When we think about the people who are best at playing guitars, we easily picture the best lead electric guitarist that we somehow heard for the last few decades. Maybe our parents or someone in the family used to be a fan of some of the most talented guitarist that can smoothly pick the strings in different ways. With that, we can assume that some of the greatest guitarist out there that we didn’t know is predominantly acoustic players and that many of these individuals are pioneers in their respected genres. So we suggest that you get ready to chill while we count down some of the greatest acoustic guitar players out there.
James Taylor – James Taylor is a man that is possibly the best singer-songwriter of all that contributes a lot in the music industry in the last decades. James Taylor surely knows his way around playing an acoustic guitar. That is because some of the greatest songs attribute a fair amount of success to Taylor’s ability to craft and perform tasteful lead licks. The thing with James Taylor is that along with his great songs; he is one of the top finger pickers of acoustic guitar that ever make his way to the mainstream. He used his guitar-picking talent to get a valuable spot in the list of the best guitarists of all time.
Stephen Stills – Another singer-songwriter that knows how to showcase his talent through acoustic music is Stephen Still. He is often the unsung hero of the guitar world due to his uncomplicated finger-picking style. Still’s edge among other guitarists is his love for basic skills. He can potentially transition it into a complicated technique. During Stephen Still’s heyday, he earned the respect of many legendary guitarists, and that includes Jimi Hendrix. Also, for public information, Cosby’s and Nash’s most successful songs are noteworthy because of Still’s incredible skills as well.
Michael Hedges – Michael Alden Hedges is one of the most accomplished music guitarists on the list. His capability of using a hammer on, harmonic slaps, alternative tuning, and a lot of different techniques made him the most influential solo artist that ever lived in history. Hedges can add a totality on the new vocabulary of the acoustic guitar sounds by just playing and trying new styles. He can make people wonder how all the tones can come from a single acoustic guitar. People know him as a talented guitarist that amazes them in an instant performance. Hedges earned a spot in the list of greatest musicians that released an album in both instrumental and vocal compositions.
Bob Dylan – People know Bob Dylan because he single-handedly revolutionized the industry of folk music. His performances and lyrical abilities seem effortless, and that makes him one of the greatest singers in history. Dylan’s acoustic guitar talents also have no exceptions because he’s known to contribute most of the picking patterns in the world of acoustic guitar tricks. He also masters the art of open tunings that allows him to craft some of the catchiest licks in folk music. The techniques he learned from jazz, folk, and blues musician to create a significant style that trademark’s his own.
Robert Johnson – People may not know who Johnson is at his time, but his music is everywhere. His poorly documented life didn’t stop him from achieving a rise to a legendary spot. A lot of people might recognize the elements of his music through the influence of modern finger-picking styles. A pioneer of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson refined the guitar techniques of other musicians on his time. He also managed to influence later generations with his consistent display of the combination of songwriting and guitar playing absorbed in the shortest span of three minutes.
Chet Atkins – Chet Atkins is an artist that brings finger-style guitar picking to a different level. Chet would often play a baseline with his thumb and pick the harmony and melody of the song with the remaining four fingers. As a session player in Nashville, his effortless dexterity seems to influence some of the legendary guitar musicians out there. These include Eric Clapton and George Harrison. Atkins influence in today’s acoustic guitar-picking patterns is visible in the style of modern country guitar masters like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.
Tommy Emanuel – Tommy Emanuel is an Australian acoustic virtuoso who idolizes Chet Atkins who eventually got to record songs with him. Though Tommy Emanuel first trained himself with the styles of Atkins, he ultimately took the method to a whole new level. He managed to create a version of the infamous Travis picking style. Aside from his love in country music, Emanuel is also proficient in blues, jazz, and even classical styles. Tommy’s proficiency and groove on the acoustic guitar is something that people should see.
These talented acoustic guitar musicians made history in our music industry. All of them created an impact that made the modern finger-picking style become more identifiable, top-notched, and extraordinary skill.