Sixteen Million Took Up Playing Guitar In the Last Two Years

guitarface

Most Honored Senior Member
Nov 11, 2012
8,771
New Jersey
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.

There’s YouTube for that.
 

vid1900

Most Honored Senior Member
Nov 25, 2016
9,505
Yemen
Today, new players don't have to go out and audition for gigs.

There is an audience of millions online.

Every camgirl has a guitar in her room.

Every time someone struggles through a new Taylor Swift song, they make a video that somehow gets 10,000 views.

Players will play Slayer on a ukulele on TikTok, and get zillions of views

The internet means there is an audience for just about anything, at any skill level.
 

Rickety

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 6, 2021
80
Devils Lake, ND
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…
I don't think that's a fair assumption to make, honestly. I think it has a lot to do with how much time you dedicate to your craft and how committed you are to learning new techniques. I was only playing for about two years when I learned the entire song Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria, solo included. I could learn any song as long as I had a tab and maybe a video to help me through a couple of parts that I couldn't quite grasp (except for exceedingly technical songs like Through the Fire and Flames, but I mean... who could learn a song that was enhanced with computer editing like that without playing for a really long time?)

There are many different speeds that people learn at, my old jam buddy was just like me, he had only been playing for about two years when we met up and started playing together and he was really good, firing off solos and shredding any rhythm piece you put in front of him. So I would definitely say that it really depends on how much time you spend dedicated to honing your skill. Will you get there in two years by practicing for about an hour each day? Hell no, but if you dedicate multiple hours per day to learning it, you can definitely get there in two years.
 

Heavyriff

Senior Stratmaster
Jul 8, 2019
1,492
NE PA
I know what you’re saying but it does differ depending on your locale. Here in the Pacific NW, there’s an unbelievable amount of talent and it’s not computers. Sometimes I’m blown away by the sheer freshness of some of these bands playing very different cool stuff.

But, on the other hand what sucks is the blues scene. I mean I really love the blues and there just hardly anyone taking on that genre. I have done sound for the last 4 or 5 Winter Blues Festivals here and at 62, I’m one of the youngest guys in the whole room :( . Every year it looks like retirement home recruiting. It’s just so sad and it bums me out. I can’t understand why it’s a dying genre with the unbelievable skill a guitar player must have to really stand out in a SRV type of gig. Today youth just want to hear electronic kick drum and 3 bass notes with rapping over it instead. :thumbd: All day long. I don’t get it, and I’ll never get it.

Every day when I go thru the coffee drive thru, inside the coffee wagon at every Dutch Bros franchise, all you hear is the same crap blasting out the windows. It all sounds the same. And they can’t even hear you talk because it’s too important for them to listen to the stuff blasting away inside day in day out. But that’s another story and a different rant.
I also am a lover of the Blues. I am finally close to getting a jam band going with me on drums and a very good guitar player. But we can not find a Bass player yet. Fingers crossed we find the right person. I am eyeing a Pearl Jazz kit for ease of transport in the hopes of some gigging in the future. I hope it comes together.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO
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.

I'm didn't say that it doesn't exist only that I'm not certain of it simply because my daughters are all adults now and my 18 year old grandson is into sports far more than music. He sings quite well but that's in HS musicals not a rock band like this old man did once I was in HS.

So in that you're spot on. I'm just not around it any longer at that same level.

Still, it's much harder for me to believe music today, in terms of playing in a rock band, captures the same attention and fever pitch it did in the '60s. There are far more activities to compete with it now than there were in say 1964. But no, I'm not 100% certain of it at all.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO
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.

I may be wrong but I believe that market is a big part of Sweetwater's business.

They have a staff of people who deal almost solely with churches and college auditoriums because that's where the money is these days not in the clubs.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO
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.

OK, I can be a curmudgeon at times but I do scrape my crust off regularly. :D

I also agree that we can be a whole lot of the reason some will stick with it especially if we can help answer questions rookie and barely past beginners have about whatever they feel they'd like to know. Pay if forward using what we've learned.
 

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,863
Edmonton, Alberta
Think of how many kids over the years and decades actually that grabbed a new guitar package once a new band popped up. Damn the Beatles or The Stones must have a huge impact all over the world in guitar sales.

So the question is for you guys on here that were around when this boom happened. Were you pulling mommy’s sleeve to “learn” the guitar? How many of you stuck with it? It’s almost the same situation here.

I live in a city where I could walk down a strip here called whyte avenue and here local bands throughout the street. Obviously not now but before the lockdowns. People are still gigging and yes it’s done differently today but it’s still being done. Music isn’t going to die off because the boomers are getting older. The rock band days are over so the music industry shuts down, that will never happen.
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
28,106
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
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.

I am of little help. My kid is a music kid and SURPRISE he brought home other music kids. From my perspective all kids play multiple instruments and are great musicians.
 

Chatmanx

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 26, 2021
87
Sacramento, CA
I haven't seen it around here where the college population is really big. I wonder if the increase is bucket list because I don't see it with the digital kids.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO
So the question is for you guys on here that were around when this boom happened. Were you pulling mommy’s sleeve to “learn” the guitar? How many of you stuck with it? It’s almost the same situation here.

It was the boom in the '60s that captured me. We had just moved from Chicago to a resort lake in rural Northern Wisconsin to operate a family business whose busy time was in the summer months. But this was September and summer homes were closing up for the winter and people were leaving.

I didn't hunt or ice fish and team sports were out for me because we lived 15 miles out of town and I had to help run our business after school and on weekends. But even in a HS of roughly 500 students there were three rock bands formed or in the process of forming and only two had a bass player.

So in December I talked my dad into buying me a used Silvertone Bass, I bought a 5w guitar amp from a guy in my class, then spent the rest of the winter in my room playing records and albums on my stereo listening to and learning the bass lines to as many of those songs as I could manage.

In May about a month before my 15th birthday I joined one of those bands as a vocalist and when the bass player quit over a conflict with his summer job I was anointed both the bassist AND vocalist even though I'd been playing for just 6 months. It was a challenge but I made it work.

So I spent the next 50 years in one band after another playing everything from polkas and country tunes, to rock and country/southern rock, to blues/r&b, to Latin jazz and more traditional Latin dance tunes, to bluegrass and acoustic trios. It's been quite interesting and very enlightening.

I'm still active but COVID has taken away many of the opportunities to play live music and actually get paid for it. But even so the club scene is no longer as lively as it once was and there are fewer gigs to go around. Hopefully that will change as things normalize again and people get out more.

I hope another 15 year old kid whose bored to tears and wants to do something "different" will do what I did and take up an instrument and learn to play. It's hard work for many and it requires practice but I would not trade my experiences as a musician for anything. It's been quite a ride.
 

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,863
Edmonton, Alberta
It was the boom in the '60s that captured me. We had just moved from Chicago to a resort lake in rural Northern Wisconsin to operate a family business whose busy time was in the summer months. But this was September and summer homes were closing up for the winter and people were leaving.

I didn't hunt or ice fish and team sports were out for me because we lived 15 miles out of town and I had to help run our business after school and on weekends. But even in a HS of roughly 500 students there were three rock bands formed or in the process of forming and only two had a bass player.

So in December I talked my dad into buying me a used Silvertone Bass, I bought a 5w guitar amp from a guy in my class, then spent the rest of the winter in my room playing records and albums on my stereo listening to and learning the bass lines to as many of those songs as I could manage.

In May about a month before my 15th birthday I joined one of those bands as a vocalist and when the bass player quit over a conflict with his summer job I was anointed both the bassist AND vocalist even though I'd been playing for just 6 months. It was a challenge but I made it work.

So I spent the next 50 years in one band after another playing everything from polkas and country tunes, to rock and country/southern rock, to blues/r&b, to Latin jazz and more traditional Latin dance tunes, to bluegrass and acoustic trios. It's been quite interesting and very enlightening.

I'm still active but COVID has taken away many of the opportunities to play live music and actually get paid for it. But even so the club scene is no longer as lively as it once was and there are fewer gigs to go around. Hopefully that will change as things normalize again and people get out more.

I hope another 15 year old kid whose bored to tears and wants to do something "different" will do what I did and take up an instrument and learn to play. It's hard work for many and it requires practice but I would not trade my experiences as a musician for anything. It's been quite a ride.

Wow, I don’t have that much play time in but still sounds like a great experience, great story. I started in high school and haven’t stopped yet. 20 years or so now. It’s more a hobby now though. Still squeezing in a Friday night jam for the last 8 years.

We have some pretty decent modern radio stations here that play local bands. It’s still going pretty strong considering what’s going on. It’s hard to say what the future will bring with new musicians on the rise.
 

soulman969

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
5,560
Fort Collins, CO


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