Grab Your Air Guitars and Let’s Jam

26 Aug


Ah, the dog days of summer are upon us. Need a way to fight the end-of-summer blues? How about jamming on an air guitar. Yes, you heard me right. The air guitar, which has become a performance staple in places like the car, shower, or karaoke bar, is celebrated every year with the Air Guitar World Championship, which begin today in Oulu, Finland and run through August 28th.

Air Guitar is not all about performance. According to the World Championship, it is judged by a panel using four categories: technical merit (how close to an actual guitar does it look), mimesmanship (how can the performer effectively create the illusion of a guitar), stage presence (how much you can ROCK), and Airness (how much the performance was art … not just moving your hands around an invisible instrument). Yeah, they don’t joke around at the World Championship; you need to have a combination of guitar knowledge and pretend playing skills mixed with the innate ability to bedazzle the stage with moves aplenty.

You can track the proceedings of the 20th annual tournament (yes, this has been a thing on the competitive level for 20 years) on the website.

Now, I know what many of you are thinking. I play air guitar all the time. Just play me some Slash and I’ll be effortlessly and apoplectically moving my fingers up and down an imaginary fret board while miming the best guitarist facial contortions. Do you want to see a professional?

That was almost like a hardcore dance routine, which air guitar pretty much is, as you have to entertain the crowd while wielding an invisible instrument. She employed the outstretched windmill, though, and that’s impressive.

This whole air guitar thing got me thinking. What is the most classic Air Guitar song. In order to come up with a list, I considered some of the most important categories to an Air Guitar song: guitar riff/solo and quick beats. That didn’t help narrow it down. Heck, I’ve seen people air guitar to “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas; you can break out the imperceptible instrument anytime. That said, I’ve narrowed it down to one song, which, in my mind, will always be the perfect air guitar song. I’m eager to hear your opinion, though, so share what your thinking in the comments.

Without further ado, here it is, the perfect Air Guitar song!


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