Mass Appeal: Guitarists Invade Union Square 2014!

Mass Appeal Guitars: Guitarists Unite and Perform in Union Square NYC on June 21st

In Association with Union Square Partnership and Make Music New York, hosted and sponsored by Guitar World's Acoustic Nation, Martin Guitar, TECH 21 and NYC Guitar School.

Special on-site only giveaway by our sponsor, Martin Guitar. Enter for your chance to win your very own Martin D-28 Guitar plus other super cool giveaways! 

The first featured performance begins at 4:45pm with Alex Skolnick and his world music act, Planetary Coalition, including some special surprise guests! Perhaps best known for his role in the celebrated metal band Testament, this project shows another side of this masterful player. Planetary Coalition is an ethnically flavored collective of diverse musicians that is funded through ArtistShare and features musicians and musical influences from all over the world. More at and 

Then at 5:30pm the play-along begins!

The final featured performance will get underway at 6:00pm featuring Wise Girl. Wise Girl’s sound combines indie and pop with a touch of folk for a sound that draws
influences from classic ’60s pop groups like The Drifters and The Supremes, both favorites of frontwoman Abby Weitz. The band is about to release their forthcoming sophomore EP Sing Me To Sleep on July 1.


 Saturday, June 21st


STEP ONE: RSVP for the jam (it is FREE) by clicking the RSVP button on the top right of this page. You can also share this link if you'd like to help spread the word


Song charts and video tutorials are here! You'll find these by clicking the "more" tab above, and then "files" to download the songs, which will include songs by Imagine Dragons, Paramore, Green Day, Taylor Swift, and more! Listen to the songs and practice, practice, practice!  If you're available, sign up for one of the free practice sessions we've scheduled!

Songs and Song Leaders:

Imagine Dragons - Radioactive: Led by Tia and The Cool Kids of NYC Rock Guitar and Vocal Teacher Jamie Garamella and Vocal Students

Taylor Swift  - You Belong With Me: Led by Craig Kierce of The NYC Guitar Group

Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Led by Jay Moran of VH1

Paramore - The Only Exception: Led by Laura Whitmore (Editor of Acoustic Nation/Founder of Women's International Music Network)

Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down: Led by Shane Chapman (director of Online Services NYC Guitar School and frontman of Brooklyn band Anacortes)

Passenger - Let Her Go: Led by NYC artist Dorit

Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away: Led by Brooklyn band The Good Good with rock stars in waiting NYC Guitar School's Thomas Zottos and Theo Charlesworth

Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl: Led by NYC band Wise Girl

STEP THREE:  Tell ALL your friends to either come play guitar with you or come and join the fun.

STEP FOUR:  SHOW UP at Union Square on Saturday, June 21st.

Bring your guitar! There will be space for a couple of hundred guitarists to sit on the steps for the performance, but feel free to bring a chair or stool if you want.  Other optional bring alongs include a music stand and sunscreen!Come at 4pm for exhibits from Guitar World's Acoustic Nation PLUS extra practice sessions with NYC Guitar School.

4:00pm Check in and Small Practice Groups

4:45pm Alex Skolnick and Planetary Coalition perform

5:30pm The Play Along Begins!!

6:00pm Wise Girl Performs

6:45pm We Give Away the Martin Guitar and a 10 Week NYCGS Class

6:50pm Wise Girl Leads the Final Play Along Song

7:00pm Event Ends

Questions?  Want to volunteer?  E-mail [masked].  


Join or login to comment.

  • Liz G.

    Hi I just wanted to thank all of the teachers and staff of Brooklyn Guitar School/New York City Guitar School for all of your efforts, hard work and time organizing Mass Appeal in Union Square and setting up all of the practices! I am very proud to be one of your students since March 2011, (Thanks Jaime!)

    There must be so many details behind the scenes that take place to gather 100+ guitar players and musicians for this special event. I am so happy that I participated this year!!

    I hope this event continues because the guitars and the music connect people in a unique way. How great to see and hear all of those guitar players together in one place, in the middle of New York City with beautiful weather!

    To the kids onstage for "Fly Away"...You guys rock!!
    Looking forward to next year!!

    2 · June 24, 2014

    • Subrina T.

      Thank YOU Liz for coming out! We appreciate you! Theo and Thomas rocked out! It was awesome rocking out with them on stage.

      June 25, 2014

    • Liz G.

      Thanks!! I was very happy to be there, it was so much fun!!

      June 27, 2014

  • Jubencio D.

    I had a great time!!!

    2 · June 25, 2014

    • Subrina T.

      I'm glad you had a great time! Thank you for being such a rock star volunteer!

      1 · June 25, 2014

  • Larry L.

    Awesome! Should have another before end of summer!!

    1 · June 21, 2014

    • Subrina T.

      Hey Larry! I'm glad you had a great time! Thanks for rockin' out!

      1 · June 24, 2014

  • Luis

    3 · June 23, 2014

  • Dan E.

    A few ideas we discussed after the event yesterday which I think we should explore for next year, if we take part, are: 1) drums should go on the ground in front of the steps. that it vital! 2) a deeper stage. I love this idea, I think that with a deeper stage we could have maybe 20 or 30 of the jamming guitarists up on the stage. Maybe we could figure out some kind of rotation so that lots of people could get a chance to actually be on the stage, but that might be too difficult in practice--but then there would be lots of guitarists on the steps and stage facing each other. 3) Song leaders and singers still in the middle 4) one idea was to actually rope off an area for guitarists only to keep the spectators out of at least some demarcated area, I don't know if it would be legal or feasible but it would be worth talking about

    But the bottom line for me is I had a great time this year, next year can be even better, and I'm super excited that I got to be a part of the event.

    4 · June 22, 2014

    • Guy

      You can rotate guitarists by having them pick ahead of time only one song to perform on stage. That way they can also really perfect their chosen song.

      June 22, 2014

  • Batja

    Wish I had had the songbook before yesterday. I was working from those crummy charts that were available online. I then tried to print my own song sheets with lyrics. The first song "Radioactive" could have had verse/chorus/bridge clearly indicated. That makes it easier to follow and charts had the use of a capo, but songbook didn't. That made it even more confusing. Luckily I asked one of the leaders and he informed us no capo would be used on that song. I really loved the mass appeal. One negative: I didn't like being forced to wait in the sun for so long before the last song "Brown Eyed Girl" was finally played and I could leave and get to a bathroom! That felt kind of manipulative. Otherwise, lots of fun.

    1 · June 22, 2014

  • Dan E.

    I do think, however, that there can be a tension between the "stage" side of the event and the mass guitar jam which is worth talking about. This is called Mass Appeal for a reason, the center of the entire event is a whole bunch of people who really love to play guitar, all playing together at whatever level they are at, and having fun and making music together. That's one reason that yesterday I insisted that the mic stands and most of the guitars were moved off the stage, so that the leaders for most of the songs were part of the jam, not separate from it. I did feel and do feel it is necessary to have an amplified drummer and bass player because in the past when we've done the event without a rhythm section, we found that 100 or 200 spread out guitarists get really out of rhythm with each other!

    June 22, 2014

  • Dan E.

    I enjoyed so much being part of this event. Thank you to everybody who played and participated, and thank you to all who have commented on the event, and I hope more of you will do so as well.

    I love this event because, first of all, it is just plain fun to hang out in the park playing guitar and being part of a musical event, and secondly because it is a chance for lots of people to come together to celebrate something we all love, playing guitar. I love being able to participate in the event as part of NYC Guitar School and see so many of our students and teachers coming together as a community, and I also feel very excited that Guitar World got involved, because they can bring the stage, quality acts to perform before and after the jam, and giveaways that we weren't able to do on our own.

    June 22, 2014

  • Martin

    A great event I enjoyed it and my 3 year old daughter had a great time. Need some shade and something other than concrete to sit on ouch.

    1 · June 22, 2014

  • Jay S.

    This years Mass Appeal Guitars in Union Square was a great event, once again. Alex Skolnick kicked it off with an amazing set of acoustic guitar Latin/Baltic/jazz fusion. Thank you, New York Guitar School, for making it happen again.

    1 · June 22, 2014

  • Lisa P.

    I disagree that it was "a wash-out" but the fact that this year it fell on a Saturday, and the weather was perfect, dramatically changed the atmosphere in the park. NYC Guitar school did an awesome job trying to move everyone around to compensate for the crowds, but there is only so much you can do when people are walking through the seated and standing performers to get closer to the stage. I don't know what the answer is, but hopefully there is a setup that can accommodate both the guitarists and the "fans" next year that will work for both! (And next year is a Sunday! Woo-hoo!)

    3 · June 22, 2014

  • Javier S.

    Lots of fun

    1 · June 22, 2014

  • Gregory H.

    So why such a wash-out?!

    Most importantly the guest guitarists, the ones that were supposedly going to Invade Union Square were all but a dog and pony show off in the recesses of anonymity. You could not hear them, nor were they focused on, they didn't even get a stage! All of the opening bands got the entire spotlight.

    Next time if there is one, I'd suggest a stage for all the hard working guitarists that practiced and hauled their skinny butts down to be part of the show. Give them some mics and / or pass a mic around. Give them some amps to plug into!

    They dreamed of having 15 minutes of fame and to be part of something bigger than themselves and today you just used them as a gimmick to attract a bunch of people to an event that was saved by some solid acts that were free! And everybody likes free.

    June 21, 2014

  • Gregory H.

    Millions will disagree...

    A huge let down for the guitarists and the show as a repeatable event... Back to that after the amazing positives! (...especially since this is the inaugural event!)

    Alex Skolnick exceeded my (and surely everybody's) wildest expectations for the afternoon. He and his make-shit band should tour just as they are! I'm a huge fan!!!

    Having the young men rocking away on stage was excellent too.

    Wise Girl definitely has rock on their mind. Tight band with some memorable melodies and a lead singer w/ awesome pipes. Lyrics are a little topically dismal for a family outing (At least they weren't offensive to any language police). Sort of a dedication to Jagged Little Pill.

    June 21, 2014

  • Batja

    It exceeded expectations

    1 · June 21, 2014

  • Vincent

    Didn't feel good, so I couldn't make it. Maybe next year.

    June 21, 2014

  • Subrina T.

    It's time Mass Appealers!! You ready to rock?!?!

    3 · June 21, 2014

  • Subrina T.

    *Attention* *Attention*
    Practice Sessions are up!
    RSVP and let's get rockin'!

    May 28, 2014

    • Subrina T.

      To sign up for the Free Practice Session go to our home page and RSVP for the date that works for you!

      June 4, 2014

    • Randie

      I really found this late but want to be included in the next one!!

      1 · June 21, 2014

  • Subrina T.

    Martin Guitar is going to give away a D-28 guitar at this year's Mass Appeal! How cool is that!
    Who will be the lucky winner?!

    5 · May 20, 2014

    • Roberta

      How do we enter?

      June 11, 2014

    • Subrina T.

      We will have an on-site drawing at the day of the event!

      June 12, 2014

  • Carme de S.

    do you have Facebook page for the event?

    1 · June 3, 2014

  • Subrina T.

    BREAKING NEWS: The first featured performance begins at 4:45pm with Alex Skolnick and his world music act, Planetary Coalition, including some special surprise guests! Perhaps best known for his role in the celebrated metal band Testament, this project shows another side of this masterful player. Planetary Coalition is an ethnically flavored collective of diverse musicians that is funded through ArtistShare and features musicians and musical influences from all over the world. More at and

    2 · May 28, 2014

  • Thomas Z.

    First one ever!! SO EXCITED!!

    1 · May 21, 2014

  • Subrina T.

    This is going to be the biggest Mass Appeal yet!
    Let the good times roll!

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Jubencio D.

    I can't wait!!!! Stoked!!!!1

    1 · May 16, 2014

  • Dan E.

    I'm so psyched!!!

    2 · May 16, 2014

Our Sponsors

  • NYC Guitar School

    NYC Guitar School is hosting MASS APPEAL and ensuring that it rocks NY.

  • Make Music NY!

    Make Music NY invented MASS APPEAL!

  • Martin Guitar

    Martin Guitar will be giving away one rad guitar!

  • Ernie Ball

    Guests will receive free Ernie Ball guitar strings while supplies last

  • TECH21


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