Sick Riffs: John Notto teaches you the high-octane, no-frills lead lines of Dirty Honey's Gypsy

Sick Riffs #136: After securing a Billboard Number 1 single as an unsigned band – even before the release of their debut album – LA's Dirty Honey have enjoyed the kind of career start most bands could only dream of.

When I'm Gone – taken from the group's debut self-titled EP – climbed to the Mainstream Rock chart top spot back in October, and now the classic-rockers turn their sights to their first full-length.

Flight cancelations originally hampered the recording of the album; the band had intended to fly to Byron Bay, Australia to work with Nick DiDia, who produced their self-titled EP. However, adapting to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, Marc Labelle and co have instead opted for an LA recording studio, with DiDia producing via Zoom.

We've yet to hear much of the album – which is due out later this year – but guitarist John Notto joins us today to offer a glimpse, taking you through a new riff stomper entitled Gypsy.

He plays a 2003 Gibson Les Paul R8 electric guitar through a Marshall 1987X 50W Plexi Reissue powering a Marshall 1960BX 4x12 cabinet. 

“The biggest takeaway from this coronavirus quarantine for us has been to utilize this sudden extra time to improve the the songs we had for the new album,” Notto says. “As a bonus, we were able to write a few more really great songs to add to the pile. We got lemons, so we made lemonade.” 

Support Dirty Honey

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created 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.