Total Guitar

Total Guitar March 2021

Total Guitar is Europe’s best-selling guitar magazine, crammed full of songs to learn plus backing tracks. From the latest metal and indie hits to classic rock from the likes of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, TG has more songs than ANY other guitar magazine!. Please note: This digital version of the magazine does not currently include the covermount items or content you would find on printed newsstand copies

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1 Min

I remember the first time I heard the Foo Fighters. Or saw them on TV, more to the point. In 1996, the band’s early single Big Me was receiving what seemed like constant airplay on MTV. No surprise there. Even post-Nirvana, Grohl was still big news and the song’s waggish TV ad parody video was a big win. I loved it, but I don’t think Big Me (which Grohl himself described as a “candy-coated pop song”) gave much away about the band’s style. You had to take a listen to the album for that! Fast forward a quarter of a century and the Foo Fighters are set to release their 10th studio album Medicine At Midnight – and this month we’re talking to all three guitarists. Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett…

1 Min
the boys in the bubbles

It was billed as ‘The World’s First Space Bubble Concert’. On 22nd January 2021, the first of two hometown shows by The Flaming Lips at the Criterion theatre in Oklahoma City saw both the band and audience encased inside individual inflatable balls. This was not an entirely new experience for the band’s frontman Wayne Coyne, who, in the carefree days before the global pandemic, had enjoyed rolling around over audiences in a Zorb ball during gigs. But this time the whole band and the whole audience shared in that experience – with each of the 100 bubbles holding up to three fans and fitted with additional high-frequency speakers to ensure maximum listening pleasure. At the end of the show, Coyne summed up the feelings of millions of people when he…

2 Min
the ‘lost’ queen album revealed!

“We just found – my little team down at my studio – a cassette, and it’s one of the very first concerts we ever did. Nobody in the world has heard this. “It was one of the concerts we put on ourselves in a lecture theatre at Imperial College in London. We invited the audience along, some of our friends, and some people in influential places in the music business, none of whom came! “On this tape, you can Freddie [Mercury, vocalist] as he was at the beginning, and of course us. We’re doing the very first versions that we ever arranged of these songs. It’s very illuminating. There are all kinds of mistakes on it. It’s us in a very unpolished form. But it’s fascinating to hear. “And now we’re just trying…

2 Min
the perfection of a guitar plugged straight into a glowing valve amp

The Black Crowes’ 1990 album Shake Your Money Maker is one of the all-time classic debuts in American rock ’n’ roll. As a belated 30th anniversary reissue is released this month, Total Guitar salutes the brilliance of Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson and his back-to-basics approach. OPEN TUNINGS Rich Robinson embraced Open G (DGDGBD) for this album, prompting many comparisons with Keith Richards. While the Crowes were worthy heirs to the Stones, Robinson’s use of the tuning went beyond that. His riffs attended the Jimmy Page school of heavy blues, and his slide playing had an Allman Brothers ring. VINTAGE GEAR Astonishingly for an album started in 1989, there was not a Floyd Rose in sight. Rich Robinson relied on a 70s Tele Custom, a ’68 blonde Tele with a neck humbucker (furthering the Keith…

1 Min
sylvain sylvain

Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls died at home in Nashville on 13th January, 2021. He was 69. The Dolls were one of those most influential bands of all time, credited with creating the New York punk scene that spawned the Ramones. They gained admirers as diverse as The Smiths, Guns N’ Roses and Blondie, and the musical style Sylvain helped develop came to be known as punk. The band that would become the New York Dolls was formed in 1971; Sylvain joined later that year and gave the band its name. They combined the gender-defying looks of English glam rock with a dirty, basic take on early US rock ’n’ roll. While the Dolls had little initial success, Kiss struck gold by copying their glam plus hard rock formula.…

3 Min
lost heroes

LESLIE WEST On 21st December 2020, the world lost one of the most iconic guitarists to emerge from the late 60s rock scene: Mountain’s Leslie West. Propelled to stardom by landmark tracks such as Mississippi Queen and Nantucket Sleighride, West’s sound became synonymous with fat distortion, chunky riffs and sweet, soaring solos. From Eddie Van Halen to Zakk Wylde, later pioneers of rock and metal hailed West’s playing as an integral influence on their own. Like a lot of blues rock players, West’s improvisational solos were rooted in the pentatonic scales, elevated by the deft mixing of major and minor phrases - a technique inherited from listening to B.B. King, Clapton and Hendrix. Unlike a lot of blues rock players, however, his lead style was characterised not by speed but by melodic phrasing…