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Hooked: Laura Cox on Brad Paisley's "The Nervous Breakdown"

Laura Cox on Brad Paisley's "The Nervous Breakdown" | Hooked

Initially intimidated, the French rocker slowly worked out the Southern-fried chicken pickin’ guitar crash course and picked up multiple techniques—hammer-ons, pull-offs, ghost notes, double-stops, and open strings—that still feed her need for speed.


Rocker Laura Cox is a born southpaw, but damn right she can country pick with the best of them—using the typical right-handed guitar setup and approach. In this new episode of PG’s Hooked, Laura rip on Brad Paisley’s fleet-fingered riffs to his song “The Nervous Breakdown,” an instrumental from his 1999 debut album Who Needs Pictures. The tune helped define Paisley’s identity as a player to be reckoned with. But no Tele for Cox. She burns it up on an Epiphone Cornet.

Laura recounts that when she first heard the tune, “It was so fast I thought I would never be able to play it.” But then she decoded Paisley’s approach and learned that he was using multiple techniques to make it easier to execute: hammer-ons, pull-offs, ghost notes, double-stops, open strings, and a helping of Southern-fried chicken pickin’. In short, it’s all in the fretboard hand, as she explains.


With a team of experts on hand, we look at six workhorse vintage amps you can still find for around $1,000 or less.

If you survey the gear that shows up on stages and studios for long enough, you’ll spot some patterns in the kinds of guitar amplification players are using. There’s the rotating cast of backline badasses that do the bulk of the work cranking it out every day and night—we’re all looking at you, ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue.

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Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays
Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays

PG contributor Tom Butwin dives into the Rivolta Sferata, part of the exciting new Forma series. Designed by Dennis Fano and crafted in Korea, the Sferata stands out with its lightweight simaruba wood construction and set-neck design for incredible playability.

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The "Sandblasted" SE Series features a swamp ash top with a unique sandblasted finish in five color options.

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We’re unpacking Reid’s playing—from his early days in the NYC jazz underground through his work with Living Colour and into supergroup superstardom—and his longstanding gear-acquisition-syndrome.

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