Vanny Tonon flexes his Hybrid Slap technique in mind-melting new single, The Hybrid Master of Time

Vanny Tonon
(Image credit: Vanny Tonon/YouTube)

Here at Guitar World, we’re all for championing new and exciting ways of playing the electric guitar – so much so that we recently partnered with Italian solo artist Vanny Tonon for a Sick Riffs installment that showcased his innovative Hybrid Slap technique, and teased his then-unreleased track, The Hybrid Master of Time.

Now, the formidable six-string slinger has returned with an official studio recording of his mind-melting track, which demonstrates his forward-thinking, no-holds-barred approach to navigating the fretboard.

Recently announced as an Ibanez artist, the Eventide-endorsee wastes no time in getting to work, using his AZ2402ICM to serve up a series of ethereal, modulation-tinged arpeggios, before diving head-first into the track’s piece de resistance.

With his guitar pick working overtime, Tonon makes good use of his spare fingers, part-chicken-pickin’, part-slapping his way through the string-skipping main hook, which precedes a quite simply absurd passage of lightning-fast trills and sweeps.

As well as being a fiercely quick-fire fingerboard mariner, The Hybrid Master of Time also shows Tonon isn’t all about the acrobatics. Dotted among the blistering note barrages are dialed-down exchanges rife with tasty flourishes and chordal work.

The Hybrid Master of Time follows up the previously released Debbie (opens in new tab) and When We See The Stars, and is set to feature on Tonon’s hotly anticipated sophomore album.

The as-yet-unnamed record, according to Tonon, was conceptualized as an experimental exploration of multiple techniques and tones.

“I’m working on my second album that will be focused on new sounds,” he told Guitar World. “When I started my collaboration with Eventide a few years ago, I decided to write an ambient album and combine different techniques.”

Tonon originally made waves back in 2019, when he was tipped by Guitar World as one of the guitarists to look out for in 2020. The expectation clearly didn’t faze the Italian, who has gone from strength to strength over the past 18 months.

Speaking to Guitar World last year, Tonon teased his upcoming album will only feature guitars, saying, “The new album will be recorded only with the guitar, no other instruments, so I wanted to compose songs I can play live.

“It’s difficult to do that, to combine the technique and the effects to make the guitar sound like an orchestra.”

Though there’s still no news as to when Tonon’s much-awaited record will be released, the guitar wizard is set to host an international masterclass on September 30, tickets for which are available now (opens in new tab).

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Matt Owen

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.