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Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales and 2021's best new gear, albums, solos and riffs – only in the new Guitar World

February 2022
(Image credit: Jeff Fasano)

Ready to dive into 2022? Not so fast! Guitar World has put together the ultimate guitar-centric guide to 2021. And it goes a little something like this:

* Seventy top-notch guitarists – hard-working men and women with their ears to the ground – weigh in on 2021’s greatest guitar-forward albums, songs, solos, riffs, new gear, new bands and more. The star-studded cast includes Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, John Petrucci, Tom Morello, Nita Strauss, Jeff Loomis, Marty Friedman, the Gojira gang, Jake Kiszka from Greta Van Fleet, the Struts, Periphery, Dirty Honey, Alex Skolnick and scores more!

* From Lego Strats to Robert Fripp’s YouTube antics to Boss MT-2 Metal Zone conspiracy theories, we bring you the biggest “guitar news” stories of 2021.

* We present our picks for the best new gear to be introduced or announced in 2021.

* Fan favorite Eric Gales claims the blues crown with his appropriately named upcoming album, Crown, and new single, I Want My Crown, recorded with his producer and fellow February 2022 GW cover star, Joe Bonamassa.

* And speaking of Joe Bonamassa, we discuss his intense new album, Time Clocks, and find out why he was 2021’s official blues impresario.

The new issue of Guitar World is on sale now at MagazinesDirect.com and will will hit newsstands December 28.

February 2022

(Image credit: Jeff Fasano)

Also starring...

We continue our columns by Andy Timmons, Andy Aledort, Greg Koch and Periphery’s Jake Bowen. In Tonal Recall, we reveal East Bay Ray’s tone secrets on the Dead Kennedys’ Holiday in Cambodia

In Tune-Ups, we catch up with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett (Did you know his famous 1959 Gibson Les Paul, “Greeny,” has a sibling? Neither did he – until now), plus Jimmie Vaughan, Cousin Harley, the Bots, Joanne Shaw Taylor and more.

This month’s gear reviews include Positive Grid’s Experience Jimi Hendrix for Spark, PRS Guitars’ HDRX 50 head and cabinet, Fender’s Duel Pugilist Distortion and Dual Marine Layer Reverb pedals and more. This month’s song transcriptions are Way Cool Jr. by Ratt, plus Gary Clark Jr.’s Don’t Owe You a Thang and Bob Seger’s Rock and Roll Never Forgets.

You can buy new issues of Guitar World at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Hudson News, Books a Million and other stores – and online from Magazines Direct. And, while you're at it, why not save on every issue by subscribing?

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.