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You, too, can be a pro air guitarist in these easy steps.
"Okay, the pretend guitar solo ends now!"
Making pretend guitar motions with your hands, placed as though you are holding an invisible guitar. Leaning is optional. Popular in The Eighties
, but still done. There are championships for this. People have sold air guitars on eBay
for a sizeable amount of money. Some argue that the idea has since been replaced with the plastic hit, Guitar Hero
No one's watching. Go ahead, rock along to that song that won't leave your head
. We won't tell anyone.
Less common versions are Air Violin and Air Piano. A variant is the "substitute guitar". Tennis racquets and (in the UK and Australia) cricket bats are commonly used for this. See Instrumental Weapon
when this is done with weapons.
Anime and Manga
- Madame Tussauds once ran a poster campaign in the Underground which showed an empty guitar case and promised a free air guitar with each visit* .
- The title characters of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure do it whenever they're happy. Their Evil Twins in the sequel develop a "stealth" version (subtly twiddling their fingers as if picking guitar strings) because their boss despises air guitaring.
- The ending of the sequel has a newspaper headline announcing "Air Guitar cures air pollution"
- Woody Allen's Bananas has a scene with an air chamber band. Woody eventually asks them to keep it quieter. (Originally, there were supposed to be instruments, but they never arrived and Woody decided to roll with it.)
- In a deleted scene in The Original Kings of Comedy, Bernie Mac entertains the audience after he has broken his mic and is waiting for a new one by picking up the mic stand and pretending to play the bass guitar with it.
- The book Thinning the Herd tells us how this can go horribly awry - a 16-year-old fell out the window while jumping on the bed and playing air guitar. He was three stories up.
- In Tricky Business, Wally's girlfriend gets him a job at her boss' company. Said boss is a perfectly detestable yuppie who claims to have been a good guitarist in college "making an air guitar move that instantly told Wally he had been bad".
- Hulk Hogan was known for doing this before and after matches in the 1980s, though he was in a rock band prior to becoming a wrestler.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi plays an air guitar before matches and puts on an entire concert if he wins.
- While Three MB claim to be musicians, air guitars were the only instruments anyone ever saw them play, at least until Jinder Mahal produced a flute.
- Madison Eagles has gone so far as to dress as a guitar, this coming into play was pretty much inevitable.
- BBC Radio DJ Mark Radcliffe often admits to air drumming. Guests often "play" other instruments. Someone once claimed they did air lighting rig.
- In the introduction to Kid Radd, it's mentioned he's real cool, but by mid-'80s standards, and Radd does air guitar just to make that clear.
- Shredded Moose: Here.
- Parodied in an Ozy and Millie strip, here. Note: Ozy is, technically, cheating.
- John of Homestuck plays air guitar when recreating the final scene of Con Air, completing with the soundtrack having someone vocally imitate a guitar.
- Motor Ed from Kim Possible enjoys air guitar and "Woaaaah!" noises. Seriously.
- An episode of Doug has Skeeter playing air guitar because his parents couldn't afford a real one. He and Doug take turns playing it and passing it to each other.
- Most of the Family Guy official art will have Chris Griffin play the air guitar, although he doesn't do it at all in the show.
- The Weekenders: Tino plays air guitar when he fantasizes of playing "Extreme Jacks" when looking for a sport he can participate. He had an agreement from Tish to never air guitar again. He does it again in the end of the episode.
- Total Drama Island: "Up the Creek" features Cody doing this in the confession outhouse to celebrate partnering up with Gwen for a challenge; halfway through his solo the camera cuts to Gwen talking about how she thinks Cody is childish and annoying, then it cuts back to Cody (who is still playing) to prove her point.
- The end of an episode of American Dad! features Steve and Snot playing air guitar to Joe Satriani's "Always With Me, Always With You."
- There have been, and still are, several championships, whether national or global, for this.
- Which was mocked by the comedy band Tripod. The singers/guitar players are upset that despite the fact that they actually went and learnt guitar, they get less awards and accolades than air guitarists. When they performed the song on The Sideshow, The Umbilical Brothers came on and had a guitar-off with them, with the Brothers playing an air-guitar and making awesome and realistic guitar noises with their mouths, overshadowing Tripod, who were playing actual guitars. Go figure.
- The Musical Instrument Museum in Arizona has an exhibit full of guitars. The last display case contains an empty guitar case, complete with impressions in the felt. The plaque beside it reads, "Air Guitar. Materials: Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, and Dreams."
- Also contains trace amounts of noble gasses and self-delusion.
- Some clever people have created software that allows you to actually play an air guitar.
- Before the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, American swimmer Gary Hall, Jr. wrote in an online diary for Sports Illustrated regarding the men's 4x100m freestyle relay, "My biased opinion says that we will smash them like guitars." In the final, Hall and Australia's Ian Thorpe battled throughout the anchor leg until Thorpe pulled away to claim gold for Australia. As Thorpe exited the pool, his three teammates played air guitar on the deck in a classic Take That.