Guthrie Govan is a guitarist known mostly for his work with GPS, Asia, The Young Punx, The Fellowship, and for his solo album, Erotic Cakes. He is a well known guitar teacher and has worked with the magazine Guitar Technique and with Guildford’s Academy of Contemporary Music. He is now working at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. He won the Guitarist of the Year Award given by Guitarist Magazine in 1993.
He began playing guitar at 3 years old, encouraged by his father, and mainly learned by ear. When he was 9, he played on a TV show called Ace Reports with his brother, Seth. In high school he discovered shred guitarists and was influenced by them.
Around 1991, Govan made demos of his work and sent them to Sharpnel Record’s Mike Varney. He was impressed and offered Govan a record deal, but later Guthrie declined.
Govan is known for his versatility, mastering a wide range of styles. His influences include Jimi Hendix, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Pass, Greg Howe and many jazz/fusion guitarists. He explains he likes to take influences and ideas from different instruments other than guitar, for example trumpet or violin.
His equipment consists mainly on Suhr guitars. These include 3 different Guthrie Govan Signature Model guitars, 3 custom standards, a Modern 24, a Classic and a Classic T, and also PRS Guitars. He uses Cornford amps. For effects he uses Analog Man Chorus, Exess BS2 Buffer/Splitter, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, Eventide Time Factor, Digitech Whammy Pedal, Guyatone WR-3 Auto-Wah, Hermida Zen Overdrive, Menatone JAC Compressor, Moonphaser pedal, Pigtronix Mothership, Peterson Strobo Stomp Tuner, Silver Machine Revolution Wah Mark II, T-Rex Replica Delay/Echo pedal and a Xotic AC Booster.
Guthrie has published two books, Creative Guitar Volume 1: Cutting Edge Techniques, and Creative Guitar Volume 2: Advanced Techniques, where he teaches a wide range of styles and techniques.