Tommy Emmanuel, Jon Gomm and Mike Dawes set to judge Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2018

With our Guitarist of the Year and Young Guitarist of the Year competitions gathering pace, we’re pleased to announce our line-up of judges for Acoustic Guitarist of the Year, in association with Takamine.

First up, voted the top acoustic guitar hero of all time by MusicRadar users and one of only five guitarists anointed as 'Certified Guitar Players' by his hero Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel is widely regarded as one of the instrument's greatest players. Joining Tommy is Jon Gomm, one of the world's foremost percussive guitarists, famed for his accomplished catalogue of original music, as well as stellar interpretations of classic songs. 

Rounding out the judging trio is fingerstyle virtuoso Mike Dawes. Mike became a household name among guitarists after his solo guitar arrangement of Metallica's One went viral last year. As a result, he ended up being voted 2017's best acoustic guitarist in the world.

Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2018

(Image credit: Future)

How to enter and how to win

Finalists will be selected by our panel of star judges and industry experts, with the finals taking place live on stage at the UK Guitar Show in London on 29 September, tying in perfectly with World Guitar Day 2018!

In addition to the prestigious title, winners will walk away with an exclusive prize haul from the biggest names in guitar.

Entering the competition is easy: simply upload a video of your playing to YouTube and fill out the entry form below.

The Guitarist of the Year team and judges also want to know about the person behind the playing; tell us where you're from, what drew you to the guitar, what styles you favour, the gear you use, and anything else that could make you stand out.

Our judges will be revealing their tips for success in the run-up to the show, but in the meantime, head over to our guide on how to enter and how to win.

Enter the competition here!

6 tips for success

  1. We need to see you play! No promo-style band videos please.
  2. Keep it tight. Get to the point fast. Our experts are begging to be impressed so 15 minutes of noodling won’t make the grade.
  3. Keep it musical. We’re all for fretboard madness and next-level sonics but not at the price of trusty musicality and genuine mastery of multiple techniques.
  4. Make it impressive. Go for it. We want to see the full breadth of your skills in as tight a playing package as possible.
  5. Just your best video please! Our experts are busy. Don’t make us wade through multiple entries where one would do.
  6. Want to enter all three categories? ‘Guitarist’ ‘Young Guitarist’ and ‘Acoustic’ Guitarist of the Year? Yeah! Go for it.


  1. All entries must be via videos uploaded to YouTube and submitted through the entry form above.
  2. Young Guitarist of the Year entrants must be 16 or under on 29 September 2018.
  3. Don’t call us - we’ll call you if we like what you’re doing.
  4. You need to be okay with us sharing your video to our wider online audience, appearing in the magazine and playing live on stage in London in September.
  5. As ever, the judge’s decision – picking our finalists and our eventual winner – is final.
MusicRadar Team

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