Music research organization Music Trades says that between 2007 and 2017, sales of electric guitars dropped about a third, and for a while there it appeared the guitar might be “over.” But, things have changed big time in 2020.
Andy Mooney is the chief executive of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, which is a California-based guitar company that has provided guitars to rock & roll performers since the 1950s. He says of 2020, “We’ve broken so many records. It will be the biggest year of sales volume in Fender history, record days of double-digit growth, e-commerce sales and beginner gear sales. I never would have thought we would be where we are today if you asked me back in March.”
It turns out many young adults and teens, particularly females, are helping fuel the guitar revival as they snap up guitars to deal with the stress of the pandemic. Jensen Trani is a guitar instructor in Los Angeles, and he tells the New York Times he saw a huge surge in traffic for his YouTube instructional videos after shelter-in-place orders were issued in the spring, and then saw a huge jump in the number of people requesting to take one-on-one lessons with him remotely. He says the majority of his new students are female-presenting people in their late 20s or early 30s. Also, a neurosurgeon says that learning to play an instrument is not only “neuroprotective,” but also is a forward-looking process, kindling hope and optimism, which is great for mental health.