Is TikTok the most important platform for new guitar music? This Fender video explains why it's changed the industry

(Image credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

While many, many musicians and listeners have embraced the video platform TikTok, plenty of us remain cynical or indeed disinterested  – but it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And the attention spans of people online are not long. TikTok knows this and its short videos are now part of how a lot of musicians interact with and build audiences, as well as dictating the kind of content they create to get people listening to their songs. 

For new guitarists, the ability to build a fanbase on TikTok that transfers to ticket, merch and music sales could be lifeline in having a career in music. Hype? Well, Fender recently hosted a panel discussion with a group of professionals that can testify TIkTok is now huge for guitar. And musicians were part of the panel. 

Fender itself has had its own success on the platform – gaining 1.5 million followers since joining less than a year ago with videos that don't just showcase new gear releases, but showcases new guitar and bass talent from around the world. It's serious about it, because Fender knows its future depends on being in the day-today-lives of the next generation of musicians. But it's not the only voice in the discussion above by any means. 

Moderated by digital media writer at The Hollywood Reporter, J. Clara Chan, Fender's Chief Marketing Officer William Gruger is joined by TikTok's Music Editorial Lead Evan Jones, musician Blu DeTiger, artist, bassist and activist April Kae , music managers, Adam Hirsch and Benito Lugo – co-founders of Alt:Vision and Too Future – plus insight from Hunter Thompson, a partner at Alt :Vision management.

So we get the perspective or artists and their management here, as well as Fender and TikTok itself.  Oddly, there's no six-string players involved but no matter – for any musician looking to enter or do better on TikTok, we think this is essential viewing – what makes a music video perform well on TikTok? What kind of playing videos tend to connect with people and go viral? And what the hell is TikTok chakra? 

Spoiler: you need to focus on showcasing your talent and it takes time. Obviously that's not simple as you're competing for attention against millions. But authenticity and consistency count for a lot when it comes to breaking through when it comes to creating the relationship between a musicians and a fanbase. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.