february 2014

Luthier Ben Crowe walks us through the process off outfitting your axe with a controller that puts vast new sonic realms at your fingertips—literally.

One of the biggest guitar heroes to come out of Britain in the last decade is Matthew Bellamy—the falsetto-voiced leader of internationally acclaimed apocalyptic-prog band Muse. Hailing from southwest England, the futuristic power trio (Bellamy, bass virtuoso Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard) has been filling stadiums all over the world with an epic style that combines a Radiohead-like indie streak with the drama of Queen and the dystopian outlook of a fantastically bleak sci-fi movie.

Be sure to watch the detailed video where Crimson Guitars luthier Ben Crowe walks you through this project step by step. Plus, hear the MIDI pad in demoed in various music applications and styles.

Bellamy’s playing on six studio albums and multiple worldwide tours proves he’s got no end of chops in the traditional sense, but he and his bandmates are equally admired for always pushing the envelope and embracing new technologies (their live shows are some of the most spectacular in rock). Bellamy isn’t the first to have guitars with the nearly limitless power of a MIDI XY-pad controller built right into them, but he’s more identified with the mod than any player on the planet. He’s even got a signature Manson Guitarworks MB-1S guitar with a MIDI controller screen option.

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How jangle, glam, punk, shoegaze, and more blended to create a worldwide phenomenon. Just don’t forget your tambourine.



  • 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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John 5 on How He Gets Old-School Tones from His Metal-Friendly Tele | The Big 5

Plus, find out which guitar hero the Rob Zombie sideman “begs and pleads” with you to listen to.

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