A cappella group performing on stage
The A Cappella Blog

Air Guitar Solos

Absurdist A Cappella

This time we discuss air guitar solos.

Setting the Stage: OK, so lots of groups have tried to integrate air guitar solos into their music over years, and have done so limited success. So why would we call upon groups to carry on a lackluster tradition? The thing is, air guitar solos themselves are not the problem—it’s the execution of them. The right song, right setting, and right attitude can make all the difference between something lame and something sublime.

Song Selection: Part of the problem with air guitar solos in a cappella is weak song selection. No one wants to see air guitar to some classic rock song they’ve never heard of, or to the something by John Mayer. You need to implement on a song with a superior guitar solo all it’s own. Think “Free Bird,” or “Stairway to Heaven” or “Novermber Rain.” These are songs in which the guitar transcends the rest of the song, and when your group rocks that pat, it will only seem natural for the air guitar to come on out.

Setting: You want to break out the guitar in front of a crowd that will most susceptible to it. Consider scheduling a rock-n-roll-centered show, or breaking this out if your group is invited to open for a rock act. In a more traditional a cappella concert setting, the air guitar may come off as amateurish, but if you can work it out in front of a crowd that actively wants to rock you’ll have the crowd behind you, which is half of what air-ness is all about anyway.

Choreography: The great part about air guitar is that it is, itself, a form of choreography. Unlike most choreography though, which is a bit of an afterthought, and tends to get tacked on to a performance, air guitar is central to a truly great rock performance. It’s about channeling the true essence of an instrument, and representing the physical manifestation of it in your outstretched hands. Better yet, when you truly master the air-ness of the guitar, you can let the magic spread to air drums, an air bass, maybe even an air brass section. The sky’s the limit, my friends—the sky full of air.

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