Sick Riffs: Vanny Tonon teaches you his innovative 'Hybrid Slap' technique

Sick Riffs #132: Back in January, we headed up our list of 10 guitarists you need to hear in 2020 with Vanny Tonon and, well, we hate to say we told you so. 

The Italian native is gearing up to unleash his second album, and while we are currently none-the-wiser on its title, Tonon has offered up a glimpse of several of its tracks, including The Hybrid Master of Time, When We See the Stars, DB and In a Good Spot.

Based on the preview, it looks like we're in for some fantastically virtuosic ambient playing, though as 2017's The Tourist of Love illustrates, Tonon's capable in a range of styles, so we'd be remiss if we made any concrete assumptions.

Luckily, while all of you shred-hungry readers anticipate the release, you can learn the main riff of The Hybrid Master of Time. In it, Tonon employs a technique he dubs “The Hybrid Slap.”

This one may seem daunting at first, but as with all aspects of guitar learning, start slow and it'll all make sense pretty quickly.

Tonon plays an Ibanez AZ Prestige electric guitar through a Victory V40 amp head, Eventide H9 multi-effects pedal, TimeFactor delay pedal and Space reverb pedal.

Says Tonon, “During the Pandemic i’ve tried to focus on my new music and online lessons because all the events and concert planned were cancelled or postponed.”

Support Vanny Tonon

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.