Watch 9-year-old guitarist Maya Neelakantan play an awe-inspiring medley of 15 clean Tool riffs – on a guitar given to her by Adam Jones

Maya Neelakantan
(Image credit: Maya Neelakantan)

Earlier this year, when nine-year-old Maya Neelakantan covered Tool’s 16-minute epic, 7empest, it caught – along with the attention of thousands of viewers – the gaze of the band’s guitarist Adam Jones, who was so impressed he sent the young player his signature Gibson guitar, the Adam Jones Les Paul Standard.

Neelakantan was understandably buzzing at receiving the gift at the time – describing the day she opened it as “the biggest day of my life” – so it’s not at all surprising that she’s putting the gloriously appointed – and in this case, prestigious – six-string to good use.

In a new video posted to Neelakantan’s YouTube page, the wunderkind has compiled a medley of 15 clean parts from a variety of songs from Tool’s sprawling catalog. Safe to say, the Adam Jones Les Paul Standard is in good hands.

Opening with Intension, from the band’s 2006 album 10,000 Days, Neelakantan goes on to tackle the likes of Lateralus (2001), Vicarious (2006), Descending (2019), Third Eye (1996) and a host more. Of course, she also plays a snippet of 7empest, which she absolutely nailed in full back in June.

“I have put together 15 Tool songs and made [them] into one big song!” Neelakantan writes on YouTube. “It took a lot of time and process to come up with this and I am very happy with the final result.

“First, I started thinking about all the cool clean sections played by Adam Jones. When I am playing some parts, my brain starts to connect that to a completely different part in another song. I followed this thought and gradually assembled together what is now a mashup of 15 different Tool songs.

“What I like most is how each song connects nicely to the next one and it’s not random. This is a completely thought-out video and I had such a blast with it. If you are a Tool fan, you will definitely, definitely enjoy this.

She concludes: “I just love everything that Adam Jones does. This video only explored the clean melodies that he created, and I can’t wait to explore everything else even more.”

To see more from Maya Neelakantan, head over to her official YouTube channel (opens in new tab).

And if you need a refresher, the Gibson Adam Jones Les Paul Standard launched back in March of this year, as a more affordable alternative to the Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom, which arrived in 2020, with a price tag of at least $5,999, depending on chosen specs.

Priced at $2,999, the Adam Jones Les Paul Standard features a mahogany body with a maple top and nitrocellulose lacquer Antique Silverburst finish, mahogany neck, 22-fret ebony fingerboard, Tune-O-Matic bridge, and Burstbucker 1 and DC high-gain humbucker pickups.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).