How Many People Play Guitar? (Updated 2022)

How Many People Play Guitar?

Over the years, the guitar has become increasingly popular because, as it turns out, everyone wants to feel like the lead guitarist in a band. Playing guitar has too many benefits; it’s fun, makes you feel creative, improves your social life, and kills boredom. However, most people only imagine being able to play guitar and never take action. Nevertheless,  a lot of people already know how to play the guitar.

So how many people play guitar?

Between May and June 2021, Fender and YouGov surveyed thousands of beginner, intermediate and expert guitarists.

The results are that about 7% of the total population are beginner guitarists, meaning they have tried to pick up the instrument and play some basic melodies. Fender’s CEO, Andy Mooney, estimated that as many as 72 million people play guitar at an intermediate and expert level.

Let’s look at why the guitar is popular, common guitar playing misconceptions, and other facts you need to know.

Reasons Why the Guitar Is So Popular

Reasons Why The Guitar Is So Popular

I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows at least one person who plays the guitar, right? But what are the reasons that playing this musical instrument has become more popular than playing the flute for example?

It’s Accessible

Although keyboards and pianos are great, you seldom find them sitting around like guitars. Guitars are easily accessible and transported; that’s one reason why people like them.

The Basics Are Easy To Learn

In the first few days of picking up a guitar, you can learn many chords and the basics of playing guitar.

It Has a Large Number of Free Lessons Online

The internet is saturated with free guitar lessons so that beginner guitarists can learn the instrument even without a physical teacher.

It Is Socially Desirable

Movies, TV Shows, and the internet have painted the guitar as a desirable instrument.

How Did the Guitar Become Popular?

In the 19th century, most people saw the guitar as a Spanish version of the lute. As a result, it was considered an amateur’s instrument. However, during the 30s and 40s, big bands rose to fame, and they used guitars. 

In the 60s and 70s, guitars became even more popular because of stars like Jimi Hendrix. Heading into the 80s, guitar music had developed into different styles of blues, rock, metal, and more. More bands emerged and featured excellent guitarists that made everyone crazy about the instrument.

Since then, the guitar industry has continued to evolve, and more people have started learning the instrument.

Is the Guitar More or Less Popular Than Before?

Looking back in history, the piano has always been the most popular instrument. The modern guitar, which evolved from the lute, started gaining traction in the 20th century. Technological advancements like radios and TVs helped more people know about the existence of guitars.

With everyone dreaming of becoming a famous musician, guitar sales have increased over the years. For a while, primarily males played the guitar; but more females have learned the instrument in the last ten years.

Common Guitar Playing Misconceptions

While there are a lot of guitar players in the world, the majority of them haven’t learned the instrument further than the beginner level. What are the most common reasons or excuses why there aren’t more intermediate or expert guitarists?

“I’m too old to start learning”

Thousands of adults learn to play the guitar every year. Most of them learn with the help of teachers. Although children learn to play faster, age isn’t a limiting factor. All it takes is strong willpower and discipline, and you’ll be playing in no time.

“Music isn’t for me”

This is a popular excuse. There’s a widespread belief that some people are musically talented while others are not. No one is born musically inclined. Being a great guitarist has nothing to do with talent and more to do with focused practice. The best guitarists weren’t natural-born superstars; they became legendary through regular practice.

“I don’t have time to practice”

Everyone has 24 hours in a day, and we all choose to use these hours for different things. Learning the guitar takes time, but daily practice can yield exceptional results. Even with a busy schedule, you can practice the guitar. Immediately you wake up, before you go to bed, at lunchtime, you probably have more time than you think.

“I can’t learn without a teacher”

Although no YouTube video is a substitute for a teacher that can correct your playing technique and give you advice, you can learn to play online. There is a deluge of resources online that can teach you to play the guitar independently.

The Most Popular Musical Instruments

The Most Popular Musical Instruments

Because different regions in the world focus on different musical instruments, this list isn’t very accurate. Nevertheless, these instruments are prevalent in most parts of the world.

  • Keyboard/Piano
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Violin
  • Clarinet
  • Trumpet
  • Saxophone
  • Cello
  • Flute


The guitar’s accessibility and simplicity make it the people’s favorite. Over the last 150 years, it has become increasingly popular, and it’s projected to become even more popular now when there are a lot of possibilities for learning to play it online. If you still wish you could play the guitar, why don’t you grab a guitar and take a few lessons?

Frequently Asked Questions

How many guitars are sold each year?

About 2.3 million guitars are sold in the U.S each year.

What is the oldest guitar company in the world?

Founded in 1833, Martin holds the title of the oldest guitar company.

What is the most popular guitar brand?

Fender. Although there’s a constant debate among people in the industry on whether Fender or Gibson is more popular.