The average guitarist will spend $10,000 on gear over their lifetime

The figure comes from a survey conducted by Fender.

A guitar store.
Image: Jemal Countess / Getty

How much have you spent on guitar gear in your life? It’s the last thing that many of us would want to think about, but according to Fender CEO Andy Mooney, the average guitar player will spend around $10,000 on gear in their lifetime, provided that they keep playing after their first year.

Mooney discussed the research in our recent interview with him, in reference to the different educational tools Fender offers. Fender Play, he tells us, was designed to get beginners hooked on playing the guitar – while Fender Songs is more oriented at people who can already play, and make it easier for them to learn new songs and engage with their instrument in different ways.

The goal, in either case, is to grow the number of lifetime players – and in turn, the guitar industry: “Someone who commits to the instrument for life has a lifetime value of $10,000. They buy five to seven guitars over their lifetime, multiple amps, multiple accessories. They drive the hardware side of the business.”

While Gibson’s filing for bankruptcy last year sparked a few doom-and-gloom headlines pondering the death of the six-string, a study by IBISWorld indicated continual growth of the industry between 2013 and 2018, and also projected that this momentum will be maintained until at least 2022.

Looking at the cycle of new releases, it’s no surprise that there is scope for growth. Brands like Fender, Gibson and PRS continue to roll out more and more models – not to mention the many smaller, niche builders such as Sacha Dunable or Florian Bouyou thriving off the appetite for axes. With the current number of exciting new amps, guitars and pedals being built by industry giants and independent builders alike, and a wave of innovative guitar-driven music in full-swing, it’s no wonder guitarists are reportedly shelling out so much on their gear.

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