My guitar choice
Mexican Fender Stratocaster
This is a 2008 Fender Stratocaster made in Mexico. The Mexican Fender models are much cheaper than their American-made counterparts, but are still instruments of good quality and can be extremely good buys. I bought mine whilst studying at The Guitar Institute, as my guitars at the time were mainly Ibanezs and I needed some more versatility. This guitar has proved to be an extremely good purchase. It's extremely versatile, has a really good neck and some great Strat tones. I use it mainly for teaching now, but over the years have used it in many differing live situations. It’s a bit of a work horse guitar. I have it set up with Ernie Ball 9s and with a low action.
This guitar belonged to my first guitar teacher, and was the first instrument I'd ever seen that was from the hard rock genre. I instantly fell in love with this instrument and decided that one day I would own it. This guitar has been gigged, taught many lessons with me, and has also been used in the studio for most of my hard rock style recordings. I also own several other Ibanez Rg Series guitars and I also own a Paul Gilbert Signature Model, I have all of my Ibanez guitars set up on Ernie Ball 9s with a very low action.
Suhr Pro Series M8
This is my main guitar of choice for live and studio work. It's an extremely versatile guitar which is as beautiful to play as it is to look at it. It has a basswood body with a maple cap, and an all maple neck. This wood combination is extremely versatile for all styles as it gives you a little bit of every EQ. Couple that with the 5-way super switch which gives you three humbucking and two single-coil options, and a very versatile range of volume and tone control, you can play literally every style with this guitar. It also has stainless steel frets which last far longer than standard frets and also make string bending a much nicer experience. These elements make it the perfect guitar for live and studio work. I have it set up on D'addario NYXL 10s and with the action that the guitar came with, as it is set with the plek fret laser setting system for optimum playability.
My acoustic guitar is a Faith Saturn made by Luthier Patrick James Eggle. It’s a beautifully constructed guitar and has a wonderful resonant sound. I use it mainly when working with singers to accompany a solo voice, and obviously for teaching acoustic guitar players. I use it live and in the studio and it serves me well in both areas. I have it strung with light gauge Ernie Ball acoustic strings for general playing, but use heavier strings when using altered tunings such as DADGAD.
Ibanez S6521Q Prestige
This beautiful guitar is the latest Ibanez in my collection. I bought this guitar in 2017 to fulfil my need for a high end, versatile guitar that had a fixed bridge. Although my Suhr is probably my best, all-round guitar, the S series has a particular character that I have grown to love. I use it for pretty much everything, including all of my teaching, and recording many of the technical examples in my guitar technique syllabus. This guitar has some very high-end appointments, including a five-piece high-performance wizard neck, supported with KTS titanium rods. The guitar has Gotoh locking tuners which I love, not only for tuning stability but for ease of string changes. The pickups come courtesy of DiMarzio, with a Tone Zone in the bridge and an Air Norton in the neck, which when combined with the five-way super switch offer me all of the sounds I need for my playing. A dual humbucker set up with five-way switch has become my favourite set up since I bought my Suhr, and I'm delighted to have a very similar range of Tones in this guitar. Another real high point of the Ibanez S series is the super-thin body, which makes playing for extended hours feel very comfortable with very little fatigue. It's a real players player guitar.