52 guitarists, week 6—Tommy Emmanuel

Acoustic guitar playing is not my strong suit. Actually, electric guitar playing is not my strong suit. Wow … I just realised that blogging isn’t either. Someone who is without equal on the acoustic guitar—in my opinion—and is also damn impressive on the electric guitar is Tommy Emmanuel. I sure hope his website doesn’t show he’s a better blogger than me too. I’ve got to have something over him!

As a fellow Australian, I’ve been lucky enough to see Tommy perform live on the acoustic and electric guitar with his brother Phil—who is also amazingly talented when it comes to guitar playing. I also remember the days when Tommy would appear on the iconic Australian television show Hey Hey It’s Saturday. It was there that I first discovered Tommy’s passion for guitar and his great Australian sense of humour. That alone made him an inspiration to me.

I will be doing something different with this week’s entry in the 52 Guitarists series by the way. There will only be one embedded video. I could source and share many videos and I have decided to not do so for one simple reason. This one video says it all for me. It’s not a decision I made purely because I’m a lazy individual. That is true, but in this instance, irrelevant.

The thing about Tommy Emmanuel’s guitar playing is that it is all about the passion combined with the technique. Tommy plays his instrument from top to tail. When you’re watching him at his best—and I think the video below is a prime example of that—then you’re experiencing many different things. It is in no way a simple guitar performance.

Tommy Emmanuel is a percussionist. He is a guitarist. He is a true performer.

As an electric guitar fan, that is still something that inspires me in my own playing. Watching Tommy Emmanuel makes me rethink the ways I approach my own guitar and my own guitar playing. I am constantly impressed by Tommy’s respect for the instrument.

His technical capabilities are amazing. But that’s not why he’s amazing. He can read the guitar like few people can. But enough of my praise-babble. I’ll let the video and audio speak in volumes as Tommy finds all of the sweet spots on his acoustic guitar. If you thought it was all about the fretboard and the strumming/picking hand … you have a lot to be inspired by. There’s so much more you can do with your guitar.

This is not a top guitarists list and there is no significance in the order the guitarists are placed in the list. This is simply a collection of guitarists that have been influential to me.

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