What Percentage of Americans Can Play Guitar?

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The guitar has become increasingly popular over the years because it makes you feel creative, kills boredom, and can be super fun. Looking at the United States and how many more people have picked up this fantastic instrument in the past few years will amaze you. If you’ve been wondering how many Americans can actually play the guitar, keep reading to discover amazing facts and statistics about the percentage of guitar players in the United States!

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What Percentage of Americans Can Play Guitar?

How Many People Can Play the Guitar?

YouGov and Fender surveyed thousands of expert, intermediate, and beginner guitarists between May and June 2021. According to the findings, approximately 7% of the total population is beginner guitarists, which means they have attempted to pick up their guitar and play a basic melody or two.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Contributed Massively to The Percentage of Guitar-Playing Americans!

In October 2021, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) released the findings of a study which showed that 7% of the American population aged 13-64 (approximately 16 million Americans) began learning how to play the during the pandemic lockdown periods. Over 10,000 people were polled to better understand aspiring guitarists’ needs and desires.

Fender’s New Guitar Player Landscape Analysis yielded the following conclusions:

New guitar players: 

72% of new guitar players are aged 13 to 34, ushering in the next generation of artists who will transform the guitar and music industries. Most of these new guitarists have previously played or attempted to play another instrument, with piano/keyboard and bass being the most popular.


58% of beginners use TikTok on a weekly or more frequently. Furthermore, 67% of beginners seek out and consume guitar content weekly, if not daily.

Music in the families: 

33% of present guitar players at the beginner level, and 33% of those wishing to start playing the guitar (those who have not yet learned or played guitar but indicated a strong interest in getting into guitar playing in the course of the next twelve months) have a family member with a guitar, suggesting that the presence of a guitar in the house can spark people’s interest to get into guitar playing.

The reasons for learning to play the guitar have changed: 

67% of new guitar players have full-time jobs, with the majority viewing the instrument as a hobby rather than a passion. Aside from guitar, one of their other favorite hobbies is playing video games. It indicates an expanding opportunity to engage with players in virtual spaces. Cooking, health and wellness, reading, and traveling are some of their other interests. According to research, women, teens, adults over 40, and black beginning players are more likely to consider themselves self-improvers in their current guitar playing.


Hip Hop is a popular genre among today’s beginners. They are, however, less likely to associate it with guitar. Exploiting this genre may help to increase player interest and engagement.

Latino Guitarists: 

In the last two years, 38% of the 16 million new guitar players identified as Latino, highlighting the need for Fender and the industry as a whole, to support and ensure players from all backgrounds. Hispanic players are much more likely than white players to seek out guitars to create music and perform.

Leveling Up: 

53% of beginners practice for 2 hours or less per week, but they believe that practicing 4 hours per week for 1-2 years is what it takes to “get good” at guitar.

Starting is Difficult: 

What Percentage of Americans Can Play Guitar?

Those who want to play guitar list significantly more barriers than those who have already started, indicating that starting may be the most difficult part of learning to play. Once they’ve started playing the guitar, many reported that one of the most difficult challenges is not learning or progressing quickly enough and say a rewarding opportunity would encourage them to keep learning.

Sticking with It: 

One in four of the 16 million new players who have emerged in the last two years have plateaued in their progress, demonstrating that starting is difficult, but continuing maybe even more difficult, so ongoing learning support is critical to sustaining players.

Reasons Why Guitar-Playing Is a Popular Hobby In The United States.

It is easily accessible.

Although keyboards and pianos are wonderful instruments, they are not as common as guitars. One reason people like guitars is that they are easily accessible and transportable.

The fundamentals are simple to grasp.

No age is too old when you want to learn how to play your guitar. While younger people learn faster, you can learn to play the guitar as a beginner, whether 30, 40, 60, or even 70. Many chords and the fundamentals of playing guitar can be learned in the first few days of picking up a guitar.

It will take approximately 1-2 months to confidently play guitar songs at the beginner level and approximately 3-6 months to confidently play songs at the intermediate level. However, for more advanced songs with technical elements, you need to practice for about 30 minutes daily, three to five days weekly, sticking to medium intensity.

There are many free online lessons.

The internet is flooded with free guitar lessons, allowing beginning guitarists to learn the instrument without the need for a physical teacher.

It is socially appealing.

The guitar has been portrayed as a desirable instrument in films, television shows, and on the internet.

Skyrocketing Guitar Sales Prove the Ever-Rising Percentage of Americans Playing The Guitar.

Guitar sales in the United States reached $1.3 billion in 2020, up 60% from 2019. The trend will continue in 2023, with total U.S. guitar sales reaching $1.8 billion. Sales will continue to rise after 2023 as people seek new ways to express their creativity and entertain themselves.

Final Thoughts

The modern guitar, which evolved from the lute, gained popularity in the twentieth century. Technological advancements such as radios and televisions increased awareness of the existence of guitars and made guitar playing so appealing. And as our blog post shows, the percentage of Americans playing guitars will keep rising in the future!

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