Five Decades of Guitar Culture

The Music industry has grown expeditiously over the course of the past Five Decades. While it is ever evolving, there is no question the Guitar is here to stay. Musical trends were once a subdued version from what we see today. The Guitar can play all styles of music due to its keen design. The two handed instrument has been a partner to some of the greatest musical legends we have come to know and love.

The Fifties

CIRCA 1970 : Photo of Elvis Presley Photo by Michael Ochs

It was in this era we saw the Guitar take on a whole new persona. Experimental sounds were inspirational for the following decades. Country tunes and Big Band or Jazz paved the way for the Guitar to step into a new direction. Acoustic Guitars were already popular; however the introduction of the Electric Guitar took the world by storm. Elvis Presley is dubbed as the King of Rock n Roll. His success is said to have been influenced by the use of the Guitar in his music. With amplifiers in place, Guitars had a fresh sound that was “out of this world”.

The Sixties and Seventies

During the early Sixties, artists continued to jive and jam with the Guitar. The music soon was considered noise by the previous generations. The louder the better was the new motto for the Electric Guitar. As the decade progressed, sides and lines were drawn in the sand. Music was an outlet for many and a way to convey their messages aloud. The Guitar became the Voice of the stage with greats like Jimi Hendrix and Clapton. On the other end of the concert hall, we had the British invasion that brought us The Beatles who played their guitars into our hearts.  A main goal of this Guitar playing time period was to move past the top button culture. It was a breakout period that introduced us to bands and singers that were considered  “far out” and “groovy”.

Eighties and Nineties

The eighties Guitar era received a break from hefty political messages. Instead of extreme emotion, the Guitar joined the Rocking rebellion. Hairbands and leotards donned television screens with the Guitar front and center. The pealing rhythm was the dawn of a new generation. As the years trickled by, a metamorphosis occurred which once again lead the Guitar in a message for the masses. Societal injustice and imbalances became the hub of themes in the Nineties. Acoustic and Electric guitars were  pivotal through these years. The genres continued with effects such as tech beats, electrified love songs and all varieties of rock.

Metal bands became a popular option for those who didn’t like the softer side of Rock. Needless to say, Guitars of the Eighties and Nineties were “outrageous”!

Differing decades of music have featured the Guitar in many ways . From the Fifties to now, we have seen the Guitar go from great to legendary on the musical scale. Of course, every instrument is important in the making of music, but no one can deny the importance of a guitar.