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"As long as the guitar can keep up with making interesting sounds, it will always remain relevant"

- Guitarworld.com

In this chapter we look to a futuristic visionary, a modern day guitar superhero. We had generation Jimi followed by the era of Eddie but now, in the modern day, we look towards the future innovators and this week's player spotlight completely delivers in every aspect.

The foundation of a true guitar hero first and foremost is pure standout individuality and landmark creativity, something that this week's player naturally shines at; everything he puts out there is sonically groundbreaking, the riffs he produces along with the enigmatic techniques are mesmerisingly inspirational.

A standalone, stylistic genius who is instantly recognisable by his playing style, however not easily categorised as he and his band are ever evolving to a creatively level out of this world.

With sights set on sonic horizons, enviable guitar tones and abstract sounds of starlight, let's plug-in to the supermassive Matt Bellamy. ⚡️ 🎸 🎧 

Symphonic Beginnings 🎼 

Cambridge ⛪️. An iconic and prestigious English city draped in history and achievement, the birthplace of this week's guitar star man. Matt Bellamy was born 9th June 1978 to parents Matt and Marilyn Bellamy - he also has an older sibling Paul.

Spending his formative years in the incredible city of Cambridge, Matt and his family would later move to Teignmouth, Devon.

A truly interesting and inspiring fact is that Matt's father George was a musician himself playing rhythm guitar in the now heritage band “The Tornadoes”. What’s truly fascinating here is that his father’s band was the first British group to have a No. 1 hit in the United States 🇺🇸 with an instrumental number penned by the legendary Joe Meek named “Telstar”.

The band were a great influence on many big names of today such as The Who; and Matt does a credit a large amount of inspiration to his father's legacy and musical background. In fact, the early part of the song “Knights of Cydonia” by Matt's band MUSE pays homage to the landmark “Telstar”.


Bellamy didn't start out on guitar, and his musical journey was a winding road of discovery. Initially his interests were sparked by the piano 🎹, at the age of six and with his brother's persuasion he learnt to play the theme tune to TV series “Dallas”; this was a novel stepping stone but there was an obvious talent that was beginning to emerge.

Matt recalls having brushes with a number of other instruments until witnessing Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire 🔥,  a complete turning point in both theatricality and intense performance.

“What was your musical upbringing like? Are you a pianist who plays guitar or a guitarist who plays piano?

I started with piano. I never took lessons or anything. I was self-taught. I just played for fun at home—mostly blues piano and stuff like that. I got into guitar when I was about 12 or 13 years old. Again, I started out playing blues—a lot of slide-guitar stuff. In my teenage years, I went on a little journey where I started getting into rock and, bizarrely, got into classical guitar. When I was about 17 or 18, I took about six months of classical guitar lessons—mainly nylon string, flamenco guitar. That’s when I learned music theory. It was a really helpful time. At that point, I started playing piano again, and I got even more interested in classical stuff and interesting chord structures and moved away from the blues thing a little bit.”

Matt Bellamy for premierguitar.com

Image via Premierguitar.com

As a young lad Matt recalls growing up in a very middle-class background and being able to have whatever he wanted until his teenage years when his parents got divorced.

From around the age of 14 he began living with his grandmother and money was a lot tighter and things were very different. It may well be this turn of events in his life that led to his incredible focus on music, it wasn't until he lived with his grandmother that he became intensely driven.

Bellamy has described his musical connection as more of a need than a hobby or interest. It’s intriguing that when he left his family home away from his father who was musician and inspiration to him, the musician in himself began to flourish as he was now distant from him in that respect.

A man now revered for his continuous invention and respected for his riffs 🤘  


MUSE 🎧 🔊 🎆 

Image courtesy of Muse.mu

The progression of guitar music is always up for debate and a real enthralling subject, there are so many bands that either base their sound and image on a retro concept, which is cool to give great authentic vintage vibes, and in the same breath there are many bands that have tried to take things forward in both image and musical approach.

It's a real tough thing to take musical expression possibly somewhere it hasn't gone and discover new realms of sonic capabilities and melodic pathways.

A band built around a progressive, melancholic, alternative rock/metal style with a good dose of electronica dusted on the top. Muse are an incredibly original sounding group that have continuously pushed the boundaries from their earliest works to the latest works.

Unrivalled song-craft from the trio has seen them catapulted to stadium status and only the biggest gigs will do now, as a group and as individuals.

“We’ve got our eye on what guitarists might want in the future, not just trying to recreate what guitarists had in the past”

Matt Bellamy - Guitarworld.com

Muse have won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards and eight NME Awards. In 2012 they received the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. As of June 2016, they have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.


Driven by captivating melodies and enormous riffs that have defined their generation in the guitar world and the popular music we are accustomed to today.

The sonic pleasings of MUSE’s highly futuristic and developed sound is driven by ongoing experimental creativity and Matt Bellamy’s incredible soaring multi-range falsetto vocal - a truly unique band. Everyone who’s anyone is always waiting for their next step, and once again their latest offering is groundbreaking and completely current in any setting.


Supermassive Strings 🎸 


“It was our intent to create a tapestry—that’s a good word actually—to deliberately meld together different eras of music, even within the context of one song.”

Matt Bellamy - premierguitar.com

Bellamy has always been a future-focused player and everything he does and everything he uses he tends to ensure that he is going forward not backwards. In countless interviews I have read with him he always discusses how discovery and invention in the world of guitar is important and it's always good to look forwards not backwards.

“When I pick up this guitar, it makes me play the way I play and come up with the ideas I come up with that are different to when I play any other type of guitar. That’s all to do with feel. To some extent, you can go anywhere you want with sounds now but I still think the way a guitar feels is important. It directs the way you play. I wanted to come up with a guitar that would lead me down a path of 21st-century music rather than going backwards with a retro feel. That’s always been the challenge with the guitar in the modern era of music.”

Matt Bellamy - guitar.com

String choice however is nothing but classic rock 'n' roll, now and back then it has always been Ernie Ball for Matt Bellamy and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Image: Sergione Infuso / Corbis via Getty Images

Championing the brand he uses a very standard set - surprisingly - straight Regular Slinky but does swap out the low E string .046 for a .060, he is also fond of the 10–52 Skinny Top Heavy Bottom set offered as standard now.

The string choice you see here completely makes sense to his style of playing, he needs those heavy weight low-end wound strings to really exaggerate the low-tuned, larger than life riffs MUSE rip out at every show. 

So now you know you can get your Plug-in Baby with a set of Regular Slinky - and some 💪 .

Check out our Matt Bellamy custom gauge inspired set linked in the image below. 🤘 

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