Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Guitar Sales

The Impact of COVID-19 on Guitar Sales

A Brief Overview of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption across the world, affecting all aspects of society. The virus first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and quickly spread across the globe, leading to widespread lockdowns and economic downturns.

As of August 2021, there have been over 200 million confirmed cases and 4.3 million deaths worldwide.

The Importance of Music in Times of Crisis

During times of crisis, music can provide a source of comfort and healing for people around the world. From traditional folk songs to modern pop hits, music plays an important role in helping individuals cope with trauma and anxieties. Many musicians also use their platform to raise awareness about important issues or advocate for social change.

Guitar player

The Impact on the Music Industry, Specifically Guitar Sales

The music industry has been hit hard by the pandemic as live events were canceled or postponed indefinitely due to safety concerns. This resulted in a major loss of revenue for musicians, promoters and venues alike.

However, there has also been a significant increase in online consumption as people turn to streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube for entertainment during quarantine. In terms of guitar sales specifically, there was an initial decline due to economic uncertainty and lockdowns which resulted in closures of physical stores as well as cancellation or postponement of events such as concerts or festivals where guitars are often sold.

There was also an increase in demand for beginner-level guitars as people turned to music as a form of therapy or entertainment during quarantine. Interestingly enough, this shift towards beginner-level guitars led to a rise in interest for acoustic guitars over electric guitars as many people preferred more soulful soundscapes while staying at home rather than loud noises that may disturb their neighbors.

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the music industry and guitar sales in particular. As we continue to navigate these challenging times, musicians and music retailers must find new ways to adapt to this changing landscape while still maintaining their passion for music.

High-Level Overview of Guitar Sales Pre-COVID-19

Statistics on global guitar sales

Guitar sales have been a profitable business for decades. In 2019, the global music instrument industry was worth approximately $20 billion, with guitars accounting for about 39% of that market.

The United States was the largest market for guitars in the world, followed by Japan and China. According to a report from Zion Market Research, the global guitar market was expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2025.

Popular guitar brands and models

Some of the most popular guitar brands include Fender, Gibson, Martin, Yamaha, Ibanez and Taylor. These companies dominate the electric and acoustic guitar markets with their diverse product ranges tailored to suit different skill levels and musical tastes.

For instance, Fender’s Stratocaster electric guitar is one of the most recognizable models in music history while Gibson’s Les Paul model has been a favorite among rock legends such as Jimmy Page and Slash.

Factors that influence guitar sales

Several factors can influence guitar sales including price range, brand reputation and quality of materials used in production among others. A customer’s budget plays an essential role when making purchase decisions; some customers will buy high-end guitars while others opt for cheaper options. The design of guitars also affects their popularity; manufacturers frequently release new designs to attract customers looking for something unique or trendy.

In addition to these factors are regional marketing techniques applied by manufacturers which focus on cultural preferences or specific target audiences like young learners or professional musicians. Other factors that can affect sales are celebrity endorsements such as artist collaboration series and marketing promotions like free lesson programs offered with purchases.

Pre-COVID-19 period saw a flourishing business in various parts of the world with dominant players garnering more than half the market share. As we proceed to the next section, there is a need to delve into how the pandemic has affected guitar sales.

Father and son guitar player

Initial decline in sales due to economic uncertainty and lockdowns

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the music industry hard, and guitar sales were no exception. In the early months of the pandemic, there was an initial decline in sales due to economic uncertainty and lockdowns. With many brick-and-mortar music stores forced to close their doors temporarily or limit their hours, musicians and aspiring musicians had fewer opportunities to browse and purchase guitars in person.

This had a significant impact on sales for established brands such as Fender and Gibson. As musicians around the world struggled to adapt to the new reality of life under quarantine, many were hesitant to make big purchases like guitars.

With so much uncertainty about when gigs would return or when they would be able to play with other musicians again, it seemed like an unnecessary expense for some. Additionally, many people were confronting financial difficulties brought on by job loss or reduced hours at work.

Closure of physical stores and cancellation of events

When physical stores closed their doors due to lockdown restrictions, this meant that potential customers were no longer able to visit them in person. This severely impacted guitar sales as people could not try out instruments before buying them.

Furthermore, concert cancellations also played a role in decreasing guitar sales as live concerts provide brand exposure for manufacturers leading customers into purchasing specific brands or models seen on stage.

Shift towards online shopping for musical instruments

As physical stores closed down due to lockdown restrictions, online shopping became increasingly popular for musical instrument purchases including guitars. Many companies saw a significant increase in online orders during the early months of the pandemic as consumers turned towards online retailers such as Amazon or Sweetwater where they could safely make purchases from home without risking exposure.

This shift towards online shopping is likely here to stay even after the pandemic has passed – especially since it provides customers with access not only within their local area but also worldwide. It allows customers to shop outside of their local area if the particular product they are looking for is not available, which can increase the demand for certain models and brands.

Young guitar player

Increase in demand for beginner-level guitars as people turn to music as a form of therapy or entertainment during quarantine

One unexpected consequence of COVID-19 was a surge in guitar sales – particularly among entry-level instruments. As people turned to music as a form of therapy, entertainment, or new hobbies during quarantine, many saw this time as an opportunity to learn how to play guitar and what better way than with an affordable beginner-level guitar?

Additionally, with social distancing measures limiting activities such as team sports and other social activities – learning a musical instrument became an attractive pastime for many. This led to an increase in sales of acoustic guitars over electric guitars – likely due to their portability and lower cost.

Rise in interest for acoustic guitars over electric guitars

As mentioned previously, there has been a significant increase in interest towards acoustic guitars compared to electric ones during the pandemic. This is likely due to several factors including:

1) The affordability and accessibility of beginner-level acoustic guitars 2) The portability and versatility that comes with owning one.

3) The popularity of intimate performances via online platforms such as Zoom or Instagram Live where acoustic performance seems more appropriate. This trend could indicate a shift towards more intimate and unplugged performances in the future than those seen at mega-concerts held at outdoor festival venues with amplified instruments.

Growth in popularity of DIY guitar building kits

With more time on their hands at home due to quarantining restrictions, many musicians and aspiring musicians turned their attention toward DIY projects – including building their own guitar from scratch using kits available online from companies like C.F. Martin & Co., Fender Musical Instruments Corp., or Stewmac.

This newfound interest in DIY building is not surprising – guitar-building kits provide a satisfying creative outlet and new challenge for musicians and can be an affordable way to acquire a new instrument while also experiencing the satisfaction of building it themselves. This trend is expected to continue into the future, especially among those looking for a unique, custom-made instrument.

Regional Differences in Guitar Sales During COVID-19

Impact on North American Market

The North American guitar market has experienced a significant decrease in sales due to the economic uncertainty and lockdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, sales of guitars have dropped by as much as 30%, with many guitar shops struggling to keep afloat. While some larger retailers have been able to pivot towards online sales, smaller shops that rely solely on foot traffic and face-to-face interactions have been hit particularly hard.

Increase in Demand for Beginner-Level Guitars as People Turn to Music as Therapy or Entertainment

Despite the overall decrease in guitar sales, there has been an increase in demand for beginner-level guitars across North America. As people were forced to stay at home during quarantine, many turned to music as a form of therapy and entertainment.

This led to a surge in first-time buyers looking for affordable guitars that could help them learn a new skill and keep busy during lockdowns. One type of beginner-level guitar that saw a rise in popularity was acoustic guitars.

Many musicians found solace in playing unplugged, intimate performances for themselves or their families while quarantining at home. Additionally, DIY guitar building kits also grew in popularity as people sought out new hobbies they could engage with from home.


The impact of COVID-19 on guitar sales has been significant, with many markets experiencing an overall decline due to economic uncertainty and global lockdowns. However, despite these challenges, there have also been signs of resilience within the industry.

The increased demand for beginner-level guitars shows that people are still finding joy and comfort through music during difficult times. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, it’s important for us to remember the importance of art and creativity in our lives.

While it may be challenging, we must support our local guitar shops and musicians by purchasing instruments or tuning in to online performances. By doing so, we can help keep the music industry alive and thriving even in the face of adversity.

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