A modern blues master takes us through his signature gear and gives some insight into his upside-down style.

Eric Gales, busy promoting his new album, Middle of The Road, took a break to hang with PG’s John Bohlinger at City Winery in Nashville. Gales, a master of melody, nuance, and flash, showed us his simple setup he uses both live and in the studio.

Gales’ No. 1 is this Sonnet Raw Dawg II signature model by Magneto Guitars. This S-style axe features a hard-rock maple neck, East Indian rosewood fretboard with an 11" radius, medium C-shape neck, 22 narrow jumbo frets, and Lollar Blackface pickups.

His backup is this Xotic XS-1 loaded with Fishman Fluence Single Width pickups and a Super-Vee BladeRunner whammy bar. Both guitars are strung with Dunlop strings (.010-.046) and tuned to Eb.

The bluesman runs his 100-watt Two-Rock Eric Gales signature amp into two Pure Sixty-Four 2x12 ported cabinets loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s.

Gales’ signal hits the Boss TU-2 tuner and then a DigiTech Whammy 5, a Mojo Hand FX Colossus Fuzz, a Custom Audio Electronics wah (bling'd-out by Dunlop), an E.W.S. Eric Gales Brute Drive, an MXR Bass Envelope Filter, and a Tech 21 Boost D.L.A. And though the MXR EVH Flanger is still on his board, Gales says he’s currently not using it.

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Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.

Advanced

Beginner

• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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