Your Electric Guitarist of the Year 2020 winner is Igor Paspalj

It's the moment you've all been waiting for: Guitarist of the Year 2020 has been a helluva ride, and after combining the public vote, Guitar World staff picks and judges choices for each category, we're finally able to crown your winners. The standard of talent this year has been astounding, and as we're sure you'll agree, it wasn't an easy choice for any of us.

Guitarist of the Year 2020 winners

Guitarist of the Year 2020 PRS prizes

(Image credit: Future)

• Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2020: Alan Gogoll
• Young Guitarist of the Year 2020:
Juho Ranta-Maunus
• Bassist of the Year 2020:
Danny Sapko
• Guitar Teacher of the Year 2020:
Mike Papapavlou

All finalists should be immensely proud to have made it this far in the competition, but in the end, each category can only have one winner. This year, the Electric Guitarist winner is Igor Paspalj.

With a playing style fueled by a strong cocktail of virtuoso influences – including Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Van Halen, Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Guthrie Govan – Igor displays exceptional instrumental dominance, as well as an unparalleled compositional ability.

His entry – in which a Charvel electric guitar is his weapon of choice – was wrought with bluesy cleans, sweep- and alternate picking-laden shred, the most precise bends you've ever heard and, well, just about everything a modern guitar player can throw at the instrument.

Igor will receive a feature in Guitar World (both in print and online), and record a professionally shot performance video.

He's also bagged himself a PRS S2 McCarty 594 worth $1,699, a workhorse electric that'll afford him all the tones he's after on his quest for guitar perfection – a quest he's damn near in the final stretches of.

Guitarist of the Year will return in 2021. To get updates about next year’s contest, sign up at

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.