shred guitar

Evolutionary design makes this accessibly priced shred machine extra appealing and rewarding to play.

Excellent variety of distinct tones. Modern features that are not very common yet on production guitars.

No gigbag or case.

$999.99

Ibanez SML721
www.ibanez.com

5
4.5
4.5
4.5

In its current state, Ibanez’s new Axe Design Lab line of guitars seems conceived as a vehicle for unconventional designs. Twenty-seven frets? Fanned frets? Nine strings? If you want a guitar that throws the rule book out the window, the Axe Design Lab probably has it. In fact, the fanned-fret Ibanez SML721, which is reviewed here, looks pretty normal compared to much of the rest of the Axe Design Lab roster. And at $999, the Indonesia-made SML721 strikes a very nice balance between quality, affordability, and outside-the-box design think.

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Photo by Richie Sambora

For Rock Candy, Orianthi set out to write and record a song a day. Leaning into spontaneity to spark creativity, the result is as stylistically diverse as her impressive résumé, which includes performing with Steve Vai, Carlos Santana, Alice Cooper, Michael Jackson, and Prince.

As both a solo artist of the highest order and a session ace who has worked with the music world’s elite, Orianthi has succeeded not only because of her immense talent, but also because she knows how to get things done. When Orianthi (Penny Panagaris) was offered a guitarist role on the Alice Cooper tour, she learned 25 of his songs (many quite difficult) in a week—all during a time when she was in the middle of recording her own album.

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Unleash the power of shreddy subdivisions.

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Understand how to work different rhythmic subdivisions into a rock groove.
  • Combine related arpeggios all over the fretboard.
  • Learn how to combine pentatonic sounds with arpeggio-based lines.
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In my experience, constructing lines has always been about texture and structure. Developing ideas for soloing and writing melodies takes a keen sense of harmonic and rhythmic context. It’s about seducing the listener and delivering a ride that’s hard to forget—a ride that caters to the listener. Of course, it’s important to write for yourself and from the heart, but also remember that if your heart’s intent is to inspire others, then you’re on the right track for the long haul. And this is where melody comes in.

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