Effective January 15, 2016 to May 20, 2016


SPONSORS: The Lee Ritenour Six String Theory Guitar Competition (the “Competition”) is sponsored by: Yamaha Corporation; Berklee College of Music; Blue Note Tokyo; Crown Guitar Festival; Concord Records; Premier Guitar Magazine; Monster; D’Addario String Company, Jazziz Magazine, Music Connection, True Fire, Xotic Effects, Woodshed Recording Studio and Guitar HD (collectively, the “Sponsors”), subject to the following terms and conditions.

ELIGIBILITY: An Entrant (Individual) must be sixteen (16) years of age or older at the time of entry, and possess a valid form of identification (no top age limit). An Entrant under the age of eighteen (18) shall require parental consent to participate due to international travel involved in prize winnings. Invalid or ineligible entries shall be excluded from consideration. Employees of Sponsors, their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, and agents, and foregoing employees’ household or immediate family members (defined as parent, spouse, child, sibling, or grandparent) are NOT eligible to enter Contest. By their submission of entry, Entrants warrant they are legally entitled and authorized to make such submission on their own behalf. In the event of a dispute as to the winner’s identity, entries will be deemed made by the holder of the email account associated with the entry. Void where prohibited by law or restricted. Subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

The Contest is open to Non-Professional & Semi-Professional Guitarists of all nationalities. An Entrant may not be a Professional Guitarist and may not be signed to any major label with world-wide distribution. Professional Guitarists are defined as a guitarist who is making 100% of his/her living from professional guitar endeavors such as teaching guitar lessons (i.e. 30-60 full time students); touring full-time with a band; doing session work full-time (records, t.v., film, commercials, pit orchestras, etc). For example, if a guitarist teaches a few students or does some gigs, shows and sessions, they would not be considered a Professional Guitarist. We realize it is subjective defining what a Non-Professional Guitarist is but we are providing some general definitions for guidance. The qualifications of a Non-Professional Guitarist will ultimately be at the discretion of the Six String Theory Management Team. Previous Six String Theory Grand Prize Winners cannot re-apply, however previous Semi-finalists or Finalists, as well as previous Six String Theory applicants may apply again.

TIMING: Contest begins on January 15, 2016 and continues until May 20, 2016 (extended from May 15 to 20th). Entries must be received by 11:59pm (EST) on May 20, 2016 to be eligible. Winners will be announced the first week of June 2016.

How To Enter

One Entrant (Individual) must submit two (2) unedited YouTube Videos, no longer than 5 minutes each and with no camera stops, of themselves playing the guitar by registering at: http://www.sixstringtheory.com.

Entries may be comprised of original songs or covers, and may be solo performances or accompanied by others. It is recommended, however not required, that one of the two videos submitted be performing live with other musicians (it doesn’t have to be a public event). This gives the judges an idea on how you play with other musicians. If accompanied by others, only the entrant is eligible to win and receive prizes. It is acceptable to submit a non-original composition; provided that it will not be accepted if it is found that an entrant is “copying” the performance of another guitarist or artist. In all entries, the interpretation of the melody and solo of that song must be original in flavor and content. Only one submission allowed per applicant. If multiple entries are submitted in any one category of music, only the first submission will be considered, and all entries subsequent to the original submission will be void. If you are registering in more than one category of music, then you submit 2 videos for each separate registration. The following must accompany each video submission in order for your entry to be complete: 1) Applicant’s address, email, telephone number, and age; and 2) a non-refundable application fee of USD $25.00, submitted via credit card through “SixStringTheory.com.” Incomplete entries will not be considered. Applicants should retain copies of all materials sent with their entries. Sponsors will accept no responsibility for lost entries. No submissions will be returned. All entries (video and audio submissions) will become the property of Six String Theory LLC for purpose of the completion (not the copyright). For any questions regarding the Application Process, please contact us at: 6stringtheory@gmail.com.

CATEGORIES AND JUDGING: Lee Ritenour and a panel of professional guitarists will evaluate the videos on the basis of technique, interpretation, and artistry and select the top 6 finalists in each guitar category of music (totaling 36).

The legendary musicians which will serve as Judges with Lee Ritenour are: Joe Satriani, Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo’, Vince Gill, Brent Masen, Pat Martino, John Scofield, Julian Lage, Guthrie Govan, Steve Lukather, Daryl Stuermer, Hotei, Sonny Landreth, Pat Kelley, Richard Smith, Frank Potenza, Jay Graydon, Larry Baione, Don Alder, Andy McKee, Scott Tennant, William Kanengiser, John Dearman, Matthew Greif, Andrew York and Kimberley Perlak.

The six categories of music are: 1. Rock 2. Blues 3. Jazz/Fusion 4. Acoustic/Country 5. Classical/Flamenco 6. Rhythm Guitar.


  • Rock/metal– this is primarily an electric guitar category for rock, metal and progressive styles
  • Blues– this would include electric, acoustic, dobro, slack guitar, etc. and would cover traditional, rock & progressive blues.
  • Jazz/Fusion– this is primarily an electric guitar category for jazz & fusion but can include acoustic guitar as well.
  • Acoustic/Country– this would include acoustic or electric guitar styles crossing over from any acoustic or country style music.
  • Classical/Flamenco– this is an acoustic category for classical & flamenco guitar styles.
  • Rhythm Guitar–  this would include electric or acoustic rhythm guitar playing that focuses on styles that include pop, funk, R&B, and World styles (Brazilian, Latin, African, Island, etc.).

There will one (1) grand prize guitar winner and 5 guitar finalists, ranked 1-5 representing the 6 genres of music. The 6 will be contacted by email and/or phone no later than the first week of June, 2016.

Sponsors reserve the right to reject any entry that they deem in their sole discretion to be vulgar, profane, offensive, or inappropriate. All decisions of the judges are final.

Prizes and Odds:

Any One or more of the Six (6) Finalists may be selected by Berklee College of Music to apply for the scholarships. All must meet Berklee criteria and perform an audition (see Berklee eligibility requirements below).  Winners will be traveling for performances and recording from the dates of August 28 through September 12, 2016 to Montana, Los Angeles and Tokyo, Japan.

The Grand Prize Winner:

  1. First choice of One (1) Yamaha acoustic, classical, or electric guitar from  A Series, L Series, GC Series, and new Revstar.
  2. Recording a track on Lee Ritenour’s forthcoming album to be recorded September 6, 2016 in Los Angeles.  Travel, lodging and stipend are included in the prize. The recording will take place at the incredible Woodshed Recording Studio in Malibu, California. One of the most beautiful and unique studios in Southern California, complete with state of the art equipment and the most scenically stunning of environment where the likes of Sting, U2, Peter Gabriel, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Neil Young, Kanye West, Sam Elliott and Coldplay have recorded there.
  3. The opportunity to perform for one night with Lee Ritenour and up-and-coming All-Star musicians from Japan at the legendary Blue Note Tokyo! This performance would take place September 11, 2016. You will fly to Toyko after recording in Los Angeles. This prize package includes international travel, domestic transportation, work visas and Hotel accommodations for three nights. Further details TBD.
  4. Professional Mentoring Sessions with Lee Ritenour
  5. $1,000 worth of your favorite gear from D’Addario strings & Planet Waves accessories
  6. 10 Monster cables and headphones
  7. Full fellowship to participate in the weeklong Crown Guitar Workshop & Festival 2016 including air & ground transportation and accommodations. This would include attending guitar workshops & live performances at various events during the week. Dates are August 28-September 4, 2016. You will fly to Los Angeles from here to record on Lee’s album.  For more details see: www.crownguitarfest.org
  8. Xotic Effects Pedal – one for each of the 6 Guitar Finalists which includes Guitar Grand Prize Winner
    • Acoustic /Country Guitar Winner: RC Booster
    • Jazz/Fusion Guitar Winner: SP Compressor
    • Rhythm Guitar Winner: SL Drive
    • Rock/Metal Guitar Winner: BB Pre
    • Blues Guitar Winner: AC Booster
    • Classical Guitar Winner: EP Booster

Finalist Prizes:

1st Runner Up:

  1. Second choice of One (1) of the remaining Yamaha acoustic, classical, or electric guitars from A Series, L Series, GC Series, and new Revstar.
  1. $100 worth of D’Addario strings
  2. 10 Monster cables
  3. Xotic Effects Pedal

2nd Runner Up:

  1. Third choice of One (1) of the remaining Yamaha acoustic, classical, or electric guitar from  A Series, L Series, GC Series, and new Revstar.
  1. $100 worth of D’Addario strings
  2. 10 Monster Cables
  3. Xotic Effects Pedal

3rd Runner Up:

  1. Fourth choice of One (1) of the remaining Yamaha acoustic, classical, or electric guitar from A Series, L Series, GC Series, and new Revstar.
  1. $100 worth of D’Addario strings
  2. 10 Monster Cables
  3. Xotic Effects Pedal

4th Runner Up:

  1. Fifth choice of One (1) of the remaining Yamaha acoustic, classical, or electric guitar from A Series, L Series, GC Series, and new Revstar. .
  1. $100 worth of D’Addario strings
  2. 10 Monster Cables
  3. Xotic Effects Pedal

5th Runner Up:

  1. Sixth choice of One (1) of the remaining Yamaha acoustic, classical, or electric guitar from A Series, L Series, GC Series, and new Revstar.
  1. $100 worth of D’Addario strings
  2. 10 Monster Cables
  3. Xotic Effects Pedal

Regarding Yamaha Product Awards:

The winner can choose one guitar from the designated awards list. The way to choose the guitar will be subject to the award ranks, starting from the grand prize winner choosing the guitar he/she wishes. If several winners choose the same guitar, the winner with the higher rank retains the right to choose first. All prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the Final Event. If any winner is deemed a minor in the state or country of his/her residence, prize may be awarded to his/her parent/legal guardian. All federal, state and local taxes on prizes are solely the responsibility of winners. All prizes shall be awarded. The odds of winning depend on the number of Entrants.


*Current Berklee College of Music students are not eligible for the scholarships but may still register for the competition

In support of Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Competition, Berklee will provide one (1) four-year full tuition scholarship to the Grand Prize Winner of the International Competition in either guitar, piano/keyboards, bass or drums. In addition, Berklee will provide three (3) $20,000 scholarships to the three runners up ($20,000 annually towards tuition for 4 years = $80,000).  Berklee will select one guitarist, one pianist, one bassist and one drumset player to receive the four (4) scholarships choosing from a pool of six (6) finalists from each instrument- guitar, piano, bass & drums. The Berklee candidate selected may or may not be the grand prize winner of the SST contest in that instrument but will be chosen from the top six (6) in each instrument. *Berklee may also offer additional scholarships to any of the top applicants in each instrument, beyond the competition scholarships.

Students currently attending other universities are eligible to win the scholarships. There is a maximum credit transfer limit of 24 credits. Other than some music history and music business courses, Berklee does not award transfer credits for music courses.

If you feel you have expertise in a music course, you may speak with the relevant department chair at Berklee about the possibility of credit by exam. Core music material (harmony, arranging) can test out levels, so you don’t have to start to at first level if advanced.

Here is the section on Berklee website listing criteria of what is transferable: http://www.berklee.edu/admissions/transfer-credit

Disclaimer: SST contest applicants do not have to participate in the Berklee scholarship program in order to apply and/or win the Six String Theory Guitar & Rhythm Section Competition. Likewise, the winners of the Berklee scholarship program may or may not be the grand prize winners of each instrument as they will be chosen from the pool of six (6) in each instrument according to Berklee eligibility requirements and criteria. A Berklee representative will participate as a member of the Six String Theory Guitar & Rhythm Section Advisory Judges and the Berklee Scholarship Committee will select the four (4) scholarship recipients from the list of finalist candidates identified by the SST Rhythm Section and Guitar Advisory Judges.

Eligible Students:

To qualify, applicants must demonstrate outstanding performance abilities on guitar, piano, bass, or drumset through an initial submission of video/audio material to the Six String Theory Website. The Six String Theory Guitar & Rhythm Section Advisory Judges will identify twenty-four finalists from all the submissions, and the finalists will be required to apply to Berklee’s undergraduate program in order to be considered for the Berklee scholarships.  Applicants are required to complete an audition and interview with Berklee and submit their academic transcripts in order to be reviewed for admission to Berklee College of Music.

After finalists have applied to Berklee and are accepted by the Board of Admissions, they will be reviewed by the Berklee Scholarship Committee (6 from each instrument- guitar, piano, bass & drums) to be considered for a Berklee scholarship. Berklee will determine which will be the grand prize winner (full tuition, 4 yr scholarship) and which 3 will be the runner-ups ($20,000, 4 yr scholarship). Berklee may also choose to award additional scholarships to candidates beyond the competition prize scholarships. Ideal candidates will be high school seniors or recent high school graduates. Recipients must apply and be admitted by Berklee’s Board of Admissions in order to use the award. Already enrolled Berklee students are not eligible to receive this award. All scholarships awarded are for four years of study at Berklee in the undergraduate degree or diploma program.  Scholarships are not applicable to Berklee Online or Berklee Master’s Programs.  All candidates must be eligible for undergraduate study in the United States and have completed secondary school prior to July 1, 2016.


All submissions for contest registration must be received by May 20, 2016 at sixstringtheory.com. The finalists will be notified by Six String Theory the first week of June, 2016. The top applicants in each instrument will be notified by Berklee on mid-June, 2016 and invited to apply to Berklee. Candidates must apply to Berklee by July 1, 2016. Decisions for students accepted to the spring semester 2017 are issued on September 15, 2016 and Scholarship decisions will be issued after applicants are formally accepted to the college. Berklee may choose to award additional scholarships beyond the Six String Theory Competition prize package scholarships.

NOTIFICATION: Within ten (10) days of winner notification, and prior to the Final Event, all winners must complete, execute and return the provided Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (plus any additional documents required at the discretion of Sponsors). Failure to comply with the requirements of this paragraph (or the return of any prize or prize notification as non-deliverable) may result in disqualification and in the forfeiture of any right to a prize, in which case prize will be awarded to an alternate entrant chosen by the judges. The winners will be posted on the website. The names of the winners will be available for one (1) year after award of prizes by sending a self-addressed envelope with sufficient prepaid postage to:

Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Competition
Attn: Winner’s List
280 S. Beverly Dr., Suite 409
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

RELEASE: By participating in the Contest and/or accepting a prize, the Entrants (or Entrant’s parent/legal guardian if any Entrant is deemed a minor in the state or country of his/her residence) agree to defend, release and hold harmless the Sponsors and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, divisions, advertising and promotion agencies, and the foregoing companies’ officers, directors, shareholders, employees, representatives and agents (collectively “Releasees”) from and against any actions, claims and/or liability for injury, loss or damage of any kind, (including the violation or infringement of any proprietary or personal right of any individual or entity) resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in the Contest, and/or the use, acceptance, or possession of a Contest prize, and/or participation in a Contest prize-related activity, including any action, claim or liability arising from the unauthorized submission of any information.

By participating in the Contest and/or accepting a prize, Entrants (or Entrant’s parent/legal guardian if any entrant is deemed a minor in the state or country of his/her residence) consent to and give the Sponsors the right to use, publish, and display a winner’s (and where applicable an entrant’s) name, likeness, video submission, city and state, and prize awarded, for the purpose of advertising, trade, publicity and promotional purposes in any media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide, and on the Web, without review, notification or approval, all without additional consideration, unless prohibited by law.

CONDITIONS: Neither the Sponsors nor their respective agencies or affiliates are responsible for lost, late, damaged, destroyed, delayed, stolen, misdirected, incomplete entries, or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer hardware or software or other technical failures, unauthorized human intervention, garbled or jumbled transmissions or other errors of any kind, whether human, mechanical or electronic, including without limitation, the incorrect or inaccurate capture of entry information online regardless of cause. Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to cancel, suspend, or modify the Contest if it becomes corrupted in any manner such that it cannot be conducted as originally planned and, in such event, to select winners from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Sponsors. In such event, Sponsors shall have no liability to any Entrant who is disqualified due to such an action. ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR ONLINE ENTRY SYSTEM, OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND IF SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

Sponsors reserve the right to modify these Official Rules for clarification purposes without materially affecting the term and conditions of the Contest. Failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

LAW: The Contest is subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited or restricted. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of Entrants or Sponsor in connection with any award, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of, the State of California, without regard to conflict of law principles. Any cause of action by you with respect to the offer (and/or any information, products or services related thereto) must be instituted within one (1) year after the cause of action arose or be forever waived and barred. All actions shall be subject to the limitations set forth above. The language in these Official Rules shall be interpreted as in accordance with its fair meaning and not strictly for or against either party. All legal proceedings arising out of or in connection with the Contest or these Official Rules shall be brought solely in Los Angeles County, California. You expressly submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of said courts and consent to extraterritorial service of process.

LANGUAGE: English is the primary language of the Contest.

QUESTIONS:  Please email: 6stringtheory@gmail.com

Six String Theory Official Sponsors

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