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The mating advantage of male musicians - Why all guys should play guitar

by Zach Brown, Eiteljorg marketing/PR intern | Jun 05, 2013

As a 20-something single guy, I’ve heard the old adage of “chicks dig a man who can sing” plenty of times. But does playing an instrument or musical ability really make a man more attractive to an interested woman? According to a study in France, it actually does, and later on I’ll tell you where to get free guitar lessons and be on your way to winning that lucky lady’s heart.

In this particular experiment, a 20-year-old man was instructed to approach 300 women on the shopping streets of a medium-sized French city (population roughly 70,000) and ask for their phone number. The man was carrying a guitar case, a sports bag or nothing at all. The study showed that 31 percent of women gave the man their phone number when he was carrying the guitar case, while only 9 percent gave their number when he held the sports bag. When the man was empty-handed, 14 percent complied with his request.

The conductors of this research hypothesized that the guitar case condition would yield a more favorable response from the women whom the man approached. Their hypothesis was not only supported by the results, but by me as well.

There are plenty of ways that guys use to capture the heart and attention of lady, whether he’s good with music, sports, animals or kids (kudos to the guy who brought his son on the season premiere of ABC’s The Bachelorette). However, musical ability is special because it exudes a unique combination of confidence, compassion and intellect. In addition, the musician or “rock star” image is appealing because some woman my associate it with wealth and status (PSmag.com).

I know what you might be thinking now: “What about sports guys? They get wealth and status, too!” Indeed they do, but the ability to play guitar lasts longer than the ability to throw a football or dunk a basketball. Athletes may also have the task of dispelling the wildly inaccurate “dumb jock” stereotype, a generalization to which I refuse to subscribe.

The bottom line is that a music guy may be more likely to make a deep, emotional connection than someone who can’t play a note to save his life (i.e. - Me). According to Tom Jacobs of Pacific Standard, ladies see a musician as someone who is potentially willing to practice and work at something. To me, this could mean willingness to put in the effort for a relationship.
So gentlemen, if you have musical ability, use it. You can thank me later. And to those of you who don’t, never fret (10 Cool Points if you got the guitar pun), there’s still time to learn! You can get guitar lessons from 12-2 p.m., every Saturday during the run of Guitars! Roundups to Rockers, at the Eiteljorg by Benito DiBartoli (pictured here) of the band Black Voodoo. He's an expert player who works with anyone interested in learning. Lessons are free with the price of admission. And the Museum has plenty of extra guitars if you don't have your own! Don’t forget to check out our Guitars: Roundups to Rockers exhibit as well.


Zach Brown is an Eiteljorg marketing/PR intern and a senior at Ball State University. He is single.

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References:
"Men's Music Ability and Attractiveness to Women in a Real-life Courtship
Context." Psychology of Music (2013): 1-5. 1 May 2013. 28 May 2013

Jacobs, Tom. "The Mating Advantage of Male Musicians." Pacific Standard. Psmag.com, 6 May 2013. 28 May 2013.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Leah B. 05 Jun
    Part of the appeal is that a good musician is good with his hands. Hence my twelve-year long crush on Chris Thile of Nickel Creek/Punch Brothers.  This could be taken in a context of a subconscious "oh, he'd be a good steward and fix-it guy in a home life" or in a more crass context. Amusing article with a good tie-in to the current exhibit, Zach. Enjoy your internship! I interned there in '07 and it was great.

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