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The Brian May guitar tone is one of the most instantly identifiable and unique sounds in rock. He constructed his own guitar that he still uses today, and part of that unique tone comes from his single coil pickups wired together in series (most pickups are wired in parallel). He also uses a treble booster pedal in front of a Vox AC30 tube amplifier.

So unless you happen to have a Brian May Signature guitar in your arsenal, recreating the exact tone from the recorded version may prove difficult. However, we can come close to the sound by using any guitar equipped with single coil pickups, then really tweaking the amp to hone in on that recorded tone. Guitars with humbucker pickups will also work fine, as Brian May's guitar gives a tone somewhere in between single coils and humbuckers.

A Vox AC30 style amp is a given here, and by setting the EQ of the amp to emphasize the midrange, and pulling back a bit on the highs, we can get in the ballpark of the sound. Kicking in the Treble Booster for the solo sections will give us the sustain needed to hold out those long bends. Check out the settings I used:

Vox AC30 Model: Drive: 60% Bass: 45% Mid: 70% High: 50% Presence: 50%

Treble Booster Pedal (leads only): Gain: 62% Tone: 100%

Lesson Info
Instructor Mike Olekshy
Fat Bottomed Girls