When I was just entering the 8th grade, my younger sister received a guitar for her birthday. I can recall walking by her room, peering in, and seeing the guitar sit and collect dust for the first month or two she owned it. It wasn't long before I began sneaking in and trying to figure out how the instrument worked. My mom used to scold me when I would get caught holding the guitar, as it was my sisters and I needed to ask first. Considering I was in 8th grade, that certainly didn't stop me! I never knew how to play at the time, but there was something about the instrument that really caught my attention.
One day, my mom asked me if I wanted to go get a guitar of my own. I recall hesitating for a moment, wondering if I really wanted to take an hour or two out of my packed adolescence life to get a guitar. I complied, and soon enough I had a guitar of my own. I am so grateful that I decided to pick the instrument up, as I fell in love with it that month and that love has only grown!
It's difficult to find any statistics on guitar players online. There are many ballpark estimates in regards to number of players in the U.S., but much of the data seems to spit out different numbers. A number that came up often was 20 million people in the U.S. play guitar. The first thing I wonder is what constitutes playing? Is there a good way to measure such a factor, and if so how do you get an accurate representation of how many people really do play? In what way does one collect such data; via survey? Brief interview in order to determine skill level? A sample of the population? You will certainly get different results if you collect data near Nashville versus South Dakota.
Some other related and interesting statistics I found online include:
-54 percent of households have at least one member who plays an instrument.
-69 percent of people who do not play an instrument want to learn.
-Guitar Center determined the skill level percentages of their customers and released these numbers; 16 percent of customers are professional guitarists - 43 percent are aspiring professionals - and 41 percent are hobbyists.
I believe I will always play the guitar as a hobby of my through the rest of my life. I've certainly enjoyed it thus far and couldn't imagine quitting any time soon!