He fronts two menacing bands with his “Ferrari-like” signature Jackson, but he’s also got a soft spot for his vintage ES-335.

Dave Davidson’s lineage with the Jackson Warrior can be traced back to his admiration of Martyr cofounder and current Voivod guitarist Dan Mongrain. “I was just enamored with the guitar when he played it,” says Davidson. “It has these cool, sharp edges, yet it’s sleek at the same time. It’s the Ferrari of guitars.”

Knowing that, it’s even more appropriate that when Dave got his first Jackson—a gift from his family for graduating high school—it was a 6-string Warrior in Ferrari red.

His first signature collaboration with Jackson was a few years ago and it birthed the above Custom Shop USA Signature Limited Edition model that featured a caramelized ash body with a satin finish, a 3-piece caramelized maple neck with compound-radius fretboard (12"–16" that’s also caramelized maple), and is outfitted with a Floyd Rose Original 7-String Double-Locking tremolo. And a possibly overlooked Davidson touch is the rearranging of the controls—he swapped spots with the pickup selector and the volume knob to alleviate any accidental control turning and making it easier to seamlessly move between pickup positions.

A signature hallmark within the signature guitar is Davidson’s signature DiMarzio Imperium 7 humbuckers. Prior to this development with his sig set, Dave was a longtime user and abuser of DiMarzio pickups often playing D-Activators and other hot ’buckers. For the Imperium, he backed off the output and focused on an all-around, clear, articulate pickup that would equally excel in cleans and crunch, while still having a midrange bark and snap. “I really love that when I play big, beefy, gross chords it’s still very pleasing sound to my ears [laughs]…all the notes ring out clear as a bell.”

For strings, Davidson relies on a custom set of D’Addario NYXLs Light Top Heavy Bottom strings (.010–.062) and he typically tunes the 7-string for Revocation down a half step to Bb standard. For Gargoyl, he’s only using 6-string guitars so he tunes to Eb.


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Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on his solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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

Advanced

Beginner

• 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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