Shred the Air Guitar

Kirsten Curtis |

You don’t need an ax to rock out. It’s nearly impossible to be bad at air guitar but here is how to take it to the next level, without actually clutching guitar strings in the air to your favourite tune.

You could even become the Led Zeppelin of Air Guitar with these tips from the 2009 US champ and runner-up at the Air Guitar World Championships, Andre ‘William Ocean’ Litz’s approach.

Envision your Ax

If you can’t picture your guitar, nobody else can, start off by putting the strap over your head, and don’t forget to tune your guitar which will allow you to set parameters for the guitar’s size.

Hold it Right

Get the stance right. Rest your dominate hand across your waistline, about 10cm from your body with your other hand hovering at least 60cm up the neck.

Time your Fingers

The conventional strumming is boring; aim to time your finger movements to major key changes in the music. Add nodding or thrust forwards as you do, so that people can see that you’re synced with it.

Pace Yourself

Purse your lips and walkabout but space out the arm swings and jumps as you do not want to look spasmodic.

William Ocean’s top three face-melting air guitar tracks are:

  • Let’s Go Crazy (Prince & the Revolution)
  • Juke Box Hero (Foreigner)
  • Jane (Jefferson Starship)


Whilst our MH team has a picked these favourites as their ultimate face- melting air guitar tracks:

  • Weight of Love (Black Keys)
  • Thunderstruck (AC DC)
  • All Along the Watch Tower (Jimi Hendrix)
  • Purple Rain (Prince)
  • Chop Suey (System of a Down)
  • Dani California (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

However there a few compulsory songs that one needs to be familiar with if you looking to enter the Air Guitar World Championships such as, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, American Idiot by Greenday and Wild Thing by Jimi Hendrix.

With Aline “The Devil’s Niece” Westphal taking the title by performing The Pretender by the Foo Fighters for his self-chosen round in 2011.

Now that you’ve got the technique down go, and shred it in the air.

– Alice Paulse





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