Martin DJR-10E StreetMaster

Some may wish for more nuanced plugged-in sounds, but—whether you attack it or finesse it—lovely, vintage-like acoustic tones abound in this all-solid, short-scale dread.

Dynamic, lovely, lived-in acoustic tones borne of all-solidwood construction. Feels great.

Boxy plugged-in tones. Distressed look not for everyone. Some may prefer an ecofriendly wood fretboard to the paper composite.

$699

Martin DJR-10E StreetMaster
martinguitar.com

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Featuring a solid-sapele top, back, and sides, a Richlite composite fretboard, and Fishman Sonitone electronics, the DJR-10E brings Martin's famous dreadnought shape to a 24"-scale instrument that's remarkably rewarding to play. The Mexico-made flattop's interior bracing and kerfing are incredibly neat and clean for this price range, and the 16"-radius fretboard combines with the compact dimensions to make the guitar super comfy whether you're in classical position or reclining on the sofa.


Miked with a Royer R-121 going into an Audient iD44 then into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.

But none of it would matter if the DJR-10E's acoustic emanations weren't pretty sublime. Naturally the smaller body doesn't have the low-end kick of a full-size dread, but there's still respectable thump when you attack big open-position chords with a flatpick. And the narrower response and dynamic way the StreetMaster compresses under harder attack also makes it great for hot-club-jazz comping. Meanwhile, gentle fingerpicking reveals a mellow, wonderfully well-rounded voice that seems to belie the guitar's actual age. (The stock, monel-wrapped Martin Retro strings probably help, too.) The real charm, though, is how bright and articulate—but also gentle and sweet—it is when you dig in or snap the strings.

Test Gear: Mackie Thump12A powered speaker, '76 Fender Vibro Champ

How jangle, glam, punk, shoegaze, and more blended to create a worldwide phenomenon. Just don’t forget your tambourine.

Intermediate

Beginner

  • Learn genre-defining elements of Britpop guitar.
  • Use the various elements to create your own Britpop songs.
  • Discover how “borrowing” from the best can enrich your own playing.
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When considering the many bands that fall under the term “Britpop”–Oasis, Blur, Suede, Elastica, Radiohead’s early work, and more–it’s clear that the genre is more an attitude than a specific musical style. Still, there are a few guitar techniques and approaches that abound in the genre, many of which have been “borrowed” (the British music press’ friendly way of saying “appropriated”) from earlier British bands of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

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"'If I fall and somehow my career ends on that particular day, then so be it," Joe Bonamassa says of his new hobby, bicycling. "If it's over, it's over. You've got to enjoy your life."

Photo by Steve Trager

For his stylistically diverse new album, the fiery guitar hero steps back from his gear obsession and focuses on a deep pool of influences and styles.

Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa was a struggling musician living in New York City. He survived on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles that he procured from the corner bodega at Columbus Avenue and 83rd Street. Like many dreamers waiting for their day in the sun, Joe also played "Win for Life" every week. It was, in his words, "literally my ticket out of this hideous business." While the lottery tickets never brought in the millions, Joe's smokin' guitar playing on a quartet of albums from 2002 to 2006—So, It's Like That, Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today, and You & Me—did get the win, transforming Joe into a guitar megastar.

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