A new study finds that COVID-19-related shutdowns prompted millions of Americans to start playing the guitar.
The new Fender study finds that about 16 million people (equal to 7 percent of the U.S. population) picked up a guitar to entertain themselves during lockdown. This included both experienced players and beginners.
Approximately 62 percent of people surveyed said the pandemic was an important reason behind why they started playing guitar and another 77 percent said they had more time to practice and play as a result of the shutdowns.
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of new guitarists are between ages 13 and 34, Fender finds. Two-thirds of new players consider themselves hobbyists and have full-time careers; others have higher hopes, musically.
“The pandemic rapidly accelerated the already healthy growth in beginner guitar players and we accelerated our investment in tools to support them,” said Fender CEO Andy Mooney. “Our suite of Beginner Tools enables new players to enjoy the process of learning to play music they love and perhaps go on to create music we all will love.”
In response to the new data, Fender has launched its Beginner's Hub network of online resources to take the guesswork out of getting starting.
The hub includes resources geared towards helping novices find the right instrument from the get-go (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass or ukulele) with the company's interactive Find Your Fender shopping guide. It also includes the Fender Tune app to keep players up to pitch.
And because most guitarists agree that getting started is the hardest aspect of playing guitar, the Beginner's Hub includes the Fender Play app, packed with lessons, notation and tablature for thousands of classic and contemporary songs to get players of all levels making music early and often.
The guitar market was an early beneficiary of the pandemic-related shutdowns. With strong sales in 2020, Fender dramatically stepped up its outreach to new guitar players and the guitar-curious in the spring of last year, making its Fender Play app available for free for most of the year.