Acoustic Guitar a Star on ‘American Idol’

Can there be anything more torturous than auditioning a capella? For years the team at American Idol seemed to think that watching contestants squirm without accompaniment was the way to go. Until now.

If you watched the opening episodes of the 2014 season this week, it’s pretty obvious that either more auditioners are taking advantage of new rules that allow them to bring their instrument into the audition room, or the editors prefer contestants who play guitar and are featuring them more than the a capella singers.

Either way, I think this is a step in the right direction. Why force performers to sing without accompaniment? This trend will showcase more well-rounded musicians, and I hope the next step is to have a piano available in the room as well.

Here are a couple of choice performances:

Savian Wright:

Rachel Rolleri

John Fox

Tristen Langley

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Laura B. Whitmore

Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.