Premier Guitar

Premier Guitar
Editor in Chief Shawn Hammond
Categories Guitar magazines
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Gearhead Communications, LLC
First issue February 2007[1]
Country United States
Based in Marion, Iowa
Language English

Premier Guitar is an American multimedia guitar company devoted to guitarists. Founded in 2007,[1] it is based in Marion, Iowa,[2] and has an editorial staff composed of experienced musicians.[1] Content includes instructional material, guitar gear reviews, and guitar news. Interviews have included guitarists such as Pete Townshend of The Who, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Guthrie Govan, Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher of Mastodon,[2] and Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick of Megadeth.[3] The magazine is published online for free, and includes multimedia such as instructional videos and podcasts. The magazine also has a free weekly newsletter and an online "Gear Search" service, where guitarists can search for, buy, and sell guitar equipment.[2] As of March 2012, the magazine's print and multimedia platforms combined served 1.5 million unique readers per month,[1] making it the most read magazine on this topic worldwide.[4]


Premier Guitar was founded by Peter Sprague and partners in February 2007.[1] Premier Guitar is published by Gearhead Communications, LLC, a privately owned company that is headquartered in Marion, Iowa. Premier Guitar also has offices in Nashville, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Peterborough, New Hampshire.[2] Revenue growth for the company was 38% in 2009, and approximately 41% in 2010.[1] The company's consistent growth has led to Peter Sprague being included in 2009's Folio Forty.[5]


Premier Guitar's editorial staff is composed of experienced musicians,[1] and the content consists largely of guitar news, guitar gear, and instructional material.[2] According to Peter Sprague, one of their editorial mottos is "no dead guys on the cover."[1] Premier Guitar has interviewed dozens of established guitarists, including Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional,[6] Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman, bassist Pete Wentz,[7] Pete Townshend of The Who, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Guthrie Govan, Seymour Duncan, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Kevin Eubanks, Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick of Megadeth,[3] Mike Sullivan, Valient Thorr, Eric Johnson, Carl Verheyen of Supertramp, Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher of Mastodon, Bruce Cockburn, Alex Skolnick of Testament, Todd Snider[2] and experimental luthier Yuri Landman.


Premier Guitar is published in print on a monthly basis, and is widely available at magazine vendors in the United States. The approximated monthly print readership in 2011, according to Harvey Research, was 32,232. When pass-along readers were added to that number, print readership was approximated at 54,797.[8]

All editions of Premier Guitar are available online for free. According to Peter Sprague, this has actually increased the number of print subscriptions instead of decreasing it.[1] The digital version includes all the content of the print version, as well as added multimedia content. Premier Guitar also has applications that make it fully accessible on iPhone,[9] iPad, and Android devices.[2]


Premier Guitar's website provides daily news, exclusive stories, complete video lessons in all genres, and written and video gear reviews.[2] As of June 2010, 60% of the magazine's annual expenses are invested in content and technology. Much of that is invested in video production, and they have HD cameras for instructional videos[10] and interviews.[1]

Premier Guitar's weekly e-newsletter, Backstage Pass, included over 91,000 subscribers as of March 2012,[5] and contains stories, videos, and podcasts not available otherwise. The website also includes the "Gear Search" service, where guitarists can buy and sell guitar gear. As of March 2012, 23,000 pieces of gear were listed on the service, and Gear Search received more than 200,000 monthly visitors.[2]

As of March 2012, the multimedia platforms combined served 1,500,000 unique readers per month.[1] As of April 2013 their Facebook page has over 250,000 followers.


Editorial Staff
  • Shawn Hammond - Chief Content Officer
  • Tessa Jeffers - Managing Editor
  • Andy Ellis - Senior Editor
  • Joe Gore - Senior Editor
  • Charles Saufley - Gear Editor
  • Rich Osweiler - Associate Editor
  • Chris Kies - Associate Editor
  • Jason Shadrick - Associate Editor
  • Peter Sprague - Chairman
  • Patti Sprague - President
  • Gary Ciocci - Managing Director
  • Jon Levy - Publisher


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Newman, Michael (June 26, 2010). "Premier Guitar's Success Story - Interview with Peter Sprague". Michael Newman Consulting. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "About Us". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  3. 1 2 "Megadeth's Mustaine, Broderick talk gear with Premier Guitar". Roadrunner Records. December 23, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  4. slideshow with retail facts, slide 4 compares Premier Guitar with the other three leading magazines
  5. 1 2 "Peter Sprague - CEO of Premier Guitar". Folio. March 31, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-05. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. "Distribution/Readership". Harvey Research. November 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  9. "Texterity and Premier Guitar rock App Store with new magazine-branded iPhone App". BusinessWire. March 8, 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  10. Nicholas, Don (May 3, 2007). "What is Multiplatform Publishing". Mequoda Daily. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
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