While the typical guitar player of yesterday couldn’t wait to join a band, that’s not so much the goal of the guitar player of today according to the latest study by Fender. The consumer research done by the company actually indicates the guitar market is finally looking up after many years of decline, but maybe not in the same way it’s traditionally worked in the past.
While the goal of players from previous decades was to be a member of a band, today’s guitar buyer has a different goal in mind. 72% say they picked up the guitar as a means of self-betterment, and 61% say they just want to play songs privately or socially. Also a change from previous generations, 50% of guitar beginners are now women.
That fact that there are now more women buyers was originally chalked up to the ” Taylor Swift effect” and was expected to abide over time, but that’s not proven to have been the case. The trend has sustained over time and even spread worldwide.
In terms of preferred music genres, U.S. respondents most frequently cited rock, classic rock, hip-hop, and country. U.K. players have different tastes though, pointing to blues, indie rock, and reggae. In what may be telling as to how they viewed today’s music, many refused to answer the question.
When it comes to sales, 45% of new guitars are purchased by first-time buyers, but 90% quit the instrument within a few months. That being said, committed players will probably spend at least $10,000 on instruments over their lifetime.
The fact of the matter is that the guitar now plays a different role in music today. It’s not in the forefront of many genres, and the technical skill level required doesn’t need to be as high as in the past. Today’s buyers have a different idea of what being a guitar player means and at least in some areas it’s contrary to what many of us thought in the past. Give props to Fender for seeking the direction of the market.