Total Guitar



Like Bohemian Rhapsody, Knights of Cydonia is an epic whose defining guitar riff doesn’t arrive until near the end of the track. Also like Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s guaranteed to have all occupants of any vehicle headbangin­g in unison when it kicks in. The spaghetti western guitar tones at the beginning recall the surf guitar greats, with a ton of Fender-style reverb and tremolo, and the tremolo-picked descending slide at 0:47 is pure Misirlou. But there’s actually less pedal trickery than you might imagine. The frantic vibrato on the riff that arrives moments later, for example, is created simply by waggling the hell out of a whammy bar with the picking hand while using hammer-ons to fret notes on the A string. If you don’t have any guitars fitted with a tremolo arm, you could always use a dedicated vibrato pedal like the BOSS VB-2W or TC Electronic Shaker – or even check to see if any of your vibe or chorus pedals have a vibrato

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