When you say the word "guitar" what comes to mind? Take a second now and think....
What did you think? Somethng along the lines of strings, music, rock and roll, head-banging etc? I bet one word that didn't come to mind was psychology. No you haven't misread that, psychology. From my minor research I believe I may have learnt how guitar trends are affected by location.
Now I may have studied psychology in high school but I'm no scientist (in fact I only just passed my final psychology exam!) but I have noticed a trend in guitars. I work in a guitar shop and from my own examinations and consulting with various guitar shops, it seems that where you live defines the type of guitar you buy. Now of course, immediate location will affect this; you won't see someone from a poor neighborhood buying a $3,500 Fender or someone in the middle of nowhere buying an elaborate custom guitar. However I'm referring to suburbs.
My theory started at school. I went to a private school and sitting in music class on my first day I noticed that all the guitarists were holding expensive guitars. I saw a Martin, a Gibson and at least two Fenders and not a single cheap guitar was in sight. Of course at this stage I did not realise or care about guitar trends, its only now at the shop that it really interests me. The obvious results (such as people in the country buying acoustics and people in rock bands buying electrics etc) were not entirely useful in my research but I did discover quite a bit.
My results are still very basic but this is what I can figure out:
The "Approx" results are estimations gathered from various guitar store owners.
1) (Approx 80%) People in low class suburbs buy rock and heavy metal guitars like BC Rich, Dean, ESP etc. A friend of mine who works at a guitar store in a low-class suburb tells me thats basically all they stock now, he rarely has requests for anything other than metal or rock guitars. He also says he sells very few acoustic guitars.
2) (Approx 85%) People in middle class suburbs tend to buy the big brands like Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Martin and Taylor etc. I talked to two people who run an instrument repair shop in a middle class suburb and they said that they normally get these guitars in for repairs and little else.
3) (Approx 70%) People in high class suburbs buy unique guitars that are normally replicas of old guitars. These include Danelectro, Airline and Rickenbacker etc. A friend of mine who is a distributer for these guitars tells me few stores stock them outside high class neighborhoods because of the low demand.
Now as I said these results are still basic and may only be relevant to Australia where I live. So I ask you all to help me prove/disprove my theory, in any city around the globe you live. If you work in a music store, have friends in the music industry or have noticed these trends in guitars etc please comment. Once my research is complete I will write an article on the final results. Thank you all :)