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The first of our all-star judges for the Gui­tarist Of The Year com­peition has been an­nounced and its most fa­mous past win­ner has also been telling us how it changed the path of his ca­reer.

Al­ter Bridge’s Mark Tre­monti – who is due to re­lease new con­cept al­bum, A Dy­ing Ma­chine, with his other band Tre­monti on 8 June – isone of four dream team play­ers who will help form an ex­pert panel to choose the en­trants to go through to the live Gui­tarist Of The Year fi­nals at Lon­don’s Olympia on 29/30 Septem­ber. With the com­pe­ti­tion now open in three cat­e­gories: Gui­tarist Of The Year, Acous­tic Gui­tarist Of The Year and Young Gui­tarist Of The Year (un­der 16s), we’ve al­ready seen some very im­pres­sive on­line sub­mis­sions.

But what ex­actly is Mr Tre­monti look­ing for from all you as­pir­ing gui­tar he­roes out there? “Heart, soul and over­all con­trol of ex­pres­sion,” he tell us. And he ad­vises en­trants; “Stay apart from the pack by do­ing some­thing new and unique that still fits your style.”

The Gui­tarist Of The Year win­ner back in 1993 knows all about that. Guthrie Go­van is now re­garded as one of the great­est con­tem­po­rary play­ers around, and he found val­i­da­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion. “When I dis­cov­ered that a na­tion­wide gui­tar con­test was be­ing or­gan­ised in my home coun­try, it just seemed like the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to send out a kind of ‘mes­sage in a bot­tle’ and find out if any­one in the UK thought there was any kind of merit or va­lid­ity in the way I played.

“I think it’s fair to say that win­ning all those years ago laid an im­por­tant foun­da­tion with­out which my ca­reer might have taken a dif­fer­ent turn.”

To en­ter via your video play­ing clip sub­mis­sions visit: BIT.LY/GOTYEAR2018

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