How Many Guitarists Are There in the World? [Solved]

Today, it seems that everyone plays guitar because of social media and various entertainment streaming platforms that provide a gateway to thousands of guitarists. Although are there actually a large population of guitarists? I did some research to find out.

How many guitarists are there in the world? There are 750 million guitarists in the world with the United States of America being the country with the most active guitarists. These guitarists have varying skill and includes those who have just begun their guitar journey.

Continue reading to find out more on how many guitarists there are in the world, what percentage of total people are guitarists, and if guitar is losing popularity.

How many guitarists are there in the world?

How Many Guitarists Are There in The World?

In the world, there are 750 million guitarists. Year over year, this number is growing with the heightened interest and popularity of guitar.

World population is continuing to grow and with it, the number of guitarists. With economies of scale and an increasing number of brands offering more inexpensive and accessible guitars, playing guitar is becoming available to a growing number of beginners.

When is it Too Late to Learn Guitar? Find Out Today

Fender conducted a study to determine how many new guitarists started playing during the Covid-19 pandemic. The reason they did this is because they noticed an increase in Fender Play subscriptions as well as an increase in guitar sales in April of 2020. So, what did they find? Fender found that approximately 16 million people started playing guitar between October 2019 and September 2021.

In the United States, the largest percentage of guitarists reside in Los Angeles, California. Second is New York City. This is exemplified in the heat map below.

What state has the most guitarists?
Guitarists by state concentration

As what could have been assumed. Cities primarily on the coasts of America have the highest percentage of guitarists in the United States. A large reason why Los Angeles has the highest number of professional guitarists is because the majority of the music industry resides in LA which has been the case since the mid-1960’s.

“72 percent of new players were between the age of 13 and 34 – a statistic that points towards the enthusiasm among younger generations to start learning.”

Guitar World, Fender Study

What Percentage of People are Guitarists?

Since there are approximately 750 million guitarists in the world and 7.753 billion people in the world; 9.67% of people in the world are guitarists.

Is Guitar Losing Popularity?

Guitar is not losing popularity. In fact, guitar is becoming more popular. With the rise of social media apps like Tik Tok, more and more people are being exposed to guitar playing around the world. Fender conducted a study and found that 58% of new guitarists look to Tik Tok for inspiration.

Let’s dig into a few reasons why guitar is becoming increasingly popular.

Reason #1: Social Media

With the continued presence of social media in daily lives, it can be inferred that more guitar players will use these social media applications to reach more people than ever before. New guitarists will become inspired to pick up the guitar and learn what they saw. This creates a compounding effect of guitarists inspiring and influencing other new potential guitarists.

The inspiration can be as simple as seeing your favorite riff come across your Tik Tok feed and then deciding that now is the time to pick up the guitar, whether for the first time or as a lost hobby.

Of course, Instagram has been a dominant app for some time now. And this app has been evolving the guitar landscape for years. With Tik Tok and Instagram, guitar is reaching more and more people each day.

In the past, before social media and YouTube, inspiration had to directly come from the guitarists you admire and look up to. Although this is how most guitarists get started, it is not what gets them to truly stick to it. Legends like Albert King have inspired millions, although it can feel unachievable to learn his songs just by listening to recordings and reading tabs from a book. Not seeing someone other than the man himself play those songs can make it feel unreachable.

With social media, it suddenly becomes reachable. We now see young folk playing SRV riffs with extreme precision. This allows new guitarists to recognize that it is possible if the hours of practice are put in.

Reason #2: Cheaper Barrier to Entry

Furthermore, there is the aspect of ease of entry. Before YouTube, getting guitar lessons was afforded to those with deeper pockets. In-person guitar lessons are expensive and can cost anywhere between $20-$100 an hour. This created a high-cost barrier to entry for those that wanted to learn guitar via lessons.

Find Out If Online Guitar Lessons Are Effective Today!

With YouTube continuing to grow, free guitar lessons are as well. Many YouTubers are tapping into the massive guitar market by offering free lessons. A new guitarist can learn everything they need to know via YouTube and often from the same creator. If you have a strong desire to learn songs, then almost any song you want to learn will have a lesson available for it. If you want to learn the CAGED system, then there is 100’s of videos explaining this.

So why are YouTubers making guitar lessons free? Some YouTubers have online courses outside of the platform that they charge for. Although, there are many that do all their lessons via YouTube for free. In doing this, they are still able to make money via ads on their videos. Nothing comes out of your pocket, just the advertisers.

For those instances where you do want to purchase a course from your favorite Guitar YouTuber, they are often less than $100 for a bevy of lessons and knowledge. And you can do this in the comfort of your own home, without the fear of beginner judgement.

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