Nordic Thunder crowned US Air Guitar Champion 2011

Do not doubt this man's commitment, even for a second
Do not doubt this man's commitment, even for a second

In many ways, it's the perfect musical instrument in today's economic climate. Although we must admit to some degree of cynicism when it comes to all things air guitar, there's no doubting the enthusiasm of Mr Nordic Thunder - Justin to his friends - who was crowned the 2011 US Air Guitar Champion in his home town of Chicago on 23 July following the performance in the video above.

Following his glorious victory, Nordic Thunder will go on to take on the rest of the world at the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland on 26 August, but after coming back to defend his US title next year, he plans to hang up his invisible axe for good.

"I've accomplished my goal. I'll defend my title next year, and that's it", he says. "I'll continue to be a part of this because it's fucking awesome, but my back won't hurt anymore, my feet won't bleed, it's gonna be great."

Meanwhile, back on this side of the pond, Sunday 31 July will see the charity Action On Hearing Loss attempt to break the world record for the largest air guitar ensemble at this weekend's Womad festival.

Whether more than 1883 people be prepared to get up bright and early and get their air guitar on for charity at 10:45am after a heavy Saturday night rocking out to the likes of Dub Colossus remains to be seen, but we wish them luck.

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.