Now in its fifth thrilling year, Guitar Player's Guitar Superstar competition celebrates transcendent guitar playing, and affords guitarists of all styles the opportunity to strut their stuff in front of a packed theater and guitar star judges to win the coveted “Guitar Superstar” title.
Past judges and hosts of the event include Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Andy Summers, George Lynch, Steve Lukather, Nuno Bettencourt, Elliot Easton, Greg Howe, Jennifer Batten, Richie Kotzen, Greg Kihn, and Brendan Small (creator of Metalocalypse).
But before a guitarist can battle it out on the Guitar Superstar stage, he or she must impress the Guitar Player staff, which, until this year, picked all ten finalists. In 2010, however, we initiated a public vote to let GP readers and guitar fans in on the fun by selecting two “public” favorites.
Each of the ten finalists—who, like the hundreds of other Guitar Superstar hopefuls, submitted a video entry of themselves performing an original instrumental composition no more than five minutes long—will perform backed by a kick-ass house band, and will be judged on technique, tone, composition, charisma, and creativity.
Opening oneself to such critiques would be brutally stressful in any situation, but consider that the pressure is compounded tenfold or more when you’re trying to impress someone on the order of a Joe Satriani or a Steve Vai! Usually, the strain really brings out the best in each finalist, and the live GPGS show often presents some truly jaw-dropping examples of the guitar-performance art.
If you can’t make the show at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, California, this September 18, you can wait for the event video to be launched online after the show. However, in the weeks before the big event, you can keep track of your favorite finalist by regularly clicking to the Contestants page, and viewing videos and blogs as he or she prepares for the competition. It’s like a musical reality show!
The staff of Guitar Player is always energized and honored to present its annual Guitar Superstar competition. The event not only spotlights some of the best unsigned guitar talent in the universe, it also shows off all that is cool and edgy and, yes, heroic about slinging a guitar across your shoulder, and blowing someone’s mind with a great riff or a stunning tone or lightning-fast solos or a beatific melody.