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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'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.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.