Latest Guitar Statistics and Incredible Facts (2024)

While the guitar is 100% likely to make you cooler, there is no end of other fascinating guitar statistics to dive into. So grab your spectacles and let’s get nerdy with the stats behind guitars.

guitar statistics

Behold… the ultimate guide to guitar statistics.

Lockdowns around the globe led to a huge uptake in hobbies in 2020, with millions choosing to learn guitar.

Guitar sales have increased steadily since the global recession in 2009 but have boomed since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Global guitar sales increased 15% from $8 billion in 2019 to $9.2 billion in 2020.

The global guitar market reached $11.09 billion in 2023 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7.6% until 2033. (Source: Future Market Insights).

While some online articles claim that the global guitar market value was $17.2 billion in 2020, our research has not verified this.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the real statistics of the guitar industry: from sales statistics to demographics of players and even whether guitarists are more likely to vote Trump or Biden!

Key Takeaways

  • The global guitar market hit $11.09 billion in 2023 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7.6% until 2033.
  • The US was responsible for $4.4 billion of this total, an increase of 10.7% from the previous year.
  • The guitar industry has experienced this remarkable growth due to the pandemic, and general uptake in hobbies during lockdown.
  • Online retail, online learning resources, and social media have increased the accessibility of guitars.
  • A growing number of people are recognising the mental health benefits of playing the guitar.
  • 50% of new guitarists are female.
  • US guitarists tend to be Republican with 35% voting for Trump in 2022 and 15% voting for Biden.

Guitar Sales Overview

Guitar sales overview - electric and acoustic guitars

The guitar industry experienced a surge in 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, with people having more time to spend on their hobbies.

  • Global guitar sales increased 15% from $8 billion in 2019 to $9.2 billion in 2020.
  • Growth has continued through to 2023, with the global guitar market hitting $11.09 billion in 2023.
  • By 2033, the market is estimated to reach $23.29 billion.

Popular brands such as Fender benefitted throughout 2020 partially attributed their online video platform ‘Fender Play’, with sales within Asia-Pacific alone reaching $425 million.

With many describing these conditions reminiscently similar to the post-Beatles era, experts predict that this growth is showing no signs of slowing down.

US Guitar Sales

Guitar sales in America since the pandemic have increased at an even greater rate than the global one.

  • The US guitar market is predicted to grow at the fastest rate in the world, with a CAGR of 8.3% from 2023 to 2030, driven by the increasing number of music concerts in the US. (Source: Grand View Research).
  • In 2021, the guitar market retail sales value amounted to approximately $2.02 billion in the United States, up from around $1.67 billion. (Source: Statista)
  • The total number of guitars sold in the United States increased from around 2.74 million units in 2019 to 3.34 million units in 2021. (Source: Statista)

The Guitar vs. Other Instruments

Astonishingly for us guitarists, it’s not the most popular instrument to play – at least when it comes to those who have attempted to learn an instrument at some point in their lives.

In a 2022 study of 3000 US citizens, YouGov found that the piano is the most common instrument for people to learn.

  • The piano was the most popular instrument to learn with 38% playing at some time in their lives.
  • Guitar was the second most popular with 26% having played at some time (18% acoustic guitar, 8% electric guitar)
  • Bass guitar had 7% of people learning at some point.

US Voting Intentions of Guitarists

According to the same 2022 YouGov poll as above, guitar players in America are predominantly Republican.

  • 42% of guitarists had a voting intention of Republican.
  • 15% of guitarists had a voting intention of Democrat.
  • 35% of guitarists voted for Trump in 2022.
  • 15% of guitarists voted for Biden in 2022.

We found this a surprising fact, with the guitar often being associated with counter-culture and more left-leaning views in terms of its punk-rock and alternative associations elsewhere around the world. But for the US at least, it seems it holds more sway with the right-wing community.

Online Retail Dominance

The guitar market has been significantly impacted by the emergence of online retailers such as Amazon and Sweetwater, while brick-and-mortar stores like Guitar Center are having trouble competing.

  • Sweetwater reported 1.5 million customers and over $1 billion in revenue in 2020 alone – a 50% increase from 2019 figures.
  • Guitar Center filed for bankruptcy in 2020, reaching $1.3 billion in debts under Chapter 11 proceedings.

It’s clear that there’s been a huge shift towards online in the guitar industry, revolutionizing not only buying but also the discovery and learning of the guitar.

There is now an abundance of resources available through online platforms, making things simpler both for newbies taking up playing guitars or seasoned musicians sharpening their skills – whatever the playing style.

Popular Guitar Types and Brands

Popular guitar types and brands - Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and other popular guitar brands

When it comes to the most popular guitar types, acoustic guitars have maintained a majority market share of 60% compared to 40% for electric guitars.

Popular brands such as Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, and Paul Reed Smith (PRS) are highly praised by both experienced players and beginners alike due to their quality craftsmanship in designing good-sounding acoustics instruments.

Although 2019 saw an overall 12% decrease in sales for electric guitars, they still remain a top choice for millions.

Demographics of Guitar Players

The guitar industry has seen an influx of new players with diverse backgrounds, ranging from different age groups to various musical experiences.

  • There are around 410 million guitarists in the world – which we have a whole article on.
  • 50% of new guitarists are women. An incredible shift in a traditionally male-dominated world. (Source: Fender)
  • An impressive 40% of all newly purchased guitars were by first-time buyers, suggesting an extremely healthy market
  • The majority of new guitarists (72%) are aged 13-34 years old.

This surge in diversity showcases how widely appealing the instrument can be and reflects a growing interest for younger generations who value it as a creative outlet or form of self-expression.

Learning Guitar: Apps and Online Resources

The statistics on online resources for learning the guitar indicate a significant increase in the number of people, particularly children and young learners, turning to online platforms for guitar lessons.

According to a study, enrollment rates for guitar lessons among young learners have increased by 40% over the past decade, with the rapid advancement of technology playing a pivotal role in this growth.

Additionally, a survey in the United States revealed that approximately 16 million people started to learn the guitar in the last two years, with 62% citing COVID-19 and associated lockdowns as a major motivator.

The popularity of online guitar lessons is attributed to their flexibility in terms of time and location, as well as their affordability compared to traditional in-person lessons.

Furthermore, online, video-based tutorials are considered the most effective resource for learning guitar, even over private lessons, by beginning and aspirational guitar players.

The Second-Hand Guitar Market

According to a report by IBIS World, the used guitar market was valued at $1.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $2.1 billion by 2025.

In 2019, alone sold $200 million worth of used musical instruments and gear, with guitars accounting for $130 million of these sales

The used guitar market is expected to grow at a rate of 5.5% per year between 2020 and 2025

Electric guitars make up the largest segment of the used guitar market, accounting for 70% of all sales, while acoustic guitars make up the second largest segment with a market share of 30%

The rising popularity of vintage guitars, the increasing affordability of used guitars, and the growing number of guitar players are driving this growth.

Guitar pedal sales statistics

The guitar effects pedal industry has seen significant growth and expansion in recent years. With a wide array of pedals now available, with technology opening up the possibility of new guitar tones.

  • The number of guitar effects pedals sold in the United States increased by 21.9% in 2021 over the previous year. (Source: Statista)
  • In 2021, the retail sales value of guitar effects pedals in the U.S. amounted to approximately $165 million. (Source: Statista)
  • The global guitar pedals market size expanded rapidly in 2021, and the market is expected to generate significant growth in the coming years. (Source: Business Research)
  • The market is expanding due to the manufacturers’ efforts to introduce numerous novel pedals, including modeling pedals, eco-friendly pedals, and smart pedals.
  • The guitar pedal market is anticipated to benefit from emerging innovative technologies, the expanding music industry, and its rising popularity
  • Gain Effects accounted for a significant percentage of the global guitar pedals market in 2021 and is projected to continue growing
  • Guitar Pedals Market Research provides important market growth drivers, such as rising industrial demand, that would support global expansion.

Overall, the guitar effects pedal industry is experiencing growth driven by technological advancements, an expanding music industry, and rising popularity. From traditional effects like reverb to more innovative sounds, the guitar pedal market shows no signs of closing down.

Summary – Guitar Statistics

The guitar industry has proved itself to be extremely durable and flexible in the face of evolving trends and consumer interests.

There has been a substantial rise in guitar sales, online retailing is booming, and online learning platforms have transformed guitar education. There’s also a thriving second-hand guitar market, giving further proof that guitars aren’t going away any time soon.

People of every age and background are still picking up the guitar in their millions, so there’s no time like the present when it comes to joining the guitar community.

Frequently Asked Questions – Guitar Statistics

What are the demographic statistics of guitarists?

Guitarists tend to be in their thirties, with a gender divide that is even. Out of them, 32% have been playing the instrument for at least 10 years while 23% are experienced players who picked up the guitar within five to ten years. Both of these statistics indicate an enthusiasm among those learning guitar playing and perfecting this skill.

It’s worth noting as well that when it comes to age groups there isn’t much fluctuation, which demonstrates its prevalence amongst all generations.

How many acoustic guitars are sold in the United States?

The sale of acoustic guitars in the United States saw a considerable boost from 1.6 million units sold in 2020 to around 1.85 million in 2021, representing an impressive growth rate of four percent.

What factors have contributed to the growth of the guitar industry in recent years?

The pandemic, rising popularity of guitar-based music genres, advancements in manufacturing technology, and increasing number of aspiring players have collectively spurred growth in the guitar industry.

Which guitar types and brands are the most popular among players?

Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, and PRS are the leading brands in electric guitars. Both acoustic guitars and electric guitars have wide popularity today.

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