Does it surprise you to learn that Jonny Buckland of Coldplay makes our favorite guitarist lists?
I made a new YouTube video to help you hear why we dig his guitar playing. Check it out:
As you can hear, Buckland’s atmospheric, sparse guitar lines are a very different sound from our other favorites like Steve Clark, Eddie Van Halen, and Jimmy Page who are known for their bold, jaw-dropping, technical guitar solos.
I must admit the electric guitar lover in me is ultimately more compelled by the Coldplay tunes where Buckland plays more prominent electric rhythm parts. While not their most popular or highly rated album, X & Y features two of my favorite songs: “Low” and “Twisted Logic”.
However, Jonny Buckland’s playing on these songs isn’t really representative of his typical style.
His Signature Sound
Unlike most electric guitar bands, Coldplay used a lot of acoustic guitar and piano in their early albums. The first time Buckland’s guitar playing caught my attention was on the song “Yellow.” The way he bends in and out of tune on that track immediately made my ears perk up. I also really appreciate the way he makes expert use a delay pedal with the Fender ‘72 Telecaster Thinline.
Buckland's use of delay is often reminiscent of U2’s The Edge, who Buckland has often credited as his guitar idol. Listen to “God Put A Smile On Your Face.” The haunting lead line in the verses and the complimentary parts are soaked with delay on this tune.
While not known for being a showy guitarist, Buckland is super skilled at complimenting melodies with call and response style slide lines. You can hear what I mean in “Trouble.”
He also has a particularly innovative use of a slide on the song “A Rush of Blood to the Head” where he’s playing a Gibson ES-335.
Check out this great YouTube video on how to emulate Buckland's tone:
Have I convinced you that Jonny Buckland is more than meets the ear?
If you are ready to learn some more Coldplay, check out this blast from the past YouTube lesson on how to play "Clocks" on acoustic guitar:
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