BLACK SABBATH's Tony Iommi will be a mentor on "Guitar Star", a new U.K. program focuses on guitarists. The progam debuts on June 9 on the Sky Arts channel. Other mentors on the show include Lee Ritenour and Rodrigo y Gabriela. The show is hosted by Edith Bowman, a veteran TV and radio personality. The winner of the nine-week competition gets to play on the main stage at the Latitude festival.
In the video clip below, Iommi talks about what makes a great guitarist. He says: "I'd like somebody who plays from the soul, so I look for that really, as opposed to somebody learning every single note and getting everything perfect. I prefer it coming from the blues side and something coming from inside."
He continues: "The idea is to listen and absorb as much as you can, and when you play, give it all you've got from here [points to his heart] as opposed to a book or copy or learning. It's got to come from within and show what you do and what you're capable of doing."
Sky's official description of "Guitar Star": "Pick up a plectrum and crank the volume up to eleven — we've launched 'Guitar Star', a major new competition to search for a world-class guitarist.
"We're searching the U.K. and Ireland for extraordinary guitar players who are willing to jam, strum and pluck their way to victory for the chance to perform on the main stage of major U.K. music festival, Latitude.
"Whether their jam is rock, classical, jazz or acoustic, competing guitarists will be tested on their ability to play in a style of their choice and demonstrate outstanding skill and ability, and will perform at famous venues associated with their chosen genre.
"Throughout the process, they'll meet and be mentored by some of the biggest guitar stars in the world. The semi-finalists will hone their act in a recording studio, where they will work with a global guitar legend to perfect their sound.
"All of this will be taking place under the watchful eye of top DJ Edith Bowman, who added 'The guitar is the most loved and most played instrument in the U.K. and I just know there are some fantastic unknown players out there... I can't wait to get stuck in to celebrating the wonders of the guitar across rock, jazz, folk, classical and beyond!'"