“When you’re playing pop, you need to get the ego out of the way. You’re trying to elevate the song, rather than be heard as a guitar player”: The key to good pop guitar, says MUNA guitarist Josette Maskin, is to play less than you actually want to

Josette Maskin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After being dropped by RCA during the pandemic, Los Angeles-based trio MUNA found themselves a new home on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory label in 2021. With Bridgers, they conceived a perfect little viral guitar-pop smash by the name of Silk Chiffon, then followed it up with another 10 infectious anthems on their self-titled, self-produced third album.

Having met while studying at USC 10 years ago, the band exudes a veteran kind of chemistry and consists of Katie Gavin (vocals, acoustic guitar), Naomi McPherson (production, synth, guitar and vocals) and Josette Maskin (lead guitar). Although they could – and sometimes do – all play at once, their dynamic arrangements never suffer from six-string overindulgence.

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and GuitarWorld.com, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.