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In this issue we celebrate The Best of the Year – the players, the riffs, the solos, the albums, the songs and, of course, the gear.

A personal highlight for me was witnessing John Frusciante’s performance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers this summer at the London Stadium. John’s playing remains as powerful and soulful as it ever was. He is our Guitarist of the Year, and in a major new interview beginning on page 28, he reveals how he focuses on making an emotional connection through his playing, and how he created his own tribute to one of his greatest heroes, Eddie Van Halen.

Elsewhere, we speak to two other famous guitar heroes still at the top of their game – Matt Bellamy and Steve Vai. And in our list of the top 20 Albums of the Year, there is further proof that some of the most exciting new music is being made by new generation of rising stars, including the three bands recently featured on TG’s cover – Polyphia, Nova Twins and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.

On page 58 you can learn how to play like the stars of 2022 – from a Jack White-inspired shuffle riff to Polyphia-style tapping and harmonics. And in our rundown of the Gear of the Year, there’s something for every player and every budget, big or small.

Enjoy the issue, and take a moment to reflect on these words from our Year in Guitar review: “The world is not without its struggles, but whether you want to express your frustrations or escape from them entirely, the guitar is the instrument to do it.”

Chris Bird Editor

Total Guitar (ISSN 1355504) December Issue 365, is published monthly with an extra issue in July by Future Publishing, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA, UK

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