Youtube as the Ultimate Instrument Demo Database, by Zach Shpizner
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
[ X ]
Origins of this content
This texteo was made by Zach Shpizner as his final for 2010 LFYT.
[ X ]
More videos related to the content of this page
Thousands of musicians log on to YouTube to check out musical gear, whether it is because they are thinking of buying something and want to hear how it sounds first, because they are bored and want to check out some gear they wish they had, or because they are just plain interested. Meanwhile, there is also a community of people who demo their gear on YouTube. People who record videos of them just messing around, or jamming through a specific amp, pedal, or with a specific instrument.

These break down into 3 categories. The Professional demo, the Semi-professional demo, and the Ultra-Amateur demo.

The Professional demo's are usually corporate content, made by companies who intend to sell the equipment they are demoing. Because of this, they usually have a great sound set up, and an artistic shot, often set up in a studio, with a cool backdrop and maybe other guitars in the background. It is often a member of the staff, or paid musician demoing the gear, and showing off features. these are often very high quality, very focused, edited intently, and sound great.

The Semi-professional video is one that is made by a user, but has a little bit more time and energy put into it. The backdrop for these is usually someones home, maybe a music store. They often have a nice mic set up to record the amp in high quality, as well as a second mic for recording their discussion of the gear. They set up the camera shots nicely, and happen to also be fairly proficient at using the gear they are demoing. They have some editing in them sometimes, but are often just one shot. These videos are not intended to sell the equipment, just to show off the key features, and let the world hear what they sound like. Sometimes the user talks about the instrument, or intros the video with some info, but sometimes they just start playing, and there are no words.

Finally, there's the infamous Ultra-Amateur video. These are closer to a video blog than anything else. They range from a person talking about how they just got a new guitar and will play it for the camera to videos of 7 year old kids messing around in their bedrooms. These videos are usually pretty low image quality, as well as sound quality. They utilize the in-camera microphone which significantly reduces sound quality compared to the other forms of demo video.

These videos act as a side culture for YouTube. Only people interested in musical instruments would ever be interested in watching them, but some of them have a pretty large number of views.

One particular user, "gearmandude" is famous for demoing guitar pedals. His videos are very typical fot he semi-pro style, and he is something of a youtube celebrity within this subculture. He never shows his true identity, usually keeping the camera pointed at the pedal he is demoing (on the floor). He then uses his hidden identity as a gimmick in some of his videos, forcing his fans to wonder why he does so. (His video "who is gearmandude" is one of the most popular on his site, and is comprised of a lot of people saying "I am gearmandude" into the camera). Many fathom he keeps his identity hidden because of his celebrity status, as they reckon that gearmandude is in fact actor/comedian Jack Black, who is known for his southern twang, distinctive voice, upbeat attitude, rock 'n roll mentality, and love of music--All characteristics they both share.