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Bryan Adams George Harrison Panter a Run To You My Sweet Lord Revolution Is My Name * Rockschool version

* Video riff

Learn to Play

Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine

the 2019

guitar workout new year… new skills!

tes ted Fender PErformer Strat

Practice made easy write a solo explore new tunings learn to improvise

reviewed inside!

Les paul-style bargains Get more tone for your money


lee malia gary clark jr

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

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Welcome! Okay, let’s be honest with each other now – who has given up making New Year’s resolutions? I’ll admit it, I’ve been burned by my own lack of commitment many a time as my January promises break like an E string in an encore. But the desire to start every year strong is still there when it comes to my relationship with the guitar. I’m not alone; we all want to get better at this instrument. Being realistic and clear in your mind is a pretty good place to start when it comes to a best-foot-forward approach as this year kicks off: what areas do you want to improve in and how will you begin? Our workout (on p48) hones in on that kind of thinking – from picking techniques and a better method for learning licks, to writing a solo and getting to grips with theory in an accessible way… there’s a lot of ground covered because our instrument is a brilliantly varied one, so you can pick and choose how rounded you want your workout to be. But it’s all obtainable to make sure you can keep your resolutions this time. We’re also very proud to include with this issue a great chord book that should inspire you well past 2019 with 50 shapes every guitarist can benefit from knowing. And if you’ve never tried songwriting before it might just be the creative fuel you need to get you started on another new journey in 2019.

Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Brand Director, Music: Stuart Williams Head Of Art: Rodney Dive Group Editor-In-Chief: Daniel Griffiths Group Art Director: Graham Dalzell

Rob Laing Editor

making this month’s mag Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR)

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

All contents copyright © 2018 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 responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill holds full FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification and accreditation..

Chris Bird

mike astley-brown

jonathan horsley

After many hours spent designing this month’s huge 2019 Workout, TG’s tuition editor noted the fitting coincidence that Gn’R’s Sweet Child O’ Mine should be tabbed in the same issue. Slash’s timeless intro began life as a pre-gig warm-up. Proof indeed that a little time spent honing your technique may be all the riff-spiration you need.

He’s played more than his fair share of Strats, but MAB has been tickled pink by Fender’s new American Performer incarnation. “Give me neck single coils in every position, all the time,” he raved. His newfound love of baritones shows no sign of abating following an intense gear chat with low-tuning mage Emma Ruth Rundle.

It’s not that TG’s writer is nursing a turn-of-the-year existential crisis where his playing is concerned, but in 2019 he wants to hit reset and work on the fundamentals. “That means buddying up with the metronome, starting slow and getting quicker,” he says. “Maybe that’ll iron out the kinks and bad habits.” february 2019 Total Guitar


#315 the gas Contents station Subscribe! Subscribe to Total Guitar and get a Laney Mini Amp worth £40 – turn to p112 for full details.



The 2019 guitar workout

From learning to improvise to wah-wah workouts and writing a solo, our ultimate guitar lesson will make you a better player this year

Cover Image: Neil Godwin


Total Guitar february 2019


Monitor 006 First Look 008 Scene 010 Five Minutes Alone: Dan Donegan 012 On The Up 014 Me & My Guitar: Plini 016 Back Track: Folk Blues

How To 018 Riff Of The Month: Pantera – Revolution Is My Name 020 Getting Started With… Down Picking 022 The FX Files: Uni-Vibe 024 What The F? 5/4 time

098 the TG test


Gary Clark Jr

Features 026 Rig Tour: Emma Ruth Rundle 030 Gary Clark Jr 036 Lee Malia 042 Nita Strauss

Learn To Play 060 Classic Track: Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine 074 Rockschool: Bryan Adams – Run To You 076 The Turnaround: Robin Trower 078 Jam Track: Jazz-Blues 086 Open-Mic Songbook: George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

TG Unplugged 082 News 084 Interview: William Tyler

The GAS Station 088 Start Me Up 090 Fender American Performer Strat 094 Peavey Invective 120 Head 096 D’Angelico Premier Bedford 098 The TG Test: Single-cuts under £800 104 Pedal Round-Up: Offbeat Modulation 106 Mad Professor Kosmos 108 Fix Your Guitar 114 The Playlist: Ariel Posen


fender performer Strat february 2019 Total Guitar


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Total Guitar february 2019

FIRSt LooK people ✪ news ✪ noise

Green light Photography: Olly Curtis

PRS’s SE A55E acoustic arrives, complete with Abaco Green-stained sides RS’s line of SE acoustics was one of last year’s gear highlights, and for 2019, Mr Smith has given them an eye-catching makeover. This here is the SE A55E, most notable for its Abaco Green-stained quilted maple sides – certain to get you noticed at your next gig. It’s got the tonal credentials, too: a solid Sitka spruce top is matched to PRS’s hybrid X/Classical bracing, which allow for maximum vibration and projection. The tasty wood choices continue with ebony providing the fretboard and bridge, while there’s a bone nut and saddle – and, of course, PRS’s love-’em-or-hate-’em bird inlays and distinctive headstock shape. A mere £829 secures you this distinctive-looking cutaway, complete with hardshell case. Here’s a closer look…


Up close

Pickup The onboard Fishman GT1 pickup features discreet soundholemounted volume and tone controls

Sides As well as Abaco Green, these stunning quilted maple sides are also available in a Black Gold stain

Shape PRS’s Angelus Cutaway shape and neck are comfortable and easy to play – a good choice for electric players crossing over

february 2019 Total Guitar


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scene AuctioN

Ups and Downing


Former Judas Priest guitarist K K Downing may have mixed feelings about auctioning some of his most iconic gear at Bonhams last month, but some of it smashed its estimated value. The 1967 Gibson Flying V (pictured), used on landmark Judas Priest albums between 1976’s Sad Wings Of Destiny and 1981’s Point Of Entry, sold for $150,000 – its estimate was £15-18,000. His 1971 Flying V Medallion sold for £81,250. Other items auctioned included Downing’s late 70s/early 80s pedalboard (£12,500), Marshall heads and a 1965 Strat (£13,500).


Toxic Crusader The 1975’s frontman Matty Healy thinks that it’s women who are making the most interesting guitar music right now. “White men shouting has been done so many times and the interesting perspective in punk is where women are,” he told the NME. “Look who’s signed to my label... Wolf Alice, Japanese House. “But that’s why there are interesting bands like Idles who deal with stuff like fragility and toxic masculinity. If there’s meaning, it’ll resonate.”

Total Guitar February 2019

Your news in guitars


winter Namm 2019 he year’s two NAMM shows in Nashville and Anaheim are the biggest gear events of the year without question; every big company is there to impress with new launches. So ahead of our in-depth report next issue from Anaheim’s winter event, we rounded up everything we know about what we know so far and what we’re expecting from key brands…


Audient Exciting news for anyone who records with their guitar is Audient’s Sono; a meeting of minds with cab simulation gurus Two Notes Audio Engineering. Sono is already a high spec’d audio interface but also comes loaded with an 12AX7 analogue valve, three-band tone control and Two Notes’ acclaimed Torpedo power amp and cab sims. You can customise everything from the room type, microphone model and placement. It already sounds like an all-in-one recording and practicing tool that we can’t wait to try out.

We’ll be looking at Sono in more detail in our full 2019 gear report next issue.

Gibson & Epiphone After last year’s NAMM no-show, G-force is back with a lot to prove. It’s already showcased a 2019 line-up that’s a step towards the backto-basics guitar-focussed approach we want. Epiphone also have a sixth Joe Bonamassa signature – but the black 335 looks a beauty. We’re hoping for some surprises at the show too.

Fender The company decided to announce its new American-made nine-model Performer series ahead of the show last month (see p90 for more) with new features


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and price points making them the most affordable US series available. But there will be plenty more, including a rumoured new high-end USmade acoustic series that will underline its renewed commitment to the market in the wake of the lower-priced Paramount and California series. We’re expecting a signature model or two as well – we know the drool-worthy Jimmy Page Dragon Tele will be one of them.

Flexi-Switch? It ‘allows latching- and/or momentarystyle switching to be used with any effects pedal on the market. Nice!

ESP The company has announced its first female signature six-string artist with Code Orange’s Reba Meyers LTD RM-600 that adds an interesting spin on her previous LTD Vyper workhorse with a reverse headstock based on the LTD M Series and a single EMG 81 pickup.

Blackstar The Blackstar crew always have something to shout about at NAMM, starting with the Studio 10 series. Three 10-watt valve combos, each inspired by classic amps from the UK and USA. The names of the Studio 10 EL34, 6L6 (pictured) and a special edition KT88 reflect the iconic valves that help dictate their character. The aesthetic is classic and the idea simple; great vintage tones through a Celestion Seventy-80 12" speaker.

Orange The UK company celebrated its 50th year at NAMM 2018 and we know it will want to start the second half of its century by making a strong statement, maybe even changing perceptions of what Orange can offer players…

PRS The Tremonti signature head from last winter’s NAMM was our highlight of the show, and they’ve already broken cover with plenty of new product including the CE 24 Semi-Hollow, Ziricote SE Custom 24, Paul’s Guitar and new SE acoustics. But there is apparently more in store.

40-minute looper with ‘unlimited’ overdubs, a drum machine with tap tempo and fills.

Earthquaker Devices The effects warlocks are turning their magical minds to making stompbox switching easier with the new Swiss Things Pedalboard Reconciler. It combines two true-bypass Flexi-Switch enabled effects loops, a Flexi-Switch AB-Y box with transformer isolation between outputs, a buffered tuner output, 20dB of clean boost, expression pedal output for your volume… but hang on a minute, what’s a

Ibanez Looks like 2019 is the year of the RG with the Prestige RG5000 series models (£1,799) featuring stainless steel frets for a brighter tone, rigid five-piece Maple/ Wenge neck and Bare Knuckle pickups. The more affordable RG5500DX-LB (£999, pictured left) is part of the Genesis Collection with Ibanez’s own V7, S1 and V8 pickups, five-way switch and the classic Edge tremolo system.

Schecter Another company that unveiled some of its roster before the show, with 16 new models including the Reaper six- and seven-string models; an eye-catcher featuring exposed swamp ash curves alongside a dramatically-finished burl top. The Reaper-6 FR S model (pictured below) even has a Sustainiac neck pickup to further up the ante.

Check out our 2019 gear report next issue and coverage of NAMM on our social channels and

Joyo Expect plenty of new pedals from all the brands at the show, starting with Joyo’s OMB – that’s One Man Band. It packs a

february 2019 Total Guitar


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Down with the pickness: playing guitar beats building houses in a Chicago winter...

local, neighbourhood bars. We kept fighting and building a fanbase until the premier clubs in Chicago couldn’t deny us any more ’cos we were packing everywhere we were playing.”

It’s like a black mirror... “When David [Draiman] made those comments about Evolution being our Black Album, we view that as the measuring stick for great rock or metal albums. We love Metallica – Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, ...And Justice For All, all those – but that was just a huge commercial success for them that saw them reach a bigger audience. So I think when he makes these comments he is saying that albums don’t get much bigger.”

Evolution not revolution “We are a band who is going to continue to grow and push each other, and go down roads that some people might not expect. You can’t please everybody. Some people hated the Black Album because it wasn’t as hard as ...And Justice For All. They are gonna feel that way about us. But we are always going to branch out with new things. It can’t be the same riff regurgitated and played over and over.”

Surfing the nu-metal wave “We were a part of that because we came out at the same time, so a lot of bands were lumped into that ‘nu’ label, and I’m not shying away from it; we rode that wave, and we were a part of some of those big festivals with a lot of those bands, but we never really fit because we were just guys who grew up on classic metal and classic rock bands. Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, all those bands . . . Metallica.”


five minutes alone

Dan Donegan Disturbed’s co-founder on building houses as well as a fanbase, and losing friends too young Hammer time

from that Midwest, blue-collar ethic of, ‘Get off your butt and go to work. Go do things!’”

The sound of the suburbs “All the good clubs, all the historic places in Chicago didn’t want to have anything to do with us. The scene in the city was more alternative, because you had early successes like Smashing Pumpkins and Veruca Salt. We just started building it in the suburbs, playing

“All the good clubs, all the historic places in chicago didn’t want anything to do with us” Total Guitar february 2019

“With Chester [Bennington, Linkin Park], our albums both came out through Warner Bros in early 2000. Chester’s voice was great. He was a great frontman. We had done a lot of touring with them in the earlier days and it was nice to see them explode as they did. He was a very talented guy. And Vinnie Paul... Our first big tour was Ozzfest 2000 in the States and Pantera was on the bill. I remember meeting Vinnie and Dimebag and the very first time we met them they treated us like we were brothers. I remember partying every night to the point where we were crawling back to the tour bus after the shows! Me and Mike [Wengren], our drummer, ran into Vinnie in Las Vegas when we were making this album. I’m just glad that the last time I saw him it ended with a hug and, ‘I love you, brother’ I feel like I’ve always got that last good memory of him.”

Disturbed’s latest album Evolution is out now on Warner Bros. See for more details

Words: Jonathan Horsley Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/Getty

“For me, working outside as a carpenter building houses every Chicago winter would be miserable! It was a great trade to learn and there’s a great living from it but it’s something that I knew I didn’t want to do forever. We all had pretty good career jobs but it wasn’t what we wanted. It has always been music for us. We’ve always had that work ethic. I think there’s something that comes

In loving memory

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O N T H E U P Pijn Pijn: Joe Clayon pictured left

Sonic sorrows and cathartic samples anchester band Pijn (pronounced ‘pine’) have made a dark, progressive debut album, Loss, about grief. “I’ve always tried to take whatever negative stuff that happens and turn it into something; that’s my view of art,” explains guitarist Joe Clayton of the record’s concept. “But it was a topic that everyone around us had something to contribute to – and not just the musicians. We felt, ‘If we’re getting so much from it, then everyone could contribute to it.’” As such, the band invited contributions from anyone experiencing grief, offering




Total Guitar february 2019

them the chance to share experiences and make something positive from their loss. “We had quite a difficult few weeks getting hit repeatedly day after day with the worst things people had been through,” admits Joe. “It felt like we’d bitten off more than we could chew.” It was clear they’d tapped into something, not just from the volume of submissions, but also their diverse form: videos, written stories, Skype conversations… “We had a couple of harsh noises,” adds

Joe. “Like distorted vocals over some really heavy synth things… we had to find a spot for that. Or we’d have these rhythmic speech parts that gave us these patterns, or drones that we made from layers of people talking.” Loss is as ambitious and sincere as the subject demands. Deep, dark guitar and bass composites rise and fall around swirling cellos and echoes of speech samples. The

result is like Russian Circles channelling Pink Floyd, but the process has helped them realise the universality of their personal experience. “It’s easy to be selfabsorbed with it and be like, ‘This is my experience,’” reflects Joe. “But there’s a bigger picture. There are millions of people going through the same thing. That was a healthy realisation for all of us.”

For fans of Russian Circles, Crippled Black Phoenix Gear First Act Delia, Bare Knuckle Nailbomb, Ampeg V4

“There are millions of people going through it. That was a healthy realisation for us all”

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