Top 10 First Looks of 2020

A shit year didn't mean shit gear—here's our most-popular gear demos featuring fresh pieces from Epiphone, Fender, Suhr, EHX, MXR, and others.

10. Guild X-175 Manhattan Special

Thanks to its DeArmond Dynasonic pickups, true hollowbody tone delights await in this classy and handsomely styled 6-string that won't break the bank.

Click to read the review.


9. Fender Brent Mason Telecaster

B-bender, mini-bucker, and copious switching options make this session master's signature Telecaster a twanging tone chameleon.

8. Electro-Harmonix 5MM

Check out the big amp tones from a little box that won't bust your eardrums (or your bankroll).

Click to read the review.


7. Fender Player Duo-Sonic

A streamlined, short-scale solidbody that spans Stratocaster tones and Telecaster simplicity.

6. Electro-Harmonix Ram's Head Big Muff

From Gilmour to Mascis, the mighty Ram's Head has always represented the pinnacle of Muffery. Now this econo version delivers the goods for a fraction of the vintage-madness price.

Click to read the review.


5. MXR Timmy Drive

Paul Cochrane teams with MXR to build a tiny and accessibly priced take on his ultra-legendary overdrive.

4. EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath

Guitar phenom ​Yvette Young tap dances around the ethereal, ambient, cavernous world of EQD's latest reverb.

Click to read the review.


3. Suhr Hombre

Sweet simplicity meets tasty tremolo in a brownface-inspired tone machine.

Click to read the review.


2. Fender American Professional II Stratocaster

The world’s most iconic electric evolves again—this time with a roasted pine body, contoured heel, rolled fretboard edges, and more articulate pickups.

1. Epiphone Joe Bonamassa 1960 Les Paul Standard "Norm Burst"

Fat tones, fast neck, and scads of vintage Les Paul vibe at an easy-to-own price.

Click to read the review.


Photo by cottonbro

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Demonstrate a variety of drone guitar techniques and approaches.
  • Examine drone points of reference from an array of genres.
  • Learn how to use standard, drop D, and uncommon alternate tunings in drone contexts.

Playing a melody or solo with a “drone” means playing over just one note or, in some instances, one chord. Besides playing without any harmonic accompaniment, it is about as simple a concept as one can image, which also means the possibilities are endless. We’ll look at ways to use drones in a variety of contexts, from ancient to contemporary, blues to metal, traditional to experimental.

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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.

The latest in EHX's 9 Series is designed to turn guitar tone into a string ensemble synthesizer.

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