Mark Tremonti (April 18, 1974) is, without a doubt, one of the greatest lead guitarists in the last 20 years. A heavy metal virtuoso who has not slowed down since he first appeared with Creed, in the second half of the 90s, then on to Alter Bridge, until his solo thrash metal records were released. He has a total of 12 albums under his belt, dozens of millions of records sold, and a Grammy, so far. Tremonti’s journey has been long, and he seems unstoppable; if not on tour, he’s recording - with or without Alter Bridge, doesn’t matter: the fans always hungrily await his new work -. and if he’s not busy with one thing or another, it’s because he’s writing his next tunes and texts or working on his next signature guitar or, perhaps, on an amp that carries his name, working elbow to elbow with luthier maestro Paul Reed Smith.
Tremonti admits he is a fan of guitarists with completely different styles like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Dimebag Darrell, but it’s clear that he has developed his own sound that goes through a complex mix, strong on accurate arpeggios, fingering, and pin-point riffing. In addition, the use of unusual tunings flows into his amazing skill for beautiful solos.
Still, let’s talk about sound. When it comes to guitars, our hero has certainly come a long way since he started as a kid with a Tara, a Gibson Les Paul knock-off, (bought from a mate for 10$) until he fell in love with a PRS over 16 years ago. His signature guitars normally have the single-cut shape, although his last creation was a PRS’ classic double-cut, with an output up high on the bridge pickup, and a more moderate pickup on the neck. As for amps, he has had so many in his career, but he has 2 favourites: the Mesa Boogie Dual and the Triple Rectifier. For a cleaner sound, his pick is the fantastic ‘65 Fender Twin Reverb Reissue. Another classic piece of his gear is the Bogner Überschall, to give low frequency a bigger bass boost . Although he doesn’t usually use a lot of pedals, it’s no secret of his endorsement with Morley (Wha) and T-Rex (Replica, Phaser, Octavius…). And if we talk about Overdrive, after testing several, he chose another classic: the Ibanez TS808HWB.
We always say: to play like our heroes we would have to be like our heroes, which is impossible. However, good gear ‘in the style of’ and a ton of passion and hours and hours of practice always help.