Why music isn’t brain surgery … or space flight, or even the iPhone.
It's amazing how commonplace this Star Trek-level technology has become. I've seen homeless people with iPhones that are literally one-million times more powerful than all of NASA's combined computing in 1969.
Technology is like compound interest. It grows at a nearly imperceptible rate for thousands of years and then, suddenly, it advances so rapidly that the world of our childhood will look nothing like the world we will die in. (If we die: Immortality, or at least uploading your brain to the cloud, is a real possibility in the not-too-distant future.)
Technology grows exponentially because the work of today's scientists is built on the accumulative work of all the brainiacs that came before them. Plato, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Tesla, Einstein, Paul Allen, and Bill Gates have all collaborated to build our current and future utopia, dystopia, Trumptopia. The rate of discovery is further aided by our growing population, which offers a larger talent pool. There have never been more big brains working to build Futurelandia.
With all of this progress in the sciences, why hasn't music advanced? Don't get me wrong. I'm not bashing current music. I love current music. Some of my best friends are current music. One of my siblings is married to current music. That being said, like technology, music builds on the work of musicians that have come before us. In 1708, Bach began composing some of the headiest tunes to date. Nearly 70 years later, Mozart studied Bach's work and took it up a notch. Mozart's compositions seriously influenced Beethoven and all those other orchestra nerds whose names I don't know. About Mozart, Joseph Haydn wrote that “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."
Haydn was way off. It's been 226 years and one could argue the Wolfgang Amadeus catalogue is in some ways superior to the works of Limp Bizkit, Insane Clown Posse, the Black Eyed Peas, and Rebecca Black combined. (Although, to be fair, I.C.P, B.E.P, and Miss Black enjoy a far larger contemporary audience than Mozart did in his puny, pre-electricity Europe.) It's not been a quick decline, but there has been a perceptible dip in quality of music over the last two centenaries.
Although classical music was at one time pop music, let's take that highfalutin, powdered-wig-wearing stuff out of the mix and deal only with 2-to-5-minute ditties written after Charlie Christian invented electricity. In 1937, Oscar Moore in the Nat King Cole Trio took a Gibson archtop with strings 1/2" off the neck and blew jazz lines that were cooler than anything heard before. In the early 1950s, Les Paul lowered the action and took guitar playing to the next level with fast glissandos and double-stop runs (borrowed, in part, from Django Reinhardt). Les enlisted engineering and science to invent gear that enabled him to go beyond what he could do with just his hands. In the 1960s, Clapton took American blues and added a Marshall, humbuckers, and a rocking rhythm section to create something new. A few years later, Hendrix added LSD and broke entirely from convention, reinventing what could be done with a guitar. By 1978, Eddie Van Halen extended it further by adding tapping, sweeping, and all things shred.
Since then, the world has given us players like SRV, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, etc., etc.—I know I'm omitting many greats, but this has to fit on one page—who've added some mind-blowing music to our collective opus. I feel like a prick for saying this, but as amazing as theses guitarists are, it doesn't seem like any new ground is being broken. Are today's great guitarists perfecting what has already been done rather than expanding what's possible?
Granted, there are limitations to what one can do with only 12 notes, 6 or 7 strings, and 21 to 25 or so frets. By now, one is hard pressed to find untouched territory on a guitar. But still, given that the population has grown from about 1.65 billion in the year of Les Paul's birth to 7.5 billion today, one must wonder if some genius is going to unlock a new mystery. There's never been a larger talent pool and most of us have access to all the past trailblazers, just one click away on YouTube, where we can watch the alchemy first hand.
But music is not science, although there's some math and science involved. Music is about conveying or eliciting an emotional experience, and emotions are primitive. They defy logic and reason. Great music doesn't have to vary from what's already been done. (Personally, I find most “experimental" music unlistenable.) Maybe all we need is Angus Young 101, then build from there.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.