Hello Competitors!

All the information you'll need to compete in the Official Swedish National Championship in Kiruna 29th and have a chance to call yourself Sweden’s Air Guitar Champion with free entry directly into the Air Guitar World Championship Finals on Friday 25th August.

In the 27th years of the Air Guitar World Championships, Sweden haven’t competed since 2017, and we have little information about Swedish results earlier years. This could be because we kicked ass or something else not relevant. But this year, with your help, we’re aiming for NUMBER 1!!! That’s the mission! Let’s do it for Sweden.

For those who are not aware, competitive air guitar is about promoting world peace. The motto of the Air Guitar World Championships is #MakeAirNotWar … you cannot hold a gun and play air guitar at the same time! By spreading the air guitar philosophy across the world, we can only hope that all wars cease forever. It’s one of the reasons why we are kind of happy that US Air Guitar is the biggest National organisation!

We’re a non-discriminatory level playing field and everyone from all backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, is encouraged to get involved, do their best, have fun, and make awesome new friends. The only thing we judge is how well you play air guitar!

As you may be new to competitive Air Guitar here is the way the competition works:

There are 2 rounds.  

Round 1: All competitors perform to a 60-second track they've prepared and given to AGA organisers in advance (see later for “some stuff you need to do”). This is your time to show off a pre-prepared routine! Get practising!   

You’ll be called on to stage by your stage name, you can start your “act” whenever you like but note, your song will not start until you raise your right index finger in the air, and you will only be judged for the time your song is playing. Some people like to do intros, just make sure you don’t lose the crowd before you’ve even started!

Your routine will be scored by the system below. At half time, scores will be calculated so see who goes through to Round 2 

Round 2: A freestyle improve, or a “blind” round. The competitors will be played a 60 second clip at the start of the second round. You will not know in advance what the song will be, so round 2 will really show who rocks! Again, you’ll be called on to stage and your right index finger starts the music.

At the end of the two rounds the scores will be added together to find out who places where! Just remember, you are all winners in our book, just for getting up on stage!!! It’s a rush!

Scoring System:

There are 3 qualities on which your performance is judged: 

1) Stage Presence:  How well do you use (or abuse) the stage? How well does your personality come out? Are you owning the crowd? Are you exciting the crowd and the judges?! Anyone can do it in the privacy of their bedroom. Few have what it takes to rock a crowd of hundreds or even thousands – all without an instrument. Costumes can help, crowd engagement can help!


Hot Tip: eye contact always helps 😉

2) Technical Ability: Does it look like you are playing an air guitar? High notes are further up, low notes are further down on the fret board of your air guitar. Do you hit all the right moments in the music? Did you forget to play their guitar at all (OH NO!) – you may have heard what happened to Milli Vanilli?

Hot Tip: Air Guitar is not “pretending to play a guitar” thus ‘Technicals’ does not mean matching how someone would play the song on a “there-guitar”, rather, it means: can you and the crowd see that it is a low note or a high note and are you strumming/picking in time to the music.

Always remember Lisa Simpson “I can see the music”

3) Airness: Like "presentation" in figure skating, it means everything and nothing. It's that extra special something that makes your performance more than the sum of its parts. Where you stop being a person pretending to play guitar and you become your own performance entirely. Amazing air guitar goes beyond the limitations of what the "there" guitar can do.

Hot Tip: find a moment in your clip, or the second-round clip, perhaps a ‘breakdown’ in the song, where you can add a “move” into your routine. This can be just an instant, a moment, which makes your performance unique. Spin your air guitar on your hand, between your fingers, swallow it and play it in your belly, stick it in one ear and pull it out the other … throw it in the air (just don’t drop it!). Your options are endless and originality and imagination is what we are looking for.

Your score will be based on a balance of these three criteria.

Scoring is based on the old figure skating scale of 4.0-6.0 with 4.0 being the absolute lowest and 6.0 being perfection. There are 5 judges.

To give you a general idea, people think of any score of below 5.0 as a pretty "bad" score, but it's all relative and depends on the judges on the night, don’t let your score get to you, judges are idiots! A 6.0 is almost unattainable [but only almost!] - reserved for when someone nails it across the board and totally wows the judges.  It's rare, but not so rare that they are unheard of in round one ... people know it when they see it.

Here is an example, a sort of gold standard, for a 6.0, an excerpt from the doco Air Guitar Nation, the great C.Diddy : Great track choice hey! You’ll notice his interaction with the crowd, his air guitar face, his technical prowess, his complete immersion in the song.

He went on to be World Champion and inspired many to take up competitive Air Guitar. There have been many before and since who could be seen as better or worse. Just be yourself, do your best, GIVE ‘ER and you’ll do just fine. You’ll be a hero in our book however you do.

A couple of other things to note:

ANTI-SOCIAL CLAUSE: Swedish Wilderness Air Guitar RESERVE THE RIGHT to deduct 0.1- 0.2 per score, or any other amount, for any acts by performers that endanger themselves, endanger others in the competition, endanger the audience or cause general frustration and annoyance to the Organisers. You may even be disqualified and/or asked to leave if your behaviour is extremely out of line! We’re not saying BEHAVE, we’re saying, well you know what we’re saying – be nice!

2 important things to note: competitors will (probably) be disqualified for the following reasons:


  • If you use a prop as an air guitar. Note: props on stage are allowed, you just cannot “hold” the prop in any way as the air guitar. You can strum around a prop as long as you are not using the prop as your air guitar. US Air Guitar’s ‘The Airtiste’ famously used a guitar stand to support his air guitar and played around it. This was not deemed an offence as he played the air guitar not the stand, it just so happened his air guitar was held by the stand (watch it, he’s tight!)

Flipside, if someone uses their leg as an air guitar this is a disqualification event as they “used a prop” as the air guitar. Notice that The Airtiste didn’t play his foot, he used his foot to play! Skirting the rules and getting it right! BTW you can hold a plectrum in your fingers, this is fine.


  • The Air Guitarist must be the only performer in their act. You cannot use anyone else ‘on stage’ in your act. However, you may for instance have someone throw/hand something up to you from offstage like a bunch of flowers to throw to the crowd or a toy baby to kiss (as made famous by ‘Peter Stiff Dickens’ in the US at about 1:18 min mark – he’s the greatest air guitarist who’ll never win a championship – you’ll see why in this clip!)


Okay so that’s the ‘rules’! Now, here’s some stuff you need to do:

  • Come up with your arrangement, your song. You need to ensure Swedish Wilderness Air Guitar has received your song in a .wav format at least 4 days before the event day. If we have not received your clip, then you may be assigned a back-up spare clip from off our computer on the night which you may not have heard before. Your clip can be no longer than 60 seconds or it will be edited down to 60 seconds. Your clip can be –
    1. A simple 60 second section of your favourite song
    2. An edit from your favourite song, getting rid of boring bits and vocal and focusing on the guitar bits
    3. An original song you’ve made yourself – Eric “Mean Melin” Melin wrote his own song when he won in 2013 (nice spin
    4. A mash up of a few different sections of songs, original bits, samples – have fun, go wild with your studio!

Hot Tip: you’d be surprised how long 60 seconds is when you are on stage, try to make sure you are keeping the crowd in the palm of your hand the whole time and end with a bang!

  • Keep in touch with organisers – you will need to arrive at the venue about 2 hours before the show. Please be easy to deal with on the night and line up and be ready when you need to be ready. Organisers will have enough to deal with on the night!


  • Practice! Play in front of the mirror … play in front of your boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat … if you can get your cat to keep watching for more than 20 seconds you know you’re doing well!


  • Get a costume together, this can be as simple as jeans and a tshirt if this is what you feel comfortable wearing, or go wild!


  • Pre-plan for glory! Make sure you can make the Finals and the World Championships – if you qualify but cannot make the Finals then your spot will be ceded to the next place finisher who can make the Finals. We are here to find an Swedish Champ to take on the WORLD after all. If you do not win, you might still be able to compete in Finland via the Dark Horse Qualifiers. Come along with the squad and rep your country anyway! The more the merrier!


  • Watch videos on youtube of others to enhance your performance – don’t freak yourself out (like I did in my first year!), if this is your first time competing! Just do it! The Finns have a word “sisu” which means courage and dignity in the face of adversity or insurmountable odds – even if you are shit scared! If you show us sisu on the night, you will earn everyone’s respect no matter what else you do.

Here are some videos to watch:

First of all, if you haven’t already seen it, here’s Nanami Seven Seas’ winning performances last year

Here’s Jinja Assassin coming 2nd for Australia in 2017!!!

Here a useful and very funny video - Nordic Thunder (2012 World Champion) Air Guitar Instructional Video

Airistotle (2016-2017 World Champion)

Devil’s Niece (2011 World Champion) from Germany

Eva Gina Runner (3rd in 2011 – wow does this woman rock!) from Czech Republic


Hot Lixx Hulahan (2008 World Champion) The Video from US Air Guitar

Mom Jeans Jeanie (2017 US Air Guitar Champion) 

And here are some different takes on the form:

Fran Chopin! He takes his character to another level and is a crowd favourite. Local groupies came backstage for his autograph after the show in Finland!

Peter Stiff Dickens – the greatest Air Guitarist who will never win a title!

Japan always goes next level! Here’s SHOW-SHOW from a couple of years ago.

Ehrworlf from Germany – watch for his lady killer smile at 1:44


Be excellent to each other, and, party on dudes!!!


Don’t forget to visit and like/follow (@airguitaraus) and  … GOOD LUCK!