The result of a unique collaboration between Sir Brian May, his long-standing guitar tech Pete Malandrone, and House Music, the best-selling BMG Special combines the distinctive aesthetics and sound of the legendary Red Special with a wealth of modern appointments and superb quality, production-line craftsmanship.
All the foundations of the trademark BM sound are present and correct, with construction, pickups and electronics faithfully reproducing the original's unique character and tonal versatility. But this is so much more than just a replica... With a price-tag and a range of new colours driven by Brian's concept of a guitar "for the people", the Special is designed to provide modern players of all musical persuasions with an affordable pro-grade instrument that is the perfect go-to guitar for any performance environment.
True to the look and spirit of the "Old Lady", the instantly recognisable pinstripe-bound, double cutaway mahogany body shape features an acoustic chamber modelled on Brian's original design that enhances the Special's natural resonance and decreases weight.
Engineered with a decidedly contemporary feel, and considerably less deeply contoured than the somewhat gargantuan proportions of the iconic original, the glued-in mahogany neck sports a generous 45mm nut width, comfortably spacious "D" profile, and wonderfully smooth 24 fret ebony fingerboard.
Modern replicas of the vintage '60s Burns design units that are so fundamental to the Red Special's powerful sonic character, the three series-wired, single-coil pickups feature the same retro-styling and magnet alignment as the originals.
As per the original BM design, the Special is equipped with six white-capped slider switches controlling individual pickup on/off and phase reversal, providing a vast range of tonal variations.
Trevor Wilkinson's "Wave" tremolo-bridge provides a striking modern look to the BMG Special as well as smooth, comfortable performance with exceptional stability and sustain.
The distinctive BM style headstock sports 3-a-side locking chrome tuners with an 18:1 gear ratio for precise tuning and a thumbwheel locking mechanism that clamps the string securely. These superb quality machine heads allow for quick and easy string change with fewer string wraps and will maintain rock-solid tuning stability and more accurate return-to-pitch, even with lots of vibrato and string bends.
Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the completion of the Red Special and 20 glorious years since the launch of the Brian May Guitars brand, every BMG Special now comes complete with a FREE 2024 Sir Brian May "Official Queen Pick" in a perspex collector's case.
A premium quality, padded gig-bag, made from durable showerproof material, with twin rucksack-style shoulder straps, side and front grab handles, dual front pockets and stitched BMG logo, is supplied as standard with all Special models. An optional BMG Custom Fitted Hard Case is also available.
An exclusive demonstration of the first iteration of the BMG Special by the maestro himself.
A superb demo of the Brian May Guitars SPECIAL from young, Brazilian guitar ace Lucas Vianna, a performer in the 2016 São Paulo and 2017 Danish touring productions of the smash hit Queen musical "We Will Rock You".
Lucas uses the Special to demonstrate some of Sir Brian May's favourite switch settings.
Here, Lucas shows off the Special's unique, genre-busting tonal dexterity.
I ordered a Metal May guitar and have been really impressed with the service from Brian May Guitars. The delivery of the guitar (I live in New Zealand) was quicker than expected and the thorough packaging ensured the guitar arrived in a perfect condition. I have played on a Burns Brian May guitar for the past 18 years and it has been an excellent guitar. The Metal May is another superb guitar. I prefer the tremolo system on the Metal May and also find it slightly more playable due to its neck. While I wanted another BM guitar, it was an added bonus that it plays slightly differently to my Burns. It also looks fantastic in black and sounds great. The free guitar strap is top quality and gig bag is as well. Thanks again.
I’m a big Queen fan and I’ve been since “Killer Queen” was released. I’d played guitar a few years at the time and went from John Fogerty to Brian May. “Brighton Rock” became my guitar school. This Metal May is simply fantastic. I love the fact that the all black colour turns it into something different than the other BMGs. They’re all beautiful but this version stands out. Ordered in on a Friday and got it next Tuesday !!! Tuned it up and it had a perfectly setup. A big neck and wide fretboard and that might take a little time to get used to for some. For me? No problem cause it’s a lot like one of my Firebird’s (2006). Anyway ! I’m really really happy with this guitar and I guess there’s room for one more... maybe in gold or blue or red. Thanks BMG and keep up the good work 👍🏻
Wow! I absolutely love this guitar! I was very fortunate to secure a signed (By Dr. Brian May) BMG Special guitar a couple of months earlier. I loved it so much, but being signed, which I treasure, I don’t want to play this live @ gigs... so, solution... buy another! This time, the BMG LE Metal May. I’m so happy with this guitar, too. It’s set up well, with a beautiful feel, and looks and sounds awesome! Both times, the guitars arrived from England and on my doorstop in NZ within 10 days (in actual, probably less). Communication was great from the time I placed my order, to dispatch and all delivery steps on the way. And this is through COVID-19 times. Thank you so much BMG Guitars! You rock! The BMG special Guitar Rocks! Just like Legend Brian May Rocks! 😊 5 Stars PLUS! One extremely happy customer. Thank you.
I don't know what to say so I'll say it all...I'm not a great guitarist, not a performer. I jam at home for stress relief and to make myself happy. I was looking at finally getting myself a Strat. A co-worker caught wind of this and being a huge Queen fan pointed out this site to me. Pointed out that Brian May has a doctorate in Astrophysics and had deisgned his own axe. Then I saw the switch setup and learned more. I ordered one, hoping it would be everything I wanted.Given that the guitar is purely analog I paired it with a full tube 40 watt Marshall and an Orange Micro Terror as well for headphones.I'm delighted.I just can't find a limit yet. My only problem so far has been that the tremolo bar seems to rise a bit high under my palm but really, I'm no expert and I may be able to remedy that with another whammy bar and just cutting down the length where it engages the bridge a little. Maybe. Dunno, I might need some time to adjust my technique instead.I'm one very happy strumming, picking guitar player these days.
Fantastic and beautiful!! It was worth to wait for it!
I have been playing my 25th anniv. silver Strat since 1978 and needless to say it was May's playing, even my Mum loved the sound of Queen, that influenced me to play. The BMG MM (Metal May) is a guitar of pure black beauty. Believe it or not but when Brian May took over production I wrote and asked his factory in England to build something similar. They were not able to do it then but now they have it! OMG, talk about the stars lining up with that.With that being said it did take a bit of getting used to in two major areas:1. The neck - There is room to play on this bad boy of a fret board! I have long fingers so I only noticed a minor difference on the thickness of the neck but it does have a feel all its own. I also had to adjust to the spaces between the strings as they are wider but for some reason made bending easier.2. The switches - Unlike my Strat the Metal May has so many variables it takes more than just a week or so to get a grip on some of the variations. I suggest to vary the switches and your amp settings to get your OWN sound, one that feels good to you then map it out on paper so you don't forget. And folks, my review is based on NO effects. The Metal May does a great job on sustains, bending strings (I am sure that bending is more difficult with my Strat due to the width of the neck and pick ups (the MM seems to offer a board designed with bending in mind), feedback is fun to play with as well.My Strat is made with a heavy wood body of which I have grown accustomed to. Upon receiving the MM I noticed it to be lighter than mine but keep in mind this is the more affordable axe as compared to BMG Super. And for some folks too heavy of a guitar can be a strain on the neck/shoulders.The unique sound is routed through the Tri Sonic pickups which are incredible to hear. And again, with the array of switches the sounds are endless from bright to crunch. I like crunch!Overall a well thought out guitar at a price that is competitive in today's market. I never thought as a 16 year old kid seeing Queen in Las Vegas at the Aladdin Theater that I would even come close to holding my hero's guitar. My bucket list is the BMG Super but this will abide my time quite well my dear!Sincerely,Jim Dale
I love this guitar... This was my first Brian May Guitar so I was expecting big things. I was not disappointed, this guitar is amazing. Firstly, very accurate to the original and the sound is hauntingly near. With the black one, the in and out phase switches really show up bright and once you get some retro silver switches on there (which you can get from the site) the whole guitar looks really futuristic. I think with the black one the shape is accentuated with its white glowing edges. The black pickups really look 'Rocky' and I can't think of a cooler looking guitar. This is a limited edition so grab it while it's available. I am very very happy with my purchase and will continue to check the site for updates and new editions. The team were professional and friendly and full of advice and amused me with tales of Brian himself propping and requesting guitars. Which brings you back to why you're here in the first place, Brian May, the man, the legend. Himself and his father created this guitar and now you have the choice to enjoy it too, in many flavors. If you like Brian's sound and are fan of cool looking guitars, I recommend you will not be disappointed with this. Love it, and always will!