THINGS A YOUTUBE GUITAR HERO SAYS
Guitar World|June 2020
THINGS THE KING OF GUITAR YOUTUBE DOESN’T CARE IF YOU DON’T LIKE HIS CHANNEL. A decade after JARED DINES first joined the streaming platform, he’s got more than he ever could have expected: more than 2.7 million followers, more than half a billion total views, onstage guest spots with some of modern rock’s biggest bands and a huge network of friends and collaborators.
ADAM KOVAC

BUT AFTER A YEAR THAT SAW SOME OF THE highest and lowest points of a career spent redefining what a guitar hero can be, what he doesn’t have is a rat’s ass to give about what anybody has to say. “I got to a point where I just said ‘screw it,’” Dines tells Guitar World. “I was so worried if I don’t post this week, I’m going to be irrelevant. If you don’t tweet every day people are going to forget about you. Now, I just don’t care. I don’t give a fuck. I just found I need to do the things that I feel inspired to do and motivated to do on any given day.” With the haters forgotten in his search history, Dines’ future is calling. The question, in this age of rapidly shifting tastes, evolving platforms and increasing competition among content creators, is what that future will look like.

FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T YET KNOW HIM, HERE’S DINES’ BIO IN BRIEF: He started playing guitar 17 years ago. He worked as a recording engineer, and about five years ago he started posting on YouTube in earnest. Whereas many creators in the online guitar community were looking at YouTube as a way to promote their bands or to shill for instruction courses, Dines stood out because of his willingness to indulge in sheer silliness for its own sake. Many of his most popular early videos poked fun at musical tropes and the stereotypes of being in a metal band: “Things Beginner Guitarists Say” (“I just don’t see the point in learning sheet music!”), “Every Guitar Store Guitarist,” “Things You Should Never Say to a Guitarist.”

Soon, he was collaborating with other up-and-coming musicians/content creators with a similar penchant for hijinks, like battling Rob Scallon on absurd guitars (Dines’ featured a single ludicrously heavy-gauge string; Scallon’s was built out of a shovel). He promoted fellow YouTubers like Stevie T., Ola Englund, Rabea Massaad and Sarah Longfield in his Riff Wars and Shred Wars series. For three years straight, he’s dropped a massive shred-off around Christmas, with dozens of guitarists contributing insane solos. The videos became so popular that mainstream metal stars like Trivium’s Matt Heafy and All That Remains’ Jason Richardson began chipping in.

Somewhere along the way, Dines became the center of the online guitar universe. And as with everything that is good and pure online, eventually the dark side would show up. Over the past year he saw himself at the center of a controversy that shook up the online guitar community. It started with a noble goal: trying to auction off his massive, one-of-a-kind 18-string Ormsby guitar. That guitar had been the star of several videos, including a wildly entertaining feud with Stevie T. over who would emerge as the “Djent God.” (Stevie would ultimately try to oneup Dines with a 20-string axe, though the two settled their differences in a riff duel on the beach. Guitar YouTube can be a weird place).

With the war of the strings at an end, Dines tried to do some good: selling off the guitar, with all proceeds going toward buying instruments for disadvantaged kids. Once all the bids were in, it looked like Dines had raised more than $16,000. Then the headaches started. Both of the top two eBay bidders backed out, telling Dines they had been drunk when they put in their bids.

Dines, like most prominent influencers, has put up with countless hate-filled comments on his channel, but having two wasted bros mess with a charity seemed to cut him more than any of those.

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