Why We Fight (For Good)

We’re here — and you’re here — because we adore the guitar, guitarists, guitar gear, and guitar music. We’re obsessed.

The Guardians of Guitar concept was launched by me—former Guitar Player Editor in Chief Michael Molenda. I served the brand from 1997-2018, and during my tenure at GP, I really enjoyed meeting other players—famous names and people just beginning their musical journeys—as well as sharing data on how to play better, how to sound better, and how to evangelize guitarists and all things guitar. To make a concerted effort to accomplish these goals—and promote collaboration and enthusiasm amongst all players—I followed a personal manifesto throughout my music-journalism career. Those tenets never ever got tossed aside, and they remain in force here at Guardians of Guitar.

Don’t worry, though. These little “rules” aren’t all lofty and stuff, they aren’t hard to follow, and they hopefully appeal to anyone and everyone who wants to engage in an open, exciting, supportive, and knowledge-sharing community of groovy players.

So here’s the deal. Guardians of Guitar stands for the following…

[1] We respect EVERYONE who endeavors to play guitar, no matter their sex, skill level, or chosen musical style. We don’t care if you’re a professional guitarist, a weekend warrior, a hobbyist, or someone who simply likes to strum or shred alone in their room. We LOVE you. And we want to provide content that helps you enjoy the guitar even more than you already do.

[2] We support ALL players, of course (see #1) but you might say that we aggressively support and nurture female guitarists and the young. Pre-teens and teens who pick up guitars in earnest are the future of the instrument, and we want them to feel nurtured and rewarded for their achievements. Female players—well, let’s face it, they have often faced less-than-equal, or at least less-than-enthusiastic support from the industry and the media throughout the years. But women are absolutely a strong force in the guitar community, and we must acknowledge and promote their artistry with zero caveats or macho disdain. ‘Nuff said!

[3] We practice tonal omnism. We don’t look down our noses at any approaches to sound creation: analog, digital, tubes, modeling, solid-state, pawnshop prizes, boutique gear, or uber-expensive luxury guitars. Whatever you use to make your noises, if you are defining your personal artistry with those tools, we’re in.

[4] We celebrate technique, but not at the expense of heart and/or musicality. We want the guitar to affect listeners in very strong ways, and whether you can shred at 350 mph or dink around at 15 mph, we want you to approach your performances with emotion, guts, intelligence, surprise, uniqueness, and raw courage.

[5] Mean what you play.

[6] Fight cliches, or please make them so awesome and powerful that the audience forgets they are cliches.

[7] Know your history. Study great musicians. Respect our musical past.

[8] Be kind. You can be tough in your criticism if warranted, but there’s no reason to be relentlessly mean.

[9] Look ahead.

[10] Astound us all!

See… easy!

We hope that you can fly the flag of communal support and become a Guardian of the Guitar yourself.

Play it forward!


Michael Molenda