Fender's current roster of signature artists is currently dominated by males but in 2020 that is set to change, according to the company's CEO Andy Mooney.
Our friends at Guitar World (opens in new tab) asked Mooney how Fender is reaching out and recognising female guitar players (opens in new tab), especially considering its claim in 2018 that half of all new guitar players are female (opens in new tab).
“That was a big ‘aha’ for us when we did the first research,” Mooney told Guitar World.
"45% of the guitars we sell every year go to first-time players, and half of those first-time players were women. That was a shocker.
“But part of why I think we didn't realize it and didn't have visibility to it was: a) women were opting more often to buy an acoustic guitar than an electric guitar (opens in new tab) for the first guitar, and b) they were more likely to buy online than in a traditional store. And I think we'd all agree that guitar stores can be intimidating venues for any beginner player. And even more so, I think, for women because of lack of female sales associates.
“So that insight fundamentally changed what we did in artist relations. And then product development from the point of view of developing signature guitars: we’ll introduce more signature guitars for female artists next year than we've done in our entire 70-year history in a very broad range of genres and personalities. So we're pretty excited."
This is welcome news indeed when you consider the few Fender signature guitars for female artists released over the years. These include the Bonnie Raitt Stratocaster, Avril Lavigne Squier Telecaster and Newporter acoustic. The Mary Kaye Stratocaster (opens in new tab) is the first custom Strat ever produced, rather than a signature model.
Guitar World has drawn up an impressive list of candidates who could inspire some great signature models next year and we'd love to see at least a few surface in 2020 at January's NAMM show:
Samantha Fish (opens in new tab) Jazzmaster
Susan Tedeschi Stratocaster
Anna Calvi (opens in new tab) Telecaster
Courtney Barnett Jaguar/Telecaster
Ana Popovic (opens in new tab) Stratocaster
Malina Moye (opens in new tab) Stratocaster
Lindsey Jordan (aka Snail Mail) Jaguar
Gina Gleason Telecaster
Melanie Faye Stratocaster
Emily Kokal Jaguar
Theresa Wayman (opens in new tab) Mustang
Ellie Rowsell (opens in new tab) Telecaster
Emma Ruth Rundle (opens in new tab) Baritone Jaguar
Sarah Lipstate Jazzmaster
Carrie Brownstein Thinline Telecaster
Marnie Stern Jazzmaster