“What if it’s 1988 and I had had a band in the late ’60s through the ’70s, and now I'm my age in the ’80s and people are handing me these things called chorus pedals?”
That’s the premise John Mayer started with when approaching his unusual new album, Sob Rock, an extra-“generous” studio offering that slyly channels the guitarist’s high school–days guitar gods — including Journeyman-era Eric Clapton. In the new issue, we grill Mayer about his very specific concept of the ’80s — and we pick his brain about the concept of the perfect guitar solo.
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Apparently, when he’s not raising hell with ZZ Top (RIP, Dusty Hill!), Texas guitar legend Billy Gibbons heads to the California High Desert to seek his rock ‘n’ roll inspiration. Also, find out exactly what’s adding that mysterious bass signal to Billy’s guitar tone!
Megadeth’s Kiko Loureiro
Besides collaborating with Mateus Asato and Marty Friedman, current Megadeth shredder Kiko Loureiro is taking a breakthrough community approach on his new album: He’s uploaded all the stems online — from beats to solos — so that anyone with internet access can concoct their own bizarre remixes.
The return of Kramer Guitars
“There are big plans for Kramer, and we’re just getting started!”
With their recently introduced collections, the top dogs at the new (and improved?) Kramer Guitars are looking back to their hairspray heyday while also concocting ultra-modern axes for today’s shred royalty.
Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath and Zach Blair dig through the roots of their unique six-string interplay — and their brawny new album, Nowhere Generation, a message of solidarity to the band’s young fans.
Our editors have gathered up 10 of their favorite (not to mention super-addictive) hollow- and semi-hollowbody guitars for every budget — including four standout models for less than $500.
More artists — and Tonal Recall
In Tune-Ups, we catch up with Tomahawk, Black Pumas, Jinger, Cedric Burnside, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Hoodoo Gurus, Luca Stricagnoli, Bernth, Katatonia, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and more. We also smash down the doors to Robby Krieger’s “Light My Fire” tone secrets in Tonal Recall.
Lessons and columns
We’ve got columns by Andy Timmons, Greg Koch, Andy Aledort and Jimmy Brown. Speaking of which, you can find the corresponding videos right here.
This month we review the Sterling by Music Man Mariposa and Cutlass CT50HSS, Origin Effects' Origin Effects RD Compact Hot Rod, the Eventide MicroPitch Delay and EVH’s 5150 Series Standard guitar.
Song transcriptions and Performance Notes
This month’s song transcriptions are “Redemption” by Joe Bonamassa, plus Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and the Pretenders’ “Middle of the Road” — and they all come complete with Performance Notes, as always.
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