Huge arena-rock guitar tones meet heavy-metal Christmas jams on one of the year’s most successful tours. Go behind the scenes to see how the guitar tandem kick out the holiday jams.

Joel Hoekstra uses the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II XL with his tech, Galen Henson, controlling the effects in real-time with an off-stage Voodoo Lab Ground Control switcher. Hoekstra mainly uses two sounds:

  1. A dry rhythm sound based on the Mesa/Boogie TriAxis model into a 4x12 Recto cab model. This same preset is used with delay programmed to song tempos when needed.
  2. A lead sound based on the Soldano SLO-100 model into a 4x12 Recto cab model, with a TS808 model in front, delay programmed to song tempo, and a plate reverb.

There’s also a clean sound used in just a couple of instances that’s based on a Fender Vibroverb model into a Bassman cab model with light chorus, delay, and reverb.

The rig itself consists of four channels of Shure UR4D wireless, one channel for acoustic guitar direct to the board and three channels for electric guitar into a Whirlwind Multi-Selector which sends the signal to the Fractal that sends the signal directly to the board.


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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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