Rodrigo y Gabriela: “It wasn’t until I got the acoustic that I started to shred more. I felt like I could play faster. With the electric, I wasn’t really attracted to it”

Rodrigo y Gabriela
(Image credit: Jason Mendez/Getty Images)

Two decades ago, Rodrigo y Gabriela made a name for themselves as innovators of the nuevo Spanish guitar sound.

Coming from a shared background in heavy metal, they could thrash as hard as Hetfield, shred as fast as Vai, and yet – somehow – they could take these ferocious chops and meld them with the traditional rhythms and flavours of the folk music they grew up hearing in and around their native Mexico City to create something beautiful, progressive and unique. They brought their instrumental fury to vast festival stages. They made nylon-string guitars cool. 

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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, 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.