In The Style of Richie Sambora

By Miguel Ángel Ariza

We dive straight into it this week with the gear of one of the guitar heroes that our beloved 80s brought us, and everything that that involves, which is to say, a great arsenal of fireworks added to the sound of a guitar. However our protagonist today, Mr. Richie Sambora far exceeds the tackiness test that prevailed in those years and left us throughout his dilated career a few songs and a pile of solos and sounds to remember... very much in spite of having started his career in the 80s.
Beginning his career in the 80s,  you can imagine that, in addition to putting a technique and virtuosity on the table, it was an essential requirement back then in order to play in a rock band for good old Sambora to also be able to steal the show on stage by using a pointed Super Strats like his Kramer Jersey Star (one of the many Kramers he used in the 80s) to then little by little all throughout his career move on to use guitars with double and triple necks like his Fender Telecaster Double Neck or his 3-necked Ovation acoustic.
Being an avid collector of instruments today, an authentic guitar legend, composer of some of the most famous songs of the last 35 years, and a millionaire as well, there are few guitars that he didn’t like or possess. To mention one of his favourites we can say he owned a 1959 Gibson Les Paul and another from 1960, he has a Fender Broadcaster he also used in the studio, and another vintage Fender Stratocaster apart from his many variations of his own Fender Stratocaster Richie Sambora Signature, being the ‘58 the one we know he has used on some of his last records with Bon Jovi.    
But let’s not waste all the lines in this article enumerating the most famous guitars of all time, one of which he owned almost certainly, let’s talk about the one who has the honour of reviving the Talk Box years after our beloved Peter Frampton made it globally famous on his album Frampton Comes Alive. On two of Bon Jovi’s most famous songs, and therefore of the 80s and 90s, we can hear how he used this effect, very successfully by the way, on riffs in Living on a Prayer and It’s My Life… Who said the Talk Box was dead.    

But in addition to his guitars, he has an authentic collection of vintage Fender Tweeds
in his hands, being his favourites in the last stint with the New Jersey band, a Fender Super Twin from ‘59 and a Bassman from ‘58. Regarding his clean sounds we all know that to make rock onstage beside Bon Jovi, they could never be without their Marshall heads like the JCM 2000, the VHT by Pitbull and some other Blackstar heads.  

We could add more and more lines listing the  heads, cabinets, pedals he uses and has used throughout his career, but we believe with these you have a good summary of how to get that tone like Richie Sambora, while adding of course that to have all this you have to throw in a bottle of lacquer to be able to make rock like they did in the 80s...sorry about that… but I had to say it; besides, like I was saying earlier, Sambora has shown what an incredible guitar player he is and has exceeded the clichés of that decade which  gave his band global stardom and will always remain one of the best of his time, and his style and his band as a much bigger band than those anchored in a decade that nowadays the whole world seems to miss thanks to Stranger Things.

Find you own way to the tone of Richie Sambora