HOW TO SOUND LIKE YOUR HEROES - Slash

One of the most iconic guitarist of all time, Slash injected some hard rock soul into the arm of Eighties rock with his detached cool attitude and breathtaking leads. Before Guns N’ Roses released Appetite for Destruction, the metal scene was dominated by puffy-haired, spandex-wearing dudes wielding pointy-headstock Jacksons and hiding behind thousands of dollars worth of rackmount gear. Suddenly, there was Slash, reeling off breathtaking lead breaks with nothing but a Les Paul and a Marshall stack, playing guitar music the way God intended.

Since GN’R imploded, Slash has carried on, and can still be seen onstage with his new band Velvet Revolver, rocking his new Gibson Slash Signature Series Les Paul ($6,120), which is a replica of a classic 1959 model with an aged tobacco sunburst finish. On Velvet Revolver’s debut, Contraband, Slash used a combination of three Marshall heads: his Slash Signature Series model, a regular JCM800 and a 1973 model 1987 four-input non–master volume head. This mix was then run into a Marshall 100-watt cabinet loaded with 25-watt Celestion Greenback speakers. A Vox AC30 tube combo was also added for sonic variety.

To capture Slash’s signature sound, you’re looking at $2,598 for a Gibson Les Paul Classic, plus $109 each for a pair of Seymour Duncan’s Alnico II Pro humbuckers. A signature model was created for Slash, but only 50 examples were made, of which Slash owned two (one was stolen). What’s more, one of the guitars recently sold at auction for $7,000. Slash’s signature Marshall is only slightly easier to find: just 3,000 were produced. Fortunately, Slash’s trademark pedals are somewhat cheaper and easier to pin down. A Boss DD-6 delay pedal will hit your wallet for $239, while a Boss GE-7 Equalizer can be yours for about $155. Throw in a Dunlop Crybaby Classic wah-wah pedal with a Fasel conductor for $203 and you’ve got your effects covered.

But what about the guitar and amp? Even if you’re on a tight budget, all is not necessarily lost. You can always find cheaper Les Paul copies, but we’d recommend snagging an Epiphone Les Paul Classic Plus ($999) if you’re really after a pro Slash tone. For a cheap amp that deals well with GN’R riffing, meanwhile, we’d advise coughing up $750 for the Marshall AVT50.