At Guitar Sumo, we have a team that does extensive research & development to find the perfect guitar for you. If a beginner gets matched with an expert guitar, then we haven’t done our job correctly.
Our goal is to become one of the largest sites online on guitars. That includes guitar guides, extensive reviews, lessons, how-to’s, videos & much much more.
We are a team consisting of one owner, three expert editors with extensive musical experience, two mad scientists & an empowering amount of happy visitors.
Stephen Boden – Owner
Stephen has been playing the guitar for 23 years. He provided private lessons to aspiring guitarists for nearly a decade before he decided to share his knowledge of the instrument with a broader audience. Thus, Guitar Sumo was born!
Stephen enjoys fingerpicking his beloved acoustic, but it’s rocking out on his classic Fender Stratocaster that gets his blood pumping.
When Stephen first started giving private guitar lessons, he discovered an affinity for sharing his passion for guitars with others. His ultimate goal is to see Guitar Sumo as the top website for guitar info, with the help of his fantastic team members.
Will Ardell – Expert Editor
Will worked as a manager in his local guitar shop for seven years. Working at the shop inspired Will to fine-tune his skills. Will still runs workshops at his local guitar shop, but now spends his days working for Guitar Sumo as one of our expert editors.
Will is always on the hunt for current, relevant information that Guitar Sumo visitors will find useful or interesting. He is an essential part of the Guitar Sumo team working around the clock to ensure our visitors are well-informed.
James Griffin – Expert Editor
James spent years on the road with his buddies, performing for small crowds and crowded bars. But when James met the love of his life and was ready to settle down, it came time to hang up his hat and say goodbye to life on the road.
But James wasn’t quite ready to give up his passion for playing the guitar. He picked up solo gigs at local spots around the states and joined our team as an Expert Editor. When he’s not producing excellent content for Guitar Sumo or jamming on his Washburn HD325CE, he’s spending time with his wife and two kids.
Erica Mays – Expert Editor
Erica is involved in the music industry for thirteen years and still going strong. She graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts Management. While pursuing her degree, she worked as an intern for the Ravinia Festival.
Erica still lives in Chicago with her dog Roxy where she frequents as many concerts and festivals as she can. She recently helped her young niece learn to play the guitar, and the pair often have “jam sessions” in her garage.
Erica works for Guitar Sumo as an Expert Editor, sharing her personal and educational experiences with our visitors.
Emily Marshall & Johnathan Orr – Research & Development
Emily and Johnathan are leading the way for Guitar Sumo as members of our research and development team. With a combined 26 years of music industry experience between them, they dream of ways to enhance the guitar-playing expertise for beginners and professionals.
Emily and Johnathan regularly work with R&D teams from top guitar companies in the world to solve problems and invent new creations, all with the average guitarist in mind.
Emily and Johnathan work tirelessly to provide in-depth how-to’s and guides for Guitar Sumo visitors while contributing their own professional and personal experiences to the guitar community.
Why not? For Stephen, the owner of Guitar Sumo, he had a dream of turning a lifelong passion into a resource for millions of people who shared his love for guitars. But what was it about the guitar that drew him in initially?
According to Stephen, he first wanted to learn to play the guitar because he thought it would make him the “cool guy” in any room he entered. He idealized the better social standing he would have as “the guy who plays the guitar.”
Stephen hopes to encourage more people to learn to play the guitar or fine-tune their skills, so that they can experience the same benefits he did, including:
- Improved self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improved focus & longer concentration
- Stress relief
- Personal and professional opportunities
Our testing process
When we can get our hands on a guitar for an in-depth review, we run it through a complete testing process.
We first determine whether the guitar seems appropriately priced, as well as how well-designed and how well manufactured it is. Many people are surprised by how much the materials that make up the guitar can affect the guitar’s performance.
We then play the guitar to get an idea of how it sounds. We pay close attention to intonation and projection. We then listen while someone else plays the guitar so we can notice any differences in the sound that we may have missed while playing it ourselves.
How we review gear & instruments
Because we are a small team, we can’t get our hands on every single guitar ever made for our reviews. For our reviews, the expert members of our team thoroughly research the guitars and equipment, while taking into account user-generated reviews. Naturally, our own experience often plays into the reviews we write. Ultimately, we strive to provide the most thorough, in-depth, reliable guitar reviews available online.