About Guitarist Next Door

Guitar player playin ESP LTD EC-1000

You probably came here, because you want to know who is behind this site… I will give you the answer right now.

My name is Teemu Suomala. I’m a Finnish guy who started guitar playing 11 years ago. Here you can see me with my first axe(Greg Bennet Stratocaster) in 2009:

Owner of the Guitaristnextdoor.com playing his first guitar in 2009

I have always loved the music that includes guitar, and the idea that I could play my favorite songs really got me started.

First I learned some riffs on my friend’s guitar and after a year of borrowing friends guitar a little bit too often, my dad bought me my first axe.

It was actually a guitar pack that included Harley Benton Stratocaster and Ibanez Toneblaster X 15W amp.

I was soo excited back then, and when we got back home I immediately played a couple of my favorite riffs with it.

In case you are curious, those riffs were Wake Me Up When September Ends- opening riff from Green Day and the main riff of The Kids Aren’t Alright from The Offspring.

I liked my first guitar, it definitely wasn’t the easiest to play, especially with my small beginner hands, but with practice, I started to get hang off it.

In 2011 it was time for acoustic. I really didn’t have any idea of what kind of acoustic I want and need, so when I walked into the music store, the owner just sold me Yamaha C40 classical guitar.

Here it is:

Owner of the Guitaristnextdoor.com with his first acoustic/classical guitar Yamaha C40

I was really looking for a steel-string acoustic back then, but I really didn’t know anything about guitars so, the music store owner successfully sold me a nylon-strings classical guitar.

But I’m happy with the C40 tho. This wide and thick neck classical has improved my guitar skills and especially the reach over the fretboard more than any steel-string acoustic could.

In 2013, it was time for a new electric guitar. After long research, I decided to buy ESP LTD MH-400 from online without even trying it.

Here is this axe:

Owner of the Guitaristnextdoor.com with his second electric guitar, ESP LTD MH-400

This purchase was great! This is why my opinion is that you really need to do great research before buying a new guitar, but you don’t necessarily need to try it out before buying. It’s a plus, but not a requirement.

I had a lot of fun during my guitar journey, and it’s absolutely still continuing. But, there are a couple of things that didn’t go so well..

1. I didn’t have any real guidance

I tried to find help from the internet in 2009, but I really didn’t find anything that gave me real guidance. Of course I found tabulatures that helped me learn my favorite songs, but I really didn’t know what I should learn first or next…I just bounced around, I didn’t have a direction.

All this caused me to lose my motivation a little bit too often.

2.When I started I didn’t have any idea what kind of gear I needed.

My first guitar choices were not terrible, but I could have made learning a lot easier for me at the same time.

I really didn’t know anything about guitars, I just walked into the music store and the staff or the owner could sell me almost anything.

And these 2 are the main reasons why I started this website.

  • I want to help beginners to get started with the guitar easily and for free(of course, you need to buy the guitar:D).
  • I want to help beginners to maintain their motivation.
  • I want to provide guitar players info about guitar gear, based on my own experience and extensive online research.

Also, when I searched internet in the late 2019 I found out that many guitar sites which offer reviews are not doing so good job. In many cases reviewers don’t seem to be playing guitar themselves, they are just some outsourced writers that site owners get work for them cheaply.

And sometimes these reviews won’t reveal any cons. There is always some cons. There are rarely any perfect guitars out there. But do you know why some sites do this?

They want you to buy that product through their affiliate link. There is nothing wrong about being an affiliate. I’m too. But when people make reviews they should be transparent and reveal all the cons too. They should not just praise the products.

These are the reasons why I started this site (guitaristnextdoor.com). 

And with me, you can see these 2 great guys around the site too:

Tommy Tompkins

Tommy Tompkins Profile Picture

Tommy has been playing guitar since 2004.

Primarily an acoustic guitarist who plays and writes traditional American folk music, with a background in melodic metal and a solid foundation as a bassist. 

You can contact Tommy via Linkedin.

David Slavkovic

David Slavkovic Profile picture

David has been playing guitar since 1998, David’s main focus back then was hard rock and metal.

With years, his music tastes evolved and he eventually started appreciating all musical styles. Although officially an agricultural engineer, David began writing for Ultimate Guitar in 2017 where he’s currently working as a senior editor.

You can check out David’s Ultimate-Guitar profile here.

So both of these guys have en around guitars even longer than me. I trust that these guys know what they are talking about and that they are still constantly trying to learn new stuff.

David and Tommy have been writing for me since March 2020.


My mission on this site is: to help you to get started with guitar playing and make real progress with you hobby.

On this website I create content which helps you to:

  • get started with guitar playing easily
  • step up your game
  • go to the right direction if you want to learn things for free
  • go to the right directions if you are willing to invest in your learning
  • pick the right guitars, amps, pedals and other stuff for you.

And I want to do all of this in easy to understand manner. You know, like you asked advice from the friendly neighbor… the guitarist next door.

I review guitars on this site. But when I do in 80% of time I have tested that specific guitar during my guitar journey(over 10 years). After that I do research online and then I craft my own review.

I reveal cons which I found. I tell why I liked that specific guitar/other guitar product. And then you can make your own decision.

Let me help you with your guitar needs, whatever it is…guitar review, guitar course review, free tutorial, helping you to not give up, answering a specific guitar question, etc…I’ll be your helpful Guitarist Next Door.

So without further to do, play the guitar, use this site, shoot a message via the contact form or Linkedin if you need any help, and keep rocking my friend!

You can also check out my Youtube-channel an leave comments:

photo of the owner of the guitaristnextdoor.com
guitarist next door signature

Teemu Suomala

PS. If you want to get started with guitar playing, check this guide!

PSS. You can also follow and message me on Instagram!