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How many of us ARE there??


Eric Iverson

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A spin-off from another thread, where I quoted a Phil Ochs song from the '60s "I'm Sure It Wouldn't Interest Anyone, Outside of A Small Circle of Friends", referring to how most people don't listen to music from a guitarist's point of view.

That got me to wondering, "how many guitarists ARE there? How big IS our "small circle of friends" these days?

I remember my jazz guitar teacher telling me back in the early '70s, "there are ELEVEN MILLION guitar players.....", presumably in the USA, LOL. I wonder how many of us there are today.

And also I wonder about oboists... how big is THEIR small circle of friends? Do they sit around talking about their reed problems, like we talking about guitar related things?

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Well, according to the news recently, a few LESS than there was a couple of weeks ago. :(

 

And since we "boomers" increased that number over the years, and we're aging considerably, it's going to steadily decrease. And all I really know is that there's 1,352 pickers in Nashville. ;)

 

I don't know about oboists, but I'm willing to bet their numbers are higher than BASSOONISTS! :D

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Being a frequent flier I always take a guitar with me. I've noticed a lot more people doing the same lately, about 1/3 being females. That's good to see. Of course more people than ever are flying also.
"Let me stand next to your fire!", Jimi Hendrix
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Unlike oboe, guitar is an instrument which can be easily picked up & enjoyed by people who have no intention of embarking on pro music careers, & you can get all the benefits of music making without being part of an organized ensemble. And, unlike piano which is also good for unaccompanied playing, guitar is portable. So I'm guessing there are vastly more guitarists than any other instrument. Eleven million might cover just California.
Scott Fraser
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And also I wonder about oboists... how big is THEIR small circle of friends? Do they sit around talking about their reed problems, like we talking about guitar related things?

 

Yes.

Chk it out...

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/OtherInstrumentsCategory/acapella-95/31706299-what-should-i-buy-for-my-next-clarinet

 

http://www.talkclassical.com/4166-does-oboist-need-carve.html

 

& from https://www.idrs.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?id=14176

we have this exchange...

 

frogger1403 posted

"Every oboist knows the problem:

You get into a cold church and your tune is much too high. So you pull out the reed and the pitch gets lower. But along with the lower pitch, the oboe goes out of tune.

The reason that the gap between the staple and the oboe is bigger than the staple itself. The more you pull out the reed, the bigger the gap gets and the bigger will your intonation problems be.

Our tuning ring helps here and makes the staple virtually 2-6mm longer. Like this there is no gap and the oboe will play in perfect tune.

2mm tuning ring correspond to about 1,5Hz

The second use of the tuning rings is especially interesting for 2nd oboist in an orchestra and for them not less than a little revolution.

Using the tuning ring you are now able to play a cor anglais reed with perfect intonation on an oboe. Like this you can play the low register very quietly without any problems of responsiveness.

Furthermore changing from oboe to cor anglais becomes much easier. Just warum up the cor anglais reed on the oboe and switch to the cor anglais with a reed ready for a solo!"

 

Muts responded

"I have taken plumbers teflon tape and wrapped it around an EH staple until it fit in the reed cup.

As for tuning rings, I'd worry if it is too tight if brass- see

http://www.justin-young.net/news.php?readmore=43

 

To which frogger continued

"We tried to make the tuning rings out of Delrin. But we experienced that the plastic is too light and therefor does not come out of the oboe as easy as the brass that usually falls out if you turn the oboe upside down."

 

Then O-Beau commented

"I confess I am a little skeptical about this - isn't the difficulty with intonation due to the fact that notes further up the bore of the instrument are altered significantly more by pulling the reed out than those further down the bore of the instrument? (For example, middle C vs low C: the percentage of change in the sounding length of the bore is much greater for middle C when you pull out the reed than it is for low C. As I understand it, this is why all other instruments tune to the oboe in a symphony - it is the instrument least amenable to this kind of tuning adjustment.) Doesn't it make sense just to have a few reeds that play at a lower pitch? Having said all that, I'd be delighted to have my skepticism overturned!"

 

& so on...

d=halfnote
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I did, in here some time ago, write a long treatise about how back in the "day"(that "day" being the '30's-'40's and so) just about everyone had a piano in the house regardless of anyone being able to play it( it WAS common furnishing back then) and how whenever teens had a "party" at someone's house the guy who knew HOW to play was the most popular guy at the party. But when the '50's rolled around the guitar built up it's popularity of use in popular music with rock'n'roll gaining huge following and later on when the '60's hit folk music too, made the guitar a popular instrument at young people's gatherings. And I even joked that by the time the later '60's were here the most popular guy at the party was, well....the guy with the POT! :D But you know what I mean... ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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They heyday of the guitar, especially the electric guitar was probably in the 60s- early 70s with some resurgences at times. I think the I see more acoustic guitar players. I also think many people are learning ukulele instead of guitar. I play guitar and ukulele and the guitar jam group I'm in has 6-8 people and the uke group I participate in has around 20. Just my observation.
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Funny you should mention this BBQBob! I was just on another thread talking about the George Harrison Living in the Material World movie I rented on Netflix. One of the story tellers was Tom Petty who told the story of George showing up at his house to jam with a couple of Ukuleles. Tom said I don't know how to play one of those things and George said no problem I'll teach you. So Tom caught on pretty quick and they jammed for quite a while. Then George was leaving and told Tom to come out to his car. He opened up the trunk and it was full of Ukuleles. He left Tom with 6 of them and told him he may want to have a jam group one of these days and you can never have too many Ukuleles. Cute story! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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YIKES! It's UKES!! :D

 

I remember in one part of the Anthology tapes, George was sitting against a log or something with Paul and Ringo and he was strumming on one of the three or four he was surrounded by.

 

Yeah. Does sound like a cute story.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Yep. Thanks.

 

But as one who grew up seeing too many hours(ONE is too many!) of TV entertainer ARTHUR GODFREY occasionally play his ukulele it'll be hard for me to get into that thing. But clips of George playing one does smooth that road a bit ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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This comes up from time to time and is a bit of an interesting topic to me, I suppose the first question would be, what does it take to be considered a guitar player? I'm primarily a keyboard player, though I play bass, guitar, and sax well enough to play those instruments in bands - I was the bass player in a band for a couple years, and have at least played some rhythm guitar parts in a couple bands over the last 10-12 yrs. So am I a guitar player? I'm not good enough to play lead, but then again, neither are a lot of folks whose only instrument is guitar. And the other question - what piece of the overall population does this forum represent?

 

First, I would say that in the gigging musician population, guitar still outweighs all of the other instruments. I know many bands struggling to find keyboards or singers, many bands do without keyboards, yet there are a ton of bands with 2 or more guitars. That said, there may be a lot of people who can play a bit of keyboards or maybe have a piano at home that they can play, but never venture into joining a band.

 

Despite the vast difference in keys vs guitar in the live scene, if you look at these forums, there is a lot more traffic over on the KC than here. There used to be more in the lowdown than here but I think they went elsewhere back when the forum was shut down and never came back. So that could be part of it, too. If there are more forums for a topic, then the population gets spread thinner. I'm guessing there are dozens of guitar forums out there. For keys, besides this one, there's Harmony Central which is a bit more trolling and a lot of folks don't like, and then some more specific ones for a particular manufacturer, or specifically piano or organ.

 

I think what drives so many keyboard players to forums is the complexity of sound programming and setup. For folks making the jump from just playing (piano or organ for instance) to having to cover so many different sounds, they end up needing a lot of help. The equivilent in the guitar side tends to focus on pedals, effects, and to some extent, Amps, pups, etc. of course you can get pretty deep on the guitar side of things - and many on this forum do! But I think that tends to be a smaller subset of the entire guitar playing population, and probably what drives a lot of the traffic here.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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In response to your first question I'd say personally I've always maintained a difference between a "guitar player" and a "guitarist", although at times I've used either term generically.

 

A "guitar player" in this instance, is one who can pick up a guitar and play a good handful of chords adequately, pick out some decent sounding leads, can or cannot read notation. While a "guitarist" is more specialized. Long studied, can read music, possibly makes their living at it, that sort of thing. This puts me in the "guitar player" group.

 

And there may BE more on the way....

 

In my newer FINGERHUT catalogs there are a group of 30" acoustics offered under the name of KIMBALL KIDS that are described as having steel strings, "small frets" and "lowered strings" for "ease of play" and priced at about $40 or less. And going by the photos do look a LOT better than the cheap-o axe I had at 13. And they're designated as "for 7 and up".

 

I have no idea how well they sell and I doubt Fingerhut would give me that info, but many of them look nice enough to not be any discouragement to early and young beginners. So here's hoping. (they also come with a nice enough "gig bag".)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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This comes up from time to time and is a bit of an interesting topic to me, I suppose the first question would be, what does it take to be considered a guitar player? I'm primarily a keyboard player, though I play bass, guitar, and sax well enough to play those instruments in bands - I was the bass player in a band for a couple years, and have at least played some rhythm guitar parts in a couple bands over the last 10-12 yrs. So am I a guitar player? I'm not good enough to play lead, but then again, neither are a lot of folks whose only instrument is guitar. And the other question - what piece of the overall population does this forum represent?

 

I think what drives so many keyboard players to forums is the complexity of sound programming and setup. For folks making the jump from just playing (piano or organ for instance) to having to cover so many different sounds, they end up needing a lot of help. The equivilent in the guitar side tends to focus on pedals, effects, and to some extent, Amps, pups, etc. of course you can get pretty deep on the guitar side of things - and many on this forum do! But I think that tends to be a smaller subset of the entire guitar playing population, and probably what drives a lot of the traffic here.

 

Had to respond, J. Dan, as I'm essentially your mirror image: My primary Instrument is Guitar, but I double on KB Synths, Bass, Mandolin, and Percussion. Even when playing Guitar, I'm likely to be hooked up to a Guitar Synth, and one or more outboard Synths via MIDI. I do all my own Sound Design, and play all the parts on my recordings, and yes, it's a lot of work, but that's why I took up the craft to begin with.

 

While I don't really consider myself a Keyboard player, I do think of myself as a Synth player (or, if you prefer, an Electronic Musician), and IMHO, if you can play well enough to hold down the Rhythm Guitar part in a working band, you can certainly consider yourself a Guitarist.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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I don't think this forum represents any percentage the guitar playing population that's out there as there are just too many players. I think anyone who's 1st love is the guitar, is a guitarist/player. There will always be those that are a cut above and it's not necessary to read music to play the guitar. That maybe why so many people [pick] it up LOL!

 

I can play bass and keyboards too, and have played them in bands. But not near as well as I can play guitar. I practice only guitar, I study only guitar as it's my main instrument. I think those that play other instruments and play [insert instrument] as the one they love, pretty much defines them...

 

Keyboard players are much harder to come by and guitar players are a dime a dozen at any jam. So, there was a time that I had more fun playing keyboard for much better studio guitar players and had more jobs doing it. But, now I haven't touched the keys for many years and keep playing the one I love, that I play best. There will always be "guitarists" that can dust you. You are still the guitarist if you show up for the gig with a guitar. I like two guitars, bass and drums for a band, but I had a lot of fun in my last band as the main guitarist with a keyboardist, bass and drums. I got to switch off with the keyboard player on a few tunes as he played guitar as well. We probably would have eventually packed two keyboards and two guitars LOL!

 

The Keyboard Player forum gets a lot more action than the guitar forum, but I pretty much stay right here. I consider anyone who likes to play guitar a guitar player, regardless of what other instruments they can play...so you're one too J.Dan whether you play lead or rhythm. I can play both, but I prefer playing rhythm guitar as my backup for my vocals. Now, I just play for fun and do not read music (although I can read tab, but don't bother with it either)...so, I'm just a player. :cool:

 

Take care, Larryz
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Funny you should mention this BBQBob! I was just on another thread talking about the George Harrison Living in the Material World movie I rented on Netflix. One of the story tellers was Tom Petty who told the story of George showing up at his house to jam with a couple of Ukuleles. Tom said I don't know how to play one of those things and George said no problem I'll teach you. So Tom caught on pretty quick and they jammed for quite a while. Then George was leaving and told Tom to come out to his car. He opened up the trunk and it was full of Ukuleles. He left Tom with 6 of them and told him he may want to have a jam group one of these days and you can never have too many Ukuleles. Cute story! :cool:

Larry, yeah I knew George was a great fan of the ukulele and ran around with bunches of them in his car, spreading the joy. The beauty of the uke is just how accessible, fun and easy to get into they are. It's kind of funny how Harrison was also a huge fan of the sitar and spent years perfecting his techniques on that VERY difficult instrument.

 

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+1 BBQ, He did a great job on the sitar and had the best of all teachers...I know I have posted this George Harrison song on the Ukulele before, but here it is again...I know George will hear it up there in the spirit world and would have loved to have been in the park with Jake Shimabukuro while he was playing it. It's just flat out great! It even beats Clapton's lead LOL!

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

:thu:

Take care, Larryz
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I was at my daughter's house on Thanksgiving and I looked up at the top shelf in her living room and there was that old Silvertone Ukulele I gave her many years ago. And I started thinking about the George Harrison forum discussions LOL! Que the Twilight Zone theme... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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This one may've been the start of the uke revival

[video:youtube]

 

This is another (although not JS's original version, this has better audio)

[video:youtube]

 

Of course, this has led to ...

[video:youtube]

 

&, a bit better...

[video:youtube]

 

But if ya wanna track a uke cat, DIG THIS !

[video:youtube]

d=halfnote
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I was at my daughter's house on Thanksgiving and I looked up at the top shelf in her living room and there was that old Silvertone Ukulele I gave her many years ago. And I started thinking about the George Harrison forum discussions LOL! Que the Twilight Zone theme... :cool:

 

:freak:

 

But see....HERE'S why I have trouble getting into the uke! :P

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

:eek:

Whitefang

 

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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