No. 346 May/June 2024

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Special Focus: Fingerstyle

We profile four next-generation players—Muireann Bradley, Janet Noguera, Hayden Pedigo, and Jontavious Willis—who are advancing the art of fingerstyle guitar. Plus, a lesson exploring ten key recordings and artists that have shaped the landscape of modern fingerstyle.

Additional artist coverage includes a feature on classical guitar phenom Jiji, who reflects on her diverse influences, shares practice techniques, and previews some upcoming projects; and Chris Eldridge talks about his bluegrass travels, lessons learned from Tony Rice, and the discovery of his holy grail guitar. Blair Jackson reviews the latest from fingerstyle virtuoso Tim Sparks.

Also inside are a lesson on using open strings to spice up your blues solos; a Weekly Workout on improving your accompaniment chops and general musicianship through reading rhythms; tips for avoiding overuse injuries and having more productive practice sessions; a deep dive into using natural and artificial harmonics; and more.

Songs to play include “Hey There Delilah,” the long-distance love ballad by the Plain White T’s; “The Locktender’s Reel,” a modern fiddle tune by Eric Skye; a World Premiere of a beautiful new solo work by John Leventhal, “JL’s Hymn No. 2,”; a campfire rendition of the ever-popular “Mack the Knife”; and a fresh take on the classic cowboy ballad “When the Work’s All Done This Fall” as interpreted by Cameron Knowler for solo guitar.

In the gear department, Martin Keith and Richard Johnston pay tribute to the legendary and inventive repair guru Frank Ford, who passed away last December at the age of 79. We also pull some of Ford’s sage advice for readers from the Acoustic Guitar archives. Elsewhere, Greg Ruby test drives the future-forward Martin GPCE Inception Maple acoustic-electric, and Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers reviews the tiny but powerful Fishman Loudbox Micro practice amp.

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