Guitar missing? You're not alone. New survey reveals 1 in 4 UK musicians have had gear stolen

Guitar hardcase
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You don't have to look too far back in Guitar World’s news archives to find multiple examples of high-profile gear theft, yet you might be surprised just how common it is among musicians. A recent survey of UK players (opens in new tab) has revealed that almost 1 in 4 have previously had their instrument stolen.

The report from specialist insurer Allianz Musical Insurance interviewed 1000 musicians, including a mix of guitarists, pianists and drummers around a range of topics. The report revealed a number of insights, but by far the most notable is that a shocking 24 percent of respondents reported having been a victim of theft.

In slightly more positive news, the survey followed up with those unfortunate respondents and found that 42 percent of them managed to recover their instruments. 

Among the top three most common methods of recovery included publicising the theft among family and friends, returning to the location and requesting CCTV footage. [Ed’s tip: Concealing a Bluetooth/GPS tracker like a Tile or Apple AirTag in instrument cases can reportedly help increase your chances of recovery]. 

The rate of theft among guitarists, in particular, might reasonably be presumed to be higher than that of drummers and pianists, who play considerably less portable instruments.

Elsewhere, the survey examined other aspects of mental and financial wellbeing in relation to playing music. The results will likely sound obvious to many players, but some 35 percent claimed playing improved their mood, while 22 percent claimed that it improved their ability to handle injury and illness. 

22 percent even claimed they played when they had money worries, which is all very well, provided you’ve not been forced to pawn your guitar…

Allianz has recently launched an extremely handy Missing Instruments Finder site (opens in new tab) for UK musicians. If anyone wants to build a (functional!) US equivalent, we’re all ears…

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.