No. 344 January/February 2024
Special Focus: 2023—The Year In Gear
2023 was quite a year for acoustic guitarists. In this special report, we check out a plethora of stunning new guitars at all price points, plus smart amps, pedals, and more.
This issue’s artist coverage features a spotlight on the Brazilian classical-guitar force that is Plínio Fernandes; a check-in with the ever-energetic and prolific Tommy Emmanuel, who discusses the making of his latest collaborative album, Accomplice Two, with fellow Aussie guitarist Adam Miller; and a chat with the orchestral, textural fingerstyle master Hiroya Tsukamoto.
Lessons include a Weekly Workout on how to use a partial capo to create alternate-tuning-like sounds; a primer on getting started with alternate tunings; more strategies on how to sight-read in real time with a duo partner; how to solo over a 12-bar blues; and more!
Songs to play include the Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine,” which is experiencing a second life thanks in no small part to the film Barbie; “Sidh Beag, Sid Mor,” a Celtic tune arranged in standard tuning by the late Al Petteway; the haunting traditional tune “In the Pines,” recorded by Nirvana and others; the Tony Rice version of the classic “Banks of the Ohio”; and a campfire version of a favorite from the Roaring ’20s, “Tonight You Belong to Me.”
On the gear side, Emile Menasché reviews the spectacular new Yamaha FG9 R, a rosewood and Adirondack spruce dreadnought boasting boutique specs and shimmering tone; Doug Young test drives the Boss AC-22LX acoustic combo amp; and AG’s resident expert Martin Keith shares tips on how to clean your fretboard the proper—and safe—way.