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Guitar virtuoso Ayla Tesler-Mabe jamming to a Led Zeppelin song. (YouTube)
Guitar virtuoso Ayla Tesler-Mabe jamming to a Led Zeppelin song. (YouTube)

Guitar goddesses

Study finds an increasing number of women are picking up a guitar and rocking out

By WITW Staff on October 19, 2018

A new study commissioned by the iconic guitar maker Fender shows that half of all new guitar players in the U.S. and the U.K. are women. The number keeps going up. In fact, it’s been a trend that one Arizona-based music teacher noticed emerging about six years ago and attributed to the popularity of Taylor Swift.

But according to Fender CEO Andy Mooney, the trend goes beyond Swift and is now becoming it’s own self-propelled phenomenon at this point.

“The fact that 50 percent of new guitar buyers in the U.K. were women was a surprise to the U.K. team, but it’s identical to what’s happening in the U.S.,” Mooney told Rolling Stone. “There was also belief about what people referred to as the ‘Taylor Swift factor’ maybe making the 50 percent number short-term and aberrational. In fact, it’s not. Taylor has moved on, I think playing less guitar on stage than she has in the past. But young women are still driving 50 percent of new guitar sales. So the phenomenon seems like it’s got legs, and it’s happening worldwide.”

In the past, the biggest guitar heroes have been men — like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana, and Slash, to name a few. But who are the guitar heroes of tomorrow? Well, one emerging guitar goddess is Canadian-based Ayla Tesler-Mabe.

According to her Facebook page, Ayla is 17. And according to a video she posted on YouTube when she was just 15, this girl can seriously shred. The video shows her using a Gibson ES-390 to play the lead guitar portion of the classic 1970 Santana hit “Black Magic Woman.” It’s amassed 2.6 million views and counting. Whoa, girl! Those fingers are fast.

And Ayla happens to have some upcoming tour dates all over the world, so check her schedule here and get out there and see her if she’s coming to your neck of the woods. Otherwise, just watch this and don’t blame us if your face melts. (She also has a pretty mean cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You” that you should check out here.)

Read the full story at Rolling Stone


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