Guitarists Mike Ness and Jonny Wickersham show off their tried-and-true rock ’n’ roll machines.

Frontman Mike Ness’ longtime #1 is a 1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe that was modded with custom-wound Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90s. Ness got the idea of swapping in P-90s when he opened for Neil Young and was blown away by his raw, powerful tone throughout the RaggedGlory tour. He prefers ’70s Deluxes because they’re more affordable than older, holy grail Les Pauls and he gravitates towards mid-decade models—’75–’76— because they shifted from all mahogany models to a mahogany-body-maple-cap-and-neck construction. He feels the added maple brightens up the overall tone of the guitar, which meshes well with his heavy use of a capo on the second fret. All of his guitars use custom-wound Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90s, Ernie Ball 2215 Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom strings, and he prefers .88 mm Dunlop Nylon picks.

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Luxe looks and a sweet playing feel make this Squier an anniversary edition worth celebrating.

Slinky playability. Very nice construction quality. An attractive, celebratory mash-up of Fender style elements.

Neck feels slightly generic.

$599

Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster
fender.com

4.5
4.5
4

Premier Guitar doesn’t often review anniversary edition instruments—most of them being marketing exercises in disguise. But the Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster genuinely seems to embody much about where Squier has been and the reliable source for quality, affordable, and, yes, beautiful guitars they have become.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

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