How to play “Stray Cat Strut” – Brian Setzer goes on tour

Brian Setzer is one of the great guitar players of the world. His devotion to the sound and style of Rockabilly hit a chord as he smashed onto the music scene back in the 1980s. Here you can learn to play one of the Stray Cats greatest hits...Stray Cat Strut. Now, get that hair gel out!


Brian Setzer …  “The Rockabilly King” of the 1980’s!

Brian Setzer

When Brian Setzer and the Stray Cat’s burst on to the music scene back in the 80’s it was obvious they had something special. They were young, exciting and talented. Setzer stood out like a beacon with his retro rockabilly hair, clothes and guitar licks. The fact is though, that Brian Setzer includes a lot of other music genres in his playing as this article from Reverb magazine details.

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Rockabilly revivalist Brian Setzer turns 58 today. People might associate him most with ‘Tron-powered twang, slapback tape echo, and indulgent Bigsby use, but the careful listener will hear Setzer play with a vocabulary that borrows as much from multiple eras of jazz and blues as it does from straight ahead rock. From his rise to prominence in the ‘80s with the Stray Cats to his resurgence in the ‘90s with The Brian Setzer Orchestra, people have always seen Setzer as the something of a rebel slinging his iconic Gretsch G6120. Beyond the hot rod aesthetic — slick hair, tattoos, pin-up stickers, dice control knobs — he is an incredibly talented musician with deep knowledge of the fretboard.

For those interested in his gear, a good starting point would be grabbing a Gretsch 6120 (he has multiple signature versions of this model as well) or, if you’re shopping on a budget, the Gretsch G5420. For amps, Setzer’s been known to use early ‘60s brownface Fender Bassmans with the 6G6B circuit and AMS tubes, as well as a the occasional Fender Princeton.

When it comes to effects, he keeps it simple, favoring a Roland RE-301 Chorus Echo for most of his slapback and tone-shaping. Given that few people have $1k to spend on the real thing, a more accessible pedal for getting that rockabilly echo is the Keeley Memphis Sun. Learn To Play: Riffs in the Key of Brian Setzer | Reverb

Learning To Play Stray Cat Strut

The song “Stray Cat Strut” is the song that made Brian Setzer a world wide guitar hero. Learn to play this song with these great online video tutorials below.

and here is the second video…

and here is the group back in the day!

Brian Setzer Comments On Twitter

A lot of love for Brian in the Twittersphere!


Check out all our other learn this song on guitar features by clicking the link.

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