July 25, 2022 I Event
Fender Holds #GuitarTok Panel
On July 19, Fender hosted a panel discussion, “The #GuitarTok Effect: How TikTok is Changing How We Create, Consume and Discover New Music” at Desert 5 Spot in Hollywood, California. Panelists shared perspectives on TikTok’s impact on music discovery, including the positive growth for emerging artists, the #GuitarTok community and the integral role Player Plus guitars play as tools for rising guitarists in achieving notoriety on the platform. A largely unexplored territory within the TikTok conversation that has recently caught fire is the hashtag #GuitarTok, which is continuing to emerge as a go-to source for playing tips and tutorials, inspiration, community, connection and collaboration, as well as a direct pathway to discovery for music managers and label talent scouts.
Moderated by digital media writer at The Hollywood Reporter J. Clara Chan, the panel included: Evan Jones, Fender’s CMO; William Gruger, music editorial lead for TikTok; Blu DeTiger, artist and musician on TikTok; April Kae, TikTok content creator; as well as music managers, Adam Hirsch and Benito Lugo, co-founders of Alt:Vision and Too Future.
The reach of TikTok has helped such artists as Olivia Rodrigo catapult her career. Additionally, a few weeks ago, a feature on Netflix’s “Stranger Things” drove Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets” up the charts with the band’s James Hetfield taking to TikTok to play the iconic riff on guitar. While music and sound serve as the integral framework for TikTok, guitar continues to emerge as a popular topic, clocking 4.5 billion views on the #GuitarTok hashtag to date.
“Music is a lot of things on the TikTok platform, but out of all of the instrument-based hashtags where people gather together to interact and play, guitar is the biggest. #Guitar is bigger than #piano, #singing and #drum,” said TikTok’s Gruger.
According to Loudwire, 58% of new guitar players are using TikTok to find guitar-related content. And, knowing nearly 60% of all beginners are going to TikTok to learn how to play the guitar, the panel said investing in the next generations of players and artists is vital as they will show new players what’s possible.
“The face of guitar, just like music, is more diverse, expansive and youthful than ever, and TikTok has increasingly become a destination for artists and creators to share their music, and for new players to learn,” said Fender’s Jones. “At Fender, we’re focused on amplifying all of these voices. In particular, on TikTok, it spans everything to performances, jam sessions, duet and product launches to lessons and tips for beginners. Above all, we’re focused on putting the artists and creators front and center, and honestly, one of the most enjoyable aspects of our jobs at Fender is seeing the continued expansion of creativity through guitar, bass, amplifiers and pedals in the hands of a whole new generation of players.”
“From what I understand there are 10 male bass players to every one female bass player,” said Kae, artist and bass player on TikTok. “By Fender creating a new version, or an expanded version, of what a bass player looks like through #guitartok, I have been able to find bass players that have backgrounds like mine, look like me and are from similar communities. Being boosted by a brand like Fender that has an ethos that is so aligned with what I am doing is how I have been able to reach so many more people and bring the conversation that is happening within my more niche community to a broader audience.”
According to Fender, at the heart of the #GuitarTok community experience are Fender’s Player Plus guitars and basses, which are favorite of Gen Z creators on TikTok. Built specifically for digital generations in a shifting music industry, the launch of the Player Series in 2018, and then the Player Plus series in 2021, ignited a movement in guitar that has been accelerated over the past few years with more new players entering the world of guitar.
Fender has featured countless Player Plus artists on its TikTok account, including Hannah Dasher, Japanese Breakfast, Nova Twins, Destroy Boys, Ghostemane, Portugal. The Man, Teezo Touchdown, Blu DeTiger and more.