Boston More Than A Feeling
The Beatles Hey Jude
Steve Vai The Crying Machine * Rockschool version
school of funk!
strat Experience Masterclasses: Hendrix, SRV, Gilmour and Clapton Get versatile: from surf to post-rock Tone tips: easy Strat upgrades
gretsch’s brand new streamliner reunited
Jason Becker & Marty Friedman interviewed
Do more with your drive pedal
editor’s letter Future Publishing Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA Tel 01225 442244 Fax: 01225 822763 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.totalguitar.co.uk
Editorial Editor: Rob Laing Production Editor: Katie Nicholls Group Art Director: Graham Dalzell Senior Music Editor: Jason Sidwell Guitars Feature & Tuition Editor: Chris Bird Content Editor, MusicRadar.com: Michael Astley-Brown Music Co-ordinators: Zoe Maughan, Natalie Beilby
Contributors Richard Barrett, Jon Bishop, Neil Godwin, Nick Guppy, Catherine Hood, Jonathan Horsley, Will Ireland, Stephen Kelly Catherine Kirkpatrick, Alex Lynham, Ed Mitchell, Matthew Parker, Adam Rees, Amit Sharma, Stuart Williams Music Engraver: Simon Troup Photography: Olly Curtis, James Sharrock
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Welcome! If you’d been asked to draw an electric guitar back in your school days, what would it have looked like? Chances are, something that resembles a Fender Strat. But Leo Fender’s 1954 design isn’t just burned into our consciousness because of its iconic form alone; it’s the players that used it to make history. That’s been our starting point with this issue – four masters whose music is as timeless as the guitar they used, each offering their own expressive voice and lessons to be learned to benefit all us players, whatever guitar we play. But aside from the towering figures of Hendrix, Gilmour, SRV and Clapton, we needed to go further to make this the ultimate experience. The Strat’s versatility beyond the blues can take you on a journey through surf, southern rock and far beyond. Then there’s the guitar itself; how you can mod it to make it your own. And not least, the funk. The Strat’s story is far from over and Cory Wong has emerged as a new hero in his work with Vulfpeck and his solo career. We picked his funkulous mind and found a well of inspiration. Another musician still inspiring the guitar world is Jason Becker. He continues to astound us with his achievements and we bring his friend and Cacophony partner Marty Friedman in for a reunion to help tell the story of Jason’s album, Triumphant Hearts. A well-named album indeed!
Rob Laing Editor
making this month’s mag Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR) www.futureplc.com
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This month, TG’s tuition editor hotfooted it to The Fleece in Bristol for a chat and a pre-gig bite to eat with Strat-toting US funk sensation Cory Wong. Opting for Vietnamese, Messrs Wong and Bird chewed the fat, discussing practice plans and the benefits of that unsung pedalboard hero, the compressor. Turn to p56 for the interview.
Another month, another superlative sub-£500 guitar as Mike got down with the latest incarnation of Gretsch’s game-changing Streamliners. “It’s impossible to emphasise just how much you can get for your money these days,” he muses. “But that makes it all the more tempting to expand your collection…”
As well as talking to Jason Becker and Marty Friedman this issue (p38), our writer’s been reflecting on his own love of the Strat: “I’ve found Strats can offer a whole new world of dynamic finesse and articulation for the notes you play. Those second and fourth pickup positions are tonal gold – just ask Jeff Beck…” may 2019 Total Guitar
The ultimate strat experience
Monitor 006 First Look 008 Scene 010 Five Minutes Alone: Eric Gales 012 On The Up 014 Me & My Guitar: Talons
How To 018 Riff Of The Month: Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove It) 022 The FX Files… ProCo Rat 024 What The F? Cross Rhythms 04
Features 030 Rig Tour: Corrosion Of Conformity 036 TG Tips: Play Better Gigs 038 Jason Becker & Marty Friedman 044 The Ultimate Strat Experience 056 Cory Wong
Learn To Play 062 Classic Track: Boston – More Than A Feeling 070 Rockschool: Steve Vai – The Crying Machine 076 Turnaround – Jack White 078 Jam Track – Post-hardcore
Cover image: Neil Godwin
083 News 084 Interview: Sam Kelly 086 Open-Mic Songbook: The Beatles – Hey Jude
gretsch streamliner Total Guitar may 2019
The GAS Station 088 Start Me Up 090 Taylor 317E Grand Pacific 094 Gretsch G2420 Streamliner 096 Audient Sono 098 Group Test: Floyd Rose Electrics 104 Pedal Round-up: Super-Versatile Overdrives 106 Zoom G1X Four 108 Fix Your Guitar 114 The Playlist: Dave Mustaine
030 corrosion of conformity
Monitor people ✪ news ✪ noise
Strymon’s new unit brings vintage echo to modern ’boards
Total Guitar may 2019
FIRSt LooK people ✪ news ✪ noise
Delay magnet Photography: Neil Godwin
Strymon harnesses vintage magnetic echoes for the Volante delay
trymon has further cemented its reputation as the go-to brand for lust‑worthy new pedals with its first new stompbox for quite some time, the Volante delay. Based on vintage tape delays, the Volante boasts magnetic drum, tape and reel-to-reel studio echo sounds, plus a looper and vintage spring reverb. It aims to provide replication of every last magnetic delay system attribute, packing four onboard delay playback heads, with individual feedback, panning and level controls. There are a host of nifty touches onboard, such as the ability to dial in mechanically related speed fluctuations and playback head wear, and adjust the spacing between heads. Other features include MIDI integration, up to eight onboard presets, stereo panning, footswitchable infinite repeats and expression input. It’s available now for £399, which is a damn sight cheaper than buying up vintage echoes and maintaining them…
Multi-heads You can tweak each of the four head’s playback level for syncopated effects
Reverse/infinite This footswitch can be used to reverse the signal or, if you hold it down, activate unlimited repeats
Spring reverb There’s even an onboard spring reverb to add additional ambience
may 2019 Total Guitar
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The Fab Five
scene Your news in guitars
Though the Beatles retired from the live stage in 1966 before recording some of their greatest works, a number of elite Fab Four tribute acts make a serious trade delivering authentic takes on the likes of Sgt. Peppers to fans who appreciate the dedication to sonic detail. Dutch five-piece The Analogues don’t do the outfits, but are painstaking in their delivery of latter period Beatles sounds. They’re finally returning to the UK for a London Palladium show on a European run where they’ll play The White Album in full.
WHEn 4 May
gilmour’s hammertime RIP
Mick Hutson / Peter Pavkis / Cassandra Hannagan / Getty Michel Mees Joby Sessions
Bernie Tormé TG is sad to report the passing of Bernie Tormé, who died in London on 17 March, aged 66, following treatment for double pneumonia. Between 1979 and 1981 the Dublin-born guitarist toured and recorded with Ian Gillan’s post Deep Purple outfit Gillan. And in 1982 he famously stepped into the breach following Randy Rhoads’s death to play in Ozzy Osbourne’s band on the Diary Of A Madman tour. In recent years he’d resumed his solo career.
Total Guitar May 2019
avid Gilmour’s key guitars with Pink Floyd will go to auction in June – including the Black Strat and some genuine rarities. “It has served me extraordinarily well,” Gilmour tells us of the Strat that’s the auction’s star attraction. “It’s on all the Pink Floyd records from the 70s. The opening notes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond fell out of that guitar one day in 1974, and the solo on Comfortably Numb was done on that guitar. It’s really on everything during the 70s.” The estimate is $100,000-$150,000 but we’d say that’s very conservative, and it’s hard to put a ceiling on how high bids could go. But that ’69 Strat is certainly not the only highprofile Gilmour guitar from over 120 going under the hammer in aid of charity at the Christie’s auction in New York on 20 June.
The ‘#0001’ 1954 Strat would be a historic guitar without the provenance of Gilmour – not technically the very first Stratocaster but an unusual white example from the first year of production. Likewise an unusual Lake Placid Blue example from 1957 when the majority of Strat production was still Sunburst finishes. While that guitar wasn’t used on stage by the guitarist, Gilmour’s Candy Apple Red 1984 Strat with ’57 spec (main pic) is his most recognisable Fender after the Black Strat. It featured on Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, The Division Bell albums and tours, plus The Endless River sessions. The star acoustic is undoubtedly Gilmour’s 1971 Martin D-12-28 used to write and record Wish You Were Here – and we’d expect the $5-10k estimate to be smashed on that. www.christies.com
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dick dale S
Dick Dale: ”All I know is how to make my guitar scream with pain or pleasure,” the guitarist said in 2011
urf guitar’s undisputed godfather Dick Dale passed away on 16 March at the age of 81. He leaves behind a legacy as a maverick player who showcased the power of the guitar at a crucial time in rock ‘n’roll evolution. Dale and his band The Del Tones emerged as leading lights in the emerging Californian surf-rock scene of the early 60s, and the leftie guitarist quickly stood out with his muscular, percussive tone (.016 gauge strings, Fender outboard reverb and initially a right-handed Strat played upside down). Turn to p16 to read more on Dick Dale’s vital role in the evolution of Surf music.
Our favourite songs this month…
1. Havin’ It Paul Gilbert Following its Pledge Music release last year, Behold Electric Guitar gets a full release in May – some surprising Jeff Beck and Robben Ford-esque blues moves going on here.
2. Misirlou Dick Dale & The Del Tones Its inclusion in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction brought a new wave of interest in DD, but this 1963 take on the Greek folk tune was always a masterclass in Dale’s tremolo picking power.
Devin Townsend Now existing in his own genre, Empath could be the most Townsendian thing he’s ever done. Orchestral chunk metal prog operatic?
Fender next A n international line-up of rising guitar talent will benefit from valuable support from Fender as the guitar giant launches its new Fender Next progamme. The company has selected 50 artists this year that it considers represent the new face of guitar worldwide. Perusing the list, TG readers may recognise Australia’s Tash Sultana (pictured), the UK’s Idles, Ireland’s Fontaines DC; Liily, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown and FIDLAR from the US plus the unforgettably-monikered Psychedelic Porn Crumpets from our On The Up section. The program reflects an ongoing commitment from Fender that’s beyond anything we’ve seen from other guitar brands when it comes to supporting newer talent. The company is already working with over 2,000 artists, but Fender Next will intensify support to cover a wide
five of the best
4. Borderlines range of activities to promote artists’ music, aside from providing Fender guitars, amps and pedals. There will be performance opportunities at Fender Next branded events - which was already the case at Austin’s SXSW festival last month with the Fender Next House – and artists will also feature in Fender editorial ranging from social media to video documentaries on the artists’ individual stories. “New music is at the heart of what we do at Fender,” Helen Varley,
Marketing Director, EMEA, Fender tells us, “so we’re thrilled to formalise an official artist programme that celebrates some of the most exciting musicians in the world right now. We’re very proud to be working with the likes of Sam Fender and Little Simz and can’t wait to see what comes next from these incredible artists.” The company plans for Fender Next to be an annual programme with a new roster of artists being selected each year.
Baroness A welcome return, this time with guitarist Gina Gleason adding an interesting new dimension vocally on her recording debut with the band.
5. Death Church Machine Head The reunion of 3/4 of the Burn My Eyes line-up has us revisiting MH’s heaviest moment on record.
may 2019 Total Guitar
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Got my mojo working... Eric Gales’ latest album The Bookends is out now on Provogue
“I love what I do. The hardest thing about it is all the travelling and the easiest thing is the playing. This might sound strange, but I honestly can’t think of any weaknesses I have as far as playing guitar. I can’t really think of any strengths either! I just try to be the best me I can be and stay comfortable in my own skin. “If there’s one thing I’m good at, it would be thinking quick on my feet. Spontaneity is a strong point for me. Going off the top of my head creates this instantaneous power that comes out of nowhere, and I rarely find myself disappointed! All I need to play a good set is Red Bull. Does it make me play faster? I don’t know, but there’s just something in my head that says I have to have one on stage for some reason.”
I’m tired of wasting all my precious time... “Things have happened gradually for me, so I feel like life is my biggest breakthrough. I managed to finally get clean; I’m working on three years now. That was the biggest breakthrough in many ways. “My toughest time as a musician was when I was in prison, for reasons which are fairly self-explanatory... I didn’t have a guitar for a long time, but eventually the warden got to know who I was, and made me start a prison band that ended up playing all over the place. It was cool at times, but in my head all I was thinking about was touring the world.”
There goes my hero...
five minutes alone
Eric Gales The American blues maestro ponders inspiration, rebirth and meeting Stevie Ray Vaughan I got my first real six-string…
Well, there’s floodin’ down in Texas...
“My first guitar was a Hagström. I must have been four years old when I started playing it. I can’t even remember which model, but it was this Strat-style thing that was lying around the house for the family. Everyone would pick it up and have fun with it. “My dream guitar was just a Strat of any kind. That was a big aspiration for me and it finally happened around the age of 13. My brother Eugene had one, so I could play his, but getting to have my own was pretty cool.”
“Stevie Ray Vaughan would have been one of the biggest influences in me wanting that Strat, for sure. I was lucky enough to see him and meet him when I was 15… We ended up hanging out for a little bit. “He was doing tracks for the [Vaughan Brothers’] Family Style album and I was cutting demoes for my first record. So we sat down, talked and even played together on a couple of acoustics. That’s how we met, and it was very, very cool… An experience I’ll never forget!”
Total Guitar May 2019
’Cause I gotta have faith... “Going to church was something my mum and dad were into, so we had been exposed to all this gospel and blues growing up. From the first time I picked up that guitar, I just took to it and kept pursuing it. I never felt content with what I knew. It’s pretty natural for it to happen when you grow up in a family that’s heavily involved in music across the board. My first record was a big deal for me at the age of 15 – and even now, I’m learning every day.”
Photo: Olly Curtis
“Going off the top of my head creates this power that comes out of nowhere”
“One of my biggest influences is Eric Johnson. First meeting him and getting to ask questions was one of the biggest days of my life. Venus Isle was a life-changing album for me, and his tone has always been great through the years. To be honest, everything about him has something I admire and want to absorb from. He’s someone I have tried to pattern myself from, though of course I try to add my own twists. “There’s nothing wrong with being obviously inspired by your heroes, but the objective is to show how it can inspire you to be yourself. Does it come from the tone, the person playing or the genres you like listening to? Find as much of that inspiration as you can: it’s key to developing and makes the practising not feel like homework.”
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Niger’s guitar innovator melds Tuareg tradition with rock technique hey say that necessity is the mother of invention. For Niger-born guitar hero Mdou Moctar, playing was a necessity but, being left-handed and with guitars in short supply, invention was required. “I made my first guitar out of wood,” Mdou tells TG. “I used bicycle brake wires for the strings, although at first it only had five strings because the neck of the guitar wasn’t big enough!” That sense of persistence and invention has never left Mdou. After his early recordings blew up on West Africa’s Bluetooth networks
O N T H E U P Mdou Moctar
The evolution of Tuareg music: Mdou Moctar pictured second from right
Total Guitar May 2019
in 2008, he toured widely, made 2013 debut Afelan and appeared in a film. In 2017 his solo acoustic set Sousoume Tamachek brought him to the attention of western audiences. Alongside a left-handed Strat, Mdou has gained a reputation as one of the most forwardthinking players in the Tuareg guitar scene. “My style of Tuareg music is of the new generation,” he explains. “It’s fast and has a lot of energy. It’s music played at weddings…”
More recently, touring the US and Europe has exposed Mdou to classic rock icons, like Hendrix, Billy Gibbons and Van Halen, unlocking new frontiers. New album Illana – recorded in Detroit with a full band – sees him tearing up rulebooks from both sides of the Atlantic, melding shred and distortion with the bright shuffle of Tuareg wedding music. Songs like Kamane Tarhanin journey
through shimmering pedal tone cycles before launching into Hendrix-like freakout, while Tarhatazed is a mindexpanding shred epic. “I am just very curious about what would happen [if I was] to mix the Tuareg style with other styles,” concludes Mdou, somewhat modestly. “I love the guitar and the sounds that can come from it. There is so much you can do with the guitar!”
For fans of Jimi Hendrix, Bombino Gear Fender Stratocaster, Roland Jazz Chorus 120, Earthquaker Devices pedals
“My style of Tuareg music is of the new generation... It’s music played at weddings”
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