Page 1

The Beatles

Here Comes The Sun


Hell’s Bells (riff)

fleetwood mac albatross (easy version)

prs john mayer silver sky revealed

over 40 ways to

expand your playing! The chords, scales & tricks you need to know for seven essential guitar styles Blues Classic Rock Funk

Rockabilly Jazz more!

the tg test

souped-up Singlecuts for under £850 I n t e r v i e w s

Deep Purple A Perfect Circle Milk Teeth Fangclub

Hagstrom / Jackson / LTD / PRS

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Welcome… One of the most common frustrations with playing the guitar, particularly after a while, is getting stuck with the same old progressions and patterns. You can hear what you don’t want to sound like, but it’s not always that easy to identify exactly where to take your parts and solos next. That often comes down to one thing: vocabulary. If you know the sort of thing you’re trying to say, but don’t know exactly which musical ‘words’ to use to express it, then welcome to this month’s issue! Inside our cover feature we’re going to breakdown seven of the most common guitar-based styles in order to help you get the right words and flavours into your playing. We’ve made it as easy as possible by not getting too bogged-down in the whys and wherefores, instead we’re going to show you how to quickly adopt the information you need to get playing, and have fun! I’m also pleased to announce that since our last issue hit the shelves, we’ve recorded and released the first episode of the Total Guitar Podcast! Every issue, myself and the fine fellows at the bottom of this page will sit down to discuss what’s going on in the guitar universe, plus talk about the mag and give you some additional insight into our world. We’ll be bringing you artist interviews, gear news and a whole lot more! You can check out the first (and hopefully second) episodes on iTunes right now! See you next time!

Stuart Williams Editor

making this month’s mag

Chris Bird

michael astley-brown

Rob Laing

This month’s issue features Blue Öyster Cult’s classic [Don’t Fear] The Reaper – and Chris has been widdling away in the corner of the office, muttering something about ‘more cowbell’ all month. You’ll find another classic arpeggio on p22 in the form of AC/DC’s Hells Bells. A full 40+ bpm slower than DFTR, it’s a great primer to get you up to speed.

This month, Mike has been left reeling after listening back to his disquieting performance on the inaugural Total Guitar podcast. “The red light goes on, and I just lose it,” our gear guru confides. “I enter an altered state of unhinged broadcasting hysteria.” Who knows what he might say next… tune in to find out.

Rob’s been learning valuable lessons from artists this month. Deep Purple’s Steve Morse talks about the importance of midrange in our rig tour (p28), while a Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel offers insight on creating an original voice as a guitarist. And from Milk Teeth and Fangclub (p32) he found the future for rock is bright. may 2018 Total Guitar




Monitor 006 First Look 008 Scene 010 Five Minutes Alone: Ihsahn 012 On The Up 014 Me & My Guitar: Andy Ghosh 016 Albums 018 Back Track: Paul Gilbert

How To 020 20 Minutes To… Rock rhythm 022 Riff Of The Month: AC/DC: Hells Bells 024 Getting Started With… Minor 7th chords 026 What The F? Sharp Notes



expand your playing! 098

Group Test: single-cuts

Features 028 Rig Tour: Deep Purple 032 Milk Teeth 038 A Perfect Circle 044 Expand Your Playing

Learn To Play 062 Jam Track: Funk-rock 064 Classic Track: Blue Öyster Cult [Don't Fear] The Reaper 072 Rockschool: Fleetwood Mac – Albatross 076 The Turnaround: Muddy Waters & Jimmy Rogers


a perfect circle

The GAS Station 088 Start Me Up 090 Jackson Soloist 094 Fender Blues Junior 096 PRS SE TX20E 098 Group Test: Single-cuts 104 Pedal Round-Up: Soundscaping reverbs 106 Rode Complete Studio Kit 108 Fix Your Guitar 114 Playlist: Laurence Jones

TG Unplugged 082 News 084 Interview: Laura Veirs 086 Open-Mic Songbook: The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun


Subscribe to Total Guitar and save a whopping 30% on the regular cover price – turn to p112 for full details.

Total Guitar may 2018


milk teeth & fangclub

Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise

Sky’s the limit Photography: Neil Godwin

PRS releases its long-teased John Mayer collaboration: the Silver Sky


John Mayer: reaching for the stars with this PRS collaboration

Total Guitar may 2018

FIRSt LooK people ✪ news ✪ noise

e’s not exactly been keeping it a secret, but John Mayer’s long-awaited Stratstyle electric collaboration with PRS has finally arrived – enter the Silver Sky. As you may expect from the guitarist’s longstanding love for vintage Strats, the Silver Sky is based on 1963 and ’64 models, and was apparently two-and-a-half years in the making. Mayer is calling the Silver Sky his “vision of what a reboot of the electric guitar should look and feel like,” so although it’s visually similar to Fender’s quintessential outline, there are a host of subtle tweaks that make the guitar his own. Then again, with a price tag of £2,549 you’d expect something pretty radical. Here’s what’s new…


Up close

Pickups A trio of 635JM single coils promise round and full tone that avoids harshness in the top-end

Finish The alder body is available in four Tesla-inspired colours: Tungsten, Frost, Onyx and Horizon

Headstock PRS’s usual headstock has been inverted as per Mayer’s playing style while keeping consistent string length behind the nut

may 2018 Total Guitar


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scene EP

Your month in guitars

Marchin’ On


Mainmain Billy Corgan has confirmed the reunited Smashing Pumpkins will release two EPs of new material, with the first new song surfacing in May. “For those who missed it,” Corgan said on Instagram, “the eight songs are as titled: Solara, Marchin’ On, Travels, Seek And You Shall Destroy, With Sympathy, Knights Of Malta, Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts), and Alienation. The intended plan being to release the songs over two, four-song EPs, with a first song most likely due out in late spring.”

When May


show album

Burning Again Lamb Of God have revived their original name Burn The Priest for their 20th anniversary with a covers album. Legion: XX will see the Virginians return to their roots with S.O.D, Quicksand, Bad Brains and Melvins songs. “Our inauspicious beginnings somehow grew into something none of us had ever even imagined possible, says guitarist Mark Morton, “however, this is the story of Burn The Priest. The songs we chose to cover on this album reflect that story.”

When 18 May

Total Guitar May 2018

total guitar podcast ou can now get your monthly TG fix via podcast with our brand new monthly show. The first episode is now available to stream and download via iTunes and we are pleased to report it made the Top 5 in the UK music podcast charts within a few days of launching. But if you’re still to catch up we can let you know what guitar goodness you can expect every month. Hosted by TG editor Stuart Williams, content editor Rob Laing, techniques editor Chris Bird and gear contributor/ guitar guru Michael Astley-Brown, every episode will be packed with guitar news, gear and exclusive clips from the players we meet,


plus more discussion than any non guitar-lover can reasonably handle. “It’s going to give people a really good insight into every new issue we do but a lot more besides,” says TG editor Stuart. “You won’t be surprised to learn that we spend a lot of time talking about what’s going on in the guitar world on TG, so we’re really just hitting record on some of that kind of conversation for this podcast. But it’s also going to be a great place to hear artists that we feature with some exclusive extracts from interviews, and also demos of gear we’re reviewing with our thoughts. I’m really excited about our plans for it.” You can stream or download the TG Podcast from iTunes or access our RSS feed at



SINCE 1958


The power of three hy have one guitar icon when you can have three? G3 is coming back to the UK this month with Joe Satriani, John Petrucci and Uli John Roth joining forces for six dates in Southend, London, Bristol, Manchester, Portsmouth and Birmingham. Keen-eyed fans will note that the US run earlier this year featured Def Leppard’s Phil Collen alongside tour veterans Satriani and Pretrucci, but now former Scorpions man Uli has joined the fray as Leppard prepare for a tour. WHEn 24 - 30 April


MICHAEL AMOTT Ben Wells tracking in the studio with drummer John Fred Young. Bottom left: guest Warren Haynes




cherry aide lack Stone Cherry got some help from one of their guitar heroes Warren Haynes for new album Family Tree (reviewed page 16) and guitarist Ben Wells tells us it couldn’t have gone better. Warren did an amazing job!” he says of Dancin’ In The Rain. “He was on the road at the time, so we sent him the tracks for him to record at a studio close to him. We jumped on a call with him, discussed the song and told him it was his canvas to do his thing. He nailed it! It’s such an honour to have him guest on this song.” Ben also told us that this sixth album’s title is telling as the band dig into their musical roots; “Beyond that, it’s us taking a deeper step into our musical influences and going places we haven’t gone before. I’m very proud of the musical side of this record!” When 20 April




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when [other guitarist] Samoth would come up with riffs that were minor chords moving in chromatic intervals, I would still try to find that common ground and create melodies on top. That probably frustrated him from time to time, but that whole idea of minor riffs harmonised with major thirds comes from Iron Maiden.”

It’s a long way to the top… “If you want to make it never have a plan B! There are always people that want to start bands and also study because that’s probably the smartest thing to do – though be careful… if you have a plan B, you might not put everything into plan A! Coming from rural Norway, the only reason I had a career was because there was no backup plan. But then we never started a black metal band in 1991 in order to make it… there was nothing to be made! Those albums were born purely from artistic ambition. Thinking smart can often brush off the edges of what might make you unique. Don’t worry about the scene, you might end up in a jam of everyone’s thoughts and sounds. Make something unique that will make people react. Rock music, unlike a lot of chart music, is about the integrity of something solid and heartfelt. Lose that and you might not create excitement for people.”


Born to lose, live to win “Rock music, unlike a lot of chart music, is about integrity”

five minutes alone

Ihsahn The Norwegian metal visionary on making it and why Jonny Greenwood is a genius… Got my first real six string “It was a Fender Strat copy made by a company called Boogie, which even had the Mesa-Boogie logo. It could have been an early incarnation of the company, or someone just ripped it off. I’d say it’s probably why I’ve always ended up preferring that Strat feel, I’ve never been into the baseball bat-style Les Pauls. It was a cheap guitar, but my father took me to a local luthier who put some original Strat parts and pickups

in there. I actually got it back from my dad a few years ago and I ended up recording with it!”

Can I play with madness “I had the tab book for Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son and I learned a lot from playing along – that was my musical education! Even though I usually play atonal extreme music, I always try to find some melody in there. Even in the early days of Emperor, back

Total Guitar may 2018

Anyone can play guitar “If I could have a lesson from anyone, it would be Jonny Greenwood – because his approach to guitar playing and music in general is similar to mine, although I think he’s a lot more exotic with it. The way he uses the guitar to channel different sounds like those scratches before the chorus in Creep… things like that are beyond the instrument. I prefer the approach to writing music and forming sounds over the sportsmanship of shredding. When you make an immensely successful experimental rock album like OK Computer and follow it up with an electronica record like Kid A, that shows incredible integrity. And yet it still sounded like Radiohead.”

Ihsahn new solo album Ámr is out 4 May via Candlelight

Words: Amit Sharma

“As much as i love gear... these things are just tools... i find ‘gear lust’ a bit boring”

“I’m not really that nostalgic. I don’t have a huge vinyl collection and there’s no equipment that I’ve sold or had stolen or lost over the years that I miss. As much as I love gear, all these things are just tools to create. I try not to be that physically attached to things, that way there’s nothing that limits me in the work I do… This also means I don’t have any excuses; I can’t blame my tools! To be honest, I find ‘gear lust’ almost a bit boring even though I’m sure for many it’s incredibly exciting.”

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O N T H E U P Brothers Osborne Bluegrass, grunge and Southern rock: the multifarious sound of the Bros Osborne

A blues-country communion, meet the new sound of Nashville ohn Osborne is the most exciting guitarist in country music right now. Alongside his vocalist brother TJ, he has spent 10 years carving a niche in Nashville, combining rock and classic country influences with some lightning melodic lead work and bagging a bunch of awards for 2015 debut Pawn Shop. “The second I learned to play three chords on the guitar, I realised, ‘This is an open canvas’” John tells TG. “It was like every ounce of creativity that had been building up in my heart and soul and mind just came flooding out and everything


Total Guitar may 2018

changed for me. I distinctly remember the moment that my dad taught me the pentatonic blues scale and after that moment I never looked back.” The duo cite a library of influences, from Willie Nelson’s open political stance – they’ve spoken out in favour of gun control and weed among other hot topics – to a string of bluegrass and country picking styles through to grunge and Southern rock. “The one thing that ties it all together is blues,” says John.

“The stuff that sticks the most with me is the stuff that has the most heart. I always find myself going back to that because I think people feel it.” Take a listen to the six-minute plus album edit of Shoot Me Straight, the lead single from upcoming second record Port Saint Joe, and you’ll hear an exhilarating, emotive lead player move from Page-y pentatonics, to Prince funk into BB-style

bends. The key to the performance was recording in front of a beer-buzzed crowd of friends and family on the final day of recording. “[Our producer] Jay Joyce was like, ‘This is the time to do it.’ So I played it as if I was performing live at a gig and that ended up being the take.” says John. “He wanted that magic performance and that’s how he got it.”

For fans of ’68 Fender Telecaster, Blackface Bassman, Blonde Bassman GEAR Cadillac Three, A Thousand Horses

every ounce of creativity that had been building up in my heart and soul came out


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Total Guitar 305 (Sampler)  

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