“Do not let anyone that’s there intimidate you, or make you feel like you don’t belong there, because you do belong there”
A new study has found that young women now make up half of people starting to learn how to play the guitar.
The study was carried out by iconic guitar makers Fender, who sought the highlight the continued diversification of guitar players – and discovered that females now account for 50% of the market for beginner guitar players in the UK and US.
“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,” said 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.”
Speaking to Rolling Stone Mooney continued: “The fact that 50 percent of new guitar buyers in the UK were women was a surprise to the UK team, but it’s identical to what’s happening in the US.
“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 onstage 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.”
This figures were suggested earlier this year, but it was said that most of the guitar purchases by females were made online as they felt “intimated” in “bricks and mortar” guitar shop”.
In an interview with Forbes back in March, Rooney said: “We also found we needed to communicate more to the female audience in terms of the artists we connect with, in terms of using women in our imagery and thinking generally about the web.”
These sentiments were echoed by HAIM at the NME Awards earlier this year.
Speaking to the crowd as they picked up the award for Best International Band, Este Haim said: “And also the fans, everyone here. And anyone that identifies as a girl. Whenever you walk into a guitar shop or a soundcheck or a recording studio, do not let anyone that’s there intimidate you, or make you feel like you don’t belong there, because you do belong there.”
In a follow-up interview with NME, Alana Haim said: “The stories are endless. We used to go into venues, we would show up for soundcheck, the sound guy would be on his phone and we’d go ‘oh, can I hear a little more of my voice?’ Then you’d get an eye roll.”
Danielle Haim continued: “The worst is actually after when someone from the venue goes ‘oh, you guys were actually OK’, or ‘oh, you guys actually play instruments.”
Asked about what changes they want to see to fight sexism in the music industry, Danielle added: “We just need equal opportunities to get these jobs. Period. It’s just not fair.”