World Guitar Day is for guitarists and their guitars what World Animal Day is for people with pets. The perfect day to honor the magical bond between owner and instrument. Polish your beloved guitar, put it in the spotlight, and make it shine like never before. Reward it with fresh strings, a prominent place in the living room or with that luxurious guitar strap that you’ve been wanting to buy for so long.

Never imagined that I would have got into the final

Guitarist of the Year

In addition to the home version of World Guitar Day, there are also worldwide guitar events. For example, the Guitarist of the Year competition; where guitarists from all over the world have their skills evaluated by a professional jury consisting of John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Steve Lukather (Toto), and Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders – no further references to World Animal Day from this point on, we promise). 

Guitarist of the Year is a prestigious title. No wonder hundreds of guitarists sent in their videos. Of course there can only be one winner, but let’s first introduce the finalists: Dylan Reavey (UK), Marco Puglisi (Switzerland) and Todd Blackmore (Australia). They are going to battle for the title on September 22 at the UK Guitar Show. The contest is an initiative of MusicRadar and powered by Paul Reed Smith Guitars (PRS). 

Todd Blackmore

“I never imagined that I would have got into the final when I sent off my video as there are so many amazing players out there. But I’m super honored that the judges liked my playing and felt that I was worthy,” says Todd in an interview with MusicRadar. 

In his video this UK-based guitar player shows off some fine skills. His sound reminds us of the sounds of classic rock heroes and at times it feels like Hendrix himself is bending the strings. No wonder Todd names John Mayer, Andy Timmons, Mateus Asato, and Eric Johnson as key influences on his style.

Marco Puglisi

Now this guy is the complete opposite of what we just heard. There’s no mercy in the style of Marco Puglisi from Switzerland. As a true metalhead Marco a.k.a. Syndrone unleashes a technical hell upon us. When asked who inspires him the most he mentions John Petrucci, and when we listen to his composition we understand why.

“I’m super surprised and excited at the same time,” Marco tells MusicRadar. “I have never been in a final like this, but it definitely feels great and it’s a huge honor for me to be part of this. The next step will be preparing myself for it!”

Dylan Reavey

Contender number three is the Australian Dylan Reavey who’s also known as Seda. Judging by his Super Mario cap Dylan is a big fan of Italian plumbing. And in that line of work you come across some awesome soundtracks which must have inspired the guitarist while composing this piece of jazzy rainbow-road fusion.

“I’m absolutely blown away that I’ve managed to make it this far in the competition,” Dylan tells MusicRadar. “The fact that I was able to impress some of the biggest names in the game makes me so excited and puts a lot more confidence in my abilities.”

Winner winner chicken dinner

Being one of the best is pretty cool, but what does winning get you? Well the contenders are flying off to London for starters – Todd’s probably going to take the bus – and they get to play at one of the biggest guitar conventions in the UK. 

That’s nice, but the real price is a PRS Silver Sky John Mayer Signature guitar. And if that’s not enough the winner is joining the prestigious ranks of previous winners like Dave Kilminster and Gabriel Cyr. The latter tells MusicRadar: “I had a few interviews with the biggest radios and TV channels in Quebec and I also had a full page in the newspaper.”

“It helped me and my band Universe Effects to promote our last album Desolation and my YouTube channel now has 36,000 subscribers. Before Guitarist Of The Year I only had 300.” So the title is definitely worth shredding for on the 22th. Stay tuned for the winner, or go check it out if you happen to be in London during the UK Guitar Show. Happy jamming!

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