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Joe Bonamassa: Bursts, Dumbles, and the Blues

Joe Bonamassa: Bursts, Dumbles, and the Blues

If you can’t figure out how to play Joe Bonamassa’s solo from “Blues Deluxe,” don’t worry. Neither can Chris Shiflett. But it all changes when Shifty sits down with Bonamassa for this special episode of Shred With Shifty. No surprise that both of them reach for their Les Pauls, and Bonamassa even reveals why he switched from Strats to Gibsons in the early 2000s.

Bonamassa is known for his dazzling collection of vintage guitars—which he says has become a target for haters—but he explains that you don’t need a ’58 Les Paul to get the goods. “It’s also the mystique,” he says. “If Jimmy Page played a Tokai, everyone would want a Tokai.” A guitar made two weeks ago, he says, is just as good as a classic.

Bonamassa’s lightning-quick soloing style, which conjures a hurricane of major and minor pentatonic notes with some phrygian flair, is the stuff of legend, and his tricks on “Blues Deluxe” are plenty. Even though he tries to adhere to a “divide by two” rule to simplify his phrasings, he still stumps Shiflett with a volume swell trick he learned from Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton.

This solo is no walk in the park. Any brave takers up for giving it a shot? Share it and tag us so Shifty can have a look! Most importantly, remember to have fun. “Do whatever you want with the damn thing,” says Bonamassa. “It’s just a guitar.”

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Producer: Jason Shadrick

Executive Producers: Brady Sadler and Jake Brennan for Double Elvis

Engineering Support by Matt Tahaney and Matt Beaudion

Video Editors: Dan Destefano and Addison Sauvan

Special thanks to Chris Peterson, Greg Nacron, and the entire crew.