“Guthrie Govan gives shred a good name,” says Paul Gilbert. “It’s
absolutely heartwarming to hear
someone play super fast and have
musical depth to match. What a breath
of fresh air.”
Mr. Gilbert, however, is not the only
guitar hero who is genuinely thrilled
Guthrie Govan has landed the GP
cover. “What sets Guthrie apart,” adds
Joe Satriani, “is that no matter what
he’s doing—picking, tapping, slapping,
playing legato, whatever—he mixes
everything up gracefully and absolutely
nails each approach. And all
the while the music sounds natural.”
“He’s also a tip-top teacher,” chimes
in Mattias “IA” Eklundh, who has hired
Govan in the past as a guest instructor
at his Freak Guitar Camp intensives in
Sweden. “Guthrie can play anything—
backwards, if you prefer. And, unlike
some other super-duper all-around
guitarists, he is anything but a chameleon.
Whatever he sinks his teeth
into, you can tell it’s him instantly.”
Indeed, the deeper you delve into Govan’s
playing, the less likely it seems there is any
guitar style, genre, or approach the guitarist
doesn’t absolutely own. From the virtuosic
guitar work on his 2006 solo debut, Erotic
Cakes [Cornford Records] to his playing in
the studio and on stage with the revamped
’80s prog supergroup Asia (2001-2006) to
the viral video smash in which he accurately
emulates every guitarist from James Taylor
and B.B. King to Steve Vai and Zakk Wylde
(search YouTube for “Who’s Best Govan”),
Govan stands out as one of the most versatile
players the electric guitar has ever known.
Then again, there’s one important skill
the British guitar hero has yet to master: the
art of saying no.
“The way my life has gone the last few
years, I’ve had a blanket policy of saying yes to
everything that comes up—every clinic, session,
gig—because my aim has always been
to live completely steeped in music, and that
was the only way I could pay the bills,” says
Govan, surrounded by guitars and amps in
the music room of his home in Chelmsford,
England. “But if you do too many different
things, everything can conspire to distract
you from what you should be doing.”
The good news is that Govan (which, by
the way, is a Scottish name that rhymes with
oven) has been ’shedding hard to develop
his “no” chops. The result? The 39-yearold
guitarist has found time to join forces
with bassist Bryan Beller (Mike Keneally,
Dethklok, Steve Vai) and drummer Marco
Minnemann (UKZ, Trey Gunn, Necrophagist)
to launch an exciting reimagining of
the prog rock power trio.
“Based on some of the slightly offensive
song titles coming in from each other’s
demos, we thought we’d call ourselves the
Aristocrats,” says Govan. “Perhaps you’re
familiar with the joke of the same name.”
If you haven’t heard the infamous joke,
well, we can’t repeat it here, but rest assured
there’s a documentary film available in which
a plethora of comedians battle it out to make
sure you’re informed of it. (“I think Sarah
Silverman won that one,” says Govan.) At
press time, though, the joking is over, and
Govan and the Aristocrats are in a studio in
Chicago, tracking their as yet untitled debut.
“I’m really feeling that this is what I
should be doing now—writing more music,
doing more collaborations with others, and
doing more solo albums,” says Govan. “I’m
also very into avoiding any situation where
I become known as ‘the guy who can sound
like other people.’ That would be a grim epitaph
to have on your musical tombstone.”
It has been reported that you started playing
guitar at age three.
So they tell me. I don’t remember. I just
remember a full-size Spanish guitar seeming
quite enormous, so I guess I must have
been fairly small. My dad played guitar, and
he showed me everything he knew when I
was still pretty young. I remember doing a
gig when I was five, playing lots of Chuck
Berry, Little Richard, Elvis, and stuff like that.
That’s quite young to be performing. Was there
any “stage parenting” going on?
No, there was nothing like that at all.
There were points when people would
approach my family and say, “You’ve got an
intriguing kid. He can play better than other
people at that age. We could do something
with him.” Generally, though, my parents’
response was, “No. He’s only a kid. Let him
have a normal kid’s life.” That’s the opposite
of stage parenting. They encouraged what I
was doing but never tried to turn it into a
career for me prematurely.
My parents just truly liked music, so I grew
up being exposed to a lot of it, and understanding
that music is something serious—
an art form—not just wallpaper to have going
on in the background of your life. It made all
the sense in the world to associate the guitar
lying in the corner of the room with all these
sounds I was hearing. I had a tape recorder,
a record player, and soon gained the virtue
of working stuff out by ear, which was pretty
much what I did most of my formative years.
How did you find yourself, at age nine, performing
on the popular British television show Ace Reports?
To this day, I have no idea. I just remember
a nice car turning up at our house and
taking my brother Seth and me to a studio
somewhere where we played a couple of
songs and answered some questions. For
weeks afterwards at school, we were the
hairy kids who had been on TV.
Fast forward: It’s 1993 or so, and the British
magazine Guitarist is holding a “Guitarist of the
Year” competition. What compelled you to enter?
Well, I’ve never seen music as a competition,
but I was at an odd point in my life
where I had walked out of Oxford University
after a year of studying English, been
on unemployment, and worked at McDonald’s
making burgers, so it just seemed like a
good idea to reach out to the music community
to see if there was any interest in what
I could do. The competition worked on the
premise that they would print out an eightbar
melody with no particular rhythm, and
say, “Your job is to write a three-minute piece
of music based on this pseudo melody.” The
thing I wrote turned out to be “Wonderful
Slippery Thing” [off Erotic Cakes], which I still
play to this day. We each played along with
our backing tracks—the others to nice DAT
recorders, me to my crappy little cassettes—
in front of a random selection of judges that
including the famous DJ Tommy Vance and
the fingerstyle guitar demon Martin Taylor.
I was thrilled they chose me as the winner.
I got my free amp, went home, got my little
interview in Guitarist, and then nothing
happened [laughs]. Before long, I decided
that rather than wait for a job to appear on
a plate, it might be best to invent one for
myself. With all my years of working stuff
out by ear, I figured I’d get the attention of
Guitar Techniques magazine by transcribing
the most confusing, scary thing I could think
of at the time, which was some Shawn Lane
stuff. Their reply was, “Not only do you have
our attention, we’re actually going to publish
that and give you some money.” After that,
they just kept phoning me every month. I
did that for years.
You have also taught legions of guitar students
at various guitar schools, from BIMM in the U.K. to
Musicians Institute in California. What stands out
to you as the top two or three ways in which young
guitarists could stand to improve their playing?
Well, there are two basic kinds of students
I meet over and over again. First, there are
those who encountered the instrument naturally,
as I did. Maybe they’re blues-rock kids
who grew up with a Strat in the house and
picked up some Stevie Ray riffs instinctively
when they were young. Those guys tend to
have good timing and feel, and they phrase
nicely and understand good tone, but often
they’re lazy—they know their blues boxes but
don’t want to take things to the next level.
Some of them have even been told by older
blues authorities that stepping out of those
boxes isn’t real music, and that it’s somehow
a bad thing to be able to sweep pick,
sight read, or know a jazz chord.
Govan with his latest signature Suhr, the Guthrie Govan Antique Modern.
When I meet students like that, I tell them,
“If you actually want to do this for a living,
you need to open your ears to every kind of
music out there and become as versatile as
possible. And the time to really learn is now.
Once you’re working, you’ll have much less
time to practice.”
The other kinds of students I meet are
the guys whose first guitar was probably an
Ibanez—it certainly at least had a pointy
headstock—and they have a thick, pointy
pick, a POD, and a bunch of instructional
videos, and the first song they ever learned
wasn’t really a song, but some sort of technical
shred study. Those guys tend to think
the goal of playing guitar is to fire up the old
metronome, and measure their improvement
purely based on technique. They know every
scale and arpeggio in every key, but they’re
trapped in their bedrooms with no one to
tell them that their tone sucks and they can’t
play in time. They need to get out there and
become surrounded not just by other guitarists,
but also by drummers, bass players, and
even, dare I say, audiences.
What’s the best way for them to improve if
they’re not at a music school?
This might be infuriating, but this is the
best answer I have: They should ask themselves,
“Why am I playing and what do I
want to achieve?” Until they know that,
there isn’t a correct way forward. In the
past, at seminars, I’ve been guilty of preaching
that everyone needs to learn stuff by ear
as I did, and that if you can’t do that, you’re
not really a musician, you’re just a typist—
you’re just copying things off a transcription
or an instructional DVD. Then, one day, I got
a wakeup call from a guy at one of my clinics.
He was about 50, had a lovely Paul Reed
Smith with the most exotic top you’ve ever
seen, and he stopped me mid-rant and said,
“I appreciate what you’re saying but I’m a
gynecologist. I get to play guitar about 20
minutes a week. I don’t need this ear that
you’re talking about, because that’s not why
I’m playing. If I could learn to play ‘Layla,’
it’d make me happy every day for the rest of
my life.” That guy made me reassess things.
No matter why you play, it’s always good to
have a clear goal. If you don’t have a goal,
you’ll certainly never achieve it. If you do,
you might achieve it.
As far as your goal of doing some interesting
musical collaborations goes, the Aristocrats
certainly qualifies. The band has already been
described as “Cream for the 21st Century.” How
do you feel about that characterization?
I’m wary of it because anyone who likes
Cream will instantly dismiss it as blasphemy
and like us less for daring to be billed as
such. But I like the idea of it. Cream really
was a band. It was everyone going crazy at
the same time. It was a rowdy democracy of
musicianship, and I like that.
One thing I really hate is when it’s just
the guitar player doing all the interesting
stuff and in the background you’ve got the
drums just laying down a simple beat and
the bass playing root notes. That bores me.
Live music should be about the interaction
between the people in the band. People
already know that our trio is going to be
about the interplay between its players. I’m
excited by the fact that each of us has some
kind of following of our own, which hopefully
means we’ll have a more interesting
cross-section of people at shows, rather than
just a sea of guitar players with binoculars,
notepads, and camera phones. It’s been quite
well received for an album that hasn’t been
made yet [laughs].
What is the Aristocrats’ musical vision and
The good thing is that it’s a fully organic
one, as the project started for entirely the
right reasons. Marco, Bryan, and I had played
a quick set at this year’s Bass Bash at NAMM,
and the chemistry was so great that when
we came off stage we all said to each other,
simultaneously, “This is working. We should
record this.” It was particularly amazing playing
with Marco for the first time, preposterously
accomplished drummer that he is. He’s
a freak. He’s not physically possible. Plus,
there’s something a little bit naughty about
him. He’s got this cheeky grin on his face
when he’s playing. He’s not just a clinician.
And when it comes to bass, Bryan brings
the best of both worlds. It’s amazing to me
that someone can have that much ability and
understanding, yet have the strength not to
show off or do circus tricks. He gets the purpose
of what a bass player in a rock band is,
which is to lock in with the meatier side of
the drum kit and make us sound solid. The
Aristocrats is going to have a raucus rock vibe
and a sense of humor about the music, which
you might not expect to find in other muso
projects in which people are flung together
to make an album in a hurry.
One thing that is striking about your playing
is not just how accomplished you are at so many
different techniques, but also how seamlessly you
go from one to the next.
I’m relieved if it comes across that way.
Part of it might be me just having started
so young. There’s a certain mentality you
have when you’re a kid that assumes that
whatever it is you’re attempting, it must be
possible to do. Instinctively, I always seek
the easiest and most natural way of doing
things. I don’t tense up when I practice, I’m
not turning red, and I’m not damaging any
tendons. Whatever the technique is, it’s got
to feel natural, or I don’t feel like I own it.
Take, for instance, the technique of alternate
picking. We each have a unique little
twitch in our wrists that comes naturally to
us. To become a better picker, trace your way
back from the pick all the way up to your
shoulder or your spine and try to get everything
else in your body lined up in such a way
that the guitar feels like part of your skeleton,
and that when your wrist does that natural
twitch, it gives you the desired effect on
the guitar. Everything between your shoulder
and the pick is part of the process.
Speaking of alternate picking, yours is utterly,
to borrow one of your adjectives, preposterous.
Did you work with a metronome while developing
that astonishing speed?
I’ve never really owned a metronome. I
always opted to play along with real music,
and a lot of real music is in time. There is a
lot more information on a real record than
there could ever be with just a click. The
record tells you about the dynamic, which
beat carries the most weight, when someone
might be playing slightly ahead or behind of
where the click would be, or what happens in
that murky zone between beat one and beat
two. Where is the up stroke? You can’t learn
SRV’s “Pride and Joy” shuffle from a click.
One picking luxury in which I indulge
is the expensive but awesome line of Red
Bear picks. I like their Big Jazzer model.
Dweezil Zappa turned me on to these picks
at a tradeshow. He said, “Try this,” and he
gave me this extra-heavy tortoise-shell-looking
thing with speed bevels on it. I played it
for a while, A/B’d it against my old Dunlop
Jazz III XL’s, and, tonally speaking, there was
no comparison. It sounded way better. Then
Dweezil said, “I want it back,” so I knew it
was a special pick [laughs].
What pops into your head if I ask you what the
top two or three most inspiring live guitar performances
are that you’ve ever witnessed?
Without even thinking, I would say the
most recent one was Derek Trucks. Before
hearing Derek, I didn’t know a guitar could
sound so vocal. With him, the guitar becomes
this transparent thing, and through it we hear
this great gospel singer that Derek hears in
his head. Presumably, Derek can’t sing like
that, but he’s made it so his guitar can.
Then there was that mythical Eric Johnson
show at the Marquee Club in London in
the early ’90s that quite a few of us remember.
I’m not much for lists, but if I had to list
my top ten favorite live guitar sounds of all
time, four of them were probably at that gig.
Eric was just so in control of his gear and the
notes he was playing.
I can also mention that seeing Yngwie
Malmsteen made a real impact on me. He
wasn’t this academic looking guy just standing
there with his music stand. He was going
crazy, running around the place, and throwing
his Strat while playing a million notes per
second. And when he stopped and played just
one note, it sounded like a violin or an opera
singer. Yngwie has an incomparable vibrato,
which his detractors choose to ignore.
Any newer guitarists you find inspiring?
There are—Alex Machacek is quite interesting—
but, by and large, I am not interested in
the kind of player who is often recommended
to me. That player is usually someone who’s
doing something a bit like what I’m doing. I
want to hear things that are completely fresh
to me. For instance, I’m big Bjork fan. You
never really hear a guitar on her albums, but
there’s something very intriguing about what
she’s done with the human voice. It’s like
Derek Trucks backwards. Instead of making
an instrument behave like a voice, it’s the
other way around.
Last I counted, you have three Suhr signature
models on the market.
I do. I’m currently brandishing the newest
one, which ironically looks the oldest, and it
is called the Guthrie Govan Antique Modern.
It’s a complete departure from the other two.
It’s an example of what happens when I listen
to John Suhr instead of him listening to me.
This is John’s Holy Grail wood combination—
basswood for the body, a plain maple top, a
nitro finish, and a roasted maple neck. I’m
aware that in California you get the electric
chair or something if you spray nitro on a
guitar, because it’s bad for the ozone layer. So
I guess that this body must have been shipped
out of state to have this poisonous lacquer
of death sprayed on it and then shipped back
to Suhr. But it’s a pleasing finish. It’s aging
If I ever go out and do a crazy rock gig
I will take my set-neck mahogany model
because it barks like nothing else. If I want
to do more of a jazz-fusion gig, though—if
I want screaming overdrive, want to be able
to trade lines with a sax player, and also get
glossy clean sounds—I would take this guitar.
This small, maple-heavy instrument seems
to clean up a lot better, whereas mahogany
gives you a lot of that midrange that pushes
an old valve amp nicely.
Do all three models have 24 frets?
They do, indeed. I know there’s a school
of thought that you shouldn’t have a 24
because then the neck humbucker isn’t in
the optimum place, but I’d rather have the
two extra notes on each string.
And Suhr makes all the pickups on these, right?
Yeah. They roll their own, so to speak.
Why do you prefer stainless steel frets?
Well, steel frets do sound a little brighter
than nickel, acoustically, but once you go into
an amp, I don’t think you hear any difference.
You feel a difference, though, because they stay
smooth for so much longer. The bends feel
glossy, the string glides over the fret when
you want it to, and intonation stays accurate
for longer. It’s 99 percent win with stainless
steel frets. The only catch, though, is that
you really should use that plastic fret protector
they give you to leave under the strings
during transit. If the guitar gets knocked
hard and a string digs into a fret and leaves a
little groove, the steel is so hard you’ll never
wear that groove out, and you won’t be able
to bend on that fret.
Tell us about the Blower switch on your guitars.
Ah, the Button of Doom, as I like to call
it. It’s a low-profile button on my Suhrs
that, when engaged, bypasses everything
except the bridge pickup. It’s convenient,
because I don’t have to change my volume,
tone, and pickup settings to instantly get
to the simple, wide-open rock valve amp
sound I was raised on. What has surprised
me is how much more output and
top end running the switch offers compared
to running the bridge pickup the
normal way, which illustrates how much
signal you lose just by running the pickup
through all that circuitry before it reaches
the output jack.
Let’s talk amps. What do you like about the
MK50 Mark II, Harlequin, and other Cornford
models you’ve used so regularly over the years?
The Cornford is the kind of high-gain
amp that differentiates between different guitars
and players, so that even with obscene
amounts of filth in the preamp, you can hear
every nuance of the pick attack and can still
hear whether it’s a Tele or a Strat. It’s not
a compressed Dual Rectifier kind of sound.
It’s like the old amps I grew up with, but on
steroids. If you have any kind of blues background
at all and enjoy the fact that you can
play one note on the guitar a thousand different
ways, the Cornford is what I would
call a listening amp. It’s sensitive to every
detail that you feed it. Some people don’t
like that kind of amp. They say it makes it
harder to play, to which I reply, “But that’s
what you sound like.”
You also use Suhr amps, as well as Custom
Audio amps, which are designed and built by Suhr.
Yeah. I recently got hold of the Suhr Badger
30, which I’m liking quite a lot. To my way of
thinking, it’s basically a ’70s Marshall with
tricks. You can get the sound of the power
stage working really hard at an output as
low as three-quarters of a watt. It does nice
vintage overdriven stuff and also has this
power-scaling witchcraft on the front panel
you balance carefully using a knob called
Drive and a knob called Power. In my dream
world, there would be one knob just called
Any pedals you can’t live without?
This doesn’t sound very exciting, but the
least dispensable thing for me is probably
my volume pedal, which is usually an Ernie
Ball. I’m a huge fan of getting tonal variations
the old-fashioned way—i.e., by tinkering
with the volume pot on the guitar—but
in a live context, I find it really helpful to be
able to make some of those level adjustments
without disrupting what my picking hand is
doing. I recently discovered the new Dunlop
volume pedal, which has a really nice feel.
You don’t seem to run much delay or ’verb.
Well, sometimes it’s nice to be able to
hide behind a bit of ambience—it’s like sonic
makeup—but in a live context you have to
take into account that every room has its
own reverb. It’s good to think in terms of
how the guitar sounds at the back of the
room, rather than gauging it from one foot
away in front of the cabinet. Adding loads of
synthetic ambience may well be flattering,
but it tends to rob the notes of clarity. With
Asia, in particular, I found myself playing
as part of a fairly busy mix, often in appalling
sounding venues, and I worked out that
the only way people would actually be able
to hear what I was playing was to adopt a
dry, unforgiving tone. The desk tapes from
those shows sometimes came out sounding
quite harsh, but I like to think that the tone
worked in the room.
You get a lush, swirling chorus sound.
Well, I do have some nice chorus pedals.
I really like the Analog Man chorus, and also
the Providence Anadime. They’re very different
beasts, but one thing they have in
common is that they don’t rob the signal of
any low end, so you can get the desired degree
of swirliness without sacrificing any of the
meat in the tone. I recently did a “Toneprint”
for the new TC Electronic Corona chorus,
which was cool. That software really lets you
tweak every little detail, so it felt like designing
a whole pedal from scratch.
What do you feel is the mark of a great guitar
I think the obvious answer is one whom
you recognize after just one note. Unfortunately,
though, that’s not always true. I could
hear Pat Martino play one note and not be
confident that it was him. The beauty in Pat’s
playing lies in a lot of notes—the contour he
gives them. So there are many things that
make up a great guitar player. We all have a
great guitar player in our heads that we can
hear. It’s a matter of getting that sound out.
You hold upwards of 100 guitar clinics a year,
all over the world. Have you noticed any big differences
in guitar culture from one region to the next?
Each country has a unique vibe, yes. I have
found that when I go to Italy, for example,
there’s something fiery about guitar audiences
there. They want a certain amount of
bravado and showing off. Meanwhile, the
French have a more surreal sense of humor
about things, and they tend to embrace the
zanier side of music and art in general. Those
guys pretty much invented surrealism, so it
makes a lot of sense to me that they would
embrace, for instance, Bumblefoot’s music
before anywhere else in Europe did.
And what are American crowds like?
They seem to know more about gear than
anyone else [laughs]. In America, the electric
guitar is kind of a national sport. It’s up
there with the Cadillac, the Coke can, and
baseball. It’s one of those iconic things that
represents America, so it always feels good
to go to the States with a gig bag. It gives
me a sense of purpose. I’ve found that in the
States anyone—not just people at gigs, but
anyone you meet—will see the gig bag and
tend to react with curiosity, like, “Gee, that’s
interesting. Are you in a band?” whereas
in England the response is a bit more like,
“When are you going to get a proper job?”
What’s your advice to guitarists who aspire to
make their living as a pro musician?
Well, a wiser person than me—I think it
was Steve Swallow—said, “If you want to play
music for a living, don’t do it, but if you have
to play music for a living, it’s the best job in
the world.” So if music is truly your calling,
and you feel empty when you’re not playing
it, and you dive into it with all of yourself
and promise to never question it, and
always remember that it doesn’t owe you
anything, then that makes it okay. Then you
work at it. You weigh focusing on your particular
musical strengths with becoming versatile
and employable. Even if your ultimate
goal is to play metal, it could be that the ability
to sight read and play a few bossa nova
tunes on a cruise ship can keep you alive for
a few months and generate the money for
your first album. Just remember, music is not
a normal job. Think very carefully before you
commit to doing this for a living. Think carefully,
young guitar apprentice.
The Guitaristocrat’s Gear—Guthrie’s
Go-to Gizmos on the Aristocrats Sessions
GUITARS Suhr Guthrie Govan Signature Antique Modern (basswood body, maple top,
roasted maple neck, maple fretboard); Suhr Guthrie Govan Signature Modern (mahogany
body, maple top, mahogany neck with pau ferro fretboard); Rasmus (by Suhr, built in
China) Guthrie Govan Signature Modern (mahogany body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard).
All guitars equipped with Gotoh 510TS-SF1 tremolo bridges (floating) and Suhr
SSH+ humbucker (bridge), ML single-coil (middle), and SSV humbucker (neck) pickups.
Suhr models equipped with Sperzel locking tuners and Suhr Blower bypass buttons.
STRINGS Rotosound Roto Yellows, .010-.046
AMPS AND CABS Suhr Badger 30-watt head, Custom Audio Amplifier (CAA) PT100
100-watt head (designed and built by Suhr), Suhr 2x12 cabinet loaded with Celestion
Heritage G12-65s, CAA 4x12 cabinet with WGS Veteran 30s.
EFFECTS (IN SIGNAL-CHAIN ORDER): Radial Tonebone Switchbone (for running
both amps in tandem or switching between them), Suhr Koko Boost (used with Badger 30
only), Peterson StroboStomp tuner, Sweet Sound Mojo Vibe, Xotic Robotalk Envelope
Filter, Analog Man Clone Chorus, Dunlop Jerry Cantrell Signature CryBaby Wah, Ernie Ball
volume pedal, Eventide TimeFactor digital delay (in the effects loop of the CAA).
Hair Ties (for String Muting): Claire’s Accessories. (“I should have an endorsement.”)—JG
As progressive guitar themes such as “Pipeline” (the Chantays, 1963), “Scatterbrain” (Jeff Beck, 1975), “YYZ” (Rush, 1981), “Tumeni Notes” (Steve
Morse Band, 1989), and “Cliffs of Dover” (Eric Johnson, 1990) have all proven over the decades, it’s hard to name a great guitar-driven instrumental that
doesn’t feature a memorable melody. Perhaps that’s why Guthrie Govan’s “Waves” (which the guitarist originally released as a demo in 1993 but improved
upon, rerecorded, and rereleased on Erotic Cakes in 2006) is already proving to have true lasting power in the pantheon of prog.
“‘Waves’ started out as my attempt to recreate the vibe of a melody played on a Minimoog synth with the glide/portamento knob turned up,”
says Govan, who quadruple-tracked the 12-bar (including repeats) phrase using two Suhr guitars and four different pickup settings. “I wanted each
note to swoop into the next as it would on the synth, so my silly fingering approach with all the slides seemed like a cool way to approximate that
sound. The general picking policy here is only pick a note if it’s necessary to do so.” —JG