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Minutes of lesson audio!


✔ 1 0 key lead techniques ✔ Go beyond basic chords ✔ Nail your first 12-bar blues ✔ 7 major modes made easy!

Epiphone Century

Get James Bay’s guitar for £499!


The blues-rock riff that’ll get you on your knees!


slaves ben weinman & brent hinds J Mascis lee malia

how to…

Replace your guitar’s controls Get the most out of band practices Use delay pedals

editor’s letter Future Publishing Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA Tel 01225 442244 Fax: 01225 822763 Email Website:

Editorial Editor Stuart Williams Content Editor Rob Laing Production Editor Josh Gardner Art Editor Leanne O’Hara Senior Music Editor Jason Sidwell Guitars Feature & Tuition Editor Chris Bird Content Editor, Michael Brown Music Co-ordinator Polly Beauchamp

Contributors Richard Barrett, Dan Beesley, Jon Bishop, Phil Capone, Rich Chamberlain, Sarah Clark, Charlie Griffiths, Nick Guppy, Jonathan Horsley, Andy McGregor, Joel McIver, Kit Morgan, Ed Mitchell, Matthew Parker, Adam Rees, Andrew Saphir, Amit Sharma, James Uings Music Engraver Simon Troup Photography Joe Branston, Adam Gasson, Olly Curtis, Joby Sessions, Will Ireland, Simon Lees, George Fairbairn

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Management Publishing Director Aaron Asadi Editorial Director, Film Music & Technology Paul Newman Group Editor-In-Chief Daniel Griffiths Group Art Director Graham Dalzell

Welcome… Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2017 with some focus. Some people stop smoking, others quit boozing, some join a gym, but we’re looking at a much more fun list of New Year’s resolutions based on playing. Of course, guitar playing isn’t about applying yourself once a year to beat a personal best or lose weight, it’s an ongoing process – but the start of the year is a good time as any to take a look at your playing and think about what you might like to improve on. Some of you reading this may have only just started, and the good news is that this month’s cover feature is applicable to you too. With our guide, you’ll be able to make real improvements to fundamental parts of your playing that could be entirely new, or just overlooked a little bit. Once again, we’ve tabbed out a list of killer tracks: there’s the classic riff from Layla, Nirvana’s In Bloom, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan and Coldplay’s Yellow, each with world-class audio on your Guitar Skills CD. By the time you read this, we’ll be gearing up for this year’s NAMM Show. It’s the annual convention where anyone and everyone in the musical instrument industry unveils their new products, so make sure you’re following TG on Facebook and Twitter (@TotalGuitar) for all the news live from the show floor. Finally, if you’re enjoying this issue and would like to receive all 13 copies of TG direct to your door throughout 2017, now is a great time to subscribe! Check out our latest offer on p110. Adios!

Next issue on sale 10 February 2017

Future is an award-winning international media group and leading digital business. We reach more than 49 million international consumers a month and create world-class content and advertising solutions for passionate consumers online, on tablet & smartphone and in print. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR).

Stuart Williams Editor

making this month’s mag

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Chairman Peter Allen Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)207 042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 (Bath)

All contents copyright © 2017 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All  rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or  used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

Chris Bird

Josh Gardner

Rob Laing

Chris has been getting his groove on and playing some funky music this month, producing TG’s rhythm-tastic Netlicks video lessons on three of our favourite funk and disco guitar riffs. You can find all the vital info on p62, and the videos, as ever, are online at

As 2016 ticks into 2017, Josh looks awkwardly at the non-functioning 1970s Marshall combo that has sat under his desk in the TG office for best part of eight years. “This year…” he says to no-one in particular. “This year I’ll actually get the damn thing fixed.” Expect similar empty promises in 2018.

Playing acoustic gigs last year, Rob had been neglecting his Tele somewhat. But he’s dusted it down and is focusing on a few different ways to broaden his horizons as a player in 2017; using more fingerstyle and getting a better handle on the blues being two avenues he wants to explore. february 2017 Total Guitar


#289 the gas Contents station Monitor


your playing

Make 2016 your best guitar year ever! From chords and rhythm tricks, to solos, technical improvements and even modes, this month’s cover feature has something for everyone to work on

Total Guitar February 2017

Subscribe! Subscribe to Total Guitar and get a free Tone City Golden Plexi distortion pedal – turn to p110 for full details.

Cover photography: Adam Gasson Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc Michael Putland /Retna UK/Photoshot Photography: Adam Gasson Raffaella Cavalieri/Redferns/Getty Images George Fairbairn Joby Sessions

048 shape up


Monitor 006 First Look 008 Scene 010 Five Minutes Alone: Gary Rossington 012 On The Up 014 Me & My Guitar: Bruce Soord 016 Album Reviews 018 Back Track: Ryan Adams 020 WIN! A Faith Nomad Mini-Saturn

How To 022 20 Minutes To… Better Chord Changes 024 Riff Of The Month: Derek & The Dominos – Layla 026 Getting Started With… Hammer-ons 028 The TG Guide To Effects: Delay 030 What The F? Sus Chords

Features 032 Rig Tour: Dinosaur Jr 036 Slaves 042 Brent Hinds & Ben Weinman 046 Better Band Practice 048 Cover Feature: Shape Up Your Playing


dinosaur JR 064

Learn To Play 060 Jam Track: Rhythm & Blues 062 Netlicks: Funk 064 Classic Track: Nirvana – In Bloom 070 Open-mic Songbook: Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door 072 The Turnaround: Robert Johnson

TG Unplugged

Nirvana In Bloom

078 The Soundboard 080 Ryley Walker 082 Rockschool: Coldplay – Yellow

The GAS Station


better band practice

086 Start Me Up 088 Epiphone Inspired By 1966 Century 092 Alvarez Delta 00E/TSB 094 Danelectro ’59M Spruce 096 The TG Test: Affordable Modelling Amps 102 Group Test: Fuzz 104 KHDK Dark Blood 106 Fix Your Guitar 114 The Playlist: Lee Malia February 2017 Total Guitar


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Fresh prince

AXL brings its retro-tastic Bel Air electrics to the UK ou may be familiar with the name AXL – and we’re not talking about Guns N’ Roses’ effervescent frontman. In the past, you’d probably find it on the headstock of a familiar-looking budget beginner guitar. However, the company also has a line in finely spec’d vintage-cool electrics, such as the Bel Air you see before you, which has just landed on these shores. The single-pickup single-cut configuration nods towards the Les Paul Junior, but the TV Jones Power’Tron and USA B5 Bigsby vibrato plant a foot in Gretsch’s tonal ballpark, too. The finishes help to reinforce the retro swagger, with Light Blue, Metallic Black and the Orange Sparkle we have here. If you’d like an AXL to grind, it’ll set you back £999. But don’t let the singlepickup put you off; there’s more to this guitar than meets the eye…


Photography: Joby Sessions


Total Guitar february 2017

FIRSt LooK people ✪ news ✪ noise

The Bel Air straddles the Gibson and Gretsch camps


Up close 1 Pickup TV Jones’ Power’Tron has a higher output than traditional Filter’tronstyle pickups, but a coil-split on the tone control opens up further tonal avenues

2 Bigsby Adding extra resonance, and waggle, the Bigsby B5 vibrato is paired with a TonePros locking roller TOM bridge and Graph Tech Tusq XL nut for better tuning stability

3 Hardware There are big names everywhere, including TonePros Kluson tuners, CTS pots, Orange Drop capacitors and a Switchcraft jack – it’s one smooth operator

february 2017 Total Guitar

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scene gear

Your month in guitars

Heads Up


After over 20 years as an Ibanez endorsee it looks like Korn’s Brian ‘Head’ Welch has switched allegiance to ESP. The company’s NAMM roster includes an LTD SH-7ET listed for the nu metal pioneer, but no pics at time of press. But there’s models from other new ESP signature artists, too – namely Bill Kelliher’s Military Green Sunburst Sparrowhawk and Rancid man Lars Frederiksen’s Viper-style Danish camo LTD Volsung (both above). When TBC


Pro Selecta

Total Guitar february 2017


TG poll winners our votes have been counted and the results are in. Thousands of you took part in our polls to choose your favourite gear, artists and personalties of 2016, and this is what you chose - congrats to the winners! Biggest Guitar Personality In The World Rob Chapman Best New Acoustic Guitar Martin GPCPA5S Westside Custom Sapele Edition #V Best New Electric Guitar Fender Elite Stratocaster


Best New Signature Guitar Manson DR-1 Best New Effects Pedal KHDK Ghoul Screamer Best New Amp Fender Bassbreaker 15 Best New Guitarist Dan Dorney (The Hunna) Best Rock Guitarist Mark Tremonti, Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) Best Prog Guitarist Devin Townsend Best Metal Guitarist Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance (Avenged Sevenfold)

©Joeseph Branston Simon Lees Neil Godwin  Andrew Benge/Redferns Joby Sessions  Adam Gasson Jeff Forney

The Fender American Standard line will be phased out and replaced by the American Professional Series this year. The 92 new guitars and basses in the series will introduce three new finishes – Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam and Antique Olive – alongside new hardware features; new ‘Deep C’ shape, Narrow-Tall frets replacing the Medium Jumbo type, V-Mod and Shaw pickups and genuine bone nuts instead of synthetic. When Now


Black Sabbath T

his is the end… apparently. Not only is this your last chance to see the mighty Sabbath tour on home soil, there’s also the added incentive of their hand-picked support band. And California’s Rival Sons will be playing headline dates in Belfast, Sheffield and Cambridge in between shows with the Brum legends. In other Tony Iommi news, after his cancer went into remission last year, the guitarist will have precautionary surgery after a lump was found in his throat. We wish him the best in his recovery. When From 22 January

© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ABA  Sergione Infuso /Corbis via Getty Images


Sum 41 L

ast year saw some tragic losses and a few impressive comebacks in music. Deryck Whibley’s return was one we were especially happy to see. This visit to the UK with a three-guitar line up – completed by Dave Baksh and Tom Thacker – should be a special one, and as well as the older pop punk favourites, latest album 13 Voices has its fair share of potential live highlights (Goddamn I’m Dead Again we’re looking at you to bring the metal lead goodness). When From 20 Jan

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to do it. The only thing is my ’59 Les Paul is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame here in America, and it has been there for about eight years. I kind of miss that guitar being around. Bernice was the name of that guitar, I miss Bernice.”

Let me show you the way “I’d love to sit down with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, they’re the two best guitarists to me. Hendrix as well but of course he’s not here anymore. Clapton and Beck blow my mind every time I hear them. Beck makes it look so easy, he does so many things with his volume knob. You can always tell when you’re listening to Beck, Clapton or Hendrix, because they have their own style. They are remarkable.”

We rely on each other, ah-ha “I’ve just made an album with my wife Dale [Krantz-Rossington] singing on it. We’re best friends so we’re able to work together. She’s a great girl. On the road we just take care of each other. We started out working together before we got together as a couple, so we’ve always worked well together.”

Back in the saddle


five minutes alone

Gary Rossington The southern master talks onstage bloodbaths, his love of Beck and keeping the Skynyrd flame alive… Got my first real six-string

with Les Pauls. I loved Firebirds as well. Mostly though I wanted a Les Paul. I wrote all of the old songs with Ronnie (Van Zant, Skynyrd vocalist) on a Les Paul and I recorded all of the Skynyrd records with one. The Les Paul has a great tone. You’ve got to play them a special way to get the most out of it, it’s different to other guitars.”

Dream on

Baby, come back

“I saw Keith Richards and Brian Jones playing Les Pauls and I always wanted one. I fell in love

“I’ve given away guitars over the years but I’ve done it with an open heart and I’ve been happy

“we love to tour and share the songs and stories of all the people we’ve lost” Total Guitar february 2017

First cut is the deepest “With the original band we were playing in Dallas, Texas. Back in those days you had big speakers piled on each other. One of the speakers fell during the show and hit Ronnie right in the head. He was bleeding everywhere, it was only a little cut but it bled all down his face. He wasn’t in pain a bit, but he loved it because he was bleeding out on stage. That was a pretty wild show.”

Gary Rossington’s latest album, Take It On Faith, is out now on Loud & Proud Records

Words: Rich Chamberlain Photography: Travis Shinn, Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

“My first guitar was a Sears and Roebuck Silvertone. I was 14 years old. My mother bought it and I paid some towards it from my paper round. I’ve still got it, believe it or not – the case has a speaker inside. It’s a guitar, a case and an amp all in one, it’s really cool.”

“After the plane crash it was tough for me. It was horrible. It was hard to play again, I didn’t want to do it any more. I met Alan Price from the Animals in Barbados a few weeks later and he made me start again, God bless him. It was a tough time to get through, it just wasn’t fun to play for a while, but it turned around after a while and I loved it again. Today, we love to tour and we do it to keep the music out there. It’s great to share the songs and stories of Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Steve Gaines and all of the people we’ve lost from the band. I just keep carrying the name Skynyrd. I know that if I had died early on I would have wanted those guys to have kept the dream that we had going.”

Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise


Austin Hargrave

O N T H E U P Aaron Keylock

British blues hero in-the-making drops his debut G first spotted young British bluesman Aaron Keylock ricocheting around a brick basement during Manchester’s 2015 Dot To Dot festival and we’ve been keeping a close eye on him ever since. Now his first record, Cut Against The Grain is due to land and we’re pleased to report it’s a fret-wearing, toe-tapping electric blues beast, with a tasteful amount of slide thrown in for good measure. Aaron hails from Oxford and has been playing blues since his guitar teacher turned him onto to likes of Muddy


Total Guitar february 2017

Waters and Robert Johnson. “I loved it immediately,” he tells TG. “I just ‘got it’ straight away. I loved that I wasn’t just listening to it, but I was playing to it.” That initial crush quickly turned into an obsession that saw Aaron sitting in on stage at blues jams from the age of 11. Even becoming a semi-regular acquaintance of blues-rock colossus Joe Bonamassa, “I met him four or five times between the ages of around 12 and 15,” says Aaron.

“He would let me play through his guitars and his amps. He remembered what it was like being that 12 year-old because he had been in exactly the same position – he was touring at that age.” These days Aaron’s found his own sound using a Gibson Les Paul, a Firebird and a TRS Junior with a Marshall Plexi to confident effect – planting his feet firmly in the territory between Rory Gallagher,

Johnny Winters and Muddy Waters, with a touch of Gary Moore’s rock chunk. The album is finally here, but he’s been writing for over a decade. Why now? “It was mainly just to make sure I was happy with what I was saying,” says Aaron. “I’ll change again as a person for the next album and I’ll be saying something else, but it just felt the right time. When it feels right, you do it.”

FOR FANS OF Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore Hear Just One Question

“I loved Blues immediately, I just ‘got it’ straight away. I wasn’t just listening to it”

Total Guitar 289 (Sampler)  

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