Gretchen Menn wins the Martin/Guitar World No Limits Challenge competition

Gretchen Menn plays a Martin SC-10 acoustic
(Image credit: Gretchen Menn/YouTube)

In early April, Martin – in partnership with Guitar World – launched the No Limits Challenge competition. 

A celebration of the company’s SC line acoustic guitars, which feature a bold cutaway that grants unprecedented upper fret access for an acoustic, the competition featured eight YouTube-savvy guitarists facing off against one another, covering tunes one wouldn't normally associate with an acoustic using one of the SC models.

The winners of each match-up, in turn, were determined by reader vote – with our GW editors contributing some helpful analysis. It’s been a long, hard road, but, after nearly two months, we finally have a victor. 

After advancing to the semi-final round with an outside-the-box take on Alice in Chains' Man in the Box, then to the finals with her acoustic version of Weezer’s Buddy Holly, Gretchen Menn has emerged as the winner of the hotly contested competition. 

Menn’s gorgeous original acoustic instrumental, Venice, triumphed over fellow finalist Helen Ibe’s kinetic mash-up of Classical Gas and Stevie Wonder's Superstition.

The Zepparella guitarist will be featured on the cover of Guitar World’s September issue, and beat out an impressive field that also included Jay Leonard J, Colin Scott, Sophie Burrell, R.J. Ronquillo, Nili Brosh and Ruben Wan. Our congratulations to her for the well-deserved win.

For more info on Martin's SC acoustics, meanwhile, visit the company's website.

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.