The future certainly is female, especially for music. A new study by guitar conglomerate Fender reveals that females now account for 50% of young, aspiring guitar players across both the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Today’s players have grown up in a different cultural context and popular music landscape, and rising artists like Mura Masa, Tash Sultana, Youngr, Daniel Caesar, Grimes and Ed Sheeran are changing the way guitar is being used,” says Fender CEO Andy Mooney. “As a brand, we are committed to creating tools – both physical and digital – that this generation of creators needs for self-expression, now and in the future.”
The results echo Fender’s previous survey from three years ago in the US, which prompted the company to recalibrate their promotional campaigns, introducing new millennial-focused guitars in 2016 with acts like Warpaint and Bully.
“The fact that 50 percent of new guitar buyers in the U.K. were women was a surprise to the U.K. team,” Mooney admits to Rolling Stone, “but it’s identical to what’s happening in the U.S.
“There was also belief about what people referred to as the ‘Taylor Swift factor’ maybe making the 50 percent number short-term and aberrational. In fact, it’s not. Taylor has moved on, I think playing less guitar on stage than she has in the past. But young women are still driving 50 percent of new guitar sales. So the phenomenon seems like it’s got legs, and it’s happening worldwide.”
Of course, calling this a “phenomenon”, or even attempting to explain this surge by suggesting it stems from a fanaticism with Taylor Swift, is rather egregious in itself. If anything, it only “gives legs” to the ridiculous notion that girls playing guitars has always been some myth.
Obviously, as we see, it’s not … and never has been.