This jaw-dropping two-hand-tapped version of the Pokémon battle theme features Elite Four-level guitar playing

(Image credit: Standards/YouTube / Future)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of videogame behemoth Pokémon, and while a virtual Post Malone gig might be grabbing the headlines, we’ve got the only Pokémon guitar content you need right here.

You might remember tap-happy Marcos Mena as the guitarist behind the fruitiest guitar playthrough of 2020, but here he’s joined by Standards bandmate – and Covet drummer – Forrest Rice for a lightning-fast rehearsal run-through of Pokémon’s intense battle theme.

To channel the song’s frantic 8-bit arrangement on a single guitar, Mena straps on an Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent HH and deploys a barrage of tapped chords, alternating fret-hand basslines and mad chromatic runs.

The performance is really one in Charmeleon – and you better Bayleef it.

This isn’t the first time the fruity duo have tackled a Nintendo track, either. Earlier this month, the pair also tried their hand at the similarly madcap theme tune to Kirby’s Dream Land.

Standards’ latest album, Fruit Island, arrived last year, and while it doesn’t feature any videogame covers, it is full of next-level tapping skills and feelgood guitar hooks.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.