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Watch Brandon Ellis showcase his sensational chops on Jackson’s new American Series Soloist SL3

Brandon Ellis
(Image credit: Jackson)

Last week, Jackson dropped the US-made American Series Soloist SL3 – an all-new reinvention of its classic Super Strat electric guitar, which debuted the brand’s first-ever made-in-Corona product line.

Now, in a bid to showcase the model’s tonal palette, Jackson has teamed up with The Black Dahlia Murder’s resident shred maestro Brandon Ellis, who put the new model through a serious sonic test on a new episode of The Soloist.

Playing a Riviera Blue iteration of the Soloist SL3, Ellis and his chops steal the spotlight completely. Spliced in between segments of Ellis’s conversation with Matt Pinfield, the quick-fire performance clips display the Black Dahlia Murder man’s fierce chops and technical prowess.

The highlight of the video, though, comes around the 4:00 mark. To show off the Soloist’s soloing abilities, Ellis unleashes fury on his fretboard, serving up a sucker punch of seriously quick sweeps, arpeggiated phrases and range-spanning licks.

During his conversation with Pinfield, Ellis reflected on the start of his guitar journey, admitting he might even have taken playing the instrument more seriously between the ages 10 and 13 than he does today.

“I got my first guitar when I was about 10 or 11,” Ellis recalls. “Those were my most dedicated years of playing guitar. I took it dead seriously from day one. I might have taken guitar playing more seriously when I was like 10, 11, 12, 13 than I ever did afterwards.”

Naturally, Ellis also paid tribute to Jackson’s latest creation, calling it a classic Jackson design built in the spirit of old vintage Soloists “with some new modifications. The souped-up sec sheet – which features 24 frets, neck-through design, Luminlay side markers and locking tremolo – also gets kudos from Ellis.

“Especially being a touring musician, you need to have nice hardware,” Ellis said in his praise. “This guitar comes with all the upgrades I do to my guitars before I take them on tour. Anti-corrosion screws, locking tuners… this stuff will never rust out.

“I could just go on tour with this guitar right now, right out of the box, and have no issues with it at all. You could play your best on this thing, I really believe that.”

Come for Ellis’s chat with Pinfield, stay for his jaw-dropping performance. 

The latest Soloist SL3 is notable for the fact it is the first guitar off of Jackson’s all-new American Series product line, which will be the brand’s first range of guitars to be made entirely in Fender’s California factory.

Joining its Japanese-made predecessor, the American Series Soloist SL3 was “radically engineered for speed”, and is said to be “the fastest guitar in Jackson’s portfolio”.

To find out more about the guitar, head over Jackson (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.