The Total Guitar Best in guitars 2016 polls have received over 68,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the guitarists and guitar gear that have excelled in 2016. Here, we present the guitar personalities of 2016. First up we have Mr David Brent…
Ricky Gervais alluded to bumbling boss David Brent’s musical background in season one, episode four of The Office, but it was in 2016’s David Brent movie that we gained deeper insight into his huge, if misguided, musical ambitions.
Spinal Tap fan Gervais really nails the wannabe musician cliches with the film and, dare we say it, even penned some catchy tunes in the shape of Life On The Road and the haunting Slough.
He told all about his guitar-playing and songwriting odyssey in our extensive interview. Go and get the guitar...
At the end of 2015 Metallica's Kirk Hammett announced a gear company with business partner David Karon called KHDK Electronics. They kicked things off with three new effects pedals to showcase; including Kirk's signature Ghoul Screamer, which the company describes as the 'Swiss Army knife of overdrives'.
When we reviewed the Ghoul Screamer earlier in 2016 we said: “When it comes to boosting and tightening up metal tones, the Ghoul Screamer is among the best TS-alikes we've used... It's rare to come across a pedal quite so instantly gratifying.”
We spoke to Kirk and David earlier this year about KHDK's future - there are big plans afoot.
To the casual metal fan, Dave Mustaine is the leader of one of thrash's Big Four, the ever-uncompromising Megadeth. To his Twitter followers, however, the snarl-prone frontman adopts the guise of a kindly - yet temperamental - uncle, always willing to offer advice and encouragement on everything from exam stress to guitar buying and mini-excavator mishaps.
No, really. It's less Megadeth, more Mega Life Guru, and we love Dave all the more for it.
Having cornered the hard rock guitar market with his Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society and solo material, Mr Wylde had nothing left to prove. So, the obvious next step was to release his own set of emojis, natch.
Whilst he couldn’t compete with Kim Kardashian on the sales front, his emojis did at least enable digitally-savvy metalheads to add amp stacks, flaming fretboards and Zakk Wylde’s head to their text messages, Tweets and Instagram posts. Something we’ve all been missing, then.
In June 2016 a court ruled that Led Zeppelin did not rip off a song by US band Spirit for the opening chords of Stairway To Heaven, telling us something we all knew anyway.
Throughout proceedings, riff-writing master Jimmy Page was the source of much amusement, air guitaring whenever music was played in the courtroom and, when it was suggested by the judge that Page "had a gift in his ability to play guitar," the guitar legend simply replied, “well, yeah”. Well played, Jimmy.
Joe Bonamassa shares much of his touring life with his social followers, but it’s his vast vintage gear collection that keeps us following, and he regularly shares the gear he’s using on stage and in the studio with his 145K Twitter followers.
In recent months, he’s shown off a stunning pair of 1962 Fender Oxblood Reverb units, '60s Fender Jags and Jazzmasters and a lush 54 Strat from his breathtaking personal collection, which he narrows down to just 35 favourites for our stunning gallery. Jealous much?
Like most musicians, guitarists are ripe for parody (Spinal Tap, anyone?), and that’s the basis for Jared Dines’ YouTube channel. Over one million subscribers later and Jared has become the last word in ace parody videos with tongue firmly in cheek.
Rob’s been doing the rounds on YouTube for a while, but it was when he dropped his genius Shovel Guitar video early in 2016 that things really took off.
Like what you see? Take a regular shovel, add a pick-up, a single string and you too could become a YouTube megastar. So far the video has racked up 1.5 million views and Scallon even busted out the shovel once again for a killer shot glass slide jam video in October.
Proving once again that he’s just a regular rock music fan who happens to be mega talented, famous and rich, in March 2016 The Nicest Man In Rock came to the aid of Cornish metal quartet Black Leaves Of Envy after their garage practice sessions were shut down by the local noise police.
Grohl wrote to the council, saying: “For musicians that lack the resources to rehearse in professional facilities, a garage or basement is the only place they have to develop their talent and passion.” Following the note the council stated they were working with the band to come up with a solution. It’s times like these we need a hero like Dave.
Daniel Steinhardt and Mick Taylor (That Pedal Show)
That Pedal Show, the YouTube channel presented by ex-Guitarist Editor Mick Taylor and TheGigRig’s Daniel Steinhardt, continued to grow through 2016 to become one of the internet’s biggest resources for credible, insightful and entertaining info on the world of guitar effects.
The duo have quickly amassed a dedicated community of well over 60,000 subscribers, in no small part due to their insane levels of knowledge and their passion for sharing it with others, and they don’t take themselves too seriously either.
Winner: Rob Chapman
Taking the guitar personality top spot for a second year running, it’s Chappers! This face-melting poll result comes as no surprise really, as the YouTube guitar star continues to fill our feeds with guitar goodness on an almost daily basis, and all presented in his unique style.
From lessons and demos, to industry insight and behind-the-scenes looks at his colourful life, Rob continues to sit at the very core of the guitar world, and we can’t get enough.
Almost half a million subscribers really can’t be wrong. Congratulations, Chappers!