The world’s best new guitarists right now, according to you
The future of guitar music is looking really exciting – and that hasn’t always been taken for granted. The musicians on this list occupy the worlds of country, jazz, metal and pretty much everything in between.
The guitar has always thrived due to its ability to cover all kinds of musical applications, and in 2021 we saw a group of players emerge who truly embrace the vast potential of the instrumentâ¦
1. Best New Guitarist, 2021: Tristan Thomas (Florence Black)
The melodic hard rockers released their debut album, Weight Of The World this year. Guitarist Tristan Thomas has an incredibly versatile sound that ranges from grind Dimebag to country licks and shred freakouts.
2. Abigail Zachko
A finalist in our 2018 Young Guitarist of the Year competition, Zachko continued to impress us with his colorful and ever-evolving fusion of mathematical jazz and progressive playing. Currently a student at Berklee, you will find her playing with a new band Spoons or by posting clips of his breathtaking guitar jams on Instagram.
3. Hannah Staphnill & Anna Papadimitriou (Hawxx)
London steelworkers Hawxx’s 2021 material looks like a big step forward. Artists like Hologram and Death Of Silence see the guitar duo Staphnill and Papadimitriou cross an excellent border between djent-tinged progressive metal jabs and the Deftones-y Sway. Resounding leads swirl over beds of sticky riffs, but they still leave room for the song.
4. Ayron Jones
Jones’ debut solo album, Child Of The State, arrived in 2021, and her playing has been compared to everyone from Hendrix to Kurt Cobain. Truly, however, he is a guitarist who understands and channels the full breadth of rock’s long evolution – from rock ‘n’ roll to RATM.
5. Igor Paspalj
Paspalj won first prize in the prestigious Guitar World‘s Guitarist Of The Year competition at the end of 2020 and released his EP Striptease in 2021. His playing deserves the title. This is a melodic main masterclass, reminiscent of the likes of Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani – names we do not speak of lightly.
6. Luke Mark, Isaac Wood (Black Country, New Road)
The seven London indie musicians have all the ideas. Their debut for the first time arrived in 2021 and quickly made year-end lists drawn from everything from klezmer to post-punk. The Ants From Up There follow-up will arrive in February of next year and feel more measured and moving. Mark and Wood are the glue that winds between the poetry and kind of glues these disparate melodic parts together.
7. Jack Cochrane, Joe McGillveray (Les Snuts)
The West Lothian quartet did the impossible during their WL debut – taking the tired post-Oasis UK indie swagger model and turning him into something that has its place in the 2020s. It’s blurry , funky and knows how to make the guitar the backbone of pop music.
8. Moriah Formica, Bella Perron (plush)
American rockers Plush have had it all year – opening an arena tour with Halestorm and Evanensence, recording over a million streams to their song Hate and releasing their self-titled debut album. Athena’s riffs could move mountains and it looks like the band is about to do the same …
9. Hannah Dasher
Overnight success for the past 10 years, the charismatic country singer-songwriter star is rising rapidly these days. She plays the guitar, builds a storm for him Tik Tok show Stand by Your Pan and released their excellent title EP, Half Record, this year. Her too love its wings…
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Star’s energetic performances on her social media have won her legions of fans. She has an amazing ear for improvisation and the technique to navigate her way through any situation – just listen to her amazing âduetâ on Foo Fighters Shame Shame. In addition, on his recent solo tracks like Drive and The cliff she featured a punk-gone-shred pop sound that is her own making.