“Nobody plays guitar anymore”.
“The guitar is no longer heard”.
How many times have you heard these phrases?
And what is happening instead?
Fender is selling more guitars in 2020 than in its entire history! Incredible!
Let’s talk about Fender which, together with Gibson, the 2 legendary brands that have marked the history of electric guitars.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is the world’s foremost manufacturer of guitars, basses, amplifiers, and related equipment.
With an illustrious history dating back to 1946, Fender has touched and transformed music worldwide and in nearly every genre: rock ‘n’ roll, hard rock, country and western, jazz, rhythm and blues, and many others.
The Fender guitars, especially the Fender Stratocaster, colloquially known as the Strat, designed from 1952 to 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares, have been played by many great rock and blues guitarists.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation CEO (and former Disney executive) Andy Mooney recently shed light on his company’s record year.
But this surprising result, probably also due to the worldwide lockdown period, is one of the few positive aspects of the music industry to emerge from the coronavirus crisis, although other instrument manufacturers are also reporting similar positive sales.
The company reports record days of double-digit growth, e-commerce sales, and beginner gear sales, adding that its Fender Play instructional app has seen its user base jump from 150,000 in late March to 930,000 in late June.
As well described in the beautiful New York Times article “Guitars Are Back, Baby!”, the guitar is really making a comeback, and is experiencing a second youth, among young and very young people, setting itself in contrast with the predilection for the synth of the previous generation.
More and more new musicians have approached the guitar again, to devote themselves to a “hobby”, even for the forced lockdown period. Therefore, the purchase of the same tools and of the “beginner gear” has increased a lot.
Sales of the app indicate that 20% of new users are under the age of 24, and 70% are under the age of 45. So, sales are not linked to guitar nostalgics, but to new targets of young people and also many women.
In fact, Fender is registering the best year of sales in its history not only “thanks” to the lockdown and the possibilities of e-commerce.
Of course, this phenomenon is yet to be understood, because only time will tell if these new musicians will keep the hobby in the coming months.
But in the meantime, it is certainly worth underlining the strong interest in buying guitars in different age groups has grown in a complicated period in which little else has grown.