Brian May and Arielle detail the evolution of the Brian May Guitars Arielle

Brian May and Arielle
(Image credit: Peter Malandrone)

The sound of Brian May’s Red Special guitar is one of the most singular in rock. With its unique switching system wringing every drop of tone out of his trio of Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, it’s been Brian’s faithful companion on a hoard of hit records. 

American musician Arielle set out to replicate the Red Special’s tonal palette on her own self-designed instrument, ‘Two-Tone’, and it wasn’t long before discussions began regarding adding it to the stable of Brian’s guitars, albeit in a slightly modified form.

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.