Beth… take note:
Brian May has been referred to as a virtuoso guitarist. He has used a range of guitars, most often the “Red Special“, which he designed when he was only 16 years old. It was built with wood from an 18th century fireplace. His comments on this instrument, from Queen In Their Own Words (ed. Mick St. Michael, Omnibus Press, 1992, p. 62) are:
“ I like a big neck – thick, flat and wide. I lacquered the fingerboard with Rustin’s Plastic Coating. The tremolo is interesting in that the arm’s made from an old bicycle saddle bag carrier, the knob at the end’s off a knitting needle and the springs are valve springs from an old motorbike. ”
In addition to using his home-made guitar he prefers to use coins (especially a sixpence), instead of a more traditional plastic plectrum, on the basis that their rigidity gives him more control in playing. He is known to carry coins in his pockets specifically for this purpose.