A study recently conducted by Fender has revealed a surprising surge in female guitarists. The new study revealed women make up 50% of new guitar players in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
A previous survey done in 2016 by the music instrument conglomerate revealed that females felt neglected by the guitar company, and as a result, the company began to release a millennial-focused line of guitars.
This trend was surprising for the leading teams in the U.K., but the trend seemingly mirrors that which is occurring in the United States, as per guitar sales.
While many executives and industry regulars have cited the rise in women stars, such as Taylor Swift, as a lead by example trend, overwhelming popularity of women stars is simply not the case. Women-only acts have actually seen a pretty steady decline in the top ten spots on the Billboard Hot 100 since the ’90s.
According to Billboard and NPR, in 2017, “No solo woman performer topped the the Billboard Hot 100 until Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” hit No. 1 in September; for the first eight months of 2017, only 14% of songs in the top 10 of the Hot 100 were by women unaccompanied by men.”
How, then, does one locate the beginning of the trend of female guitarists? It could be a combination of accessibility, female role models, and more affordable options targeted at millennials. But it does seem like the trend is led more by a grassroots shift than anything happening at the top. Either way, more studies definitely need to be conducted to say conclusively. But let’s just say for now, it’s time for girl guitar players to rock.