This year, thanks to an injection of new blood, guitar music put itself back on the agenda - much to chagrin of a music press that had another 52 'guitar music's dead' features ready to roll.
The six-string is back in favour, so - fittingly - we present the six rising players you voted your favourite new guitarists of the year...
Andrew Watt - California Breed
Handpicked by rock journeyman Glenn Hughes, Andrew Watt now plays alongside the ex-Deep Purple man, plus Jason Bonham, in cross-generational super trio California Breed.
Despite his heavyweight collaborators, Watt more than holds his own, laying a contemporary, grunge-influenced over his classic-rocking brethrens' rhythm section.
Mark Trotter - Lonely The Brave
Mark Trotter's speciality is hugeness. Lonely The Brave craft delay-laden, widescreen rock music and Mark's playing is at the heart of it all.
This year saw the band finally release their debut album The Day's War to near universal acclaim. Listen to the likes of Backroads and you'll understand why.
Jack Bottomley - Marmozets
Signing to Roadrunner Records and crashing into the top 40 with debut album The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets, the Bingley band of brothers (and one sister) have had a landmark year.
Live, Jack Bottomley is the lychpin and pivot point for the whirling dervish that is co-guitarist Sam Macintyre. He's deceptively complex player and his unusual timings and ear-catching tones ably set him apart from the pack.
Dorian Sorriaux - Blues Pills
Just 16 when he joined Sweden's Blues Pills, French teen Dorrian Sorriaux could teach most players in their 50s a thing or two.
Studiously plying his trade in the fast-rising classic rock outfit, he has a touch way beyond the 'kitchen sink' approach of most players his age and a knack for an awe-inspiring bluesy solo.
Donna Grantis - Prince/3rdEyeGirl
How do you wind up making an album without realising it? When you're rehearsing with Prince, that's how...
Donna had a reputation in Toronto as a go-to session player for everything from jazz to pop. Then she was ordained by the purple one and entered a whirldwind year accompanying Prince on the Hit And Run tour and making two records, both of which made the top ten.
Nita Strauss - Alice Cooper
Formerly known as 'Mega Murray' of the Iron Maidens, Strauss was invited to join Alice Cooper in June of this year.
Filling the sizeable boots of Orianthi is no easy task, but Strauss is a formidable shred guitarist and she has quickly built a reputation under her own name. This, we suspect, is just the latest step in a journey to the top.