Top 10 Rig Rundowns of 2020

COVID-19 shut down tours, but it didn't stop our gear envy. The most-watched episodes include YouTuber Rick Beato, Nashville session ace Tom Bukovac, Intervals' Aaron Marshall, Deep Sea Diver's Jessica Dobson, and others.

10. (B) Brendan Benson

A trip into the bona fide Raconteurs guitarist's inner lair of rare vintage acoustics, super vibey amps, and a few choice goldtops.

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10. (A) Elder

Swooshing Pink Floyd vibes, kerranging Sleep chugs, and mutating mellow Motorpsycho tones symbiotically swirl in this guitar duo’s growing setups.

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9. Nick Perri

The retro rocker opens up about retrofitting reissues, returning to the JTM45s, and finding the piece of gear that changed his life.

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8. Deep Sea Diver's Jessica Dobson

“Strangled cat" and "glassy Jonny Greenwood” are just two attitudes the former Beck and Shins sidewoman engages in her band’s adventurous indie-rock.

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7. Jared James Nichols

No picks needed for this high-octane blues rocker, who keeps it simple with a single-P-90 signature Epiphone and namesake Blackstar head that doubles as his carry-on.

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6. Opeth

The Swedish prog-metal sorcerers dish on their longstanding PRS ties and uncover why they traded traditional tube amps for swappable high-gain Synergy modules.

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5. Albert Lee

A bona fide twang-guitar legend shares stories of his time with Clapton and gives an inside look at how he approaches his signature sound.

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4. Intervals

Prog-metal architect Aaron Marshall shows off a pair of dazzling Mayones prototypes before he explains using a small digital footprint for tons of tones.

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3. Josh Smith

A bona fide blues shredder breaks down his powerful pedalboard and rips some licks on his trusty Chapin T-style.

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2. Tom Bukovac

When you’re one of the most recorded guitarists in Nashville, you make sure you can cover all the bases. Watch this in-depth look at the amazing vintage guitars, rare amps, and massive pedalboard that inspires one of Nashville’s first-call session players.

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1. Rick Beato

One of YouTube’s leading music authorities opens up his well-stocked studio and shares the stories behind some of his most cherished gear.

Full Article & Photos.


A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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