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Entries Officially Open for Guitarist of the Year 2020

(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future)

Guitar Player and Guitar World have begun the search for 2020’s Guitarist of the Year. This year’s categories include awards for the best Electric Guitarist, Acoustic Guitarist, Bass Guitarist, Young Guitarist and a new category, Guitar Teacher of the Year.

In addition to going home with prizes supplied by sponsors, winners will be featured in Guitar World and Guitar Player, and receive YouTube and online exposure – videos of the finals of the past two years have generated more than four million views.

This year's finalists will be selected by GP and GW editors and an incredible lineup of star judges. These include John Petrucci, John 5 and Nita Strauss for the Electric Guitarist category and Tracy Wormworth for Bass, with several more set to join the lineup soon. Guitarist of the Year winners will join the ranks of Guthrie Govan and Dave Kilminster (Roger Waters, Steven Wilson).

It costs $30 to enter each category, a portion of which will be donated to music-based charity the NAMM Foundation. Guitar Teacher of the Year is free to enter. We’re accepting submissions for all categories between September 1 and October 31.

For the paid-entry categories, guitarists must shoot and submit a video (up to three minutes long) of themselves to YouTube or Vimeo, and fill out a short nomination form. For Guitar Teacher of the Year, students must nominate their teachers, and the teachers with the most nominations will be featured and judged.

What the Judges Want to See

  • Perhaps this is obvious, but we need to see your playing! No promo-style band videos or miming, please.
  • Keep it musical. We’re all for fretboard madness and next-level, brain-melting shred, but not at the price of musicality and genuine mastery of multiple techniques.
  • Keep it tight and get to the point fast. Our experts want to be impressed, so three minutes of noodling won’t make the grade.
  • Make it impressive. We want to see the full breadth of your skills in as tight a playing package as possible.
  • Make it sound and look good! Smartphone audio can work fine, but remember to point the camera at yourself, not at your dog.
  • Want to enter all four categories with different videos? Electric Guitarist, Young Guitarist, Acoustic Guitarist and Bass Guitarist of the Year? Feel free – but please remember it’s $30 per category.

The Rules

  • All entries must be via videos uploaded to YouTube and submitted through guitaristoftheyearawards.com (opens in new tab). No other emails or points of contact will be accepted.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on October 31, 2020.
  • Young Guitarist of the Year entrants must be 17 or younger on October 31, 2020.
  • Don’t call us - we’ll call you if we like what you’re doing.
  • You need to be okay with us sharing your video to our wider audience, appearing in Future Publishing magazines, on our websites, in our newsletters and more.
  • As ever, the judges’ decision – picking our finalists and our eventual winners – is final.
  • While we welcome entries from around the world, any travel costs associated with the prize will only be considered from within North America.

Guitarist of the Year is now officially open for entries. Get involved by spreading the word through social media, using the official hashtag #guitaristoftheyear.

For more information, visit guitaristoftheyearawards.com (opens in new tab).