12 guitarists who changed the game over the past 12 months

[L-R] H.E.R., Nandi Bushell, Diamond Rowe, Phoebe Bridgers and Lari Basilio
(Image credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images, Nandi Bushell/YouTube, Tetrarch/Facebook, Phoebe Bridgers/Instagram, Orelha Fotos)

In a year beset by a global crisis, one of the most gratifying, triumphant pieces of music news came from, of all places, the Grammy awards. For the first time ever, the Best Rock Performance category was made up of all-female nominees, among them HAIM, Brittany Howard, Grace Potter, Phoebe Bridgers, Fiona Apple and the Adrianne Lenker-fronted Big Thief.

It’s perhaps the most concrete example yet of the changing face of rock music, and by extension guitar playing, in popular culture.


New 95.5 KLOS Jasmine Jams up now!! Had a ton of fun writing a solo to duet @foofightersofficial on Shame Shame 🤘 #foofighters #medicineatmidnight

♬ original sound - Jasmine Star Music

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Michael Astley-Brown
Editor-in-Chief, GuitarWorld.com

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.