Guitars are everywhere! But have you ever wondered how many people can play the guitar around the world?
It is estimated that ten percent of the world population (712 million) have played the guitar in one point of their life, ranging from beginners to professionals. Making it one of the most popular musical instruments globally.
In this exciting journey, we’ll discover just how popular guitars are, from big cities to small towns. Get ready to learn some amazing facts about guitars and the people who love to play them!
How Many People in the World Play Guitar?
Guitars have strummed their way into the hearts of millions worldwide, making it one of the most beloved musical instruments. From street performers to concert halls, guitars are a universal symbol of music and creativity.
The popularity of the guitar spans across cultures and continents, embraced by people of all ages. Its versatility in different music genres, from rock and pop to classical and folk, has contributed to its widespread appeal.
The guitar’s accessibility and relative ease for beginners also add to its popularity, making it a go-to choice for many aspiring musicians.
Global Statistics on Guitar Playing
Estimating the total number of guitar players in the world is a complex task, but it’s clear that the numbers reach into the tens of millions.
If we take the estimation from above, that 712 million people have played guitar sometime and if the statement of Fender CEO Andy Mooney that 90% of the beginners abandon their guitar within the first year holds true, there should be around 71 million active guitar players out there. This estimation also fits based on guitar sales, music school enrollments, and the popularity of guitar-based music globally.
The guitar’s appeal cuts across demographic and geographic boundaries, making it a truly global instrument. Its popularity continues to grow, driven by its presence in popular culture, music education, and the increasing accessibility of learning resources online.
What Percent of The World Can Play Guitar?
While an exact percentage is challenging to pinpoint, it’s estimated that a significant portion (around 10 %) of the global population has some level of guitar-playing ability. This includes those who can play a few basic chords to professional musicians. The number of active guitar players probably lies closer to 1%.
The widespread appeal of the guitar, combined with its inclusion in music education programs in many schools worldwide, contributes to a substantial percentage of people having at least a basic proficiency in guitar playing.
Gender Distribution Among Guitar Players
The gender distribution among guitar players has traditionally been male-dominated, but this trend is rapidly changing. Recent years have seen a significant increase in female guitarists, both in recreational and professional spheres.
In 2018 Fender conducted a study including 20,000 guitar beginners, buying their first guitar, it showed that 50% of the guitar buyers were female.
Music education programs and cultural shifts are encouraging more women and girls to take up the guitar, leading to a more balanced gender representation among guitar players.
This change is also reflected in the music industry, where female guitarists are gaining more visibility and recognition.
Guitar Sales through 2021 in the United States
With the rise of music streaming and social media, more people are exposed to guitar music, sparking an interest in learning the instrument. This has led to a significant uptick in guitar sales, especially among younger demographics.
Acoustic guitars have seen a resurgence in popularity, likely due to their affordability and suitability for beginners. Electric guitars continue to be popular among certain genres and age groups, but acoustic guitars have surpassed them.
In 2021 around 3,3 million guitars were sold in the US alone, of that 1,5 million were electrics and 1,8 million acoustics.
What Level of The Guitar Is the Most Played?
The majority of guitar players fall into the beginner category, those who know a few chords. This level is where most people start their guitar journey, learning basic chords to play simple songs. And like we learned form Fenders Statistics about 90% quit at that level.
Their possible progress also depends on how regularly they practice and their access to quality instruction.
The Hobby Guitarist
The casual guitar player is probably the most common under the ones that do go on in their guitar playing journey. These players might strum a guitar at social gatherings or play as a hobby. They typically have a fundamental understanding of chords and rhythm but may not delve deeply into advanced techniques or music theory.
Plays In a band
Followed by the semi-professional guitar players, often found playing in bands, represent a more dedicated segment. These individuals have usually moved beyond basic chords and rhythms to more complex playing techniques. They often perform in local venues, events, or as part of community gatherings. Their skill level varies, but they share a commitment to regular practice and improvement.
Those with a higher skill level are like the peak of the mountain, and the most rare kind in all of the guitar players. They have a deep understanding of scales, modes, and improvisation techniques. They are often the most visible and celebrated members of a band.
These are experts who innovate and inspire, often with a deep understanding of music theory, composition, and various playing styles.
They are relatively rare and are usually recognized in the guitar community for their contributions to the art form, often influencing future generations of guitarists.
Regional Differences in Guitar Playing
Certain countries stand out for their high number of guitar players, reflecting strong guitar-playing communities. The United States, for example, has a significant population of guitarists, influenced by its rich history in rock, blues, and country music.
Spain, with its deep-rooted flamenco tradition, also boasts a high number of guitarists. Brazil, known for its bossa nova and samba, has a vibrant guitar culture as well. These countries highlight how regional music styles and cultural heritage play a significant role in the popularity of guitar playing.
In India, the classical guitar is often fused with traditional music, creating a distinctive sound. Each region’s cultural background influences how the guitar is played and perceived, contributing to the rich global tapestry of guitar music.
Popular Genres and Styles Associated with Guitar Playing
Globally, the guitar is associated with a wide range of popular genres and styles. In the United States, genres like rock, country, and blues dominate.
Latin America has given rise to styles such as flamenco, bossa nova, and tango, where the guitar plays a pivotal role.
Europe, especially with its classical and flamenco traditions, offers another perspective on guitar playing.
In Africa, the guitar is often used in traditional music, blending local rhythms and melodies. This diversity in genres and styles showcases the guitar’s adaptability to different musical landscapes.
Factors Influencing Guitar Playing
The age and generation of a guitarist significantly influence their approach to playing and the music they prefer. Younger players, often influenced by current music trends and pop culture, tend to lean towards contemporary genres like pop, rock, or indie.
Older generations might favor classical, blues, or jazz styles, reflecting the musical influences of their youth.
The age differences are not just in musical preferences but also in learning approaches. Younger guitarists are more likely to utilize online resources and interactive apps, while older players might prefer traditional lessons and printed music.
Technological Advances and Their Impact on Learning To Play
Technology has revolutionized how guitar is learned and played. Online tutorials, interactive apps, and virtual lessons have made learning more accessible than ever before. These tools cater to various skill levels and styles, allowing learners to practice at their own pace and in their own space.
Technology has also enabled the sharing of guitar playing across the globe, creating a vast online community where guitarists can learn from each other, share experiences, and collaborate.
This digital evolution has also lowered the entry barriers, making it easier for people of all ages and backgrounds to start playing the guitar.
In conclusion, the guitar remains one of the most popular and beloved musical instruments worldwide, with a vast and diverse community of players.
The rise in technology has further democratized learning, allowing more people to access guitar education. The guitar’s universal appeal lies in its versatility and the endless possibilities it offers for creative expression, making it a central figure in the global music landscape.