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Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar #3022005 01/04/20 08:31 AM
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GuardiansGuitar Offline OP
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I dig the peeps at PREMIER GUITAR, and I was an early recognizer of PG editor Shawn Hammond's talents. I hired him at GUITAR PLAYER. Twice.

But I had to respectfully giggle at PG's expense when I saw the headline "Why Do So Many Posers Play Offset Guitars."

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/29777-Why-Do-So-Many-Posers-Play-Offset-Guitars-Shawn-Hammond

Maybe it's not that funny. The pressure to seduce web traffic—and the resulting online revenue—remains daunting for all publishers. In this case, I'm assuming a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) fearing web editor wrote the headline instead of Shawn, as the article is not really a treatise on the poser minions being drawn to offset guitars. In fact, in an article predominantly about another subject (more on this later), Shawn explicitly hammers the "Poser Premise" just once:

"These guitars are flavor-of-the-moment rejects preferred by hipsters hell-bent on using something different to distract from the fact that they couldn’t play their way out of a paper bag—which is why we don’t mind the “inferior” hardware, “useless” bells and whistles, and “wimpy” sonics."

But the major themes of this otherwise engaging article—as well as a headline that would more accurately encapsulate those themes—were likely deemed less compelling for capturing a click to read. What a shame.

I enjoyed reading about Shawn's "rediscovery" and appreciation of the Fender Jaguar and its quirks and benefits—which is what the article is really about. I'd think that readers would totally dig the perspective of a respected editor and player sharing his personal assessment of a particular guitar model. Shouldn't that be enough?

Nah. Instead, PG popped on a more-or-less controversy-inducing headline to (hopefully) collect views.

Now, I'm having a bit 'o' fun here about bait-and-switch, sensationalist journalism, but I don't really blame the headline writer, either. He or she had their corporate marching orders. They did their job. (Truth be told, PG competitors GP and GUITAR WORLD often play the same game—it's the bane of generating readership and revenue in a very competitive publishing industry.)

Maybe someday, an article will be able to be appreciated and trusted on the merit of its actual subject matter, rather than the one sentence or thought that might make a good "Gotcha!" headline. One can dream, right?

Oh, and by the way—WHO decides who and what a "poser" is anyway?

Is it someone that musicians such as you or I determine "couldn't play their way out of a paper bag"? (Oh, what power we have!)

Given the sometimes rampant and mean criticism of guitarists by other guitar players, we could argue that, if WE define "posers" broadly as "people who can't play," then there are "posers" out there who wield all kinds of different guitars—Les Pauls, Teles, Strats, Schecters, Ibanezes, Peaveys, Reverends, Gretsches, PRS models, and perhaps even weirdo Italian junkers from the dawn of the 1960s. Maybe we should do a clinical survey to collect actual data on how many "posers" play which models. Ah, forget about it. That would take a lot more research and sweat equity than writing a slick headline...

What are your thoughts?

GP Island
Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022059 01/04/20 08:23 PM
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Larryz Offline
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The Ventures used a Jazzmaster, The Beach Boys used a Jaguar, Elvis Costello Jazzmaster, Joe Pass Jazzmaster, not exactly "posers"....

+1 I hate click bait. If I take the trouble to click on an article from the headline, I expect to read the article, not look at a slide show and have to wade through crap in order to get to the subject I'm interested in.

I have owned both the Jaguar and the Jazzmaster (62 reissues). I sold the Jag to a buddy who has always wanted one and gave the Jazz to my son-n-law. (trying to cull my stock of too many guitars). My only complaint on the original models was the screw saddles on the bridge. Lots of players throw the stock bridge in the case and use the Mustang smooth roller style saddles. The screws work well but if you play a little too hard the string can jump a thread. They are also too sharp and the wound strings can cause tuning problems using the whammy with the screw saddles. Also on my jag, the vintage tuners won't stay in tune after about 10 songs. (luck of the draw and I suggested my buddy go to locking tuners and throw the stock ones in the case.

As for the offset body on the Jag and Jazz, they are just a different design and avoid having to have a cut-away to reach the upper frets. Kind of a flying V concept. No body no cut-away needed. The jazzmaster never caught on with the jazz players but the rock and rollers got some great sounds out of them. The Jag was designed for speed and surf music with the short scale length. The flip up muting device was a joke ( a Leo folly) but it's fun to leave it on the guitar. It works great for Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely daughter LOL! The double cut-away Les Paul never really caught on and just about every player out there likes the single cut original version. I guess I better stop now I could go on for a long long time!

In closing, the critics saying "the posers" couldn't play their way out of a paper bag, forget they were beginners once. I know I'm a "poser" when compared to the greats like Clapton, Dykes, Atkins, Tommy (who doesn't need a cut-away), and the list is just too long. I don't rank up there with the stars, studio musicians, Pros, etc. It always kills me to hear the forum critics run down the greats as though they could do better...and now the Mags are [picking] on the "posers" LOL!

My 2 cents, humble opinions, etc. cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022078 01/04/20 10:46 PM
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Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Well written. Excellent points. The current state of affairs re: internet publishing and publishing in any media in general is prrrrrrrretty saaaaaad. Don't even get me started about "the news"... ! All too often I am left shaking my head over the seeming and even absolute duplicity of click-bait taglines. "Bait and switch", indeed. The yardstick has been shortened, our world is more complex yet more lacking as well.

I'll have to read that article, thanks for the link, and the fuller story on the story! Ehrr...

Jags and most such "offsets" are not my axe of choice, but they and their players are not to be discounted and dismissed wholesale, either (though the temptation to interject 'whatever... neverrrmind... " here IS tempting... wink ).


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

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Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022082 01/04/20 11:12 PM
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DinoMike Offline
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I actually buy physical music. When I post "what's in my ears" on this forum I own a copy of the cd. I decide who a poser is by not buying their product. On the other hand, if you have an article to get out and you're more poser than research reporter you post up crap like Premier Guitar.

Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022097 01/05/20 02:24 AM
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KuruPrionz Offline
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The irony is of course that the "writer" IS a straight-up poser (as a writer).

The article seems like a random jumble of semi-sub-coherent "thoughts" or what I call Blatherspew. In the end, I have no idea what his point was, unless his assignment was to write an article about guitars using XXX number of words and THAT is the point.

He conveniently overlooks the Fender Jazz Bass, which has an offset body style and is one of the iconic basses of all time.

I've owned and set up tons of guitars. I may or may not prefer any/all of them but that is meaningless to the owner of the instrument. In the end, I just care about the music that is created.
It doesn't follow that I like all of it, nobody does and if they did I would wonder about them...

For perspective, I've had 3 Jazzmasters, an Ovation Deacon 12 string, a Mosrite Bass, made my own SuperStrat thingie with a Mosrite body shape, a Danelectro Hodad, etc...
All gone now, I don't miss them. I do have an Epiphone Goth Explorer project (yes I know "offset" is used to describe the waist of the guitar but most electric guitars are assymetrical in some way, no?
I don't turn away from any guitar because of the body shape.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022117 01/05/20 10:52 AM
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I might be a hipster. I might be a poser. I don’t know. I do have a number of unusual guitars, including some offsets. Almost nothing from a big brand, though.


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/
Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: Dannyalcatraz] #3022212 01/06/20 01:40 AM
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Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
I might be a hipster. I might be a poser. I don’t know. I do have a number of unusual guitars, including some offsets. Almost nothing from a big brand, though.


You, my friend, may be hip, but you're not a pretentious 'hipster' and you're certainly no poser.


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022231 01/06/20 04:37 AM
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I like the sound of Jazzmasters a lot playing by myself at home but I have no luck on playing them live. They feel like they get washed out too easy. They don’t feel like they sit in a mix as well as a Tele.

Last edited by CEB; 01/06/20 04:38 AM.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022281 01/06/20 06:39 PM
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Sharkman Offline
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On one hand, Shawn Hammond does indeed make a valid point. I too have seen many hyped up guitarists and band members who have gotten much of their publicity by the non-popular guitar they play, or their wearing two neckties (back in the mid Seventies, Creem magazine used to fawn all over some low talent hack just because he wore two neckties), or some other superficial crap. On the other hand, he appears to paint with a paint roller instead of a fine detail brush. There are some posers using Fender Jaguars, and some really good players also using a Jaguar. He needed to clarify his statements, and not lump so many people into one category. His article could use more specifics and distinction.


I rock; therefore, I am.
Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022411 01/07/20 05:37 PM
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p90jr Offline
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I saw that dumb article, or as you point out "dumb headline and opening paragraphs," right after reading the Pete Thorn article about how music is not athletics and competition... where he points out/praises Kurt Cobain killing shredding and tapping overnight and the banal stereotypical songs underneath it with a single song called "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Kind of schizo in the editorial department over there... or was that done for balance?

I will say the "Offset" brigade works my nerves. I have a gig where I play a Jazzmaster, a Charvel Surfcaster 12 string, a Squier Jazzmaster Baritone and a Heritage LP Goldtop, all for specific sounds for the material... and these kids come up and say "it's weird that you play that Les Paul with your other guitars... I only play 'offsets.'" Strange cultural thing that's happened that is dumb. I was lucky to have a buddy's fleet of old pawnshop Jaguars and Jazzmasters to use before grunge made them coveted... I was an Elvis Costello/Tom Verlaine/Brinsley Scharz/Chris Stamey/Will Sergent/Kevin Shields/Sonic Youth devotee so they were the coolest in my eyes, but other players would invariably tell me "that guitar you were playing is old and ugly and cheap-looking." I've always been called an "iconoclast" so I dug that response.

I guess a lot of aspects of "guitar culture" annoy me... which is probably really healthy.

One thing I see jerks harp on in the facebook groups is "Capos on a Telecaster," calling that "the ultimate poser thing..." So singer/songwriters are "posers," while guys limping badly through blues-rock licks (I always check their profiles for clips) are admirable? Somewhere along the line, some people forgot "music" is songs to be enjoyed by non-players in the audience. I'm more drawn to Dawes or Blake Mills or Rick Holmstrom's wonderfully minimal playing backing up Mavis Staples than the G3 tour, myself...

Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: Sharkman] #3022412 01/07/20 05:39 PM
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p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted by Sharkman
On one hand, Shawn Hammond does indeed make a valid point. I too have seen many hyped up guitarists and band members who have gotten much of their publicity by the non-popular guitar they play, or their wearing two neckties (back in the mid Seventies, Creem magazine used to fawn all over some low talent hack just because he wore two neckties), or some other superficial crap. On the other hand, he appears to paint with a paint roller instead of a fine detail brush. There are some posers using Fender Jaguars, and some really good players also using a Jaguar. He needed to clarify his statements, and not lump so many people into one category. His article could use more specifics and distinction.


Two neckties? Was it Wazmo Nariz, or Neil Finn (Crowded House, Fleetwood Mac) in his Split Enz days? I'm a big fan of both. Creem was a magazine for music fans, not guitar players... the readership wouldn't have read an article about Al Dimeola.

Re: Posers, Clickbait, and Your Fave Guitar [Re: GuardiansGuitar] #3022413 01/07/20 05:40 PM
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p90jr Offline
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There are NO no-talent hacks. If someone has gotten somewhere, they have a talent in some area that made that possible... sometimes it's just punctuality, a talent most musicians completely lack.


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