FENDER’S BEGINNER HUB SEEKS TO REMOVE BARRIERS TO ENTRY FOR THE 16 MILLION NEW GUITARISTS
By Ian Freeman
October 18, 2021
There are a lot of new guitar players in the world. Many attribute that to people picking up the guitar during Covid, but the guitar industry was in the middle of a boom before that. Regardless of the reason, the guitar family has grown and guitar manufacturer Fender, interested in this new influx of musicians, put a plan in place to learn about them and launched a service to guide and support these new guitarists on their musical journey.
Fender’s “New Guitar Player Landscape Analysis” revealed that 7% of the US population between 13-64 ( approx. 16 Million people) took up the guitar in the last 2 years. 62% sighted Covid was a primary reason, along with 77% saying the extra free time gave them the freedom to play and practice. Some other items worth noting from the analysis were:
- 72% of new players are between the ages of 13 and 34. These new players are not music novices, with the majority having played or attempted to play another instrument before guitar, with piano/keyboard and bass being the most popular. They also grew up in the digital age which has changed the industry as well as how they learn guitar.
- 32% of new players are female
- 58% of beginners use TikTok weekly or more frequently. Additionally, 67% of beginners seek out and consume guitar content at least weekly, if not daily (19% daily, 48% weekly).
- 33% of current beginner guitar players and 33% of aspiring guitar players ( those who have not yet learned/play guitar but indicated high interest/likelihood to do so in the next 12 months) have a family member who has owned a guitar.
- Hip Hop is popular among today’s beginners. However, they are less likely to associate it with guitar.
- 38% identify as Latine,
- 7% Identify as Black / African American / African
- Out of the 16 million new players that emerged in the last two years, one in four have stagnated in their progress.
Looking at this data and taking into account the diversity of gender, economic, and cultural backgrounds, Fender launched the Beginner’s Hub, an online resource designed to help this new wave of guitarists start and continue their learning of guitar. The Hub is another part of Fender’s overall investment in removing barriers to entry for guitar, promoting more inclusivity, and making sure every new player has every tool they need to start learning.
The Beginner’s Hub isn’t just another online guitar tutorial. If you haven’t picked up a guitar yet, it guides you through a series of questions evaluating budget, sound, type of guitar, etc., to help you pick out the guitar that might best suit you. In addition, they have put together some beginner bundles to get you pointed in the right direction if you’re unsure what you’ll need. There are also videos on tuning, beginner chords, and access to Fender’s learning App Fender Play. Fender Play is a comprehensive learning experience that teaches guitar, bass and ukulele through a curated curriculum based on the genre the user chooses. The curriculum includes various teaching methods, including songs, tabs, and even players like H.E.R., Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, and others to teach songs, share their experiences, and more. Currently in Beta on the App, Fender is looking to the gamification of the learning experience with a feedback mode for learning songs that will give users an experience akin to Guitar Hero—adding another level of engagement and encouraging continuous learning. Another upcoming addition to the Hub that will weave through the Fender network will be the Chatbot. This will help direct users from various pages to content that will better serve them based on whether they are looking for lessons, researching, or buying an instrument.
For more information on the Beginner Hub, Fender Play, and Fender instruments, go to Fender.com.
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