It's not just Guitar Hero: it's real guitars, bongos, and violas.

Past growth in hobby, toy, and game stores has been tied to general consumer spending, but these days stores that sell crafts, hobby goods, and musical instruments have been performing better than the retail industry as a whole. found a growth rate of 9 percent, which also took into account toy and game retailers. This might be a result of people cutting back on larger entertainment expenses and choosing instead to spend more on pastimes and skill cultivation.  

By the numbers:

Ranking of "hobby, toy, and game stores" in's "fastest-growing industries that are hospitable to small businesses": 5

Year-over-year growth rate, according to 9 percent

Sales growth in "sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores" for 2009, according to Sageworks: 3.22 percent