Pop culture follows nothing but the beat of the majority. Pop culture is composed of traditional and cultural products such as art, literature, film, fashion, etc., consumed by the public because of their appeal. Because of this, pop culture is widely known by many as it is a product of mass consumption. Whatever appeals to the masses and permeates people’s lives becomes part of pop culture.
Moreover, pop culture trends have also reached music – particularly in musical instruments. Artists influenced performances and showed their artistic expressions through unique instrumental additions. Such expression becomes an extension of the artist and becomes a special item on the stage.
Here, read about the instruments that paved the way for music in pop culture:
Don’t be surprised if the famous English singer-songwriter Paul McCartney is closely knit with his violin bass. This is because the Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass is his ultimate trademark. This violin bass was first produced in the ‘50s and had a unique violin-like shape. Likewise, thanks to Paul McCartney’s love for the violin bass, it has shot itself to stardom and made its name in pop music.
The sound of a Violin Bass is unlike any other. It can produce distinctive deep sounds, especially if you use flat-wound strings. It can even emulate 1960s pop sounds with its deep-driving bass. Not only will you get its unique structure, but you’d also get a one-of-a-kind sound.
Moreover, if you’re an Australian novice player looking to resemble the Beatles star, you could try searching through Musos Corner for a violin bass. When looking for a store that screams variety and is inexpensive but of great quality, this store has it all for you!
If you’re not sure what a keytar is, think of jazz artist Herbie Hancock’s electric keyboard that he holds like a guitar. With his live performances, you can see videos of him holding a keyboard with a smaller set of keys (just like a guitar), most known as a keytar. Although Hancock didn’t invent this instrument, he brought it into the limelight and changed music-making for years.
Hancock’s Yamaha KX1 has made such a large impact on pop music and culture, in general, that it has made the Smithsonian Museum a permanent home. The keytar brought diversity in its unique sound and form, playing a huge role in music and contributing to the pop songbook.
Ax Bass Guitar
If you’re talking about cool instruments that embody their corresponding artist, you need to look no further than Gene Simmons. This KISS bass guitarist brought the ax bass guitar to life. Since the ax bass guitar gives the artist a bit of an edge, you could say that this instrument suits Gene Simmons’ stage persona well, even more so with KISS’ rock music.
Because of its popularity and bold theatrics, the ax guitar is undoubtedly an instrument to remember. Marceline the Vampire Queen, a character in Cartoon Network’s show Adventure Time, even features an ax guitar of her own – which adds more depth and story to her character.
Quint Neck Guitar
The quint neck guitar probably looks like the most bizarre instrument, especially with five necks in its gear. Imagine one guitar body with five separate necks in its arsenal, which makes for 72 strings divided into two standards, a fretless, a twelve-string, and a whammy. With a lot of strings in this guitar, tuning could take a longer time than usual.
This huge guitar statement made headlines when Cheap Trick’s lead guitarist, Rick Nielson, brought it on stage. Since Nielson was already performing live with multiple guitars simultaneously, dreaming of his outlandish quint neck was no trouble, and it was then made possible through Hamer customs. It all went uphill from there, as this instrument is a statement piece sure to make headlines.
In pop culture, Prince flairs like no other with his flamboyant style. It shows his music and unique instrument taste as well. For Prince, the 1984 “Cloud” guitar featured in his film, Purple rain is an instrument that has made its name in history. Likewise, its accompanying album (that styles the same name as the guitar) has also become a megahit worldwide.
If you’re curious as to what this guitar looks like, it features a flamboyant, fluid shape just like Prince’s fluid and genre-challenging music, which has fretboard markers in its neck. Moreover, Prince then performs with another one-of-a-kind guitar known as “Love.” This guitar marks his artistic independence after he changed his name and forms a new identity in the world of pop. Indeed, Prince performs and showcases with flair and flamboyance, unlike other artists in pop.
From violin basses, ax basses, keytars, quint necks, and symbolic guitars, instruments have become an emblematic form for pop culture to thrive. Likewise, it has shown how artists present and express themselves to the world. With such statement pieces on stage, instruments have indeed guided pop music to where it is today and will continue to do so.