We guitarists often stand accused of being obsessed with the past, but this month’s magazine devotes a healthy chunk of real estate to the future. As well as taking a deep dive into Fender’s new top-of-the-line American Ultra series and the company’s ongoing search for the next great guitar to stand side-by-side with Leo’s most iconic designs, we’ve also assembled a panel of industry luminaries and quizzed them about where they see the guitar heading in 2020 and beyond.
Paul Reed Smith, Taylor Master Guitar Designer and partner Andy Powers, Executive Vice President of Fender Products Justin Norvell… these are all names most of you will be familiar with, but what do you think is the one aspect of guitar manufacture that Paul Smith says will never be carried out by a machine? How does Andy Powers approach the challenge of working with new timbers? What does Justin Norvell think will be the most significant trends in guitar gear over the next few years?
These are the individuals at the top of the food chain when it comes to mainstream guitar innovation, and their thoughts make for fascinating reading. But I’m equally interested in hearing the opinions of the people who make the wheels of the guitar industry turn, and that’s you, and thousands like you.
What do you predict for the guitar over the coming decade? What’s the one product that doesn’t currently exist that you’d like to see go in production? Who are the next-generation guitar players who are pushing musical boundaries with our beloved instrument? Drop me a line or join the debate on our social media channels to make your voice heard.
Finally, before I pack my toothbrush, passport and a change of socks and head off to Anaheim for Winter NAMM 2020 – stay glued to Guitar.com for all the latest from the show floor from 16 January – make sure you head to this page find out how to enter this month’s amazing competition to win a Gibson Made 2 Measure Les Paul worth over £5,000. Good luck – it’s a truly astonishing prize. I’ll see you next month with mild sunburn and the sound of sweep picking still ringing in my ears.
Inside this issue
The country icon lifts the lid on his vintage gear collection, why there are days when he hates his ’64 Strat, and why Alexander Dumble is “the Banksy of amp builders”.
As we enter a brand-new decade, we asked a panel of industry movers and shakers to look back at what’s changed, gaze into their crystal balls and tell us what they think the future holds for this most uniquely varied and exciting instrument.