Is the Guitar Coming Back in Style?

The teenage rockers that made a believer out of Elton John.

Read Time 3 Minutes

The Music Industry’s Migration Pattern

The funny thing for me is I didn’t really think that guitar music had gone out of style. Admittedly I personally don’t listen to much modern music, so I have no personal basis for comparison, but according to the opinions of various people paid to pay attention to music trends the guitar’s about due for a surge in popularity.

And it does make sense if you think about it. Just looking back on trends it seems every decade a handful of people come along that makes everyone run wild over the guitar. Then after the surge of attention the flocks of one hit wonders come out and water down the industry. It’s a vicious cycle for sure.

So it’s not so much that the guitar has gone out of style, but interest has waned while we all patiently wait for the dime a dozen groups to return to their day jobs.

The Speculations and Who is Being Speculated

The teenage rockers that made a believer out of Elton John.
The Strypes rock band

As detail oriented as the music industry has become it should come as no surprise that there are people who have made a living out of observing trends and making predictions out of who is going to be the next big thing.

We all hear from time to time speculations whether or not rock is dead, but let’s face it. We all know that’s a load, and that’s what record label owner Jeannette Lee, Paul Weller, Jack Steadman, and Katy B were cited saying at new. Each had their own opinion as to who they thought would be the vanguard of rock’s return to the limelight.

Some of the groups under speculation include the Irish quintet The Strypes which is a group of four mid-teen musicians who made such a good first impression they were picked up by Mercury Records. I could definitely see this group of budding musicians really making a name for themselves. They’ve got a lot of life in their music and it really connects with the listener.

The English Bombay Bicycle Club suggests a different trend for the future of the guitar where the guitar takes the back seat to the bass and vocals. Granted if their style were to rise I don’t know that it would necessarily be a rising of rock again. Certainly not in the same sense as The Strypes.

The Weeknd, who are also under the microscope – also suggests a much different use of the guitar and doesn’t quite sever itself as much from the electronic side of the industry that’s risen to successful heights over time. At this point I’m simply relaying others’ speculation. I have no idea why The Weeknd’s name has been thrown around as a candidate for this revival of guitar music. I’ve listened to a bunch of their stuff for this article and it’s not guitar oriented.

Of course these are just a handful of people that have been speculated for greater success. What really happens is up to the masses to decide. So who do you think is going to make everyone want to play the guitar next? We’ve got a forum, y’know. Feel free to drop by and give us your thoughts. We’d love to hear them.

Where is the Industry Going?

Now the answer to that question would be telling. From the blues influenced progressive rock of the 70s to the reverberations soaked, high speed shredding of the 80s to the more basic and down to earth grunge and nu-metal of the 90s to the death metal and metalcore laden 21st century one would have to ask what the next big thing is. What’s going to soar to new heights and bring guitar music back to its rightful place at the top of the musical food chain? Maybe we’ll get lucky and a surge if interest in guitar virtuosos will arise.

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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