Mary Spender: "Record labels told me to put the guitar down. Luckily, I was stubborn enough to ignore them"

(Image credit: Press)

Signing a record deal with a major label used to be the ultimate goal for guitarists serious about making a living from the instrument. These days, however, savvy musicians are building their own relationship with their fans online - and often reaching far more listeners as a result. 

Brighton-based guitarist Mary Spender is among the most successful of a new generation of musicians who blend music-making with shrewd, engaging commentary on guitar culture - sharing both with over 250,000 fans via YouTube. Along the way, she’s become a mentor to thousands of guitarists who follow her friendly, intelligent advice on how to match gear to your own music-making needs. 

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.