The Great Guitar Divide: Sales Statistics of Acoustic vs Electric Guitars

Discover the latest trends and sales statistics in the world of acoustic and electric guitars. Explore a range of factors affecting consumer choices.


Guitars have been a staple in the music industry for decades, and their popularity only continues to grow. From rock and roll to country, blues to pop, guitars can be found in nearly every genre of music. Not only are they versatile in their sound, but they also provide a unique visual appeal on stage.

There are two main types of guitars: acoustic and electric. Acoustic guitars are known for their warm, natural tones while electric guitars offer a wide range of sound possibilities thanks to their ability to be amplified.

Both types have gained loyal fan bases over the years, with many musicians choosing one or the other based on personal preference or musical style. In this article, we will explore the sales statistics for both types of guitars and analyze what factors affect these trends.

Explanation of the Popularity of Guitars in the Music Industry

The popularity of guitars can be traced back to its versatility as an instrument that can produce different sounds depending on how it is played. Guitars are also relatively easy to learn compared to other instruments like the piano or drums, making them accessible even for beginners who want to start learning an instrument.

In addition, many popular musicians throughout history have chosen the guitar as their instrument of choice and made it famous through their music.

Iconic guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Eddie Van Halen have inspired generations with their innovative playing techniques and unique sounds. The visual appeal of guitars also plays a significant role in its popularity – from classic acoustic designs with intricate woodwork details to sleek electric models with futuristic shapes and bold colors that make them standout on stage.

Brief Overview of Acoustic and Electric Guitars

Acoustic guitars produce sound by using strings that vibrate when plucked or strummed without using external electronics or amplification. These guitars come in different sizes and shapes, with variations including dreadnought, concert, jumbo, and more.

Acoustic guitars have been used in various genres of music throughout history but are often associated with folk or singer-songwriter styles. Electric guitars use pickups to convert the vibrations of the strings into electrical signals that are then amplified through an amplifier or speaker.

Electric guitars in a rack

These guitars offer a wide range of sound possibilities and can be used to create various effects such as distortion, reverb, and chorus. Electric guitars come in different types including solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body models.

Acoustic and electric guitars have played a vital role in the music industry for decades due to their versatility in sound and visual appeal. The next sections will delve into the sales statistics for both types of guitars and analyze what factors affect these trends.

Sales Statistics for Acoustic Guitars

Overview of acoustic guitar sales in the past decade

Acoustic guitars have been a staple in the music industry for decades, and their sales statistics have reflected this. According to a report by Reverb, acoustic guitar sales increased by 5% between 2017 and 2018 alone.

This trend seems to continue as more people show interest in learning how to play the instrument. In terms of revenue, acoustic guitars are known to be cheaper than electric guitars.

While high-end models can go for thousands of dollars, most entry-level and intermediate-level models cost less than $500. This affordability makes it an attractive option for beginners who want to learn how to play an instrument without breaking the bank.

Comparison of sales between different types of acoustic guitars (dreadnought, concert, jumbo, etc.)

When it comes to acoustic guitar types, dreadnoughts remain the most popular type sold worldwide. Their popularity can be attributed to their versatility; they produce a balanced sound that’s suitable for most musical genres. Concert and jumbo-sized guitars follow closely behind dreadnoughts in terms of popularity.

Concert-sized guitars are known for producing a louder sound compared to smaller-sized acoustics like parlors or travel guitars; this feature makes them preferred by musicians looking for a louder tone without sacrificing portability. On the other hand, jumbo-sized acoustics are favored by musicians looking for deeper bass notes and a rich lower end.

Acoustic guitars

Analysis of top-selling acoustic guitar brands and models

The top-selling brand globally is Yamaha thanks to their budget-friendly starter packs targeted at beginner guitarists who want everything needed in one purchase. However, Martin & Co., Gibson, and Taylor Guitars follow closely behind Yamaha in terms of brand popularity. When it comes to models, the entry-level Yamaha FG830 continues to be a favorite among new guitarists.

The Martin D-28 also continues to be a reliable choice for musicians of all skill levels. Taylor’s 114ce is another popular model within the intermediate-level price range, known for its versatile sound and comfortable playability.

Sales Statistics for Electric Guitars

Electric guitars have been a staple of the music industry since the 1950s. While acoustic guitars tend to be more versatile, electric guitars are popular for their distinct sound and ability to create a wide range of effects. In recent years, sales of electric guitars have fluctuated, but overall, they continue to remain strong.

Overview of Electric Guitar Sales in the Past Decade

According to data from the NAMM Global Report, electric guitar sales have seen a slight decline in recent years. In 2018, sales were down by 5%, but they increased by 2.1% in 2019. Despite this fluctuation, electric guitar sales still account for a significant portion of all guitar sales worldwide.

Comparison of Sales Between Different Types of Electric Guitars

There are several different types of electric guitars available on the market today. The most popular type is the solid-body guitar, which is favored by many rock and metal musicians for its ability to produce loud, distorted sounds. Hollow-body and semi-hollow body guitars are also popular among jazz and blues musicians for their warm tones and resonance.

In terms of sales numbers, solid-body electric guitars tend to outsell hollow-body and semi-hollow body models. This can be attributed to their popularity in genres that require high levels of distortion and sustain.

Analysis of Top-Selling Electric Guitar Brands and Models

The top-selling brands in the electric guitar market include Fender, Gibson, Yamaha and Ibanez among others. One possible reason for Fender’s continued success is its reputation as being one of the first companies to produce high-quality solid-body electric guitars on a large scale. In terms of specific models, the Fender Stratocaster has consistently been one of the best-selling electric guitars in the world.

The Gibson Les Paul also has a dedicated following, particularly among rock guitarists. Other popular models include the Yamaha Pacifica and the Ibanez RG series.

Overall, electric guitars continue to be a popular choice for musicians across a wide range of genres. While sales have fluctuated over the years, they remain strong and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Electric guitars in a music store

Factors Affecting Sales Statistics

Price Range

One of the main factors that affect sales statistics for both acoustic and electric guitars is the price range. Typically, higher-end guitars tend to have a smaller audience as they are more expensive.

This means that guitars with a lower price range tend to sell at a much higher volume. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of affordable guitar brands catering to beginners and intermediate level players who don’t want to break the bank.

However, it is worth noting that some high-end guitar models still have a significant following among professional musicians who demand only the best quality sound and craftsmanship from their instruments. As such, sales statistics for these high-end models can be somewhat unpredictable but remain relatively constant over time.

Genre Preference

Another factor that influences guitar sales statistics is genre preference. Acoustic guitars are traditionally associated with genres like folk, country, and singer-songwriter music, while electric guitars are more commonly associated with rock music. However, this trend has shifted over time as new genres emerge and musicians experiment with different sounds.

For instance, acoustic-electric hybrid guitars have become increasingly popular among contemporary pop artists as they allow them to blend acoustic tones with electronic effects seamlessly. Furthermore, metal artists have also started incorporating acoustic elements into their music creating a newfound appreciation for acoustic guitar playing in these scenes.

Skill Level

The third factor affecting guitar sales statistics is skill level of the player purchasing the instrument. Beginner-level players often opt for entry-level instruments or budget-friendly options when starting out while experienced players may seek out more advanced models or custom-made instruments. Furthermore, there has been an increase in demand for unique or vintage instruments among collectors and enthusiasts who may not necessarily be skilled players themselves but appreciate craftsmanship of older rare-models.

Overall these factors continue to influence sales trends for both acoustic and electric guitars. As the music industry evolves and new genres emerge, it will be interesting to see how these factors will continue to affect guitar sales statistics in the years to come.

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Hybrid Guitars: Bridging the Gap Between Acoustic and Electric

While acoustic and electric guitars have their own unique sound and style, some musicians prefer the best of both worlds. Hybrid guitars that combine features from both types of guitars have been gaining popularity in recent years.

These guitars offer the acoustic tones of an acoustic guitar while also providing the versatility and effects of an electric guitar. One popular hybrid guitar is the Taylor T5z Classic, which features a hollow body for acoustic resonance and electric pickups for amplified sound.

The versatility offered by this kind of hybrid guitar makes it a favorite among musicians who play multiple genres or styles. Sales statistics for hybrid guitars are still relatively small compared to traditional acoustic or electric models, but they are steadily increasing in popularity.

The Cult Following of Unique Guitar Models

Some guitar models may not be big sellers in terms of sales statistics, but they have a loyal following among enthusiasts who appreciate their unique features or design. One example is the Gibson Flying V, which was released by Gibson in 1958 and quickly became known for its futuristic design and signature sound.

While it may not be one of Gibson’s top-selling models, it has gained a cult following over the years. Another example is the Fender Jaguar, which was initially designed as a high-end model with advanced electronics to meet the needs of surf rock musicians in the 1960s.

However, it was never widely adopted by that genre but gained popularity later on with indie rock musicians due to its unique tone options offered through its electronic switches system. These rare or unique models may not sell as much as some of their more mainstream counterparts but can still hold immense value to guitar enthusiasts who appreciate their specialized qualities that make them stand out from other instruments – even if they’re not always favored by most consumers’ tastes!


Overall, both acoustic and electric guitars continue to be popular choices among musicians of all skill levels and genres. While electric guitar sales have seen a dip in recent years, the popularity of hybrid models that combine both acoustic and electric features indicate a potential resurgence.

Additionally, the rise of online marketplaces has made purchasing guitars more accessible to aspiring musicians. Despite fluctuations in sales statistics over the past decade, it is clear that guitars remain an integral part of the music industry.

The unique sounds and styles offered by acoustic and electric guitars continue to inspire musicians and captivate audiences worldwide. Whether you prefer playing an intimate acoustic set or shredding on an iconic electric guitar riff, there is no denying the power of this timeless instrument.

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