Sixteen Million Took Up Playing Guitar In the Last Two Years

Jimbo99

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 5, 2021
2,290
Palm Coast, FL
I beat the pandemic lockdown thing for summer 2019. Everything I bought I can make a profit on, but I won't sell any of it. Knowing that the inflation is what it takes to get back into the game later on. It's like selling a house really, prices went up, so while you're getting more than what you bought into, still have to have a home and it's just a horse trade. I right sized for any of it, so there's really no incentive to cash out & start over.

Article addresses demographics for age group. Really wish they didn't go there with race, especially since they made little to no mention of gender, that would've been just another bullet point addressing those percentages. Easier to see would've been a couple, maybe a few tables to demonstrate Race & Gender by age grouping. Age Group for rows, Gender for columns & Age Group for rows, Race for columns if they were going to make any race & gender diversity points. I think they should've just kept it simple for age grouping and then nobody feels like there's an undercurrent & nefarious plot to exclude anyone.

Agree with the points about the learning curve & the dropout rate in the posts. I think prices will stay inflated and the discounts for holidays are where you get that rock bottom new instrument. And now there are the instrument & gear flippers vs those that just want the clutter in their life gone. Here's another thing about a really affordable guitar, it's like a framed painting, only less expensive. Do you get tired of that guitar hanging on the wall ? Probably not if you're a true enthusiast.
 

HazyPurple

You've gotta get up!, to get down!
Silver Member
May 5, 2020
1,966
UK
In this case I believe "Learned" is a very flexible word. That's why I used the term "Took Up". That would more aptly describe the process of learning to play.

And I agree that many will quit or at least stagnate after having learned to play a few chords or pick out the melody of a favorite tune. But if only 10% stick with it that's still 1.6 million new guitarists buying gear so the instrument itself is far from dead.


"The guitar is dead..., Long live the guitar!"
 

Guitarmageddon

Dr. Stratster
Apr 19, 2014
27,388
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
They learned to play in two years?

no they did not….bad title fender.

they began to play, they began to start learning to play.
And about 90% or more will quit.


rare is the student that flat out plays in two years….
I am almost 60, I had one student my whole life like that. And a few 1000 students.

I would expect fender marketing to do no less, or Harley, or any other company that will soon die with most boomers ….me included…

Really? So....me playing lead guitar in gigging bands like 1-2 years after I ever picked up a guitar....is not normal? I always thought I was BEHIND the curve.....

I knew all the basic cowboy chords by like 2 weeks in.....
 

HazyPurple

You've gotta get up!, to get down!
Silver Member
May 5, 2020
1,966
UK
I started ~2.5 years ago and im still going strong, in fact my practice regime has gotten longer and more intense as the months go by

As for the article Bon Scott said it before Fender :)

There was fifteen million fingers
Learnin' how to play

Bon Scott also sang;

"It's along way to the top, if you wanna rock'n'roll"
 

2010cb

Strat-Talker
Silver Member
Nov 21, 2020
426
NY
I closed my recording studio, because my heart is not into what sells today.
I cannot track/mix a song I hate.
or track samples day in and day out.
It kills the soul.

what sells today, is not musicians that play instruments.
They play computers.

the state of the music industry has changed in vast ways.

Do Exceptions exist? Sure.

same with teaching music theory, had a long discussion with one of the best teachers locally. It’s not looking good. Not just guitar, all instruments.
Even voice.
Again do exceptions exist, sure.

does your local high school even have a band? Most today do not.

even the music stores you see the shift to things other than instruments.

it’s uncomfortable to think about all this.

but this is reality. I get it, fender is doing what they need to do,

once the boomers die out, a major paradigm shift will happen, and it’s happening right now, just rather slowly.

I would love to be proven wrong here…

My 3 children have a band together going on 3 years. They’re like a unicorn in our area as if you go to a talent show or coffee shop, it is rare that you see a “band”. It is usually a singer with a backing track or a soloist. I think, at least some of it, has something to do with living on social media and computers and not living life interacting with their friends outside the home.

My kids are forced to live together at their ages, so they decided to make the best of it as we required each of them to take up an instrument until college.
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
6,777
Murfreesboro, TN
Really? So....me playing lead guitar in gigging bands like 1-2 years after I ever picked up a guitar....is not normal? I always thought I was BEHIND the curve.....

I knew all the basic cowboy chords by like 2 weeks in.....
You're a quick study. Took me at least 4 weeks. The dreadnaught with high action and 13s might have slowed me down... never could handle bar chords on that one either.

In my experience it is pretty common for a guy to pick up a guitar at 16 and to be gigging at 18. That was all the musicians I knew when I was 18.

I touched a P-bass for the first time at 16 and was playing it in front of several thousand people at 17.
 

arct

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 12, 2021
1,029
South Jersey
It's like the mid 90's all over again. 16 million people bought guitars, that's what they really mean. The retail part of this business is not what it was in the mid 90's, so getting out of this used/new price corner will be tricky. Recall that the last super glut of guitars and guitar stores was followed immediately by the beginnings of the ends of most small rural and suburban guitar shops. The big guys brought this, they'll have to figure a way out of it.

rct
 

Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,309
ok
I love it, but I agree that in about two years, you'll be able to buy a barely used RV full of barely used guitars for a lot less than they're going for today.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO
I don’t expect to see a gear glut anytime soon. Used prices right now are crazy. Why would I buy a guitar off of reverb that is priced higher that it would cost if it were brand new, from one of the major retailers?

Anything for sale on reverb or eBay, that is priced reasonably, is snatched up quickly.

I just bought an Epiphone new that was 50 bucks more than several listings for the same guitar on Reverb. And these jokers still want you to pay shipping.

Yup, it's an ideal time to be a seller and not so much a buyer.

This is where the "I want it and I want it now" plays into the hands of sellers who own popular models or hard to get gear. Dealer shelves are about as bare as they've ever been for certain gear. If you have something that's on back order with no end in sight you can ask a premium for it and many times get it. Supply vs Demand.

Given what's been happening in the market for home and used car sales I'm not sure why this would surprise anyone. Buyers are offering 10%-20% above listing price for homes and my car is worth as much as I paid for it almost 5 years ago. It's a seller's market for a whole lot of things including musical gear. Supply vs Demand.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO
You're a quick study. Took me at least 4 weeks. The dreadnaught with high action and 13s might have slowed me down... never could handle bar chords on that one either.

In my experience it is pretty common for a guy to pick up a guitar at 16 and to be gigging at 18. That was all the musicians I knew when I was 18.

I touched a P-bass for the first time at 16 and was playing it in front of several thousand people at 17.

Motivation would seem to be a major factor. In my teens it was all about wanting to learn to play and be part of a rock band. Those of us with a high degree of motivation learned more quickly than others.

It was much the same with me learning bass but at age 14 and playing in a band by my 15th birthday 6 months later. A year or so later we're playing gigs with national recording artists and recording ourselves.

But that was a much different era. I'm not sure that same kind of motivation exists today.
 

Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,309
ok
That's a huge market not only for personal gear but for sound and lighting systems for churches which are no longer little white buildings with a steeple and a cross.

I tried for nearly two years to get quotes for a new sound/video system at a church I was at in late 2018. We got a total of two bids. Most of the companies apparently didn't want to mess with it because we were shooting for something $100,000 or less. Crazy expensive systems they have at many churches these days.
 

Mouse

The Knees of Rock
Apr 25, 2012
23,747
New Jersey
The dropout rate on guitar (or any instrument) has always been high. I still find it encouraging that this many people are giving the guitar a go. It would seem then that a larger percentage than in the past will make music professionally so perhaps the pendulum will swing back in the near future.
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
6,777
Murfreesboro, TN
Motivation would seem to be a major factor. In my teens it was all about wanting to learn to play and be part of a rock band. Those of us with a high degree of motivation learned more quickly than others.

It was much the same with me learning bass but at age 14 and playing in a band by my 15th birthday 6 months later. A year or so later we're playing gigs with national recording artists and recording ourselves.

But that was a much different era. I'm not sure that same kind of motivation exists today.

That kind of motivation usually isn't visible from outside the social circles in which it exists. I don't think you can generalize and say it doesn't exist now, just because you don't see it. You're probably not hanging out with teenage musicians on a day-to-day basis.

My daughter was in the school band program until she graduated 3 years ago. Some of the other kids in her band--the ones in the rock band program and the jazz band--were obviously highly motivated and talented. Some of those kids were great! It was the same way when I was in high school. Obviously it's not everyone, it never was. But the ones who have talent and motivation have just as much as we did. Sometimes more.

We might ask @Dadocaster what kind of motivation he's seeing in teens these days.
 

guitarface

Most Honored Senior Member
Nov 11, 2012
8,771
New Jersey
And 15 million just quit. Lotsa guitars in closets right now.
You have to have lots of free time to get good. I picked it up in 2012 at 43. My wife had passed and I had time to practice 3 hours a day. It kept my mind occupied and I taught myself I can learn anything given focused time.
Once these people finally get tired of being told what to do and get back to living their lives the guitar will fall by the wayside.
Some will stick Im sure but most will not just like always.

They’re being told to play guitar?
 

bgmacaw

Senior Stratmaster
Dec 16, 2014
1,021
Near Athens, GA
From the article...

Out of the 16 million new players that emerged in the last two years, one in four have stagnated in their progress, proving that starting is hard, but continuing might be harder, so ongoing learning support is crucial to sustaining players.

I guess one of our jobs on forums is to provide some of that "ongoing learning support" instead of being our typical crusty curmudgeon guitar forumite selves.
 


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