Download SST Blues from Lee and the Six String Theory Winners

Here’s a gift of thanks to all my fans and friends, and a celebration of the Six String Theory Competition winners 2016. This is a brand-new tune I wrote called “SST Blues” and features winners Roland Balogh & Carter Low on Guitar, Nicolas Hetko on B3 Organ, Isaias Elpes on Bass and Raphael Pannier on Drums.

Also included is a short, behind the scenes video of the SST winners and myself at our recording session in Malibu, CA in September 2016 as part of the prize package. This track will go on my next album but there’s no reason to hold it back in the meantime, so please enjoy this as a free gift of music along with my very best wishes for everyone in 2017. Huge hugs to all the fans that I met around the world this year & those that participated in and/or supported the SST competition and myself- thank you so, so much!
-Lee Ritenour

Download SST Blues: WAV version | MP3 version
Right-click and select “Save Link As …” to download to your computer

*Continued gratitude to our Sponsors, who make the competition possible: Yamaha USA (YCA) , Yamaha Japan (YCJ), Berklee College of Music, Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival & Workshop (COC), Blue Note Tokyo, Monster, D’Addario, Premier Guitar, , Music Connection, Jazziz, Concord Music Group, Guitar HD, Woodshed Recording Studio, True Fire and Xotic Effects Pedals.


2016 Grand Prize Winners from Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Competition Recorded & Filmed at Woodshed Recording Studios in Malibu, California September 2016.

Track “SST BLUES” Produced, Composed and Arranged by Lee Ritenour, Rit of Habeas Music- ASCAP (Copyright 2016)

Lee Ritenour – Guitar
Roland Balogh – Guitar (Hungary)
Carter Low – Guitar (Canada)
Nicolas Hetko – B3 Organ (USA)
Isaias Elpes – Bass (Brazil)
Raphael Pannier – Drums (France)

Audio: Recorded and Mixed by Don Murray
Video Produced, Filmed & Edited by Kim Huynh
Project Management: Sharleen Bazeghi
Studio: Woodshed Recording Studios, Malibu, CA.

Sponsors: Yamaha USA (YCA), Yamaha Japan (YCJ), Berklee College of Music, Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival & Workshop (COC), Blue Note Tokyo, Monster, D’Addario, Premier Guitar, Music Connection, Jazziz, Concord Music Group, Guitar HD, Woodshed Recording Studio, True Fire and Xotic Effects Pedals.


2014 Six String Theory Competition Winners & Finalists

4 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS (1 in each instrument):


GUITAR: Antal Pusztai — Budapest, Hungary | Video #1 | Video #2

PIANO: Giorgi Mikadze — Tbilisi, Georgia (Boston) | Video #1 | Video #2

BASS: Dywane Thomas Jr. “MonoNeon” — Tennessee, USA | Video #1 | Video #2

DRUMS: Kenneth Salters — New York, USA | Video #1 | Video #2




Classical WinnerAntal Pusztai  — Budapest, Hungary | Video #1 | Video #2


Jazz WinnerRoman Nochevnyy — Ashgabat, Turkmenistan | Video #1 | Video #2


Rock Winner:  Damir Puh — Tetovo, Macedonia | Video #1    Video #2


Acoustic Winner:  Max Godman — Mumbai, India | Video #1 | Video #2



Country Winner: Brooks Robertson — Oregon, USA | Video #1 | Video #2



Blues Winner-   Johan Borgh — Stockholm, Sweden | Video #1 | Video #2



Piano Winner: Giorgi Mikadze  — Tbilisi, Georgia (Boston) | Video #1 | Video #2 


Bass Winner: Dywane Thomas Jr. “MonoNeon” — Memphis, TN, USA | Video #1 | Video #2


Drum Winner Kenneth Salters — New York, USA | Video #1 | Video #2 

  • 1st Runner Up: Jordan Rose — New York, USA | Video #1 | Video #2
  • 2nd Runner Up: Tito Pascoal — Cascais, Portugal (Tennessee) | Video #1 | Video #2
  • 3rd Runner Up: Adrian Cota — Guasave Sinaloa, Mexico | Video #1
  • 4th Runner Up: Daniel Nadeau — Massachusetts, USA | Video #1 | Video #2
  • 5th Runner Up: Daniel Susnjar — Dianella, Western Australia | Video #1 | Video #2

*Please Note about BERKLEE scholarships:  Applicants considered by Berklee for the scholarships that indicated interest on the registration form includes all winners, semi-finalists as well as applicants not placed in the semi-finals. Berklee will contact applicants directly inviting them to apply.


Note To All Participants From Lee Ritenour:

First off, a huge thanks for everyone’s participation in this year’s Six String Theory competition! This was by far our biggest turn out in four years and thanks to our incredible sponsors and the work of the SST team, not only did we have our biggest turn out, but also received videos from 48 countries!

Included here is the alphabetical (by first name) list of our semi finalists in each category that will be judged and voted on by our incredible board of artists and educators. Personally, I’ve been watching the videos since January, when they started rolling in, including, all the way through the last day! I was truly humbled by the amazing talent on these videos! I had the best seat in the house and learned a lot!

If you start counting up the semi finalists, you will see that all guitar categories but country, we have more than six semi finalists, as originally planned. There were just too many good musicians and we had to expand the semi finalist lists. We also have additional semi finalists for the Rhythm Competition in piano, bass and drums. For everyone that made the semi finalist list there was another 10 in each category that was one breath away from being a semi finalist too… it was that competitive!

And by the way, just to let everyone know, ever since I was a kid, I’ve hated competitions! LOL!  I think they are contradictory to musicians bringing joy to the world, by making music. But, in today’s world, musicians need all the help they can get with exposure and I would like to think that SST tries to do that for all of you. I truly believe, all of you were winners by just joining the competition and trust me, a lot of people have been checking out your videos!

One note about YouTube… The videos varied incredibly in quality and sound. We tried to get past the inferior quality that some came in with and only concentrate on the performance.  The range was amazing, to almost total pro, picture and sound, & then all the way to the distorted cell phone capturing a band from way back in the club with the audience being louder than the musicians :-). I think in today’s world presentation is extremely important and it is absolutely not necessary to spend a lot of money to make a professional video, but the sound of your instrument and the way it is recorded is part of the process of being a great musician… So always keep that in mind when your YouTube videos are going viral around the world! 🙂

This contest would never have existed when I was getting started. One of my first big contests was the Hollywood Bowl “Battle of the Bands” in Los Angeles when I was a teenager… We came in second to a group called the Carpenters… Richard playing piano and Karen Carpenter playing drums (not singing yet)… their hits would come later. That was the kind of exposure then & now we watch videos every day from all over the world… absolutely amazing!

Once again, thanks so much for everyone’s participation… The finalists and runner ups will be announced on June 1, 2014.  Good luck!

– Lee

Congratulations to our 6 String Theory Guitar Winners for 2012!!!

karlmarinoGrand Prize Winner Karl Marino!!! from Laval, Quebec Canada! (classical category)

5 Runners-up:
1st Runner Up: Jamie Dupuis from California, USA (country)
2nd Runner Up: Alex Sill from California, USA (rock )
3rd Runner Up: Rami Halperin from Washingtion, USA (blues)
4th Runner Up: Yoav Eshed from Ramat Hasharon, Israel (jazz)
5th Runner Up: Jon Finley from Minnesota, USA (acoustic )

We want to thank everyone who registered and participated in this global music competition. We had over
150 countries view the site and applicants from over 52 countries. It was a wonderful success!


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