In fact, conformity has become so pervasive that it’s sometimes difficult finding truly exciting new artists to write about. After all, guitar publications are, to a large extent, mirrors of guitar culture. While each magazine has certainly discovered transcendent guitarists who were previously unknown, the publications must also serve their constituencies by detailing the tones, techniques, gear, and creative concepts of artists who have already reached a certain notoriety and cultural stature. As horrifying as it is to admit this, guitar magazines may therefore be partly responsible for promoting commercial smarts over innovation.
But, then again, how do you rate a blues player who is a marvelous technician, but who plays the same old licks with a tone that has been documented on gazillions of records? Do you cover the player because he is damn good at honoring the idiom, or do you pass, because, as brilliant as the player might be, he didn’t bring anything unique or surprising to the table? Isn’t it enough to attain a high level of skill and competence without having to be a stylistic visionary, musical iconoclast, or sonic alchemist, as well?
And even if you do have the juice to celebrate and refine your individuality, conformity has many weapons with which to murder your efforts. One example is the situation Mr. Stuart was decrying, where certain producers dictatorially craft tones for the guitarist, rather than documenting—and, hopefully, enhancing—the guitarist’s sound. Then, there’s the tragedy of artistic paranoia, where an artist abandons a unique approach and/or sound because he or she seems so alone. It’s the old “How can I be doing something right if no one else is doing it, too?” syndrome. And we haven’t even considered the pressures of career advancement, management demands, band member freakouts, and other innovation-killing measures.
Of this creative conundrum, the visionary poet William Blake might have said, “So many ways to fall from grace.” But one thing is certain. Just a few decades ago, we celebrated a guitar community chock full of diverse stylists. Today, we’re in danger of launching vast armadas of homogenized tone clones. What are we gonna do about it?
Tony Franklin Releases Bass Recording Tutorial Through Pro Mix Academy
Tom Petersson and Cheap Trick Announce New Album and Tour Dates
Johan Wolhert and Mew Announces 2017 North American Tour
Video: Propellerhead Reason 9.5 Update Will Support VST Plug-ins
UVI Digital Synsations Vol. 2 Captures the Best "Digital Maverick" Synths of the '90s
Hip-hop Producer P.Morris' Quick Production Tips
Master Steinway Piano Technician Terence Walsh Dies at 62
RETRO AD REPRINT - Patrice Rushen and the Rhodes (1977)
Paul Shaffer - The Return of the Late Night Maestro
Third Annual Malibu Guitar Festival Returns to Southern California
TC Electronic Announces the PolyTune 3 Polyphonic Tuner Pedal
Don Felder: Five Things We Learned from His New ‘String Theory’ Episode
Tombs Premiere New Song, "Saturnalian"
Kobra and the Lotus Premiere New Music Video, "You Don't Know"
Wednesday 13 Premieres New Music Video, "Blood Sick"
'Leap of Faith': Timothy B. Schmit Talks Past, Present, Future and Latest Album
Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde Announce 2017 Summer Tour
NEXI Introduces DLY-01 Digital Delay Pedal
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470