaps the biggest surprise was the rise of guitar-free pop music. Not long ago, pop artists had relied on guitar almost as much as rockers. But pop stars of the new millennium are tuning into EDM and hip-hop stylings, and avoiding the passé sounds of the past, especially guitar.
So what a surprise to hear so many outstanding guitar albums in recent months! This is turning into an exceptional year for guitar music—the best so far this decade, in my opinion. But it isn’t played by strutting rockers with big egos and bigger amps. In fact, most of these stellar releases come from the outskirts of the music industry, from labels and musicians you don’t read about in Rolling Stone or see on TV. But make no mistake, they are producing fresh new music of the highest caliber.