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Glenn Tipton and his Custom Guitars

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Being one of the founding fathers of Speed Metal, Judas Priest made their mark by speeding up the heavy riffs and rhythms of existing hard rock and playing them with a more metal and less blues rock sound. Sure, Sabbath came first, but where Sabbath rhythms were plodding and hypnotic, Priest focussed on fast, repetitive, driving rhythms that spawned the term "headbanging." Judas Priest in genaral, were also largely responsible for defining and toughening up the heavy metal image with leather and spikes. As Judas Priest, Glenn Tipton, KK Downing, and Rob Halford were responsible for some of the greatest heavy metal songs and albums ever. While they've always tried to stay current, they have never deviated from their heavy style.

Glenn Tipton's tone is your basic humbucker through a Marshall tone. Compared to Downing's tone, Glenn's tone is warmer, with more bass and lower mids. This lets both guitarists play the same parts yet remain distinct in the mix. Tipton's classic sound on albums like British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, and Stained Class was obtained using 50 watt, non-master Marshall heads with EL34 output tubes, and a Range Master treble boost — the same device Brian May uses to kick his AC-30's. During this period, Glenn also employed a MXR Distortion +, Phase 100, and digital delays, as well as an old Maestro Echoplex.
Glenn is the more melodic of Judas Priest's guitarists. His style is drenched in blues-based phrasing and owes a huge debt to Peter Green. Glenn claims to not care too much about scales and modes: "I like freedom. I like feel." However, a quick listen to Judas Priest's catalog shows that he relies a lot on the Aeolian minor and pentatonic scales. In the 80s he began incorporating more sweep arpeggios into his solos, but he's never been one to shred ala Malmsteen, although he can motor when he wants to. Glenn's solos are improvised in the studio, but he reproduces them note for note live.

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