The Grammy-winning guitarist shows off his Elliott guitars, a well-designed pedalboard, and his old-school, dual-amp approach.

There’s a distinct philosophy behind how Shirley builds his pedalboard: gain, modulation, then delays and reverbs. His board was built by Creation Music Company and holds a Greer Lightspeed, JHS SuperBolt, Walrus Audio 385, JHS Bun Runner, Walrus Audio Julia, Cusack Tremolo AME, Ibanez AD9 Analog Delay, JHS Panther Cub Delay, Matthews Effects Astronomer, and a Radial JX-2 Pro Switchbone for switching between his amps. A Walrus Audio Phoenix 15 sits underneath and provides the power.

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Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.
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We've reviewed a ton of cool gear over the past 12 months, but these stood above the rest and won our coveted Premier Gear Award.

This year more than 40 guitars, basses, effects, and amps from a diverse group of gear makers earned the coveted Premier Gear Award from our discerning editors. Here is our gear of the year.

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