Brian Setzer: How to Shred Like a Rockabilly Master

(Image credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Rockabilly swinger Brian Setzer turns 60 today, so we figured it'd be a good time to revisit Reverb.com (opens in new tab)'s three Setzer-themed lesson videos.

In the clips, Joe from Reverb grabs an attractive Gretsch 6120 and breaks down three representative (but not overplayed) Setzer riffs and/or solos:

• "Hillbilly Jazz Meltdown" riff (from 2011's Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!)
• "Hot Rod Girl" solo from (from 2001's Ignition!)
• "Ignition!" riff (also from 2001's Ignition!)

Be sure to also check out our guide to 10 essential rockabilly guitar solos and riffs, a list compiled with input from top players including Paul Pigat and TK Smith. Obviously, Setzer figures heavily in that list—even though his vocabulary borrows as much from jazz and blues as it does from rock and rockabilly.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.