We get the lowdown on the guitars and basses used by Nancy and Ann Wilson, Craig Bartock, and Dan Rothchild.

Ousley is in charge of both cable management and pedal switching for Nancy Wilson. Her offstage board starts with a Whirlwind A/B selector, an Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, a Way Huge Swollen Pickle, an ancient Ibanez flanger, and a Budda Zenman OD/Boost. A Voodoo Lab Pedal Power supplies the juice, and channel switcher pedals for each of Nancy’s heads round out the board.

Premier Guitar’s Shawn Hammond met with Ann and Nancy Wilson’s guitar tech, Jeff Ousley, lead guitarist Craig Bartock, and bassist Dan Rothchild before Heart’s show at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 21, 2015. Ousley—who’s been maintaining the Wilson sisters’ gear (and making them mean cups of coffee) for more than 20 years—walked us through everything from Ann’s custom Martin acoustics to Nancy’s vintage SG and Tele, while Bartock and Rothchild shared their cool customized instruments.

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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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