The influential “riot grrl” Rock and Roll Hall of Famer keeps it simple, but that doesn’t mean she’s not picky about her Gibson Melody Makers, Red Rhodes Velvet Hammer pickups, and Music Man amps.

Jett’s primary guitar for most of her shows for the last 20 years is a battered and sticker-bedecked Gibson Melody Maker with a single Red Rhodes Velvet Hammer humbucker. A black-finished 2011 signature Melody Maker with a Velvet Hammer that was a gift of the late Brian Farmer (guitar tech for Warren Haynes) serves as yet another backup. The volume knobs on all her guitars are wrapped with the hooked side of a piece of Velcro to increase their grip-ability, and each instrument features D’Addario .010–.046 string sets. Nagy says that a big part of Jett’s sound comes from using the broad, serrated edge of her D’Andrea Delrex Sharkfin 1.0 mm picks.

Premier Guitar’s Shawn Hammond met with Zach Nagy, guitar tech for Joan Jett, lead guitarist Dougie Needles, and bassist Hal Salzer before the Blackhearts’ show at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 21, 2015.


Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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Johnny Winter's Burning Blues by Corey Congilio

Learn to rip like one of the all-time masters of modern electric blues.

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