Music professions Editor-in-chief Brian T. Majeski predicted that the current boom in guitar sales triggered by COVID restrictions is expected to continue for a few years.
In an editorial titled Will the Guitar Boom Survive COVID?Majeski compares the current impact on the industry to that of the post-Beatles boom of the 1960s, in which millions of instruments were sold each year.
Citing Fender research that estimates COVID has led 16 million new guitarists to adopt the instrument, along with other data, Majeski paints a positive picture for the industry.
“Imports of acoustic guitars for the first half of 2021 were less than 1.0 million units, 35% more than any six-month period in the past ten years,” said Majeski .
“During the same period, imports of electric guitars of 965,000 units also registered a gain of 35% over historical averages. The American guitar factories are also operating at full capacity with production reserved until 2022. “
Due to excess demand, Majeski reports that retail profit margins have also increased (good news for your local guitar store, if not for your wallet). He also predicts that while the current 20-30% sales increase is unlikely to last, the demand for guitars will increase for some time to come.
Majeski refers to the Beatles boom that propelled guitar sales from 200,000 units per year in 1950 to 2.5 million in 1971, noting that even when sales began to plummet, a “significant minority persisted” with the instrument.
In the same article, he makes a compelling comparison to the impact of COVID, noting that the free trial of the online learning platform Fender Play in March 2020 led to over one million registrations, of which 250,000 remain paying subscribers. In addition, Majeski notes, the instrument appeals to a much larger audience.
Head toward MusicTrades.com to read Majeski’s full article.